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Cheval Blanc 1990

SubregionSt Emilion
Grape VarietyCabernet Franc/Merlot

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Tasting Notes

The 1990 Cheval Blanc is fast becoming my favorite modern-day vintage of this Saint Emilion estate and perhaps the 1990 is now exiting the slip-steam of the feted 1982. This is unequivocally a brilliant wine. The nose holds nothing back, a line of senses all doing the conga towards your olfactory senses: macerated dark cherries, exotic kirsch-like aromas, leather, mahogany bureau, touches of crème de cassis and herbs all vie for attention. The palate is full-bodied and cloaked in a silky, velvety texture that leaves you a little ga-ga. There is so much fruit ram-packed into the bravura of a finish. Moreover, there's just so much joie-de-vivre and decadence in this wine, but it never seems overpowering or ostentatious. This bottle came from perfect provenance, as it was served blind by winemaker Pierre Lurton at a private dinner hosted by a mutual friend in Bordeaux. Drink 2016-2045.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Interim Ju), July 2016
Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, September 2014

Luscious, round. Rich as a mug of celestial milk chocolate. Extremely rich - could it be a 1990? (The wines were served blind.) But it's also ethereal and vibrant with some hints of fresh tea leaves on the nose (Cheval?). Wonderful layers and length. Drink 1997-2016. Date tasted 31st Oct 08.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, October 2008
Group Tasting, Blind 1990 Tasting, September 2000
Read more tasting notes...

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.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (183), June 2009

After entering what seemed like a slight dip, the 1990 Cheval Bland is rapidly assuming the mantle of that era's greatest wine from the hands of the 1982. Here it's just on fire, racing out of the blocks with its hedonistic bouquet of macerated dark cherries, sloes, game and iodine all beautifully defined and indeed, reminding me of the 1982 around the later nineties. The palate is velvet smooth, the acidity cutting through the swathe of lush black and red fruit, the merlot more expressive at this precise moment. Showy and yet refined, there is a completeness to this wine that is irresistible. Tasted February 2014.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2014

Fully mature, revealing some amber at the edge as well as an explosive nose of cedar, spice box, dried herbs, and sweet plums, figs, and blackberries, the 1990 Cheval Blanc is pure silk.

Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, November 2005

This wine has overtaken its closest rival, the 1982. Dense ruby purple with only a bit of lightening at the edge, the explosive nose of black fruits and cassis intermixed with coffee, menthol, and leather is followed by an opulent, splendidly concentrated wine that is sheer nectar. With no hard edges, gorgeously integrated glycerin, tannin, acidity, and alcohol are all present in this seamless classic. The wine has been gorgeous since youth, but is now revealing more aromatic and flavour nuances into the game. This is spectacular stuff! Anticipated maturity: now-2015. Last tasted, 12/02.

Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003
Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.