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The year 1945 has suffered some heterogeneity. Some bottles have never quit a too high volatile acidity for the wine to be pleasant on the palate.
However, other bottles, well preserved for seventy years, offer a remarkably rich wine, opulent, silky and typically Cheval Blanc. Exceptionally concentrated, however sustained by a fairly right tension, Cheval Blanc 1945 is perfectly balanced, the sign of a great wine that has unfortunately suffered some very delicate winemaking in a year of serious technical and material insecurity.
In a still deeply dark dress, it exhales a nose of great sweetness accompanied by complex notes of red fruit jam and tobacco, and more surprising notes of anise and straw.
In the mouth it is a full wine, silky and powerful, which opens onto an impassive impression of serenity.
As Cheval Blanc 1947 and 1948, it is characterized by roasted notes and resembles a great vintage Port, but unlike his glorious contemporaries, 1945 ends a little more quickly and harshly. This is a great wine carried by a remarkable freshness and exalted by his generous body.
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 war is won, life is returning, but everything misses. However, Nature participates in the celebration and this vintage will be considered as the wine of victory after six years of war.
The harvest took place from 10th to 26th September. 1945 was marked by the frost of May 1st, followed by intense heat. It was a year characterized by an intense drought on the summer.100 tonneaux - or 33 hectoliters per hectare -, indeed very delicate to vinify: they bear a very high volatile acidity, which will never fade.Vinification that year is very difficult: fermentation reaching 38 degrees are extremely difficult to control at this time.
The 1947 miracle does not happen this year, but 1945 has certainly served as a trial run for the young cellar master Gaston Vaissière for his success two years later.
The world’s best wine vintage – 1947 or 1945? Tastingbook tasted all the best wines from these two great vintages.
If the wine producers from different regions were asked to name the best vintages from their winemaking history, the most would name 1947 or 1945 as one of the great ones. If we then compared them together there would be most likely only one vintage that the most if not every producer had named on list – 1947.
We wanted to test that theory and we tasted them agains each other and the winner was 1947 – by far.
The vintage 1947 was a magical vintage. It remains in the history as one of the only vintages that all well-established quality wine regions in the world were blessed with superb weather conditions. The heat waves were experienced all around the world and for instance the whole Europe was bating under scorching sun and experiencing a heat wave during the summer. This resulted very concentrated and highly ripe grapes. The producers had challenges to handle the very ripe grapes with high sugar levels as there was a constant risk of bacterial contamination in less hygenic cellars that had no artifical cooling systems. As there was no technology to use, many invoked on huge blocks of ice to cool the room temperautre down and even putting ice in their fermentation tanks.
This vintage has proven to yield very long lasting wines from all around the world. The wines are marked with sweet and ripe fruit character and warming alcohol. Due to the poorly hygenic winemaking facilities, many of the wines show volatile characters. Some might find this as a fault, but for many mature wine lovers this feature is even a preferred character. However, when buying the wines from this vintage, one should be aware that there is high level of bottle variations and the risk of having highly volatile wines is remarkably high.
1945 was an exceptional year throughout the whole France, from Côte-Rôtie to Bordeaux. Due to the warm and dry conditions, the grapes were very concentrated and produced an extraordinary, but unfortunately small yield. The harvest in 1945 was an early harvest, which started on the same date as 1982, September 13. The wines began life with massive levels of tannin and took quite a few decades to develop. Due to the high tannin levels, many of the wines still show well today.