x
  • Country ranking ?

    2 250
  • Producer ranking ?

    31
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2045
  • Food Pairing

    Grilled Sirloin with Red-Wine Braised Shallots

After the atypical 2003 vintage, the weather in 2004 was much more typical of the Bordeaux climate, with close-to-average temperatures and precipitation. 2004 Cheval Blanc is a classic wine that epitomises the successful marriage of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It is fresh, well-focused, and has lovely fine-grained tannin.

The colour is dark, intense, and starting to show its age.

The nose opens up with aeration to reveal hints of black fruit and blueberry, framed by well-integrated oak.

The wine starts out quite smooth and round on the palate with rich, dense tannin. 2004 Cheval Blanc is powerful and classy, with great aromatic freshness and a bouquet that is both fruity and floral. The beautiful long aftertaste features hints of cashew.

This fine wine is the successful marriage between the estate's two main grape varieties. it is fairly representative of a vintage with normal weather conditions in Saint Emilion. It features fine structure and beautiful balance that will enable it to age for several decades.

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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 2004

2004 was a year with temperatures and water stress usual for Bordeaux.The wine is very classic, with excellent freshness, aromatic precision, and silky tannin​.

Temperatures were close to average at the start of the growing season. June was hot and dry, as was the first part of August despite a rainy period from the 8th to the 20th of that month. Early September was very warm, but cool weather set in on the 10th. The entire month was very dry.  After the heatwave of 2003, 2004 was a much more classic vintage.

On the whole, vine growth was regular and balanced in 2004, only slightly behind seasonal averages. Bud break took place the first week in April.  This slight time lag continued until flowering, which nevertheless took place quickly and evenly from the 6th to the 8th of June, with some disparity between Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Mid-flowering was also slightly delayed. This occurred on the 6th of August for Merlot and the 13th of that month for Cabernet Franc. So, the growing season practically made up for any delay by harvest time, which started on the 22nd of September and finished on the 5th of October.

The fine weather during flowering was propitious to even, homogeneous ripening and a large crop.  It was also conducive to large bunches.  The size of the potential crop was quite large. Methodical cluster thinning was thus necessary to limit yields and pave the way for a successful vintage. To avoid compensation mechanisms by the vines, this bunch thinning was in fact done twice, once in July and again during véraison.


The berries were heavier than average despite the rather restricted water supply, which also explains the excellent fertilization during flowering. This also accounts for the number of seeds per berry, a source of growth hormones.
Reducing yields made it possible to produce very good wine in 2004. Early water stress helped to stop vine growth and enhance concentration. However, this water stress was not extreme thanks to a several showers in August. The weather during the harvest was excellent. This vintage was especially good for Cabernet Franc, which makes up 53% of the grand vin.

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2010
367€ +14.3% 321€ +26.4% 254€

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

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Written Notes

Eighty thousand bottles of 2004 Cheval Blanc were produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. Subtle herb, menthol, cranberry, blackcurrant, and liquorice aromas emerge from this dark ruby/plum-coloured wine. It is medium-bodied and elegant with plenty of sweet fruit, but not a lot of weight or intensity. The complexity and nobility of Cheval Blanc's gravelly terroir is apparent in this delicate, subtle St.-Emilion.

  • 94p

Ruby, coffee, anis, seductive like few, sweet, almost port like (hmmm 47?) but more refined (not to offend any in Douro), even minerals. Fantastic texture, fresh acidity, tannins grips and still velvety, sweet cherries, chocolate and very ripe plums. Even so, very fresh and lively, and gorgous long finish. 95

  • 95p

Massive green harvest only 40% in Grand Vin. Deeper, still quite youthful, much more richness and intensity, almost salty soy, with lovely black cherry, the palate has a dense cool fruit fully evolved, no real unresolved tannin, touch of bitter cocoa powder 92/100

  • 92p

Information

Origin

Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Highlights

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