2014 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion (Pre-Arrival)
*Barrel Tasting* 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. (JM)
*Barrel Sample* This wine has great tension, with an almost mineral character. The ripe black fruits are complemented by ample acidity, with a stylish structure and enormous aging potential. (RV)
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)
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.
The 2014 Cheval Blanc is delicate, saline and beautifully layered throughout. Mocha, dark cherries, plums, menthol and new leather are all pushed forward in a mid-weight, gracious Cheval Blanc that impresses with its superb overall balance and pure harmony. Cabernet Franc, 45% of this year's blend, is super-expressive in the glass. Sweet rose petal, violet, mint and herbs are laced into the sensual finish. Here too, the style is resonant, generous and inviting, with beams of acidity and salinity that convey brightness. (AG)
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