2010 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
The aroma in this wine is crazy with flowers, mushroom, forest floor, and fruit. It seems like I am walking through a row of the vines in Cheval Blanc when I have my nose in the glass. It's full-bodied, with fabulous layers of ultra-fine tannins and milk chocolate, raspberries, and a phenomenal finish. Truly one of the greatest Chevals ever. Better than 2009. Try in 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 is one of the most impressive two-year-old Cheval Blancs I have tasted in 34 years in this profession. The final blend of 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot has the tell-tale berry/floral nose with subtle hints of menthol, blueberry, raspberry and flowers in addition to some forest floor and a delicate touch of lead pencil shavings. The wine exhibits more structure and density than it did from barrel, and it was already remarkable then. The foresty/floral notes seem to linger and linger in this surprisingly full-bodied, powerful Cheval Blanc, yet it possesses a very healthy pH that should ensure enormous longevity. Dense purple in color, and a bigger, richer wine than usual, this is one Cheval Blanc that will probably need a decade of cellaring. I like the description from the estate’s administrator, Pierre Lurton, who said it tasted like “liquid cashmere,” a perfect expression, despite the wine’s structure and intensity. This is another 50-year wine from this amazingly structured, rich vintage.
*Top 100 Cellar Selection of 2013* This is the finest Cheval Blanc for many years. It is, quite simply, magnificent. The wine shows the greatness of Cabernet Franc in the vintage, with 57% of the variety in the blend. It is beautifully structured and perfumed with velvety tannins, balanced acidity and swathes of black-currant and black-cherry fruits. It's well on course to becoming a legendary wine.
*Collectibles* This is stone-cold shut down right now, but why worry? You’ll want to wait at least a decade before breaching a bottle as massively endowed as this, with loads of loamy bass notes thumping along underneath a riveting track of licorice snap, pastis-steeped black currant fruit, maduro tobacco and espresso. And then there’s an echo of petrichor at the very end that hints at the aromatic fireworks to come with cellaring. Should compete for wine of the vintage. Best from 2020 through 2040.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good bright, deep red. Captivating scents of cassis, violet, minerals, bitter chocolate and wild herbs. Extremely fine-grained but also very dense and chewy for young Cheval Blanc, showing great cabernet franc lift and perfume and a downright velvety texture. This deep, multilayered wine was a bit dominated by its brooding tannins and big structure when first poured, but I found my score going steadily higher as the wine benefited from air. My rating may look too conservative a decade from now--or three or four decades hence. 95(+?) points
56% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot. Meaty and savoury. Almost austere on the nose relative to how young Cheval usually tastes. Very youthful but aromatic, then lovely lusciousness on the palate. Recalls great old Chevals with that seductive freshness. Lovely dry finish. (Blend for 2009 was exactly the opposite.) Coulure affected Merlot in 2010. Lost lots of volume on Merlot. Great structure but also lovely floral seductive aroma. Opens out in the glass in the most convincing manner. Presumably they think it would have been even better if vinified in the new cellar that is due for completion this summer. 18.5+/20 points.
56% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot.