x
  • Country ranking ?

    56
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

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).

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The Story

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.

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Vintage 1947

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.

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
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€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

57 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Brick red and Dark

ending

Long, Lingering and Spicy

flavors

Leather, Blackcurrant, Coffee, Toasty, Port-like and Mint

nose

Intense, Refined, Opulent and Generous

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Developing, Full-bodied, Rich, Harmonious, Ripe, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Masterpiece and Impressive

Written Notes

Speaking of spectacular, the 1947 Cheval Blanc wasn’t too shabby, either. It had a deep nose full of signature motor oil, and these wheaty and smoky qualities like burnt crops. Its palate was thick, sweet, long and round. This was lush and rich, although I have never had it reach the heights it did on New Year’s Eve in 1999. The wine may be in a long, slow decline, but it was still knock my socks off good. Hollywood Jef agreed, even though the Bad Boy was hating on it (97).
  • 97p
This wine was made from exceptionally ripe, almost raisin-like grapes with a high sugar content (about two-thirds Cabernet Franc and one-third Merlot). The harvesting was left till the last moment and the alcohol content raised to 15%, which is 2% higher than normal. Good level, bottom neck. Excellent appearance. Dark, mature and deep colour. Incredibly huge chocolaty, leathery, porty nose. Very prosperous and ripe. Great extract. The load and richness of almost overripe fruit was so appealing that it was hard to resist and not just drink the whole bottle right away. Very gentle and soft wine, almost feminine in character, and at the same time so powerful and masculine. It has everything a wine can offer in such a historical and exclusive package that it is challenging to find anything as stunning as it! ...And the celebrated aftertaste, I can still sense it after two long days and nights. A perfect and “out of this world” experience.
  • 100p
Château Chéval-Blanc 1947 was not the perfect bottle, as I have tasted a better one before. The wine was complex, beautifully structured, with fantastic tannins (fine and precise), but somehow it was just a bit too short on the finish, showing a hint of dustiness which made us suspect a less then perfect cork.
  • 97p

Information

Origin

Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Too Risky

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

18

Inside Information

The overall level of alcohol was 14.4°. Since the beginning of the 20th century, only the 1929 vintage had produced riper grapes (14°6 potential alcohol).  The sweet juice combined with hot weather during the harvest made fermentation difficult, even calling for bringing huge blocks of ice in from Bordeaux every day in order to cool down the cellar.   The wine is not perfectly dry (there are 3 g/l of residual sugar) and the level of volatile acidity is rather high. However, these two factors actually help support the structure and enhance the aromas. That is because the wine's natural richness does not make them seem like defects.  It can even be said that this great wine is something of an accident. During this post-war period, the estate did not have access to new barrels, so ones five to ten years old, were used.

 

 

 

Bordeaux Book, 3rd Edition 
Jan 1998
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: 1992 - 2022 $6947-$28000

What can I say about this mammoth wine that is more like port than dry red table wine? The 1947 Cheval Blanc exhibits such a thick texture it could double as motor oil. The huge nose of fruitcake, chocolate, leather, coffee, and Asian spices is mind-boggling. The unctuous texture and richness of sweet fruit are amazing. Consider the fact that this wine is, technically, appallingly deficient in acidity and excessively high in alcohol. Moreover, its volatile acidity levels would be considered intolerable by modern day oenologists. Yet how can they explain that after 47 years the wine is still remarkably fresh, phenomenally concentrated, and profoundly complex? It has to make you wonder about the direction of modern day winemaking. Except for one dismal, murky, troubled, volatile double-magnum, this wine has been either perfect or nearly perfect every time I have had it. But beware, there are numerous fraudulent bottles, particularly magnums, of 1947 Cheval Blanc in the marketplace. 

Having a 1947 Cheval Blanc served out of an impeccably stored magnum three times over the last three years made me once again realize what a great job I have. The only recent Bordeaux vintages that come even remotely close to the richness, texture, and viscosity of so many of these right bank 1947s are 1982 and 1990. 
Last tasted 10/94

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Speaking of spectacular, the 1947 Cheval Blanc wasn’t too shabby, either. It had a deep nose full of signature motor oil, and these wheaty and smoky qualities like burnt crops. Its palate was thick, sweet, long and round. This was lush and rich, although I have never had it reach the heights it did on New Year’s Eve in 1999. The wine may be in a long, slow decline, but it was still knock my socks off good. Hollywood Jef agreed, even though the Bad Boy was hating on it (97)."

