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    from 2020
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    Slow Cooked Short Ribs

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Monday 2nd November 2015

Vinifications are literally coming to an end: with the running off of the last plot, the tanks now contain wine.

Malolactic fermentations run their course, the wines are fatter and softer.

While watching over each tank, our winery team is dedicated to the reception of new barrels that will host this vintage. They are to test and analyze them one by one, to ensure the absence of any pollution (contamination of wood that could bring aromatic deviations to the wines).



Thursday 8th October 2015

This is the beginning of écoulages. We separate the juice and the grape skins, considering that the extraction phase is complete. This decision is taken plot by plot. Each will remain isolated until the blending to be held in the heart of winter.

The maceration phase allowed the tanks to get a quite impressive and silky fat, while maintaining the freshness and tension inseparable of a beautiful Cheval Blanc.

We look forward to taste these wines after malolactic fermentation, which will be a decisive step in our approach to this vintage.



Tuesday 6th October 2015

Today is the last day of the harvest, 34 days after mobilization of our teams to give birth to this exceptional vintage. These are the longest harvest of all Cheval Blanc history!

In total, over more than a month, only twelve days were devoted to the harvest, an average of one day picking every three days: the harvest à la carte.

In the daily tastings, we taste each tank, i.e. each plot. It becomes clear at this point that in 2015, only a few will be devoted to Petit Cheval, all others are qualified for Cheval Blanc.



Saturday 26th September 2015

The harvest progresses step by step, according to the maturities, without any urgency. We have harvested much of our Merlots and already eight of our twenty-two plots of Cabernet franc. As opposed to popular belief, soils far outweigh grape varieties, which is why we picked our gravel plots, Cabernet and Merlot together, before attacking our clay plots.




Tuesday 15th September 2015

Based on the daily tastings of grapes, four plots of Merlot seem to have reached the ideal maturity. Some are traditionally early as 1A and 7, the others are usually later, 32 and 3A. Again, this is an illustration of the absence of systematization in our approach for maturity.

We enter today the heart of the harvest.

Each rainfall seems to have spared the right bank, so we have a great freedom for the picking strategy.


11.09.15Friday 28th August 2015


After a rather cool and wet period in mid-August (about 75 mm for the month, close to average), good weather settles permanently and allows a speedy maturation of the grapes.

At this stage, the vineyard is beautiful, the well distributed grapes on the vines look very colorful. Berries are very small, which suggests a vintage of great concentration.

Again, considering the scorching weather, we are happy never to cut the leaves on the western side, exposed to the sun in the afternoon. This practice preserves the aromatic freshness so dear to Cheval Blanc.



Thursday 3rd September 2015

To everyone's surprise, we send our teams harvesting the first red plot of the vintage!

Indeed, this young vine of incredible potential combines this year factors of earliness: warm gravel soil, moderate rooting (due to his youth) and favorable weather conditions. Faithful to the style of the house, we pick on the freshness with still an impressive balance.



Sunday 9th August 2015

The few rains of late July were welcome as they allowed the generalization, acceleration, and homogenization of the véraison. This milestone passes remarkably well this year and seriously limits our usual procedure to cut some late green grapes.

The vine growth arrest is now reached on all our plots. The plant will now focus on grape ripening, rather than on the growth of its foliage. Therefore, the trimming frequency is greatly diminished this year.



Monday, 20th July 2015

While the dry and scorching conditions persist, the Cheval Blanc vineyard is thriving thanks to an excellent rooting (favored by the age of the vines and frequent ploughing). The plant can then find the freshness and moisture at depth, thanks to the clay subsoil.

On the earliest terroir of the estate, the vines have greatly slowed or halted their growth. This early cessation is often a good indicator of a great vintage in the making.

On the warmer soils, veraison (grapes coloring) snaps for Merlot.



Sunday 12th July 2015

Heat and drought are still moving up a notch. This is great news for the vine, because at this stage water scarcity generates low weight of berries and therefore a good concentration.

