2015 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1263580 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As many readers may know, 2015 was the first year since 1988 that Cheval Blanc did not produce its second wine, Petit Cheval. This said, parts of two of the Cheval Blanc blocks were not used at all—Plot 17A and the north part of Plot 10—which had problems with water availability during the dry spell, and the fruit was sold for bulk. Therefore, this vintage of the Grand Vin equates to roughly 90% of the total production, making it one of the most complete expressions of Cheval Blanc ever produced. Composed of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Cheval Blanc slowly opens up to reveal plum preserves, black forest cake, blackberry pie and pronounced licorice notes with suggestions of cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, dried Provence herbs and lavender plus wafts of iron ore and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, rich and densely packed with incredible layers of black, red and blue fruits, it completely fills the palate with energy and expression, framed by very ripe, wonderfully velvety tannins and a racy line of acid, finishing with incredible length and poise. At once achingly graceful and captivatingly cerebral, this is a legendary vintage for this great estate. (LPB)  (2/2018)

100 points Wine Enthusiast

 Made with 45% Cabernet Franc, this great wine offers a beautiful, rich and perfumed character. This is an exceptional vintage for this estate which incorporated into the blend fruit from parcels of the vineyard that would normally go into the second wine. It is packed with black-fruit flavors and broad tannins, with a background of juicy acidity and a firm structure. Drink from 2027. *Cellar Selection* (RV)  (4/2018)

99 points James Suckling

 Phenomenal aromas of cherries, flowers, blackberries and sandalwood. Pure fruit. Full-bodied, dense and polished with incredible tannin quality like the finest, densest silk ball. In perfect proportions. Compact. Seamless and endless. Gorgeous to taste now but give it six or seven years to understand it better.  (2/2018)

99 points Vinous

 Totally seamless in the glass, with no beginning and no end, the 2015 Cheval Blanc is simply extraordinary. It's hard to describe the 2015, because all of its elements are so perfectly in place. Beautifully delineated aromatics make a strong opening statement. Vibrant and wonderfully nuanced on the palate, the wine exudes energy and vitality through to the persistent, silky finish. Many other 2015s speak with more assertiveness and volume, but Cheval Blanc is more understsated. In 2015, Cheval Blanc created quite a stir in announcing that a whopping 91% of their crop would be bottled as Grand Vin. There will be no Petit Cheval, while the rest of the wine was sold internally. (AG)  (2/2018)

98 points Decanter

 My Right Bank wine of the vintage and close to perfection. 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc, representing 90.5% of this year’s production (no Petit Cheval this year). Exudes elegance, class and precision. Dense, fresh, perfumed nose and the most velvety of textures. Remarkable quality of tannin allows a gentle attack then prodigious length and persistence. Nothing out of place. (JM)  (4/2016)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck

 One of the wines of this stellar vintage is undeniably the 2015 Cheval Blanc from Pierre Lurton, and it’s going to be interesting to compare this beauty up against the 2005, 2009 and 2010 over the coming three to four decades. Made from a mix of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc brought up in new barrels, it’s a wine compared to the 1998 by Lurton, which is a perfect wine today. The 2015s deep purple color is followed by a sensational perfume of violets, spring flowers, Asian spices, and graphite and the wine has an incredible core of raspberry and currant fruit. With full-bodied richness, thrilling purity of fruit, ultra-fine tannin, and a beautiful finish, hide bottle for 5-6 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following three decades or more. It’s also worth noting that this is the first vintage since 1988 where this estate has opted to not produce their second wine, the Petit Cheval.  (11/2017)

98 points Wine Spectator

 A lovely sanguine hint leads off, followed by racy, elegant juniper, tobacco, red currant and damson plum notes that move in unison. Broadens and deepens, adding notes of currant preserves, warm ganache and smoldering tobacco, with a swath of loamy structure. Yet even as the bass line increases in volume through the finish, this maintains purity and poise. Should deliver some stunning aromatics at peak, which will take awhile to achieve. Best from 2025 through 2045. (JM)  (3/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Very sweet almost balsam nose. Very distinctive! Really fine with lovely tannins. Lots of ripe fruit and masses of tannin as well as ripeness. The alcohol is only just moderate enough. Very dramatic without being at all exaggerated. Some red pepper powder notes. 18.5/20 points (JR)  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

98 points Neal Martin: "The 2015 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Pierre-Olivier described it as a vintage where he had all the musicians he wanted in the orchestra, i.e. all the parcels performed at their optimal capacity. It has a very intense bouquet: macerated small red cherries, redcurrant jus, pencil shavings and a touch of loamy soil/undergrowth. There is a sense of introspection about these aromas, as if they are only going to show at their full strength with requisite bottle age (and there is nothing wrong with that). The palate is medium-bodied with the same filigree tannin that I remarked upon from barrel. This is a tensile, poised and balletic Cheval Blanc, so much so that you barely notice its power. As I commented during en primeur, this is an intellectual Cheval Blanc rather than a showy, ostentatious one, a vintage whereby cellaring is going to be essential. But it is a quite brilliant wine. Anticipated maturity: 2025 - 2060." (02/2018)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Franc

- While Cabernet Franc, a parent with Sauvignon Blanc to the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon, frequently plays second fiddle in Bordeaux blends (though it does get more props on the Right Bank, where it dominates Cheval Blanc), this lighter, higher acid/lower tannin, early-maturing, perfumed red varietal is far from a wallflower. It is the headliner in the Loire Valley appellations of Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Chinon and Anjou-Villages, where it makes exceptional, food-friendly wines. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc can be found in northern Italy, particularly in Friuli and in California where it is frequently used as a blending grape in Bordeaux-style wines. Heartier in the cold than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is gaining a foothold in northern and eastern wine regions like Canada, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
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

Alcohol Content (%): 13.9