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.
Soil: three main types of soil – gravel with clay subsoil, deep gravel, sand with clay subsoil
Production area: 37 ha
Grape varieties: Cabernet Franc 58%, Merlot 42%
Average age of vines: 40 years, the oldest are 80 years (1920)
Harvest method: by hand, with sorting on reception in the cellar
Winemaking: 4 pumpings of 15 mins per day during the alcoholic fermentation. Vat sizes corresponding to plots in vineyard, ranging from 50 to 120 hectolitres. Separate vinifications according to soil, age of vines and grape variety.
Ageing: in 100% new oak barrels for 14 to 18 months, depending on the power of the vintage