Only a young Merlot plot on gravelly soil (plot 19, planted in 2012) is suffering a bit because of its still shallow roots. That's why we decide to relieve by severe green harvesting (removal of a bunch out of of two) to allow it to get through this difficult step.

- See more at: http://www.chateau-cheval-blanc.com/en/news#sthash.2bMGk72X.dpuf


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.


Wine Information

The 2015 Cheval Blanc represents the entire vineyard this year, since there is no Le Petit Cheval (two plots that did not meet requirements were not included in any blend). A blend of 45% Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Merlot, matured in 100% new oak, it has a very complex bouquet, subtle and tightly wound, very precise with dark berry fruit, hints of graphite, minerals and a hint of black pepper, perhaps a little spicier than recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with extraordinarily fine tannin. Beautifully balanced, perfectly controlled, this Cheval Blanc gently builds in the mouth, but remains strict and precise. The Cabernet Franc here is very expressive (though apparently the Merlot was showier prior to malolactic). This is an intellectual Cheval Blanc, thoroughly enjoyable, but it will need 10-12 years to really show its pedigree. A profound wine in the making, it will rank with the great wines of the past. Drink 2025-2065

Score: 97/99 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (224), April 2016

A Cheval with a depth and finesse that reminds me of the 1998. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and amazing length and beauty. Such finesse and harmony. Super silky and classic for Cheval Blanc.

Score: 96/97 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2016

A wine of total finesse, the 2015 Cheval Blanc speaks to understatement above all else. Sweet floral notes meld into a core of bright red stone fruits and mint. Silky, nuanced and wonderfully persistent on the palate, the 2015 possesses remarkable depth, but in an understated fashion. There is plenty of tannin buried beneath the fruit. The 2015 is not an obvious Cheval Blanc, but rather a sublime wine that will only start to blossom with a decade plus in bottle. It will drink well for decades beyond that.

Score: 95/97 Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2016

The nose has floral balsamic aromas the palate a mix of black fruits bramble freshness backed by sweeter cassis. Depth in the middle the rich fruit is underpinned by dark chocolate velvety smooth opulent. It is lighter at the back seamless with a hint of spice and vanilla on the finish.

Score: 95/98 Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2016

For the first time since 1988, there was no second wine (Petit Cheval) at Cheval Blanc, such was the team’s confidence in the quality of nearly all of the 45 parcels. It sounds like hubris, but this is very special indeed. Complex, scented and nuanced, with a cool elegance that was difficult to achieve in 2015. The tannins are silky, caressing the palate, while the finish lingers like the last note of a great string quartet. Drink: 2025-40

Score: 98 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2016

Very sweet almost balsam nose. Very distinctive! Really fine with lovely tannins. Lots of ripe fruit and masses of tannin as well as ripeness. The alcohol is only just moderate enough. Very dramatic without being at all exaggerated. Some red pepper powder notes. 14.35% Drink 2027-2050

Score: 18.5+ Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2016


Vintage 2015

Full report of Bordeaux 2015 by Andrew Caillard MW “Next in line in a great series of vintages; 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015.


2015 is a wonderful Bordeaux vintage without the hype or hysteria associated with 2009 and 2010. The wines are generally expressive and generous with wonderful concentration and structure. Given another year in barrel, the wines should gain more complexity and fruit volume. Châteaux, in all sub-regions, are enthusiastic about the beautiful fragrance, clear fruit aromas and lively energy of the wines, and believe the vintage to be the best since 2010. More than once, the expression “a vintage of the decade” was mentioned. I have tasted through most of the top wines, some on more than one occasion, and I am convinced that this is a vintage worth supporting. It’s a very successful vintage.


The weather conditions were generally ideal with perfect flowering and set for spring. A hot, dry, sunny period in June and July kept the vines in balance; Near-drought conditions resulted in excellent cluster development. Veraison (in which the grape berries change from green and hard to colored and fleshy) began towards the end of July. Light rains refreshed the canopies and hydrated the grape clusters. Cooler weather arrived in August with above average precipitation. Northern Médoc was exposed to heavy rains, but no berry splitting or significant disease pressure was reported. The cooler conditions leading up to harvest in September allowed the grapes to retain their aromatic potential and ripen relatively evenly.


