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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

Château Cheval Blanc

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.
In the 18th century a large area of the current estate of Cheval Blanc was covered in vines. It is said that on the place where the Blanc-painted building now stands, there used to be a modest post house where horses could be changed. It appears that the legendary King Henry IV once stopped there on his way from Paris to Pau, his birthplace, when he wanted to change his tired horses, traditionally always Blanc, to new ones. He was well known of his habit of riding with only Blanc horses, and this blessed, tiny post house was the only place on St. Emilion that had those noble creatures. After that the inn, which saved the King, was naturally called Cheval Blanc – white horse.
One century later the estate was bought by the Fourcaud-Laussac family, the beginning of a time of slow renovation, with the acquisition in 1871 of adjacent plots giving the vineyard its definitive layout , drainage, and planting of the Cabernet Franc variety. From this time the wine of Cheval Blanc achieved a level of success, which was rewarded with the top prizes in London (1862), Paris (1878) and Antwerp (1885). This fine reputation grew steadily throughout the 20th century under the ownership of the Fourcaud-Laussac family. In 1998, the estate was sold to Mr Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère .
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.

Soil: three main types of soil – gravel with clay subsoil, deep gravel, sand with clay subsoil
Production area: 37 ha
Grape varieties: Cabernet Franc 58%, Merlot 42%
Average age of vines: 40 years, the oldest are 80 years (1920)
Harvest method: by hand, with sorting on reception in the cellar
Winemaking: 4 pumpings of 15 mins per day during the alcoholic fermentation. Vat sizes corresponding to plots in vineyard, ranging from 50 to 120 hectolitres. Separate vinifications according to soil, age of vines and grape variety.
Ageing: in 100% new oak barrels for 14 to 18 months, depending on the power of the vintage

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

11 tasting notes

Tasting note


Deep and Brick red


Blackberry, Blueberry, Pepper, Vanilla, Cedar and Cigar-box


Medium tannin, Balanced, Medium-bodied, Firm and Medium-Dry

Written Notes

This is a concentrated, complex vintage at Cheval Blanc, with remarkable freshness.

The colour is beautiful and deep, with a just a touch of brown on the rim.

The nose takes time to open up. Both complex and concentrated, it expresses blackcurrant and prune compote aromas. The bouquet goes on to display slightly spicy, peppery overtones, as well as suggestions of forest floor, leather, and herbes de Provence.

1989 Cheval Blanc is round and fresh on the palate. Well-structured, it has good body and ethereal tannin, as well as opulent, elegant flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant, macerated cherries, and a soupçon of musk. The remarkably long and complex aftertaste has smoky and Russian leather notes.

The 1989 vintage has come of age, but its remarkable freshness implies that it will hold at its peak for years to come.

Ruby. Cassis, exotic spices, starting figs, scented, floral, nuanced, layered, detailed, needed four hours in decanter to really shine. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, layered, detailed, nuanced, blackberries, figs and dates, exquisite. Very long aftertaste. 97

  • 97p

Here is a wine of surpassing charm, ignored largely, representing as it does a more delicate expression of the terroir. You get some bell pepper on the nose, plums and herbs. The mineral notes suffused with red cherry, caress the palate right away. The creamy texture and beguiling spice notes emerge most palpably at the mid palate. The ripe tannins of its youth are relenting, and becoming more cosseting, and the finish, laced with mushrooms and smoke, converting the “stress” of the vintage season into such graceful sensuality that you cannot but salute it with enthusiasm. 96 Points+

  • 96p
1989 Château Cheval Blanc “A very great vintage”, believes Monsieur Lurton, and yet another hot year, which he likened to 2003. Although brown, this shows a far greater depth of colour than the 1990, and a fresher and more attractive nose, though Lurton felt that there was “a hint of an overripe nose”. The extremely early picking (which began on 7 September) is apparent in the crisp acidity and vaguely tough tannins, which lack the sheer beauty of the 1998’s. This is remarkably different to the 1990, sweeter and juicier, and retaining pleasing freshness, though the Merlot/Cabernet blend is virtually identical. With fractionally superior depth and length, the 1989 Cheval Blanc just shades the 1990 overall. 97
  • 97p
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St. Emilion, Bordeaux


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