The second wine, the 2012 Le Petit Cheval, is composed of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. Straightforward, elegant, fruity, racy and classy, it lacks a touch of weight, mid-palate depth and length. Nevertheless, there is plenty to like. It should drink nicely upon release and last for a decade thereafter.
|Score: 86/88||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013|
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux tasting. The 2012 Le Petit Cheval has a low-key nose that might be lost in the crowd of its more ostentatious peers, but it is well-defined with beautifully integrated oak, briary and graphite aromas developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, a keen line of acidity and an almost Left Bank finish that deserves a round of applause. Under blind conditions, I was not the only one to give this one of my most positive comments against the "big boys." Not to be underestimated. Tasted January 2016.
|Score: 91||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (227), October 2016|
The Le Petit Cheval is a blend of 25% Merlot and 75% Cabernet Franc, it has an understated bouquet that is quite ripe with hints of iodine developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with quite "thick" tannins, the Cabernet Franc offering a grainy texture, noticeable brine and tobacco accents developing towards the structured, quite linear finish. Though a second wine, I suspect this will deserve two or three years bottle age. Tasted April 2013.
|Score: 90/92||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013|
75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot. Pure Cabernet Franc nose with great graphite freshness. Lighter and silkier than Quinault. Soft tannins, delicate, fresh and long. Scented. Late harvest and late-ripening conditions. Just-ripe fruit perfect for Cheval Blanc style. Moreish and mouthwatering finish. Very long given this fresh delicacy. pH 3.8. (JH)
|Score: 17.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013|
The second wine of Chateau Cheval Blanc is made from 14% of Cheval Blanc's fruit with a further 15% being sold off in bulk. The blend has 75% Cabernet Franc this year with only 15000 bottles being produced. An attractive, open, forward, pretty nose of fleshy sweet cherry fruit. This is a real charmer with smooth, silky tannins and a velvety texture. Easy and lovely.
|Score: 15.5+||Farr Vintners, March 2013|
The nose has charm a smokiness and spiciness overlaying the bramble and red cherry. The fruit in the middle is sweet quite lush but then towards the back it feels fresher giving a lovely brightness on the finish. 2018-28.
|Score: 89/92||Derek Smedley MW, April 2013|
The percentage of Cabernet Franc was noticeably higher in this, the second wine of Cheval
Blanc, than it was in the grand vin. The sample was showing slight reduction, but is very
serious indeed, with classic Cabernet Franc notes of fresh herbs and green pepper, succulent
red fruits, subtle oak and velvety tannins.
|Score: 93||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013|