Red wines from the Right Bank and the Left Bank are generally impressive in their concentration, vigor and freshness. Although all wines are tasted extremely young, it is easy to see the quality and dimension of the vintage. Merlot performed particularly well, with many Châteaux picking intermittently over a three-week window to achieve optimal freshness, flesh and maturity. Cabernet Franc, its companion in many wines, gives an attractive “tannin seam” and structural vigor. Observers are already calling it a right bank year (St Emilion & Pomerol). Ch Vieux Château Certan, described as “La Force Tranquille”, and Château Petrus were my two top Right Bank wines, followed by Château Ausone. All have a buoyancy and precision that bodes well for the future.


The southern left bank (Margaux and Pessac-Léognan) also found some beautiful concentrated wines. The alcoholic strength and tannic maturity seem to correlate with this impression. Cabernet Sauvignon, typically “needing to take its time”, produced wines of beautiful aromaticity, concentration and vitality. The success of this variety depended on the sophistication of harvesting and selection during blending. Château Margaux and Château Palmer are amazing wines. Château Haut Brion and Château La Mission Haut Brion made dense chocolate styles. Château Haut Bailly is particularly refined and nicely balanced.


At Château Batailley, the introduction of a second wine and greater attention to differentiation led to one of the best vintages in its history. Many small refinements and decisions in the vineyard and cellar have allowed several large châteaux in St Julien, Pauillac and St Estephe to make beautiful wines too. The difficult selection process is particularly evident on the Left Bank. Château Margaux and Château Cos d’Estournel have chosen to rigorously defend their first wines through very careful picking and selection. Only 35% and 39% (respectively) of the harvest were dedicated to their Grand Vin. Ch Cheval Blanc de St Emilion represented 95.1% of the harvest, leaving no reason to make Petit Cheval in 2015.

The attention to detail in the vineyard, especially after the August rains, and the huge investments in optical sorting machines (costing around 200,000 euros each) at harvest ensured that the grapes were in good condition before vinification. It’s quite incredible how the fruit arrives in the cellar these days. Attention to detail has become the norm within the Grand Cru Classé community. The First Growth Estates with their huge financial investments in vineyard practices and cellars, have all produced impressive wines this year. Perhaps the most evocative of all is Château Margaux. The death of the estate's longtime winemaker, Paul Pontallier, on Easter Sunday from cancer shook the Bordeaux wine community. He was a man for all seasons. He brought out the best in his people and their wines, whatever the vintage offered. 2015 Château Margaux, in all likelihood, will be the greatest vintage in its modern history.


Despite the somber mood of this year’s En Primeurs 2015 tastings, the energy of spring brought a feeling of renewal. Buds in the vines, white and pink flowers in full bloom, pure chirping of baby birds and vibrant new wines of the vintage promised the animation and maturation of life. The colors, densities, flavors and tannic quality of the young red wines suggest a great vintage in the making. It is one of the most curious practices in the wine trade to comment on unfinished wine, but somehow the predictions become more or less right. Over the next year, the wines will develop more complexity, richness and volume in fruit barrels. The tannins, oak and fruit will integrate more.


The sweet aperitif/dessert wines of Sauternes and Barsac also performed very well. The combination of uniform maturation and optimal outbreaks of botrytis cinerea produced magnificent wines. Some are calling it the best vintage since 2001, arguably the greatest vintage in recent memory. While Ch d’Yquem looked stunning, the elegant Ch Climens style, still in many parts, will look wonderful. Typically, this wine is tasted from multiple barrels, and my notes are a composite of eight different elements. The scent, dynamism, freshness and line are incredible. Dry whites, primarily Sauvignon Blanc or Gris dominant, are refreshing styles with an appealing freshness and vibrancy. Ch Haut Brion Blanc is an amazing wine, but its release price will reflect its rarity.


