x
  • Country ranking ?

    16
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Like Petrus 1947, almost 75% of all the necociant's 1947 Cheval bottlings we have tasted, have been fakes. So, it would be wise not to buy any of them with only 25% chance of authencity.

Cheval-Blanc, 1947 – £192,000 / This rare six-litre bottle of Cheval Blanc 1947 wine was sold to a private collector during a sale at Christies in Geneva. The only known bottle in the Imperial format was expected to sell for between US$150,000-$200,000, but smashed its estimates to sell for $304,375 (£192,000).

Vintage from 15 September to 4 October. 14.4% alcohol. We all know about the difficult fermentations (ice in the vats!), extremely high residual sugar and volatile acidity. It can shout blackcurrants and sweetness, as well as coffee and chocolate, something of a Bailey's Cream of a wine! I have seen bottles of perfect provenance that have a thick Portiness unlike any other wine plus fireworks on the finish, truly overwhelming. I would always take the 1949 and 1948 over it, but that is a personal stylistic preference! In 2011 at the Chateau, a great nose of dark chocolate and vanilla pod, almost vanilla bourbon. Such incredible depth and persistence of bouquet. Like a beautiful, soft liqueur, so dense and yet now so palate-caressing. Cocoa powder at the end. Serena Sutcliffe, MW

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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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Wine Information

1947 IS CONSIDERED THE MOST FAMOUS CHEVAL BLANC OF THE 20TH CENTURY!

As you leaf through the pages of the Cheval Blanc book of flavors, pause for just a moment and hold your breath when you come to the 1947 vintage.
That year’s climate can be summarized quite simply: absolutely magnificent weather from the beginning of April to the end of October, throughout the whole vegetation cycle. The highly concentrated grapes picked on the 15th of September, almost two weeks ahead of the usual dates, were healthy, sugary and rich.
In the scorching heat, the grapes were very warm as they arrived in the winery. Fermentation was to prove difficult, and the wine was not perfectly dry and had rather high volatile acidity. In this case, these two factors actually served to amplify the flavors and enhance the structure, thus, as the natural richness of the wine shows, they do not appear to be defects. In fact, one can say it is something of a happy accident of nature. The wine bears the imprint of its soil.


Where the 1945 represents sophistication, nuance and classic character, the 1947 is all about richness, robustness and succulence. Spring was delayed that year, which meant a late start to the growing season. Summer warmed up toward the autumn and the abundant sunshine ripened the grapes very quickly. Daytime temperatures ranged between 35-38° C. The crop was finally harvested in nearly tropical conditions, when a thunderstorm ravaged Bordeaux on 19-20 September.

Fortunately a large percentage of the grapes had already been harvested. The grapes were unusually hot during picking and volatile acids caused problems for many vineyards during fermentation. The end result was an absolutely extraordinary vintage, which turned out to be magnificent, particularly on the right bank and in Sauternes. Even young, these reds were exceptionally drinkable. Their life-cycle, on the other hand, has been surprisingly varied. The Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wines have proven superior to Médocs and Graves. The supreme wine of this vintage is most certainly the Château Cheval Blanc, which, in terms of mouthfeel, is perhaps the greatest wine of the entire 20th century. Why the Cheval Blanc was such an unparalleled success that year is something of a mystery. Unlike what happened to so many others, the Cheval Blanc didn’t suffer from excess volatile acids. Everything from vineyard microclimate to production have been offered as explanations.
Because the weather was unusually warm, there were no damp morning mists at the vineyards, which restricted the conditions conducive to the formation of natural yeasts that increase volatility. The heat also killed natural yeasts and the quantity was generally less than normal.

Fermentation was done in small concrete tanks, which provided effective insulation against the outside heat and kept temperatures sufficiently low, thus preventing the formation of volatile acids. Another very interesting aspect of the Cheval Blanc’s production was its 5-10-year maturation in old barrels; this was due to the fact that new oak barrels were not available following the depression and war years. In all its glory, the 1947 Cheval Blanc caricatures modern winemaking as an incredible example of the pinnacles that can be reached with no help from technology. In addition to the Cheval, the Pétrus and Lafleur are vintage gems.

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Vintage 1947

Where the 1945 represents sophistication, nuance and classic character, the 1947 is all about richness, robustness and succulence. Spring was delayed that year, which meant a late start to the growing season. Summer warmed up toward the autumn and the abundant sunshine ripened the grapes very quickly. Daytime temperatures ranged between 35-38° C. The crop was finally harvested in nearly tropical conditions, when a thunderstorm ravaged Bordeaux on 19-20 September.

