2014 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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. (NM)
This has dreamy aromas already, with notes of Lapsang souchong tea, smoldering cigar and cold charcoal wafting up from the core of dense yet supple currant, fig and blackberry preserves. A loamy edge thumps through the finish, giving this an addictive, head-bobbing bass line. Best from 2026 through 2040. (JM)
Aromas of strawberries, flowers and rose petals. Medium to full body and such beautiful polish and finesse. The texture is remarkably silky. It’s a wine all in elegance and harmony. Such length. Try in 2022 but already a joy to taste.
A wine of exceptional finesse, the 2014 Cheval Blanc lifts from the glass with captivating aromatics and sculpted red-fleshed fruit, all with the extra kick of acidity and overall freshness that are such a signature of this vintage. The 2014 is bright, finessed and persistent. It will almost certainly put on weight in bottle. I have a feeling something special is developing here. 96+ (AG)
*Cellar Selection* With its high proportion of Cabernet Franc (45%), this is a finely perfumed rich wine. It has great tannins, a smoky character that comes from the wood. The tannins are quite marked, giving a tight firm edge to the wine that otherwise has generous fruitiness. This is a complex wine, impressive, and likely to age over many years. Drink from 2028. (RV)
Bright ruby, gentle and rather muted. Very cool. No drama! Gentle and rather balletic. Some Burgundian force towards the end of the palate. Lots to chew on and rather different from the old style. A flight from drama! 17.5/20 points