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Premier Grand Cru Classé en 1855
This wine is the result of a very strict selection. Due to a unique know-how it combines the expression of a great terroir and the best of the noble rot. The style of Château La Tour Blanche’s wines is characterized by a superb balance between richness and freshness, and a great aromatic complexity. In accordance with Chateau La Tour Blanche’s policy of quality, some vintages (although certified passable) are not bottled. This was the case for the 1992, 1993 and 2000 vintages.
Where the 1945 represents sophistication, nuance and classic character, the 1947 stands for richness, robustness and succulence. Spring was delayed that year, which meant a late start to the growing season. The summer warmed up towards fall and the abundant sunshine caused the grapes to ripen very quickly. Daytime temperatures ranged between 35 and 38°C. The crop was finally harvested in almost tropical conditions, when a storm ravaged Bordeaux on September 19 and 20.
Fortunately, a large percentage of the grapes had already been harvested. The grapes were unusually hot during picking and the volatile acids caused problems for many vineyards during fermentation. The end result was an absolutely extraordinary vintage, which turned out magnificent, particularly on the Right Bank and in Sauternes. Even young, these reds were exceptionally drinkable. Their life cycle, on the other hand, has been surprisingly varied. The wines of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion proved superior to the Médocs and Graves. The supreme wine of this vintage is most certainly Château Cheval Blanc, which, in terms of mouthfeel, is perhaps the greatest wine of the entire 20th century. Why the White Horse was so successful that year is a mystery. Unlike what happened to so many others, the White Horse did not suffer from an excess of volatile acids.
Everything from vineyard microclimate to production have been offered as explanations. Because the weather was unusually warm, there were no humid morning mists in the vineyards, limiting conditions for the formation of natural yeasts that increase volatility. The heat also killed the natural yeasts and the amount was generally lower than normal. Fermentation was carried out in small concrete tanks, which provided effective insulation against external heat and maintained sufficiently low temperatures, thus preventing the formation of volatile acids. Another very interesting aspect of the production of Cheval Blanc was its maturation for 5 to 10 years in old barrels; This was because new oak barrels were not available after the depression and war years. In all its glory, the 1947 Cheval Blanc caricatures modern winemaking as an incredible example of the heights that can be reached without the aid of technology. In addition to the Cheval, the Pétrus and the Lafleur are vintage gems.