The 2018 Cheval Blanc was harvested from 10 September to 11 October, with only 14 days of picking. The yield was 44.8hL/ha, which they believe moderated the level of alcohol and pH. It has a ripe and more open bouquet compared to the Le Petit Cheval with pixelated black cherries, wild strawberry and subtle orange pith aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and very good acidity that maintains freshness. This is quite compact and linear at the moment, gentle in terms of grip with an underlying spiciness that develops towards the finish. It is not a flamboyant Cheval Blanc, stricter than expected and in some ways overriding the excessive tendencies of the growing season. 2026 - 2050
|Score: 95/97||Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019|
Thirty-three plots contributed to this wine, out of the 43 in production. Five went into Petit Cheval and five into bulk. The 2018 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a 3.75 pH and 14.5% alcohol. Deep purple-black in color, the nose is more open at the core of the wine than the Le Petit Cheval, strutting out of the glass with bold, ripe black cherries, cassis, warm plums and raspberry preserves notes. With coaxing, a whole array of fragrant spice, floral and earth notes emerge, followed by candied violets, star anise, powdered cinnamon, iron ore, tapenade and truffles plus wafts of camphor and mocha. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is firm yet possesses a beautifully plush structure of velvety tannins wrapping round the densely packed, complex, fragrant fruit, with seamless freshness and a very long, layered finish.
|Score: 97/99||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019|
What strikes you is how aromatic this already is at this stage. Complex and decadent, showing lots of dark berries, smoked meat, wet earth, and dried leaves. Decadent. Full-bodied with very ripe and polished, velvety tannins. Great finish.
|Score: 98/99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019|
The 2018 Cheval Blanc is dazzling. Creamy, supple and inviting, the 2018 is endowed with phenomenal balance. The tannins and overall structure are imposing, and yet the richness of the fruit and perfect ripeness of the tannin really stand out. In 2018, Cheval is a bit richer than is often the case, but that is not at all a bad thing. I am struck by how much freshness and energy the 2018 has. Hints of lavender, spice and licorice add shades of nuance, but it is the wine's overall sense of harmony that leaves the strongest impression. A precise counterpoint of fruit richness and finesse makes for a truly unforgettable Cheval Blanc.
|Score: 97/100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019|
Deepest cherry red. Pure cassis, with a more savoury mineral aspect and opening to become more scented. Very, very fresh. Dark and mineral on the palate. Extremely fine tannic texture. More savoury, with that dark finesse on the finish. Long, chalky finish, so dry and yet so elegant.
|Score: 18.5||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019|
Deep ruby in the glass, this has a wonderful fragrance on the nose, with cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, blood orange and pure black cherry all in harmony. The palate is just as complex, with darker fruits, graphite and lightly sweet spices lifted by refreshing acidity. This gives a feeling of weightless intensity, and lifts the fruit core into floral, redolent red fruits. The tannins are seamless, with a cocoa-like texture giving the impression of milk chocolate and moccha from the judicious use of new oak. Pristine, crystalline fruit still dominates through to a long, enduring finish that is desceptively powerful given the elegance and harmony to the wine. A superb Cheval Blanc.
|Score: 18.5||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019|
The 2018 Cheval Blanc is another magical wine from this estate and is certainly in the same league as the 1998, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2015. A blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, its deep purple color is followed by a thrillingly complex bouquet of red and black fruits, smoked herbs, liquid flowers, and incense. Possessing medium to full body, flawless integration of its fruit, tannins, and acidity, a terrific mid-palate, and a great finish, it shows the sunny, sexy style of the vintage yet has incredible purity and precision at the same time. It will be accessible with just short-term cellaring yet evolve for 30-40 years.
|Score: 97/100||Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019|
This is a wonderful, fairly classic Cheval Blanc, less exuberant than some of the wines that you're going to find in 2018. It's full of intense red and black berries, floral notes, and a ton of menthol, eucalyptus and liquorice which underpins the entire concentrated fruit expression. Silky tannins slowly layer up over the palate. It's full of focus and extremely elegant but it accelerates through the mid-palate, gathering strength as it goes. I love this wine in so many vintages, and they have done it again in 2018.
There's no press wine, as ever, with 74% of the crop making it into this wine.
Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
|Score: 98/100||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019|
(54 Merlot, 30 Cabernet Franc, 6 Cabernet Sauvignon) | 100% new oak for 18 months | 43 hl/ha | 14.5% alc | 74% of production went into this wine This is a much more structured and intense wine than expected and it has a dark core and a stern mineral edge which runs all of the way to the finish. There is great freshness and lift on the finish and the tannins are firm but not dry. Tense and introverted, the Cabernet Franc element takes control and it forces the Merlot to stand firm. It was the cool nights in the autumn that fixed the perfume and majesty of the Cabernet Franc and this in turn has made this wine what it is. This is a superbly suave and commanding Cheval Blanc and I like its restraint and control.
|Score: 18.5+||Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019|