The 2005 from Cheval Blanc is a quintessentially elegant, beautiful, deep bluish/ruby-colored wine from St.-Emilion, with raspberry, blueberry, and floral notes, impressive density, great precision, freshness and purity. Full-bodied, but extremely light on its feet, I don’t mean to gush, but it is super-intense, rich and just so meticulously crafted! This is another fabulous wine and a perfect expression for this vintage. It is difficult to forget the gorgeous blueberry and raspberry fruit, full body, sweet tannin, a multi-layered texture, and purity and palate presence of this stunning wine. Drink it over the next 20 years. P.S. In 2005, this was 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot. Drink 2015-2035.
|Score: 100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015|
The dense ruby/purple-hued 2005 Cheval Blanc’s ethereal bouquet of menthol, coffee, wet stones, black cherries, blackberries, and hints of graphite and spice soars from the glass. An equal part blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it is medium to full-bodied with a gorgeous texture in addition to high tannins that glide over the palate with no angularity or astringency. While it does not quite reach the perfection of the 2000, it should rival the profound 1998 and 1990. This is not a Cheval Blanc for near-term drinking as it demands at least a decade’s worth of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008|
This spectacular blend of nearly equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot has put on weight over the last year (as most top Chevals tend to do). The color is an inky/blue/ruby/purple, and the wine reveals an extraordinary aromatic profile of subtle mocha, licorice, pain grille, and abundant red, blue, and black fruits. As usual, there is an underlying hint of menthol, or is it forest floor? A classic, quintessential medium-bodied Cheval Blanc boasting a stunning texture and high tannin, but neither aggressiveness nor angularity, the 2005 appears capable of rivaling the extraordinary 2000 and 1998. However, the production of 95,000 bottles is relatively small. It requires 6-8 years of bottle age, and it should evolve effortlessly for 35+ years.
|Score: 96/100||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007|
A prodigious Cheval Blanc that should challenge the 2000 and 1998 as the finest Cheval since the 1990, the 2005's final blend consisted of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. The Merlot harvest began on September 15th and lasted until the Cabernet Franc was finished around October 6th. Administrator Pierre Lurton told me, "I prefer to pick the Merlot a little early, and the Cabernet Franc a little late." The deep ruby/purple-colored 2005 reveals an extraordinary projected, surreal bouquet of menthol, red, blue, and black fruits, and hints of mocha, licorice, and sweet oak. This opulent, tremendously concentrated Cheval Blanc possesses undeniable finesse, elegance, and freshness as well as a vibrant, nuanced, delineated personality. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2030+. The estate’s second wine, the 2005 Le Petit Cheval (55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc) is one of the better efforts over recent years.
|Score: 95/98||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
The Château Cheval Blanc 2005 has an intense bouquet, one that is more complex than Ausone with a slight marine influence infusing the blackberry and raspberry fruit, hints of wilted violet and cassis surfacing with time an joining the chorus line.. The palate is beautifully balanced with filigree tannin. It feels linear at first and then fans out marvellously with a bravura finish that lacquers the mouth. There is clearly quite brilliant precision here, impressive length and poise with a touch of salinity on the finish. What a spellbinding Cheval Blanc, a Saint Emion that is just going to get better and better with each passing year. Drink 2020 - 2060
|Score: 98+||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2015|
The 2005 is ferociously closed on the nose - broody and backward, opening slowly with wild strawberry, crushed stone, bay leaf and Chinese tea. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, gently grippy tannins, citric peel and a masculine, assertive finish. This is a long-term Cheval Blanc but it does not have the sheer audacity or bravura of the 2009. Tasted December 2012.
|Score: 95+||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013|
Always a fabulous nose of black fruit, dark chocolate, nuts and spices. It's full-bodied with beautifully dense tannins reminiscent of cashmere. A long, long finish rounds out this beautiful wine. It would be better to leave it alone until 2020 but so hard not to revel in its splendor now.
|Score: 98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, October 2015|
|Score: 97||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, February 2008|
I am not sure what to say about the nose. It's so complex, with minerals, berries, wet earth and light vanilla. Turns to licorice and mint. Full-bodied, with amazing tannins and a long, long finish. This is so refined and long. Pure silk
|Score: 95/100||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006|
The 2005 Cheval Blanc is another wine that is utterly mesmerizing from the moment it is opened. Exquisite in its aromatics, the 2005 Cheval is sublime on the palate, where the interplay of Merlot and Cabernet Franc proves to be captivating. In a night of truly spellbinding wines, the Cheval makes a deep impression because of its overall finesse and nuance. Along with the Margaux and Haut-Brion, the Cheval speaks to total refinement and polish. The Cheval is of course not one of the bigger, more imposing wines of the night, but it is among the most complete, which makes it the perfect wine to close out an incredible night. When we first opened the 2005, I thought it might very well be the wine of the night. A few hours later, it was every bit as impressive.
|Score: 100||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, November 2015|
Tasted blind. Nose is light, sweet and tarry. Palate is very thick and sweet. Dense and rich with the (dried) fruit character virtually subsumed into the tannins! Dramatic rather than irresistible. Cheval?
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2017|
Blackish ruby without enormous depth. Beguiling, well knit, quite evolved nose with warmth and some macerated currants. There seems to have been a deliberate attempt to create something lively with lift rather than a blockbuster here. This is more elegant than many right bank 2005s and in my book all the better for it. Some may worry that it has evolved dangerously fast. But it's a very fine wine by any standards. Tannins are almost resolved. 14%
|Score: 18||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2015|
Some development on the rim. Fresh nose and then very rich and sweet on the front palate.A little angular on the finish but lots of concentrated fruit. Real life to this - some Cabernet Franc? Just a little light on the finish. £7,500 a case currently
|Score: 18.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2009|
Very dark and lustrous. Much more obviously Cabernet Franc than the Petit Cheval - quite rigorous and yet still ripe though with some really aromatic leafiness - in the appetising rather than underripe spectrum. Even a hint of black pepper. Extremely broad and ripe and sumptuous. Full, sweet yet with lovely lift and lustrousness - it does seem less earthbound than some recent vintages. Certainly very, very ripe. The finest tannins - like the threads in a silk shawl. A lovely skein of flavours. So very, very neat and confident. Great freshness! Very reminiscent of older classic Cheval vintages - 1983 with a bit more flesh? Drink 2015-35
|Score: 19+||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2006|
Good deep ruby-red. Knockout nose offers terrific vinosity to the aromas of dark raspberry, mocha, minerals, licorice, menthol and dark chocolate. Lush, fat and suave, with superb energy and lift to the fine-grained, palate-staining flavors. Despite its rather high 14% alcohol, this boasts near-perfect balance and finishes with outstanding verve. A great vintage for Cheval, and likely to improve in bottle for at least two or three decades.
|Score: 96+||Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar|
A lovely Cheval-Blanc, with ultra-elegant red fruits and violet aromas, silky texture, refined tannins. Will probably equal and even surpass the 1998, with the same cabernet Franc freshness and nobility. Compared to Ausone there is a small lack of vinosity. Drink from 2017.
|Score: 19||Michel Bettane, Decanter Magazine, April 2006|