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The weather this year was ideal, with all the parameters for a very great vintage combining concentration, freshness, and finesse.
2010 Cheval Blanc has a dark, intense colour and a superbly deep, complex, and concentrated nose typical of great Cabernet Franc. The bouquet displays seductive floral and fruity aromas, along with fresh fig, blackcurrant, blackberry, and raspberry, as well as notes of bergamot and mint. With aeration, more floral notes appear, especially violet.
The flavour is assertive from the very first, with fine-grained tannin that melts in the mouth. The wine is rich, compact, and silky on the middle palate. Tastes typical of great Cabernet Franc, and that only the greatest wines of Bordeaux can provide, come to the fore - particularly subtle floral nuances, such as violet. The aftertaste is never-ending and remarkably fresh. The power and richness of the vintage are kept in check by this delicate freshness that accounts for a perfect balance between concentration and finesse, right up until the end of the long finish.
A complete and very complex wine, 2010 Cheval Blanc's outstanding balance will enable it to age for many years.
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.
2010 is an outstanding vintage. It was among the driest on record and cool evenings made it possible to pick grapes at optimum ripeness. The resulting wine combines concentration and finesse, and is perfectly balanced. When it reaches its peak, will it be even better than the illustrious 1947 Cheval Blanc?
Vintage 2010 was a year of distinctly seasonal weather. Winter was long and rigorous, punctuated by frost and cold waves between December and mid-February. This was fairly comparable to 2009.
Spring was on a par with the seasonal average, and the months of April and May were bright and sunny. It rained a great deal in June, whereas the weather was dry and hot in July, August and September. In fact, 2010 was the driest vintage of the past decade, but was cooler than either 2005 or 2009. Bud break took place in early April for Merlot and mid-April for Cabernet Franc. Vine growth thereafter was slow and gradual. Mid-flowering occurred on 1 June for Merlot during weather that was cool and rainy, which caused coulure (shot berries).
Taking advantage of several days of more clement weather, Cabernet Franc flowered well and over a short period. In July, the very dry weather put a stop to vegetative growth, which is an essential factor in the quality of the 2010 vintage.
The first plots of Merlot were picked on 20 September and Cabernet Franc was harvested between 29 September and 4 October. The exceptionally dry weather and cool nighttime temperatures meant that each plot and each vine could be picked at optimum ripeness. 2010 featured every facet of an ideal vintage: flowering and fruit set were precocious and quick for Cabernet Franc, water stress set in both early and gradually (starting in July and calling a halt to vine growth, to the advantage of ripening), and the grapes ripened completely thanks to dry weather and cool evenings without excessive daytime temperatures.
Drought and cool temperatures contribute to optimal ripeness
The sum of summer temperatures in 2010 was close to that of summer 2009 (962°C compared to 982°C), but decidedly chillier than those of 2005, which totalled 1052°C. These cool temperatures had a substantial influence on the balance of our wines, preserving a good level of acidity and attractive aromatic freshness.
Very little rainfall (only 267 mm) from March to August 2010 generating a drought of similar intensity to that of 2005, when only 227mm of rain fell.
Another feature of the 2010 vintage is the low temperatures above all in the first three weeks of August, which made for the preservation of good levels of acidity in the grapes while also maintaining attractive aromatic freshness.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|764€ -4.7%||802€ +4.3%||769€|