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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.
1985 IS A VERY COMPLETE VINTAGE AND WITH A REMARKABLE SWEETNESS.
After a cool, damp spring and a hot and rainy July, August was rather cool and dry.
In 1985, harvesting only got off to a start on 1st October to leave the grapes time to make the most of the exceptional month of September. It was hot and dry, with almost 50% more sunshine than in other years.The good weather continued throughout the harvests which ended on 17th October. These remarkable conditions produced very healthy grapes which were perfectly ripe when they were picked, giving perfectly balanced grape must.
The colour is deep and has aged well, revealing very good intensity. The aromatic expression bears all the marks of the Merlot variety, with a dominant note of ripe but not over-ripe blackcurrant mingling with hints of leather and fur, cedar and underwood.
The bouquet is fleshy and concentrated, and the attack on the palate is rich, meaty and smooth with indescribable sugary flavours. Although it does leave an impression of great freshness, this 85 vintage really is giving its best now and the finish is very long lasting. This is a powerful wine for ageing, and is pleasant to drink once it has been carefully decanted.