1y 1m ago

97p
 Frank Smulders MW, Pro (Austria)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Château Chéval-Blanc 1947 was not the perfect bottle, as I have tasted a better one before. The wine was complex, beautifully structured, with fantastic tannins (fine and precise), but somehow it was just a bit too short on the finish, showing a hint of dustiness which made us suspect a less then perfect cork. "

1y 2m ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"The 1947 Cheval Blanc was rich and meaty with signature wintergreen, game and motor oil. It separated itself from the Pomerols and never looked back. Nut, mint, did I say wintergreen? Port-like, rich and superb, the Cheval was a great bottle of this wine."

1y 11m ago

97p
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Quite rightly a legend. Less power than 10 years ago - the class is still there. 97 pts.
"

2y 6m ago

100p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"This wine was made from exceptionally ripe, almost raisin-like grapes with a high sugar content (about two-thirds Cabernet Franc and one-third Merlot). The harvesting was left till the last moment and the alcohol content raised to 15%, which is 2% higher than normal.
Good level, bottom neck. Excellent appearance. Dark, mature and deep colour. Incredibly huge chocolaty, leathery, porty nose. Very prosperous and ripe. Great extract.
The load and richness of almost overripe fruit was so appealing that it was hard to resist and not just drink the whole bottle right away. Very gentle and soft wine, almost feminine in character, and at the same time so powerful and masculine. It has everything a wine can offer in such a historical and exclusive package that it is challenging to find anything as stunning as it! ...And the celebrated aftertaste, I can still sense it after two long days and nights.
A perfect and “out of this world” experience.
"

2y 7m ago

100p
 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"CHEVAL BLANC 1947
Hark the herald angels sing, whatever quibbles there may be about the port-like nature of the wine, how atypical it is for Cheval due to the scorching summer, if you embrace it on its own terms, like a handful of other wines (the Mouton 1945 comes to mind), it almost defines its own category. It again revealed why it is almost always on a short list of the greatest wines of the 20th century. Dark and vibrant ruby color, liqueur and plums, Asian spices, dark fruit, all coalesce on the nose. Chocolate, berries, coffee emerge; almost magically the acidity keeps the voluptuousness balanced. Beyond the port-like overture, the classic contours of Right Bank 1947 and Cheval shimmering in the background do become increasingly evident. Possibly it can be described as Cheval with a Pomerol cross-over? Regal tannins and exquisitely focused sweet notes wash over the palate as this beauty continues to transcend expectations and predictions. 100 Points
"

2y 8m ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"A bottle of 1947 Cheval Blanc made me stop and take notice, however, re-energizing me for the rest of the evening. The signature motor oil jumped out of the nose. Cassis and plum fruit were also present in this ‘elegant and ethereal’ wine, as Sir Robert eloquently pontificated. The finish was long and of roof –licking material, while spice and hints of fig rounded out its palate. Its acidity was quite noticeable, more so than any bottle of this that I can recently remember. While someone summed it up as ‘a real good bottle of ’47 Cheval,’ I still think the 1948 has recently surpassed it (96)."

4y 7m ago

96p
 Frank Smulders MW, Pro (Austria)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Château Chéval-Blanc 1947 was not the perfect bottle, as I have tasted a better one before. The wine was complex, beautifully structured, with fantastic tannins (fine and precise), but somehow it was just a bit too short on the finish, showing a hint of dustiness which made us suspect a less then perfect cork. "

4y 9m ago

100p
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Gorgeour 1959 La Mission Haut-Brion. First, I would like to correct a common misconception: Château La Mission Haut-Brion is not now, nor has it ever been, the number two wine from Château Haut-Brion; in fact, the two estates were never even under the same ownership until the Dillons acquired it in 1983.The 1959 is not far behind the 1961 in quality. It has provided enjoyment for a long time and will continue to do so for a good many years."

4y 9m ago

93p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1947  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"N: toffee, T: mineral"

4y 11m ago

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