1985 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Bottle (750ml) RP95/LP95
1985 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Bottle (750ml) [Slightly Oxidized Capsule]] RP95/LP95
2005 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Bottle (750ml) RP100/LP100/AG100/JD100
2009 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Bottle (750ml) [Slightly Scuffed Label] RP100/JD100/LP100
1986 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion, Half Bottle (375ml) [Soiled Label] VM94

The Unwavering Caliber of Cheval Blanc

The world-class wines of Château Cheval Blanc are unparalleled Right Bank styles that, despite its involvement in recent bureaucratic turmoil, are wines of consistent quality reaching beyond the scope of any modern classification system. While vines have been cultivated on property since antiquity, the estate was officially formed in 1832 when land was split-off from the esteemed Château Figeac and sold as a separate property. In the hands of its dutiful new owners, Château Cheval Blanc was formed, its vineyards renovated, and the winery’s production quickly gained recognition for its exceptional quality.  The wines were acknowledged early on for their excellence, earning prestigious medals at the 1862 London and 1878 Paris Universal Exhibitions, accolades that are still proudly featured on the Cheval Blanc label today.

As one of the two original Premier Grand Cru Classé A estates, Cheval Blanc consistently maintained its position amongst St-Émilion’s elite well into the 21st century. This dedication was counter-intuitively exemplified when Cheval Blanc, along with three other top estates, made the bold decision to withdraw from the Saint-Émilion classification system in 2022. This move was prompted by their dissatisfaction with the new scoring system, which they believed had shifted to place more emphasis on brand development than wine quality. By taking a stand against the local ranking system, Cheval Blanc only reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to producing wines of uncompromising excellence, confident that its reputation and the quality of its wines can speak for themselves.

An Unparalleled Right Bank Oddity

Central to Cheval Blanc's distinctive character is its remarkable soil composition. While the Right Bank is typically known for a predominance of limestone-rich clays, Cheval Blanc is situated near the border of Pomerol along an atypical outcropping of gravel-laden soils. As a result, the château cultivates a significant proportion of Cabernet Franc, making up just over half of plantings, setting it apart from the Merlot-dominated vineyards of Saint-Émilion. The resulting blends exhibit layers of perfumed aromatics, with opulent, rounded tannins, a reflection of Cheval Blanc's distinct terroir.

Unraveling Cheval Blanc's Potential

For wines of such exceptional provenance, a long aging process is crucial in achieving optimal expression with a full spectrum of aromatics. The 1985 vintage stands as a testament to Cheval Blanc's ageability, offering a quintessential experience for anyone seeking immediate gratification. As Lisa Perrotti-Brown notes in her 2023 tasting, this wine captivates with "cigar box, plum pudding, dried figs, and...fragrant wafts of jasmine tea." With the 40th anniversary of this remarkable vintage on the horizon, these bottles present a rare opportunity to commemorate major milestones or significant celebrations of any kind!

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Nestled in the heart of Bordeaux's famed Saint-Émilion appellation, the Château Cheval Blanc is a name that resonates with connoisseurs of fine wine. This esteemed estate is renowned not only for its exceptional wines but also for its rich history and timeless elegance.

A Legacy of Excellence

Château Cheval Blanc has a storied history dating back to the 19th century, and it has consistently produced some of the most celebrated wines in Bordeaux. Cheval Blanc's prestigious history began in 1832 when Jean-Jacques Ducasse acquired the core estate. Over two decades, plots from Château Figeac expanded the 39-hectare vineyard, however the layout remained largely unchanged. The marriage of Jean-Jacques' daughter, Henriette, to the Libourne wine merchant Jean Laussac-Fourcaud marked a defining chapter in the Estates history.

Henriette's inheritance prompted a significant renovation, including implementing an advanced drainage system after understanding the importance of water stress to produce the finest wines. The vineyard saw the most progress, as Jean Laussac-Fourcaud, recognizing Cheval Blanc's potential, replanted it in the 1860s with an unusual blend: half Merlot (the king of the right bank) and half Cabernet Franc.

In 1852, the wine adopted the name Cheval Blanc, embarking on a prestigious journey. It achieved the highest Saint-Emilion classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé (A), in 1954, retaining it in each subsequent decade. In 1998, Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère took the helm, infusing new energy while preserving the château's heritage. Quality now reigns supreme, requiring meticulous attention and precision to the winemaking.

The Unique Terroir

One of the defining characteristics of Château Cheval Blanc is its unique terroir. The estate is situated on the border between the Saint-Émilion and Pomerol appellations, an exceptional location that combines the finest elements of both. The vineyards at Cheval Blanc are primarily planted with Cabernet Franc (52%) and Merlot (43%), including a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (5%). What sets Cheval Blanc apart is its remarkably diverse soil composition, creating a unique combination of terroir. This exceptional terroir consists predominantly of clay and large gravel in some areas, while others boast sandy soil with smaller gravel. Most estates in Saint-Emilion possess excellent gravelly soil and others in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol feature high-quality clay soils, Cheval Blanc is fortunate to enjoy a nearly equal balance of both. 

The Unique Percentage of Cabernet Franc

Château Cheval Blanc is renowned for its high percentage of exceptional Cabernet Franc grapes, and the secret lies in the age and location of their vines. The estate boasts an impressive vineyard with an average vine age of 45 years, and a notable portion of 39 hectares with 52% dedicated to Cabernet Franc. What sets Cheval Blanc apart is the existence of some truly ancient vines, with parcels of Cabernet Franc dating back to 1920, over a century in age.

These old vines play a pivotal role in Cheval Blanc's winemaking philosophy, serving as the foundation for their massal selection program. Particularly, the best parcel is strategically positioned in the heart of their vineyards, directly in front of the Chateau. Here, amidst the deep, blue clay soils, thrive the older Cabernet Franc vines. This unique combination of old vines and distinctive terroir contributes to the complexity and character of Cheval Blanc's Cabernet Franc.

The estate's microclimate, characterized by a slightly warmer and precocious nature, further enhances the quality of their Cabernet Franc. This climatic advantage aids in the optimal ripening of grapes, allowing them to express the full spectrum of flavors and aromas.

The Legendary Wines

Château Cheval Blanc is renowned for producing wines that are often described as ethereal, graceful, and profoundly elegant. These wines are characterized by their harmonious balance, fine tannins, and a unique blend of power and finesse. The estate's flagship wine, Château Cheval Blanc, is primarily a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Each vintage is a testament to the exceptional wine making skills and meticulous attention to detail that define the château's approach.

Winemaking Philosophy

The winemaking philosophy at Château Cheval Blanc revolves around respecting the fruit's integrity and the terroir's expression. Traditional methods are combined with modern techniques to produce wines that capture the essence of the vineyard and the vintage. The estate is known for its rigorous grape selection, hand harvesting, and a dedication to producing wines that are capable of aging gracefully for decades.

“Drops Of God”

Château Cheval Blanc plays a significant role in the popular manga series, recently turned TV series "Drops of God" ("Kami no Shizuku" in Japanese), written by Tadashi Agi and illustrated by Shu Okimoto. The manga revolves around the world of wine, following the protagonist, Shizuku Kanzaki, on a quest to identify and taste thirteen legendary wines to inherit his late father's vast wine collection.

Among these worldclass wines, Château Cheval Blanc emerges as a prominent player, capturing the imagination of characters and readers alike. The vineyard, nestled in the Saint-Émilion region of Bordeaux, becomes a symbol of excellence and a pivotal element in the unfolding drama. The manga beautifully captures the essence of this Bordeaux marvel, depicting the vineyard as not merely a setting but as a character in its own right. Readers are treated to a sensory exploration of the vineyard's history, winemaking techniques, and the distinct characteristics that make each vintage a masterpiece.

The manga series has recently been made into a gripping TV series, making it almost impossible not to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the excitement unfold from episode to episode.

story to be continued…

Château Cheval Blanc stands as a testament to the Bordeaux region's timeless beauty and its commitment to producing wines of unparalleled elegance. Its wines have captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts worldwide and have become a symbol of the region's winemaking excellence. Take a moment to browse our inventory of Cheval Blanc and possibly treat yourself or a loved one to one of Château Cheval Blanc's masterpieces.

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