Cheval Blanc Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Cheval Blanc
It will be fascinating to follow the evolution of the 2009 Cheval Blanc versus the 2010 as well as the awesome 2005, 2000, 1998 and 1990. This famous estate’s vineyard is situated at the juncture of Pomerol and the sandy, gravelly soils of St.-Emilion, facing the two noble estates of l’Evangile and La Conseillante. A blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2009 Cheval Blanc tips the scales at just under 14% natural alcohol. Its dense blue/purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary nose of incense, raspberries, cassis, sweet forest floor and a subtle hint of menthol. Opulent and full-bodied with low acidity but no sense of heaviness, this dense, unctuously textured, super-smooth, velvety, pure, profound Cheval Blanc is impossible to resist despite its youthfulness. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050+.
Coming out of a relatively dormant state, this 2000 is a spectacular Cheval Blanc. Of recent vintages, I think only the 2009 can give it a run for its money. A blend of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Franc, the wine has a sweet nose of menthol, melted licorice, boysenberry, blueberry, and cassis. A broad wine with compelling purity, a layered texture, and sweet tannin, with hints of coffee and earth in the background, this is by far the best Cheval Blanc since 1990 and before 2009. It is a legend in the making and can actually be drunk now, as the tannins have nearly melted away. This is a beauty with incredibly complex aromatics. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.
One of my favorite Cheval Blancs, it remains to be seen if the 1998, 2000, and 2008 will live up to this offering. It is the ripest wine of the aforementioned vintages, with a complex bouquet of tobacco leaf, Christmas fruitcake, sweet black fruits, bordering on fig and plum, but no hint of overripeness, and notions of new saddle leather, mint, and incense. The gorgeously expressive aromatics are followed by a full-bodied wine revealing abundant glycerin as well as elevated alcohol, but it is not hot, and nothing is out of place. Expansive, rich, and revealing the nuances and complexity that come from bottle age, it is at its peak of maturity where it should remain for another 10-15 years. Release price: ($3000.00/case)
The 2010 Cheval Blanc contains 13.8% alcohol, which is very high for this estate, and has an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Franc in the final blend (56% versus 44% Merlot). Yields were tiny, adding to the richness and intensity already instilled by the drought of summer and resulting tiny berries. In the style of some of the great Cheval Blancs of the late 1940s, this wine is rich, opulent, full-bodied, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, as saturated purple in color as any Cheval Blanc I have seen. Mulberries, black currants, fresh minerals, and floral notes jump from the glass of this full-bodied, dense wine. With its tannins, good acidity and surprisingly modest pH, this should be an exceptionally long-lived wine, more backward and delineated than the fatter, more opulent 2009. Drink it over the next 30+ years.
The dense ruby/purple-hued 2005 Cheval Blanc’s ethereal bouquet of menthol, coffee, wet stones, black cherries, blackberries, and hints of graphite and spice soars from the glass. An equal part blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it is medium to full-bodied with a gorgeous texture in addition to high tannins that glide over the palate with no angularity or astringency. While it does not quite reach the perfection of the 2000, it should rival the profound 1998 and 1990. This is not a Cheval Blanc for near-term drinking as it demands at least a decade’s worth of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.
I seriously underestimated this wine, as I have often tended to do with Cheval Blanc. A potentially immortal example that has gained significant weight since it has been bottled, this blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot has a saturated purple color and a glorious nose of menthol, plums, mulberries, new saddle leather, cocoa, and vanilla. Remarkably fuller-bodied than I ever remembered it young, with an amazingly seamless texture and tremendous concentration and extract, this full-bodied yet gorgeously pure and elegant wine is impeccably balanced and certainly one of the all-time great Cheval Blancs. If it continues to improve as much as it has over the last three years since bottling, this wine will certainly rival the 2000, 1990, and 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030. Last tasted, 1/03.
The final blend for the 2012 Cheval Blanc was 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Despite the use of 100% new oak, there is not a hint of vanillin, toast or espresso notes in the aromatic bouquet, which is filled with scents of black currants, sweet cherries, lavender, forest floor and a hint of underbrush. Concentrated with a surprisingly lofty alcohol level of 13.9% as well as a tannin level that equals their 2010 (a wine bestowed a three-digit score), this full-bodied, opulent 2012 has a pH of 3.8, which accounts for its suppleness, velvety texture and heady richness. It is a great success in this vintage. It will be approachable early given its silky structural aspects, and should last for two decades.
The brilliant 2006 Cheval Blanc performed better from bottle than from barrel. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot grown in a superb vineyard site facing La Conseillante and l’Evangile at the very edge of the sandy, gravelly soils of St.-Emilion, it boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as a sweet perfume of menthol, charcoal, boysenberries, black currants, and hints of cocoa and caramel. Lush, textured, and opulent with superb purity, medium to full body, savory flavors, and sweet, sexy tannins, this stunning Cheval Blanc may be even better than the 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.
The 2011 Cheval Blanc is one of the more plump, opulent and sexy Cheval Blancs made over recent vintages, and its forwardness, lusciousness and complexity seemingly suggest this wine is on a fast evolutionary track. The wine exhibits a dense ruby/purple/plum color, a medium to full-bodied opulence, a sumptuous mid-palate (atypical for the vintage), and a lush, heady finish. It is a super, complex, evolved Cheval Blanc that can be drunk now or cellared for 15+ years. Bravo!
The complex, explosively fragrant 1999 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 59% Merlot and 41% Cabernet Franc. It is already showing well, which is a good sign for a wine that traditionally is reserved early in life, but puts on weight and richness in the bottle. Stylistically, this wine is probably cut from the same mold as vintages such as 1985, 1966, and 1962. The color is a dense ruby with purple nuances. Once past the blockbuster bouquet of menthol, leather, black fruits, licorice, and mocha, the wine reveals medium body, extraordinary elegance, purity, and sweet, harmonious flavors with no hard edges. This is a seamless beauty of finesse, charm, and concentration. The 1999 is an exciting Cheval Blanc to drink relatively young. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2022.