2017 Cheval Blanc - Oldest and Truest First Growth on the Right Bank
Legendary Producer - 2017 Cheval Blanc - Oldest and Truest First Growth on the Right Bank
"The 2017 Cheval Blanc has all the ingredients to be one of the wines of the vintage. It is class personified. Wow!”
- Antonio Galloni Dec 2020
Chateau Cheval Blanc is the leading estate in the St. Emilion region of Bordeaux. Famous for producing what are arguably the top Cabernet Franc-based wines in the world, this mythical chateau is one of just 2 estates holding the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) status from the 1955 Classification of St. Emilion.
When drinking Cheval Blanc, you get to experience the sexy opulence of Pomerol coupled with the flamboyance of St. Emilion. This is because Cheval Blanc straddles the border of Pomerol and St. Emilion. Combining some of the best aspects of each region's terroir, drinkers are able to pick up a wider range of characteristics in these wines.
Constantly creating candidates for wine of the vintage, Pierre Lurton is undisputedly one of the most talented winemakers in the world. Complex and powerful perfumes paired with textures that can feel as soft as polished silk and velvet, our bottles of Cheval Blanc are wonderful examples of what Pierre is able to do during impeccable growing seasons. These bottles are out of this world, and wine critics can attest. These bottles are absolute must-haves for drinking and collecting.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown 97 Points
"The final blend for the 2017 Cheval Blanc was 56% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium to deep garnet in color, it flies out of the glass with a fantastic array of gregarious scents - Morello cherries, mulberries, and raspberry coulis - plus suggestions of lilacs, cinnamon toast, vanilla pod, and chocolate box. Medium-bodied, the palate shimmers with beautiful energy and freshness, framed by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and perfumed. So pretty!" LPB for The Wine Independent Dec 2022
Antonio Galloni for Vinous Media 97+ Points
"A wine of sublime elegance and finesse, the 2017 Cheval Blanc is endowed with tremendous energy, precision and cut. Red/purplish fruit, mint, sage, blood orange, star anise and exotic spice notes abound in a mid-weight, finely cut Cheval that dazzles with its energy. Technical Director Pierre-Olivier Clouet gave the 2017 26-27 days on skins. Because of severe frost damage, in 2017, the Grand Vin includes a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (14%), from gravelly soils, which gives the wine very unusual flavor and structure profile. The 2017 Cheval Blanc has all the ingredients to be one of the wines of the vintage. It is class personified. Wow!" AG Dec 2020
Wine Spectator 97 Points
"This has dreamy aromas already, with notes of Lapsang souchong tea, smoldering cigar and cold charcoal wafting up from the core of dense yet supple currant, fig and blackberry preserves. A loamy edge thumps through the finish, giving this an addictive, head-bobbing bass line." JM Mar 2017
Cheval Blanc: The “First Growth” of the Right Bank
When the wines of Bordeaux were classified in 1855 all of the wines were from the Left Bank of the Gironde River. In fact, with the exception of Haut Brion, which is from Graves, all of the wines classified were from the Medoc. Since that time, the winemaking areas of Bordeaux have greatly expanded. Some of the best wines in Bordeaux are now made on the Right Bank including some of the most expensive wines in the entire world.
While there is no official classification system for all of Bordeaux, there can be no doubt that if such a system was implemented today, at least a few Right Bank wineries would make the list. Perhaps no winery deserves the mythical first growth of the Right Bank title more than Cheval Blanc. In fact, the wines of Saint Émilion, a commune on the Right Bank, were ranked in 1955 and Cheval Blanc was one of two that received the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé (A).
Market Strong Despite Classification Controversy
The market standing of top Saint Émilion estates should remain unaffected by recent controversy surrounding the appellation rankings. Over the past year, Châteaux Ausone, Cheval Blanc and, most recently, Angelus pulled out of the impending 2022 reclassification. Although this raises serious doubts over the importance and viability of the rankings going forward, the brand reputation and wine quality of these iconic estates remain as ever.
Excerpt from: Life lessons with Pierre Lurton of Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem
The unstuffy president of two of Bordeaux’s best-known châteaux shares his life lessons - and what sound an awful lot like retirement plans - with Adam Lechmer
If there were a party game called ‘Who has the best job in wine?’, Pierre Lurton would always be in the top two or three. The 65-year-old president of Château Cheval Blanc in St Emilion and Château d’Yquem in Sauternes, as well as Cheval des Andes in Mendoza, is in a buoyant mood when we connect on Zoom.
He’s sitting in a sunlit study with his dog Bertin (‘My wife loves Chambertin so he’s Chien-Bertin’) at Château Marjosse, the Entre-deux-Mers property he bought in 1997 and is now putting serious effort into rebuilding and replanting, and where he’s developing his new range of single-varietal wines. He calls Marjosse his ‘little château’ and tells me how excited he is by its possibilities. His wife Alexandra, a veteran food and wine journalist originally from Brazil (they married in 2020), is running the publicity; by all accounts they are popular members of the rural community.
Lurton, of course, comes from one of the great Bordeaux families. His father Dominique was the youngest son of the paterfamilias François Lurton (the family tree is as complex as the Kardashians’); his uncle was André Lurton who founded the eponymous wine company; his many cousins run châteaux from Pauillac to Pomerol.
Arguably though, it’s Pierre who has gone the furthest. He trained as a doctor but never went beyond his four-year degree (‘I spend my life making people happy with wine, and that’s a kind of medicine’); at 23 took over Clos Fourtet in St Emilion, one of the fine Lurton properties, and in 1991 he was appointed head of Château Cheval Blanc (it was bought by Bernard Arnault of LVMH in 1998); in 1999 he took on Château d’Yquem, which had just been added to the Arnault portfolio.
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