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2014 Chateau Cheval-Blanc
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The Château Cheval Blanc 2014 is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc and 55% Merlot, picked from 19 September until 8 October. The alcohol level is 13.25% matured in 100% new oak, which Pierre Lurton told me was prolonged due to the heterogenous soils and wanting to wait for the Cabernet Franc on clay soils to reach full maturity. It is quintessential Cheval Blanc on the nose: predominantly red fruit here rather than black, touches of incense and dried roses, a dab of liquorice underneath. The Cabernet Franc is the engine behind the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin. This is not a silky smooth Cheval Blanc - here there is an graininess to the tannin that exert a gentle grip in the mouth. It is a complex and cerebral wine with cracked black pepper on the almost ferrous finish. Like the second wine, it is linear and fresh, in some ways reminiscent of the string of superb wines produced in the 1980s. This is a formidable Cheval Blanc whose evolution will be fascinating to witness. Drink 2019-2045.
Neal Martin eRobertParker.com # 218 (Apr 2015)
Reserved aromatically for now, but this has a lot at its clutch, with remarkably silky plum, currant and raspberry fruit inlaid seamlessly with alder, rooibos tea and bergamot notes. There's a fine minerality that stretches out the finish, with remarkable cut, delineation and finesse. This is gorgeous. Tasted non-blind.-J.M.
55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc. 75% of the production. A truly elegant wine with beautifully perfumed aroma and flavour. Fine texture and tannins. Long, persistent finish. Lacks the density to be great, but still very fine.
There is a little more cabernet franc than normal. Full body with fine and silky tannins, and a deep and beautiful fruit and acid balance. Wet earth, dried flowers and dried fruits. A beautiful length. Dense and compacted. Very fine tannins.