Chateau Cheval Blanc 2005
Chateau Cheval Blanc 2005, complex, powerful perfume paired with textures that can feel as soft as polished silk and velvet. Due to its terroir and location that straddles the border of Pomerol and St. Emilion, Cheval Blanc truly combines the best of both worlds. It is one of the longest lived Bordeaux wines being produced. As you can see from my tasting notes, the legendary 1921 is still going strong at close to 90 years age! I hope I show that well when I’m 90.
Cheval Blanc also produces a second wine, Le Petit Cheval which made its debut with the 1988 vintage. Le Petit Cheval is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels. Between 8,000 to 10,000 cases of wine are produced of Cheval Blanc each year.
Cheval Blanc, which translates to English as ‘white horse’, is one of the most prestigious estates in Bordeaux. It lies at the far western edge of the St-Emilion appellation, on the prized, gravelly soils that run into Pomerol. It is one of only four châteaux at the St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ level in the local appellation system. The others are Ausone, Pavie and Angélus.
Cheval Blanc’s vineyards (Merlot 39%, Cabernet Franc 57%, Malbec 3%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%) enjoy a variety of soils: gravel, clay and sand, all underpinned by an impermeable sedimentary rock (`crasse de fer’). Fermentation and maceration last 4 weeks in stainless steel vats, followed by 18 months’ maturation in new oak barrels.
Cheval Blanc produces the most famous Cabernet Franc-based wine in the world and present régisseur Pierre Lurton is amongst the most talented winemakers working in Bordeaux today. Cheval Blanc requires a minimum 10 years of bottle age and the best vintages can last for 50 years or more.
To produce the wine of Cheval Blanc, vinification takes place in 67 different temperature controlled, cement vats that vary in size, due to the needs of specific parcels to allow for each parcel being vinified in its own tank. There are 14 different sizes of vats used in the fermentation process. Malolactic Fermentation takes place in tank.
The wines are aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for close to 18 months before bottling. The Technical director for Chateau Cheval Blanc is Pierre-Olivier Clouet, who has been a great addition to the Cheval Blanc team. Pierre-Olivier Clouet maintains that same responsibility for all their Saint Emilion estates.