The final blend of the 2013 Cheval Blanc is 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. It is a light- to medium-bodied, but stylish, perfumed, complex wine exhibiting hints of forest floor, raspberries and underbrush in a gentle, nicely textured style that builds incrementally in the mouth. Attractive fruit and substance give the wine more completeness than many of its peers. Administrator Pierre Lurton compares it, in a positive manner, to the style of the 2001, but I do not think it has quite the richness of that vintage. Nevertheless, this is an early-maturing, easygoing Cheval Blanc to drink in its first 10-12 years of life.
Cheval Blanc began their harvest on September 26 and, because of the tropical humidity and disease pressure, finished quickly.
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.
2013 mainly featured a rainy June which disturbed flowering and a hot and dry summer.
Thanks to a historically low yield in volumes, 2013 Château Cheval Blanc is a wine full of freshness and smoothness.
After an April with temperatures close to normal values, May and June were exceptionnally cool and damp with a significant lack of sunshine. July saw the beginning of a very hot and dry period, but the end of the month was punctuated by violent storms – for example, 37 mm of rain was recorded on July 27. The hail spared Cheval Blanc, however. Early August was marked by a period of inclement weather with a particularly violent storm on 2 August which, as you know, destroyed several thousand hectares of Bordeaux vineyards. However, once again Cheval Blanc was spared. A spell of hot, dry and sunny weather settled in from 8 August to 5 September.
September featured several days of quite heavy rain, but the total amount of rainfall remained close to normal values. Early October was mild and very damp.
The cool, rainy spring held back vine phenology. This delay amounted to approximately a week at budburst, and more than two weeks at flowering, which took place in cool and particularly damp weather. Significant coulure was observed in both Merlot and in old Cabernet Franc plots. Branch growth continued until late in the season, ending in early September for gravel and clay soils and not until late September or early October for sandy soils. Mildew pressure was high throughout the season, including in August. At harvest time, the mild but damp weather produced botrytis pressure. - See more at: http://www.chateau-cheval-blanc.com/en/vintages/chateau-cheval-blanc-2013#sthash.sRDZbi9l.dpuf