Fortunately a large percentage of the grapes had already been harvested. The grapes were unusually hot during picking and volatile acids caused problems for many vineyards during fermentation. The end result was an absolutely extraordinary vintage, which turned out to be magnificent, particularly on the right bank and in Sauternes. Even young, these reds were exceptionally drinkable. Their life-cycle, on the other hand, has been surprisingly varied. The Pomerol and Saint-Émilion wines have proven superior to Médocs and Graves. The supreme wine of this vintage is most certainly the Château Cheval Blanc, which, in terms of mouthfeel, is perhaps the greatest wine of the entire 20th century. Why the Cheval Blanc was such an unparalleled success that year is something of a mystery. Unlike what happened to so many others, the Cheval Blanc didn’t suffer from excess volatile acids.

 

Everything from vineyard microclimate to production have been offered as explanations. Because the weather was unusually warm, there were no damp morning mists at the vineyards, which restricted the conditions conducive to the formation of natural yeasts that increase volatility.  The heat also killed natural yeasts and the quantity was generally less than normal. Fermentation was done in small concrete tanks, which provided effective insulation against the outside heat and kept temperatures sufficiently low, thus preventing the formation of  volatile acids. Another very interesting aspect of the Cheval Blanc’s production was its 5-10-year maturation in old barrels; this was due to the fact that new oak barrels were not available following the depression and war years. In all its glory, the 1947 Cheval Blanc caricatures modern winemaking as an incredible example of the pinnacles that can be reached with no help from technology.  In addition to the Cheval, the Pétrus and Lafleur are vintage gems. 

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
7 211€ +3.9% 6 943€ +21.1% 5 733€ -11.6% 6 485€ +8.4% 5 985€ +12.7% 5 310€ -5.9% 5 640€ +112.8% 2 650€ +32.0% 2 008€ +61.9% 1 240€

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

66 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Brick red and Dark

ending

Long, Lingering and Spicy

flavors

Leather, Blackcurrant, Coffee, Toasty, Port-like and Mint

nose

Intense, Refined, Opulent and Generous

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Developing, Full-bodied, Rich, Harmonious, Ripe, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Masterpiece and Impressive

Written Notes

Speaking of spectacular, the 1947 Cheval Blanc wasn’t too shabby, either. It had a deep nose full of signature motor oil, and these wheaty and smoky qualities like burnt crops. Its palate was thick, sweet, long and round. This was lush and rich, although I have never had it reach the heights it did on New Year’s Eve in 1999. The wine may be in a long, slow decline, but it was still knock my socks off good. Hollywood Jef agreed, even though the Bad Boy was hating on it (97).
  • 97p
This wine was made from exceptionally ripe, almost raisin-like grapes with a high sugar content (about two-thirds Cabernet Franc and one-third Merlot). The harvesting was left till the last moment and the alcohol content raised to 15%, which is 2% higher than normal. Good level, bottom neck. Excellent appearance. Dark, mature and deep colour. Incredibly huge chocolaty, leathery, porty nose. Very prosperous and ripe. Great extract. The load and richness of almost overripe fruit was so appealing that it was hard to resist and not just drink the whole bottle right away. Very gentle and soft wine, almost feminine in character, and at the same time so powerful and masculine. It has everything a wine can offer in such a historical and exclusive package that it is challenging to find anything as stunning as it! ...And the celebrated aftertaste, I can still sense it after two long days and nights. A perfect and “out of this world” experience.
  • 100p

The nose of this legendary wine is marked by alcohol. Incredibly rich, the aromas of this wine include pastry, macaroon, almond, fig, cherry kernel, and orange.

The aromas of almond also evoke fruit brandy. Especially, strawberry jam dominates this nose of a rare and sublime complexity.

In the mouth the wine seems thicker and alcohol is noticeable. Fat and dense, it is a full, rich and complete wine. It seems maderized, with aromas of plum pie, but with a touch of freshness which translates into aromas of fresh figs, but also by intense floral aromas of wisteria and white flowers such as acacia.

After aeration, coffee, mocha and cocoa reveal, together with acacia honey. Its length is endless and remains with a very intense perception.

A blind tasting dinner at Hinds Head in Bray-on-Thames.
Quite wonderful wine. This is the best bottle I have ever come across (and I had been lucky enough to have another exceptionally good bottle two months previously at a wonderful comparison of some of the great wines of the late 1940s and 1953s). I’ve been lucky enough to taste this wine relatively often and up to this time the best example had been from a magnum tasted in Burgundy in 1994 – but this was definitely the best bottle I have ever come across. Still bright crimson. Tingling with life and excitement. Rich but reverberating - like celestial sweet Earl Grey tea. Floral, lovely and so FRESH! This wine floats across the palate. There’s the most amazing transparency to it – it’s not heavy yet it makes an extraordinary impression. Then the flavours develop on the finish in a peacock’s tail of complexity. I honestly don’t expect ever to taste a wine better than this.

