1998 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion

SKU #995289 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Another perfect wine is the 1998 Cheval Blanc, which is the usual blend of 55/45 Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Possessing an utterly captivating bouquet of sweet red and black fruits, forest floor, spice and dried flowers, it packs plenty of muscle and depth on the palate, yet is also expansive, elegant and seamless, with no hard edges. Just singing, with everything you could want; complexity, richness, elegance, depth, and length, drink this sensational beauty anytime over the coming two decades. I’m sure it will keep longer, but why in the world would you wait.  (12/2017)

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. (JS, Web Only—2009)

96 points James Suckling

 Aromas of rose petal and hints of fresh herbs such currant leaf. Tobacco, too. Medium body, very fine tannins and a balanced fruit. Extremely refined and polished. A beautiful harmony. So lovely now.  (3/2018)

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

 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)

K&L Notes

95+ Neal Martin: "On this occasion, the 1998 Château Cheval Blanc could not match the stellar performance of the 1990, though it is still a great wine. It has a very pure, svelte bouquet with black cherries, camphor, creme de cassis and sage aromas. Giving it ten minutes to open in the glass, there is an attractive mint note that becomes ever more pronounced. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins cloaked in glossy red cherry and strawberry fruit. There is great backbone and structure to this Cheval Blanc with a very long finish that fans out gloriously. I'd be inclined to give it two, three, maybe even four more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Tasted March 2015."

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Price: $624.99
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- 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.


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- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion