x
  • Country ranking ?

    199
  • Producer ranking ?

    10
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2050
  • Food Pairing

    Spring lamb served pink with fresh herbs

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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Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines reviewed over the previous 12 months and select our Top 100, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. This annual list honors successful wineries, regions and vintages around the world.

Cheval Blanc 1998 was in the second place on t the Wine of the Year in 2001 list.

Subtle, complex and refined, with aromas of cherry, licorice, mineral, berry and other sweet, ripe fruit. Full-bodied and compacted, with masses of fine, silky tannins. Long, long finish. Best after 2010. 8,330 cases made. —JS 98 points

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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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Latest Pro-tasting notes

14 tasting notes

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Written Notes

One of the most impressively ranked vintages of Cheval and certainly a very fine wine, though this bottle did not reach the very highest level. Those among the group who know the wine better than I do felt this was certainly a good bottle but not at its absolute best. One or two felt that a touch of brett might be involved. I could not see that. I thought it an extremely fine wine (my score largely standard for the group) but overshadowed on the day. Ripe and dense with delicious black fruits, leather, cigar box and chocolate notes. Firm tannins and impressive concentration. Still youthful. It might not be at its best but still a fabulous bottle.
  • 95p

Ruby, pink rim, floral, violets, mint, layered, again impossible to describe fully. Close to perfect balance, playfull and stil relaxed acidity. tannins soft, stunning texture, mouthwatering, just ads and ads with air, incredible length, never ending, I keep raising the score on this as it keeps unlocking more and more secrets. I wish I had cases of this one. 98

Served blind, I was sure it was Petrus, as was most of the table. Wine of the evening!

  • 98p

Elegant nose. Ricola, ripe blackberries, blueberries, currant, black truffles, new leather, cacao. Full bodied, juicy, lots of fine tannins, very good structure, good underlying acidity, blackberries, black cherries, finesse & power, dried herbs in the finish, very long.

  • 100p

1998 Cheval Blanc is an outstanding vintage in a classic style typical of the château. It is not only rich and powerful, but also remarkably well-balanced.

The intense deep ruby-red colour features brilliant highlights and a browning rim.

The nose is rich and concentrated with polished, well-focused ripe black fruit aromas as well as notes of tobacco, truffle, and cedar. The bouquet also features empyreumatic, roasted notes of cocoa and almonds that are balanced by very fresh eucalyptus and bay leaf nuances.

The wine is round and rich on the palate, with very pure, well-defined flavours. The tasty aftertaste is impressively complex and elegant. In addition, the fine, rich tannic texture shows no aggressiveness whatsoever. The aftertaste is tremendously long, with an ethereal finish that goes on and on - the sign of a wine of distinction.

The 1998 vintage is pure, remarkably focused, and complex, with a rich, powerful, perfectly balanced flavour. It needs to be kept a long time to reveal its full potential.

The bouquet beckons enticingly with a marvelous mélange of blackcurrants, flowers and cherries. This is a more classically styled Cheval compared to the ’00. Pomerol and St. Emilion both vie for dominance here. Ultimately though, despite all its vibrancy, it is a silky, suave wine, with increasingly polished tannins, with cherries and blackcurrants consorting towards the mid palate. The seamless integrating of its elements still awaits greater delineation, though it is remarkably energetic, with notes of dark chocolate emerging. It finishes with marvelous clarity, vivacity and exciting length. This is a masterpiece in the making. 96 Points++

  • 96p
The third vintage that is the “wrong way round” with its cépages, said Lurton, and again “a Merlot year” – 55% Merlot with 45% Cabernet Franc, with an overall yield of a mere 32hl/ha. Early picking meant that the Merlot was harvested before heavy rains on 27 September, avoiding any risk of dilution. This renowned Right Bank vintage also marks the beginning of the reign of Baron Albert Frère and Bernard Arnault at Cheval Blanc, placing the château under the same ownership as d’Yquem. Yet again this is deeply coloured, though with more brick red shading than the 2001 and 2000. As one might expect of such a formidable wine, this is still relatively closed, though it already suggests spicy, cedarwood complexity with the characteristic Cheval Blanc (Merlot) berry fruit character. Although only two years older than the 2000, the 1998 is already far more advanced and complex, hinting at even greater things to come. The deliciously luscious palate also shows restraint and elegance. This lacks the sheer concentration of the 2000 but has finer tannins to match its velvety fruit texture, with simply wonderful length. Cheval Blanc 1998, as with the 2001 and 2000, has an alcohol level in excess of 13% but, as Pierre Lurton pointed out, balance is all. An outstanding Cheval Blanc that doubtless will assume legendary status as it develops. 98
  • 98p
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Information

Origin

St. Emilion, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

2h

Highlights

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