x
  • Country ranking ?

    1 262
  • Producer ranking ?

    21
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Hamburger

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 1961

1961 is an outstanding year. The frost on the 29th of May reduced the crop to just 11 hectolitres per hectare. Then, beautiful dry summer weather ripened the grapes to perfection. The wine is concentrated and classy, with superb tannin.

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

1961 is a great year. The month of April was very hot (2.7°C above average), but with average rainfall. The temperatures the following months were also fairly normal, but there was far less precipitation than usual.  September was simply outstanding, with an average temperature of 21.4°C (3.5°C greater than average), with very little rain.

The growing season started off very well, until the 29th of May, when a frost hit just as the vines were flowering.  

As opposed to 1991, this occurred sufficiently late in the season so that there was not a second generation of berries. The rest of the season was perfect, and the grapes ripened extremely well.  The harvest began on the 18th of September and finished on the 27th of the same month. Yields were just 11 hectolitres per hectare. Total production amounted to only 160 barrels, but of sublime quality. The château bought new barrels for this outstanding vintage, which was very rare at the time.  Degree of alcohol: 12.5°.

 

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2010 2005 2000
1 823€ +12.4% 1 622€ +11.2% 1 459€ +119.4% 665€ +75.9% 378€

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

28 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium

ending

Medium

flavors

Mint, Cedar, Cigar-box, Blackcurrant, Blueberry and Vegetal

nose

Youthful and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Concentrated, Complex, Well-structured, Medium-bodied, Firm, Rich and Ripe

Written Notes

The 1961 Cheval Blanc was complicated like a good murder mystery. Olives, oil and ocean oozed out of its nose. Touches of coconut and date provided kinky complexity. The palate was rich, saucy and lush, and it had great smack to its finish. It was exotic in a black way, a foxy lady, indeed (95).
  • 95p
Château-Bottled. Good condition with by the neck level. Decanted one hour. Moderately intense, brick-red, bright colour. Nose delivers lots of green aromas – blackcurrant leaves, capsicum and mintiness. Refined, medium-bodied palate with sheer aristocracy. The highly-marked acidity is enhanced by the green aromas of the wine, which delicately highlight cedar and cigar box flavours and refined firm tannins. Very concentrated in style but reserved compared to the opulent and rich 1947. This wine definitely has style, but it will never grow as big and outstanding as the 1947, or even 1964.
  • 94p
Very deep red color. Exciting a little "green" nose with aromas of spices and cigar box. On palate huge but gentle with aromas of ripe dark berries, spices and some black pepper. Perfect balance, silky tannins and everlasting finish - what could you ask for more!
  • 98p

Information

Origin

Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

Serious

Glass time

1h

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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

98p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Bottled by Kjær & Sommerfeldt, Copenhagen. Opaque, brick rim. Intens nose of mocca, chocolate, red plums, dried fruits, almost like mature Colheita Port, some dust and forest floor, fantastic intensity and complexity. Intense mouthfeel, fantastic acidity which is almost packed into the fruit, fantastic long finish, coctail berries and dark chocolate, lasts for minutes. Really powerfull wine. 98"

1y 8m ago

98p
 Juha Jormanainen, Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Very deep red color. Exciting a little "green" nose with aromas of spices and cigar box. On palate huge but gentle with aromas of ripe dark berries, spices and some black pepper. Perfect balance, silky tannins and everlasting finish - what could you ask for more! "

2y 5m ago

97p
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Château Cheval Blanc Magnum
Very good colour.
Lovely sweet fruit. Seductive.
Long finish. 97 pts"

2y 7m ago

95p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"The 1961 Cheval Blanc was complicated like a good murder mystery. Olives, oil and ocean oozed out of its nose. Touches of coconut and date provided kinky complexity. The palate was rich, saucy and lush, and it had great smack to its finish. It was exotic in a black way, a foxy lady, indeed (95)."

4y 5m ago

92p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"Top shoulder fill. Ruby, orange rim. Plums, warm fruit and exotic feel, some herbs. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, not as rich, opulent, complex, actually miles from my last bottle. Even so. "

4y 7m ago

95p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"D 2 h / G 2 h
Medium intensity with brick red colour. Voluptuous and pronounced nose, full of ripe dark fruits, some vegetal aromas and spicies. Rich but still elegant medium-bodied palate. Very supple tannins and lively acidity. Surprisingly youthful wine with cassis and leafy aromas. Stunning wine although not near the greatest Chevals. The wine will reveal its true colours in next ten years and will evolve nicely in another 15 years at least.
"

4y 7m ago

98p
 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( 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

94p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Cheval Blanc 1961  ( Château Cheval Blanc )

"!952 Cheval is still suberb wine. It must be the best price-quality ratio Cheval Blanc that can be found. The vintage was very good overall in Bordeaux, but especially on the Right Bank. A warm spring and hot summer from June until the end of August ensured good vegetative growth to the vines. Only the cold September ruined the dreams of outstanding quality. This wine has been always delicious when tasted. The deep, clear brick-red colour already indicates the richness of the wine. The powerful yet elegant nose reveals ripe dark fruits: mainly blackcurrants, with dark chocolate, coffee and spices. Almost full-bodied taste, it is very opulent and fleshy with a velvety texture. The tannins are gentle but firm and the finish is very balanced. The wine is drinking perfectly now but has the qualities to keep for another decade. But why wait, since it definitely will not improve any further."

4y 9m ago

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