Cheval Blanc 1996
|Score: 90||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003|
|Score: 90||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999|
|Score: 90/94||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998|
The 1996 has put on considerable weight and flesh since I first tasted it. 40% of the 1996 crop was declassified, but the quality of the Cabernet Franc (which often makes up 50%-60% of the final blend) was high. Yields were 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. This deep garnet/plum-colored Cheval Blanc offers a gorgeously exotic, sweet, smoky, coconut, menthol, jammy raspberry and blackberry-scented nose. Medium body, ripe fruit, outstanding concentration, and a succulent texture place this wine high up on the qualitive hierarchy. An intriguing coffee bean and chocolatey sweetness can be found in the wine's finish. This appears to be an impressive, savory, multidimensional Cheval Blanc that is growing in stature and weight as it ages in cask.
|Score: 90/93||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (115), February 1998|
(a blend of 56% cabernet franc and 44% merlot; 40 h/h): Bright red. Fresh floral, white pepper, raspberry and strawberry aromas on the captivating nose, lifted by minerals and Oriental spices. Very fresh, balanced and pure on the palate, with bright red berry, floral and delicately smoky plum flavors. Very cabernet franc, and very Cheval Blanc! The lively, harmonious acids keep this wine light on its feet and really extend the flavors on the back half. The long finish features a subtly spicy kick and smooth tannins. A touch more density and it would have scored even higher. The harvest took place between September 28 and October 4.
|Score: 93||Ian d'Agata, vinous.com, October 2011|
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