2006 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion

SKU #1052189 96-98 points Wine Enthusiast

 Barrel Sample Dark chocolate and mocha flavors, very dark and intense, this is a big, concentrated wine, flavored with bitter cherries and structured. Certainly a great Cheval Blanc.  (6/2007)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted at Bordeaux Index's annual 10-Year On tasting in London.The 2006 Château Cheval Blanc is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc. It has the most floral bouquet of the four Serié A Grand Cru Classé: an explosion of crushed violets and potpourri, hints of leather and cigar box, the Cabernet Franc clearly lending this complexity and character. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. It feels wonderfully structured and comes with an insistent grip that coats the mouth. This is backward and almost surly, but you have to stand back and admire the precision and arching structure on the mineral-rich finish. Top-dog Saint Emilion? That's for sure. Tasted January 2016. (NM)  (5/2016)

95 points Wine & Spirits

 A supple and heady vintage of Cheval, this gains power and amplitude over the course of several days. What sets it apart is the relaxed sophistication cabernet franc can yield from these 50-year-old vines. That adds vinosity to the Cheval's tight build, while the beautiful richness of the wine is classic merlot. It's the color of a black cherry, with the ripe flavor of that fruit darkened by the scent of figs, brightened by a floral note of violets. The tannins are supple, with a depth that will sustain the wine for decades.  (12/2009)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Displays lots of milk chocolate, cedar, berry and cappuccino aromas. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins, this is structured and layered for the vintage. Mouthpuckering. Needs time. This is one of the wines of the vintage. Best after 2015. (JS)  (3/2009)

94 points Decanter

 Heavy mid-September rain marred the harvest in St-Emilion in 2006. so careful sorting was required when they picked here between 15-29 September. The result was impressive: there's a smoky, brooding character to the toasty, lifted nose, with cherry-compote aromas but no jamminess. The wine is very rich and compact, spicy and complex, but it has closed up. The fruit is vibrant and punchy, but still rather impenetrable. Long finish. (SB)  (9/2018)

94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc, the 2006 Cheval Blanc is a classic wine from this under the radar vintage and offers a perfumed, complex bouquet of red and black fruits, dried flowers, earth, spice-box, and tobacco. With medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, elegant texture, ripe tannin and impressive length, it’s approachable today yet will keep for two decades or more.  (12/2017)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby-red. Captivating nose combines blackberry, menthol, licorice, bitter chocolate, violet and a flinty, iron-like element. Densely packed and very fresh, with superb energy and definition to the complex flavors of cassis, blackberry, licorice, menthol and minerals. A floral element contributes to the impression of vibrancy. This is more impressive than it was at any stage of its elevage, offering surprising chewy richness and sweetness for a brand-new Cheval. Finishes with broad, toothdusting tannins that mount slowly and saturate the palate. This wonderfully smooth wine gained in precision and floral perfume with 24 hours in the recorked bottle and should be at its best roughly between 2015 and 2035. (ST)  (6/2009)

Jancis Robinson

 Tasted blind. Fresh and lively on the nose. Juicy and lively. Sinewy and correct. Inky and sappy. Racy. Lovely wine. Tight and with lots of future. Introvert. 18/20 months. (JR)  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

** 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc. Black cherry, black licorice aromas. Only 28 htl/htr. Lots of strength on the palate. Will be very good. Ralph Sands: Powerful Cheval, dark fruit, intense wine with grip and tannin, not a smoothy in 2006, strong claret.


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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
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.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

Specific Appellation:

Saint Emilion