The 2016 Le Petit Cheval is composed of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc. Medium garnet-purple colored, it has a knock-out nose featuring beautiful red rose, black tea, unsmoked cigars, menthol and yeast extract scents with a core of black cherries, kirsch and warm plums plus a waft of dusty soil. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and wonderfully perfumed in the mouth, the palate features loads of vibrant, pristine pure fruit and a beautifully soft texture, finishing very long. Drink 2021-2045.
|Score: 94||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim En), November 2018|
The 2016 Le Petit Cheval comes from just three, sandier parcels and continues the estate’s policy of blending as much of the entire vineyard into the Grand Vin as possible without compromising quality. It has a generous black cherry, boysenberry and fig-scented bouquet with light cedar aromas courtesy of the Cabernet Franc. The medium-bodied palate delivers supple tannin and a crisp line of acidity. I appreciate the freshness here, the linearity and approachability, and the subtle graphite tincture toward the finish. Quite elegant in style. Drink this over the next decade. Drink 2021-2032.
|Score: 92||Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019|
The 2016 Le Petit Cheval is a blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc from three parcels, representing 7% of the total production. Matured in 60% new oak, it has an attractive bouquet with raspberry preserve, pressed flowers and a touch of orange rind. The palate is medium-bodied with fine delineation and poise, a fine prickle of acidity, maybe a tad tight having just been wrenched from barrel but with fine salinity on the finish. Be advised to give this three or four years in bottle just to smooth out that slight rigidity on the finish. Drink Date 2021 - 2035
|Score: 90/92||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
This is a red with pinpoint but also beautiful tannin, fruit and acid focus. Medium to full body and a tight center palate. Creamy texture. Really excellent. Best second wine of Cheval Blanc in years.
|Score: 93/94||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2017|
The 2016 Petit Cheval is gorgeous. Translucent, expressive and finely-knit, the 2016 captures the gracious side of the estate and vintage beautifully. The 2016 tilts heavily to Merlot in the blend, but it is the brighness of the Franc that drives the wine. In 2016, the Petit Cheval is a wine of precision and freshness above all else.
|Score: 90/93||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Light nose. Good savour and a little inkiness. Very far from a grand vin but a pretty blend. Racy. Pierre-Olivier Clouet sees Italian structure in this. Just a little skinny on the end.
|Score: 16.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
A return for Cheval Blanc's second wine in 2016, after all the harvest of 2015 was considered good enough for the Grand Vin. Significant improvements and replantings in the vineyard have mant increases in quality that mean it is style, rather than absolute quality, that wil decide whether plots go into Cheval Blanc or the Petit Cheval. Only 1100 bottles of Petit Cheval will be produced in 2015, representing 7% of the total production (a furhter 16% was sold off in bulk - mostly young vines which suffered with the drought). Floral and lifted on the nose, with hints of mulling spice and sweet plum. The palate has fine, sandy and ripe tannins which lightly frame juicy plum and cherry blossom fruit at the core. Wonderful balance and elegance, this offers Cheval Blanc's harmony and freshness at a more approachable price point.
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, April 2017|
The second wine of the estate is the 2016 Le Petit Cheval, a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc in 2016. As you’d expect with this estate, it’s incredibly elegant and has a perfumed, complex style in its blackberry and black cherry fruits, forest floor, and cedary spice. This medium-bodied, seamless, downright pretty wine is ideal for drinking over the coming 15-20 years or more. Drink 2019-2039.
|Score: 94||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2019|
Ripe fruit on the nose the palate has richness and sweetness at the start lighter and firmer in the middle more red fruits the tannins are fine and integrated. Lighter at the back but it fishes with sweetness. 2021-31
|Score: 87/89||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Petit Cheval is back in 2016 after a year's absence, but at just 7% of overall production, compared to 77% grand vin and 16% sold off. The water regulation was more challenging this year for the youngest vines, and although none of these stopped production they did slow down. This is a sappy, fragrant and well sculpted Petit Cheval that doesn't have quite the depth of vintages like 2010 but is a serious wine of very good quality. Alcohol levels are not as pronounced as some other wines because the team here are always aim to pick relatively early, when the grapes are still fresh. This has the lowest pH for many years on the other hand, shown in the sculpted lift on the finish. The blend is 49% Cabernet Franc, 47% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 50% new oak. 72 IPT, 3.67pH.
Drinking Window 2025-2040
|Score: 92||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|