  • 100p

Normally one wouldn’t put a fake bottle among the tasting notes, but this is here as this is one of the most faked wines out there. This was a “Vandermeulen” bottling. Very top shoulder, deep ruby with brick rim. Ripe fruit, slightly volatile, roses, black- and blueberries, fresh acidity and ripe but gripping tannins. Chocolate, minerals and a touch of green peppers, later on violets, OK length. I would guess this was a Bordeaux wine, could be something like a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru with some age, it was very much drinkable, I gave it 85. This does not sound anything like the wine's normal description of full throttle Port like intensity. Cork was way too young, nothing printed on it, and was not possible to get back in the bottle, it expanded and became large as a new Champagne cork within a few minutes of pulling it. It looked like it had been soaked in wine for a few days (it was pale pink) and put in with simple old cork machine. It had a square mark on the top while in the bottle. I do not know if the label would be correct for Vandermeulen, foil colour was not.

he wine sings in a glorious voice with a range in flavours that is just mind boggling. It is sweet, supple and layered with great length. Pure sensuality in a glass.

  • 100p

So, it is now commonplace to say this wine is overshadowed by the ’49 and ’48, and in some ways, it is. In its heyday (which clearly on this evening’s showing, it is certainly not fully past), it was for many decades just arousing in its beauty. Yes, port like, but with enough acidity to send electric shocks of excitement in the midst of that luscious sweet fruit. As the acidity has gently receded, you get more of the plush fruit, and not quite enough of the other veins of fascination that were present. So perhaps it is on a genteel “decline,” if you can call a well nigh perfect wine “on the decline.” Liqueur like notes of plum and dark fruit on the nose. This is a wine of surpassing exoticism and flamboyance from the heat of the vintage and the almost magical coalescing of acidity and fruit, balance and richness. Dark berries and chocolate at and past the mid palate. The palate fireworks as it builds to a finish had members of our group audibly cooing. Truffles and walnuts next, all dipped in the bounty of the fruit, but there is still impressive focus here. Molasses and cloves conspire on a simply emphatic finish, exclaiming still the beauty of this improbable legend. 99-100 Points

  • 100p
Good looking magnum size bottle.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 100p
Château Chéval-Blanc 1947 was not the perfect bottle, as I have tasted a better one before. The wine was complex, beautifully structured, with fantastic tannins (fine and precise), but somehow it was just a bit too short on the finish, showing a hint of dustiness which made us suspect a less then perfect cork.
  • 96p
Wide, mature, complex, refined, seductive and tempting on the nose. The taste is round, focused, harmonious, perfectly balanced, well-structured, concentrated and full-bodied. Endless, round, lingering, pure and spicy. Impressive, masterpiece and outstanding. Decanted 2t and drink between 2020 and 2030. Costs about 5k€ + per bottle. Good value for money.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 100p
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Information

Origin

St. Emilion, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Too Risky

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

18

Inside Information

The overall level of alcohol was 14.4°. Since the beginning of the 20th century, only the 1929 vintage had produced riper grapes (14°6 potential alcohol).  The sweet juice combined with hot weather during the harvest made fermentation difficult, even calling for bringing huge blocks of ice in from Bordeaux every day in order to cool down the cellar.   The wine is not perfectly dry (there are 3 g/l of residual sugar) and the level of volatile acidity is rather high. However, these two factors actually help support the structure and enhance the aromas. That is because the wine's natural richness does not make them seem like defects.  It can even be said that this great wine is something of an accident. During this post-war period, the estate did not have access to new barrels, so ones five to ten years old, were used.

 

 

 

Bordeaux Book, 3rd Edition 
Jan 1998
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: 1992 - 2022 $6947-$28000

What can I say about this mammoth wine that is more like port than dry red table wine? The 1947 Cheval Blanc exhibits such a thick texture it could double as motor oil. The huge nose of fruitcake, chocolate, leather, coffee, and Asian spices is mind-boggling. The unctuous texture and richness of sweet fruit are amazing. Consider the fact that this wine is, technically, appallingly deficient in acidity and excessively high in alcohol. Moreover, its volatile acidity levels would be considered intolerable by modern day oenologists. Yet how can they explain that after 47 years the wine is still remarkably fresh, phenomenally concentrated, and profoundly complex? It has to make you wonder about the direction of modern day winemaking. Except for one dismal, murky, troubled, volatile double-magnum, this wine has been either perfect or nearly perfect every time I have had it. But beware, there are numerous fraudulent bottles, particularly magnums, of 1947 Cheval Blanc in the marketplace. 

Having a 1947 Cheval Blanc served out of an impeccably stored magnum three times over the last three years made me once again realize what a great job I have. The only recent Bordeaux vintages that come even remotely close to the richness, texture, and viscosity of so many of these right bank 1947s are 1982 and 1990. 
Last tasted 10/94

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