1998 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion

SKU #995289 100 points James Suckling

 This structured and powerful red is finally coming out its sleep. It shows intense aromas of dried fruits, mushrooms, forest floor and berries. It's full-bodied, very dense and velvety, and has an outstanding, ripe and richly fruity finish. A wine that harkens back to the legendary 1947 Cheval-Blanc. Drink or hold.  (9/2013)

98 points Wine Spectator

 Aromas of blueberry, sweet tobacco, leather and pipe tobacco turning to raisins and Christmas cake. What a wine. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a very well-integrated palate. Dark color. A big and powerful wine still. Blockbuster. Massive. Just a baby. (Web Only—2009) (JS)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I seriously underestimated this wine, as I have often tended to do with Cheval Blanc. A potentially immortal example that has gained significant weight since it has been bottled, this blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot has a saturated purple color and a glorious nose of menthol, plums, mulberries, new saddle leather, cocoa, and vanilla. Remarkably fuller-bodied than I ever remembered it young, with an amazingly seamless texture and tremendous concentration and extract, this full-bodied yet gorgeously pure and elegant wine is impeccably balanced and certainly one of the all-time great Cheval Blancs. If it continues to improve as much as it has over the last three years since bottling, this wine will certainly rival the 2000, 1990, and 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030. (RP)  (1/2003)

94 points Vinous

 (a blend of 56% merlot and 44% cabernet franc; 13% alcohol; 32 h/h): Bright ruby. Ripe, intensely pure black cherry, blackcurrant, floral and milk chocolate aromas. Enters silky and suave, with rich red cherry and blackcurrant flavors that give the middle palate a fruit cocktail quality. Almost more Pomerol than Saint-Emilion here, with a rich, fleshy mouth feel and highly polished tannins. Finishes very long and suave, with a pretty smoky, floral note. I also had the opportunity to taste the pure bottlings of the 1998 Cheval's merlot and cabernet franc, and the cabernet franc was absolutely mesmerizing; the best of these lots went into the Cheval Blanc, and the wine is noticeably better than the Petit Cheval of the same year. That said, given the truly amazing quality of the cabernet franc this vintage, I am utterly convinced that having included more of it in Cheval Blanc's final blend would have turned this into one of the estate's five or six best wines ever. The 1998 vintage recorded temperatures close to the yearly averages throughout the growth cycle, and though not particularly hot, it was one of the drier years on record; the harvest took place from September 28 through October 6. (ID)  (10/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 Pierre Lurton prefers ‘98 to ‘00. He thinks 1998 is the single greatest Cheval Blanc of the second half of the 20th century. Much more intense and ripe than the 2001 on the nose. Slightly tarry and powdery. Smudgy and complex. Neat and sweet on the finish. Loganberries. Very flattering. Much denser and more youthful than the ‘01. Truly flamboyant. 19/20 Points.  (1/2010)

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Varietal:

Merlot

- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion