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.
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°.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|1 823€ +12.4%||1 622€ +11.2%||1 459€ +119.4%||665€ +75.9%||378€|