Ex chateau, 2020 Release
|HV||1 \ 12||36||10,500.00||24||36||1166.6666666667||100.00||100.00||Cheval Blanc||0.375||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
The statuesque, even majestic 2010 Château Cheval Blanc is one for the ages. It is more structured, masculine and backward than the 2009, but locked and loaded, with layers of concentrated fruit, power and a fabulous, long finish. It is a glorious wine to admire, but not yet ready to drink, and probably won’t be for another five to 10 years.
The 2010 is one of the most impressive two-year-old Cheval Blancs I have tasted in 34 years in this profession. The final blend of 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot has the tell-tale berry/floral nose with subtle hints of menthol, blueberry, raspberry and flowers in addition to some forest floor and a delicate touch of lead pencil shavings. The wine exhibits more structure and density than it did from barrel, and it was already remarkable then. The foresty/floral notes seem to linger and linger in this surprisingly full-bodied, powerful Cheval Blanc, yet it possesses a very healthy pH that should ensure enormous longevity. Dense purple in color, and a bigger, richer wine than usual, this is one Cheval Blanc that will probably need a decade of cellaring. I like the description from the estate's administrator, Pierre Lurton, who said it tasted like "liquid cashmere," a perfect expression, despite the wine's structure and intensity. This is another 50-year wine from this amazingly structured, rich vintage.
Deep garnet in color and made of 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot, the nose of the 2010 Cheval Blanc is a bit subdued to begin, measuredly opening out to reveal achingly provocative notions of molten chocolate, preserved Morello cherries, baked blackberries, boysenberries and blueberry compote with wafts of underbrush, cigar box, cumin seed and sandalwood. Full-bodied, the palate is a full-on atomic bomb waiting to go off, with very tightly coiled, slowly maturing black fruits eking out glimpses of a vast array of nuances. Still very youthful, it finishes with an incredibly persistent, jaw-dropping display of earth and mineral fireworks. I’d leave this one for another 5 years and drink it over the next 50. 2025 - 2075
Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Cheval Blanc is fairly shut down at this stage, offering up subtle glimpses of an incredibly complex array of aromas including smoked meats, yeast extract, cigar box and new leather with dried mulberries and crème de cassis at the core plus a waft of potpourri. Full-bodied, big, opulent and built like a brick house, it has super firm tannins and great freshness, packed solid with muscular fruit, finishing very long. Tightly wound and oh-so-youthful, yet perfectly formed and poised to be a blockbuster, readers should give this incredible vintage about decade in the cellar before broaching. Drink Date 2028 - 2078
The aroma in this wine is crazy with flowers, mushroom, forest floor, and fruit. It seems like I am walking through a row of the vines in Cheval Blanc when I have my nose in the glass. It's full-bodied, with fabulous layers of ultra-fine tannins and milk chocolate, raspberries, and a phenomenal finish. Truly one of the greatest Chevals ever. Better than 2009. Try in 2020.
The blueberry and blackberry character and bouquet of violets is off the charts. Full body, the Cabernet Franc dominates the blend now, with so much dark fruits, minerals and flowers with hints of spices. It is a very powerful and linear CB and shows amazing length and purity. Zen-like focus
The stellar Cheval Blanc 2010 has a very precise bouquet, not powerful but exuding a brooding intensity. It is very well defined with hints of honey and dried violet petals in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with a wondrous spicy entry, perfectly judged acidity, real weight and heft on the back palate that fans out as if there is no tomorrow. This is a huge wine, totally compelling, a behemoth destined to mature over years rather than decades. Tasted January 2014.
Tasted at the property, the Cheval Blanc 2010 has a wonderful bouquet with pixelated clarity: blackberry, briary, crushed stone and a touch of cigar box - it is stately and almost aloof in style. The palate is medium-bodied with superb balance and focus. The tannins are fully ripe, but it maintains the austere style of the vintage. Hints of bay leaf, black pepper and a touch of black truffle inform the dry, but powerful finish. This will need 10 years to really show its pedigree, but it will grow up to by a sublime Cheval Blanc. Tasted November 2012.
A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, the latter suffering a little coulure (so bunches were cut earlier during the season after veraison to increase homogeneity.) The Merlot were reaching around 14.5% alcohol and the clay/gravel soils inhibited the increased alcohol level at the end. The harvest began on 15th September and finished on 13th October with a major part of the vineyard picked on 7th October. Like many samples, the Cheval Blanc takes a long time to open but eventually reveals a very refined, tightly-knit bouquet with dark berries, espresso, underbrush, the Cabernet Franc dominating the Merlot at present. The palate is medium-bodied and much more masculine compared to the fleshier 2009 last year, like the nose, the Cabernet Franc defining the wine with touches of dried herbs, a little allspice and white pepper. There is a firm backbone to this Cheval Blanc, quite structured towards the spicy finish, fresh but obdurate and broody. This will need a decade to really open up. Very promising, but do not expect fireworks...yet. Drink 2020-2040+ Tasted March 2011.
56% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot. Meaty and savoury. Almost austere on the nose relative to how young Cheval usually tastes. Very youthful but aromatic, then lovely lusciousness on the palate. Recalls great old Chevals with that seductive freshness. Lovely dry finish. (Blend for 2009 was exactly the opposite.) Coulure affected Merlot in 2010. Lost lots of volume on Merlot. Great structure but also lovely floral seductive aroma. Opens out in the glass in the most convincing manner. Presumably they think it would have been even better if vinified in the new cellar that is due for completion this summer. 14.5%
Cheval Blanc is one of the great names of Bordeaux and the most famous Chateau in Saint Emilion. Cheval can be a difficult wine to evaluate when young but rarely disappoints when mature. The 37 hectares of vines border Pomerol but the wine is different from Pomerol thanks to the high percentage of Cabernet Franc in the vineyard (56% Cabernet Franc and 44% Merlot). 60% of Cheval Blanc's production is in the Grand Vin this year with 20% in Petit Cheval and 20% sold off in bulk. A deep colour. Big, rich, cherry fruit on the nose with floral notes. On the palate there is a milk chocolate texture, toasty new oak, supple flesh and a gorgeously plump core of ripe red fruit. A wonderful cashmere feel to it. Barry Phillips said that this reminded him of a hypothetical blend of the 1962 and 1964. It looks set to be Pierre Lurton's best vintage here since his arrival twenty years ago.
There is a serious feel about both nose and palate. Rich fruit gives weight on the nose and depth on the palate. It is generous lush but not over sweet as there is enough freshness to balance and enhance the flavours. Towards the back the black fruits have a hint of spice that adds to the excitement.
Sublime wine. Fresh, floral, perfumed. More elegant and sensual than the '09. Pure, sumptuous fruit. Refined texture and tannins. Lovely acidity for balance. Seamless. Drink 2020-2050.
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.