This was an outstanding year, where quality went hand in hand with quantity. 1982 Cheval Blanc is rich and complete. It is one of the finest vintages in the latter half of the 20th century.
The early part of the growing season was mild and moderately wet. April, on the other hand, was particularly dry. The hallmarks of the vintage are the hot month of July and the drought conditions from the 10th of August to the 20th of September. A heatwave occurred after the 10th of September that was conducive to ripening.
1982 was an early-maturing year, with mid-flowering taking place on the 5th of June and mid-véraison on the 9th of August. The harvest started on the 20th of September, and picking went on until the 2nd of October. As is often the case in Bordeaux, a great vintage (grapes in perfect condition, high sugar levels) went hand-in-hand with above-average quantity.
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.
The 1982 one of the great vintages of the last century.The weather was beneficial to producers throughout the growing season but what made the vintage outstanding was the exceptionally warm weather that Bordeaux enjoyed in September, with average temperatures ranging between 29-40 degrees. This produced a huge crop of wines of exceptional richness and ripeness, with some wines possessing an almost Californian- like character.
The Merlot-based wines of Pomerol and St-Emilion are outstanding, with Pétrus producing one of it finest ever wines. In the Médoc, Pauillac and St-Julien were the most successful communes, withMouton Rothschild and Latour being arguably the 2 finest wines. Most 82s are drinking well now, although the 1st Growths will benefit from further cellaring.