Châteaux will likely bring out the vintage in two installments to capture the appetite of the global wine trade. Early bids will likely be a bit higher than last year's opening prices. This will go against the advice of traders who have been operating with very low margins for many years. The weakening of the pound sterling and the Australian dollar against the euro may be a stumbling block for some buyers, but there will be value and opportunity in this upcoming open season. For Australian buyers, this is absolutely the best way to buy Bordeaux. Provenance is guaranteed, allocations confirmed and the price will always be lower than future imports, due to the structure of the Bordeaux market.

Better market conditions in China and the United States, combined with a significant vintage both in quantity and quality, will allow Bordeaux to regain momentum after a four-year period of stagnation and uncertainty. The game of cat and mouse between the Châteaux, the merchants and the wine trade begins now. Whatever the outcome, Bordeaux will continue to be the benchmark for great wines for many decades to come. There is something completely unique, invigorating and evocative about mature Bordeaux wines. The best of 2015 will be transformative and delicious to drink. All you need is patience, moderately deep pockets, and the willingness to buy!


Margaux/ Beautiful wines with magnificent fruit density and fine, sinuous tannins. It’s been a few years since Margaux shone so brightly. Ch Margaux, Ch Palmer, Ch Rauzan Segla, Ch Rauzan Gassies, Alter Ego de Cg Palmer. Ch Pavillon Rouge, Ch Malescot de St Exupery, Ch D’Angludet, Ch Kirwan, Ch Cantenac Brown and Ch Brand Cantenac are highlights.


Tasting note

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Written Notes

Phenomenal aromas of cherries, flowers, blackberries and sandalwood. Pure fruit. Full-bodied, dense and polished with incredible tannin quality like the finest, densest silk ball. In perfect proportions. Compact. Seamless and endless. Gorgeous to taste now but give it six or seven years to understand it better.

  • 99p

Ruby. Scented, floral, layered, detailed, nuanced, intense, exotic, both floral notes and spiciness. Stunning nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruity, dark berries, anise, nuanced, detailed, layered, spices, incredible balance of texture and body, superb length. Smooth and silky. Drink from 2030 to 2080. 98

  • 98p
For the first time in many years this property hasn't produced second wine Le Petit Cheval in 2015. While visiting Cheval Blanc during harvest in September 2015, I was allowed to taste many samples taken out from vats/barrels before fermentation and during fermentation, especially Cabernet Franc ones. Cheval Blanc's technical directeur, Pierre Olivier Clouet, said to me already then, that the potential of different cuvées (parcels) was amazing. So it didn't really surprised me that they skipped second wine in 2015. Cheval Blanc showed pure elegance and finesse, great richness and depth, sophisticated touch and velvety texture. Great concentration and length. Incredibly stylish and classy wine, which imho will improve from further ageing in barrels. 97+p.
  • 97p
Vibrant berries with concentration. Hint of pencil sharpen and gamey. Rich and intnese wine. Some wool can also be detected from nose. Very good tannin and texture and yet very silky. Beautiful dark fruit long finish. 97-99
  • 98p
Dark purple red with violet hue and almost black core. Well concentrated nose with typical Cabernet-Franc character, raspberries and hints of violets, blackcurrants in the background as well as hints of dark cherries. Excellent palate with great length, freshness and minerality, fine fruit, complex flavour. A wine with depth, Cheval-Blanc back at its own style and great character.
  • 98p
Medium deep colour. Fresh dark cherry, her garden, praline espresso aromas. Silky textures wine with dark cherry, raspberry fruit, supple sweet fruit flavours, inky textures. Finishes chocolaty firm and chalky. Very minerally and elegant. Graphite. Really lovely tannin structure. Lacy plume. A dense expressive wine with power and longevity. 97 points
  • 97p
Cheval Blanc Saint Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classe A - 55% Merlot 45% Cabernet Franc The nose is fresh fruit, red fruit, horse hair, spice, ample texture and mid-palate, good freshness, lovely mouthfeel, round, very supple like the 1998, but I don’t think it quite has the concentration of the finest vintages a very elegant wine though. 94-97/100 2030-2050
  • 96p
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