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2016 Cheval Blanc, St-Émilion (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1299120 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2016 Cheval Blanc is blended of 59.5% Merlot, 37.2% Cabernet Franc and 3.3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose is incredibly youthful yet not so shy as some other 2016s at this stage, giving wonderfully intense scents of red currants, black cherries, wild blueberries and violets with nuances of star anise, cinnamon stick, rose hip tea, cigar box and wood smoke plus a touch of beef drippings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has jaw-dropping elegance and depth, offering up layer upon layer of fragrant red and black fruits plus an extraordinary array of mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid grainy texture, finishing with epic persistence and an edifying perfume. This is a very different style from the rich, opulently hedonic 2015, yet this wonderfully fragrant, beautifully poised and intellectually compelling 2016 is equally extraordinary. (LPB) Inner quote mark (11/2018)

99 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Wet earth and sliced, fresh mushrooms. Menthol. Dark berries, such as blackberries and blueberries. Full-bodied, dense and whole, but you don’t feel the tannins, even though it is so powerful and structured. Detailed and defined. Cashmere. Wonderful finish. Glorious young Cheval. Try after 2025, but so wonderful already. Inner quote mark (2/2019)

98 points Decanter

Outer quote mark This just keeps on going and going, the oak is perfectly integrated but holding everything in place. It has race, depth, complexity and feels true to the personality of the estate. It's deftly put together and feels grown-up, as Cheval Blanc so often does, with wonderful fresh mint notes and clear tannic structure. It's a bit like putting together a puzzle in your mouth, with a different piece fitting snugly into place every minute. It doesn't try too hard to impress, like so many others. This is the first year since the early 2000s to have some Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Drinking Window 2026-2046. (JA) Inner quote mark (11/2018)

98 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2016 Cheval Blanc is one of the most beguiling wines of the vintage. Constantly changing in the glass, the 2016 is at once wonderfully refined and yet also quite powerful. Dark cherry, espresso, spice, leather, tobacco, mint and lavender give the 2016 tremendous aromatic presence. On the palate, the 2016 is rich, exotic and persistent, with real staying power and captivating balance. Pierre Lurton, Pierre-Olivier Clouet and the team at Cheval Blanc turned out a masterpiece in 2016. Don't miss it. (AG) Inner quote mark (1/2019)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The grand vin 2016 Château Cheval Blanc checks in as 60% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in new barrels, and this is the first year a replanted block of Cabernet Sauvignon has made the top cuvée. Compared to the 2001 by Pierre Lurton, it displays stunning aromatic fireworks with notions of blackcurrants, forest floor, iron bar, graphite, and spice all soaring from the glass. It develops more floral nuances with time in the glass and, as always with this cuvée, it’s all about complexity and elegance. More medium to full-bodied, with beautiful tannins and perfect balance, it’s a decidedly classic, focused, elegant wine from this estate that will keep for 3-4 decades. Inner quote mark (2/2019)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Rich, smoky and with powerful fruit, this structured wine also has an impressive perfumed character. Spice, blackberry fruits and rich tannins give wonderful firmness that will allow the wine to age well. Drink this already beautiful wine from 2025. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (5/2019)

97 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This has turned into a very dense wine, with waves of cassis, plum reduction and blackberry paste forming the core. Wrapped tightly in layers of tobacco and loam for now, while singed alder, incense, black tea and bergamot notes peek in here and there. The finish rumbles like thunder for now, with the swath of tannins, and there’s just a twinge of drought-induced austerity. But there’s acidity and drive too, and this will cruise in the cellar for some time. *Collectibles* (JM) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark The property is divided into 45 different plots and each plot has made some grand vin in the last five years. This is from 33 plots. 38% Cabernet Franc, 59% Merlot. The remaining 3% is Cabernet Sauvignon, from a parcel that has been replanted with Cabernet Franc successively. But they have decided to recover this gravelly plot by the road to St-Émilion with Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the first year it's in the grand vin as a reflection of the traditional assemblage of Cheval Blanc. Tasty floral start and then quite rich. A bit of grainy astringency (from those concrete vats?) in terms of texture - by no means unpleasant. Lots of floral notes, hint of putty and then lovely richness underneath. Quite a contrast between nose and palate. Smudgy palate and precise nose. Tannins really present on the end. Very floral on the nose. Big gap! Not sweet!! 18.5/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (4/2017)

K&L Notes

98 points Neal Martin for Vinous: "The 2016 Cheval Blanc is the first year that replanted Cabernet Sauvignon was included in the Grand Vin. This has an intense, tightly wound bouquet that unwinds with aeration, maintaining stunning delineation and precision and offering scents of blackberry, briar and graphite and a faint hint of dark chocolate. The palate is very harmonious, precise and classic in style, and a little spicier than I recall from barrel. The oak is seamlessly integrated, and the pixelated, fresh, marine-tinged finish lingers in the mouth. Wow! Very different from the more rounded 2015 Cheval Blanc, though this might end up being the more classic but cerebral proposition." (01/2019)


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By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
59%M, 37%CF, 3%CS. Tons of red rose and Asian spice aromas. Quite elegant wine with layers of sweet red fruits. Classy wine, but probably very expensive.

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