2013 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel Sample. This wine has an impressive depth of flavor for the vintage. Acidity and freshness show through the elegant tannins, giving the wine a stylish structure. It is not a powerful Cheval Blanc, but it is so finely balanced.
Seductive. This is incredibly floral with violets, raspberries and hints nutmeg. Full to medium body, with a pretty density and freshness. Silky and refined. Velvety wine. Creamy. Attractive tannin backbone. Fascinating Cheval Blanc. Subtle. Reminds me of 1971 or a baby 2001. 52% cabernet franc and 48% merlot.
A lovely mix of red berry and blackberry fruit, with focused red currant, bergamot and black cherry notes. A twinge of mesquite, with a note of black tea, hangs on the finish. There's lovely perfume now, with subtle persistence through the finish. This opens steadily at it airs. Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Tasted non-blind.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(53% cabernet franc and 47% merlot): Luminous ruby color. Captivating aromas of strawberry, raspberry, minerals, violet and graphite: very cab franc! The palate offers an uncanny combination of sweetness and penetrating power, with brisk acidity framing and lifting the fine-grained flavors of blackcurrant, spearmint and aromatic spices. The very long, slowly mounting finish conveys an impression of energy and great finesse, and the firm tannic spine suggests that this will age better than most 2013s. This reminded me of the 1993 Cheval Blanc, but it has a little more meat and depth than that wine, not to mention greater precision. Lurton suggested it is more like the 1988.
52% Cabernet Franc, 48% Merlot. Very compact nose -- much less expressive than the Petit Cheval. Black fruit, no greenness, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Good persistence and balance -- this has been well made. Rounded, soft, approachable and with a smoky character just emerging. 17/20 points. Drink 2018-2023.