Like Petrus 1947, almost 75% of all the necociant's 1947 Cheval bottlings we have tasted, have been fakes. So, it would be wise not to buy any of them with only 25% chance of authencity.
Cheval-Blanc, 1947 – £192,000 / This rare six-litre bottle of Cheval Blanc 1947 wine was sold to a private collector during a sale at Christies in Geneva. The only known bottle in the Imperial format was expected to sell for between US$150,000-$200,000, but smashed its estimates to sell for $304,375 (£192,000).
Whether by design or by pure chance, there are in the world exceptional places. Cheval Blanc is one of these. Combining a unique soil with a symbiotic mix of grape varieties, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Cheval Blanc produces a wine, which has the rare quality of being good at any age. It is without doubt one of the most consistent wines in the world. Cheval Blanc's unique identity is due to its varied soils, early-ripening microclimate, the percentage of Cabernet Franc in the vineyard, and the close proximity of the finest wines of Pomerol.
Château Cheval Blanc has the rare ability to be good at whatever age. It is enjoyable young or as much as a century old in certain vintages. However, a great wine only reveals its full potential and all its subtle nuances after several years in bottle. It takes time to show its true colours and before reaching its peak. Every vintage of Cheval Blanc is made according to the traditional philosophy that great wine needs to age.
It should nevertheless be said that wines with ageing potential go through several periods, and that each one has its own type of attractiveness. This is all part of Château Cheval Blanc's fascinating complexity. Three different bottles of Cheval Blanc from the same vintage drunk at five, twenty, and forty years of age will each show a different facet of the same wine, variations on the same lovely theme. A bottle of fine wine meant to age is like a library of flavours that develop throughout its existence.
Wine is a "cultural" beverage that is very much alive and develops countless nuances over time. That is why this long waiting period needs to be respected. It is crucial to the wine's evolution, so that it can deliver its very best.
1947 IS CONSIDERED THE MOST FAMOUS CHEVAL BLANC OF THE 20TH CENTURY!
As you leaf through the pages of the Cheval Blanc book of flavors, pause for just a moment and hold your breath when you come to the 1947 vintage.
That year’s climate can be summarized quite simply: absolutely magnificent weather from the beginning of April to the end of October, throughout the whole vegetation cycle. The highly concentrated grapes picked on the 15th of September, almost two weeks ahead of the usual dates, were healthy, sugary and rich.
In the scorching heat, the grapes were very warm as they arrived in the winery. Fermentation was to prove difficult, and the wine was not perfectly dry and had rather high volatile acidity. In this case, these two factors actually served to amplify the flavors and enhance the structure, thus, as the natural richness of the wine shows, they do not appear to be defects. In fact, one can say it is something of a happy accident of nature. The wine bears the imprint of its soil.
Where the 1945 represents sophistication, nuance and classic character, the 1947 is all about richness, robustness and succulence. Spring was delayed that year, which meant a late start to the growing season. Summer warmed up toward the autumn and the abundant sunshine ripened the grapes very quickly. Daytime temperatures ranged between 35-38° C. The crop was finally harvested in nearly tropical conditions, when a thunderstorm ravaged Bordeaux on 19-20 September.
Fortunately a large percentage of the grapes had already been harvested. The grapes were unusually hot during picking and volatile acids caused problems for many vineyards during fermentation. The end result was an absolutely extraordinary vintage, which turned out to be magnificent, particularly on the right bank and in Sauternes. Even young, these reds were exceptionally drinkable. Their life-cycle, on the other hand, has been surprisingly varied. The Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wines have proven superior to Médocs and Graves. The supreme wine of this vintage is most certainly the Château Cheval Blanc, which, in terms of mouthfeel, is perhaps the greatest wine of the entire 20th century. Why the Cheval Blanc was such an unparalleled success that year is something of a mystery. Unlike what happened to so many others, the Cheval Blanc didn’t suffer from excess volatile acids. Everything from vineyard microclimate to production have been offered as explanations.
Because the weather was unusually warm, there were no damp morning mists at the vineyards, which restricted the conditions conducive to the formation of natural yeasts that increase volatility. The heat also killed natural yeasts and the quantity was generally less than normal.
Fermentation was done in small concrete tanks, which provided effective insulation against the outside heat and kept temperatures sufficiently low, thus preventing the formation of volatile acids. Another very interesting aspect of the Cheval Blanc’s production was its 5-10-year maturation in old barrels; this was due to the fact that new oak barrels were not available following the depression and war years. In all its glory, the 1947 Cheval Blanc caricatures modern winemaking as an incredible example of the pinnacles that can be reached with no help from technology. In addition to the Cheval, the Pétrus and Lafleur are vintage gems.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|7 211€ +3.9%||6 943€ +21.1%||5 733€ -11.6%||6 485€ +8.4%||5 985€ +12.7%||5 310€ -5.9%||5 640€ +112.8%||2 650€ +32.0%||2 008€ +61.9%||1 240€|