1990 Cheval Blanc, St-Emilion

SKU #951095 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1990 Cheval Blanc is fast becoming my favorite modern-day vintage of this Saint Emilion estate and perhaps the 1990 is now exiting the slip-steam of the feted 1982. This is unequivocally a brilliant wine. The nose holds nothing back, a line of senses all doing the conga towards your olfactory senses: macerated dark cherries, exotic kirsch-like aromas, leather, mahogany bureau, touches of crème de cassis and herbs all vie for attention. The palate is full-bodied and cloaked in a silky, velvety texture that leaves you a little ga-ga. There is so much fruit ram-packed into the bravura of a finish. Moreover, there's just so much joie-de-vivre and decadence in this wine, but it never seems overpowering or ostentatious. This bottle came from perfect provenance, as it was served blind by winemaker Pierre Lurton at a private dinner hosted by a mutual friend in Bordeaux. (NM)  (7/2016)

98 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Very complex, deep nose of blackcurrant, red cherry, coffee, tar, tobacco leaf and flowers. Then smooth, rich and dense, with a creamy texture and lively acidity nicely extending the flavors of dark berries, plum, mocha, soy sauce, leather and Oriental spices. A ripely tannic wine with a rich, exotic mouth feel, this comes across as a more opulent style of Cheval Blanc. Finishes extremely long and complex, with a smoky chocolatey nuance and a sweet coconut note. This outstanding and complex wine will have you going back to the glass again and again. A warm and dry year, the 1990 vintage was slightly hotter than 1989 (some cuvées of merlot clocked in at over 14% alcohol), with 11 days over 35°C between July and August. From July to September there was 27% more sunlight than average and it was very dry throughout. It was also a very precocious year, with flowering occurring around May 25, veraison (the color change of the berries) on August 12, and harvest between September 11 and 25. (Incidentally, the chateau does not have records of the final blends of their vintages prior to the early 1990s. (ID)  (10/2011)

97 points James Suckling

 This is really wonderful and a big surprise for the tasting with wonderful flowers, dark berries and hints of currants on the nose. It’s full and very silky with a wonderful precision and finesse. Goes on and on. Wow. What a finish. This is a buy call. So outstanding. Just a baby but a joy to drink.  (3/2012)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Dark ruby red. Superripe aromas of raisins, dried plums and intense truffle. Full-bodied, chewy and layered, with lovely ripe fruit. Such beauty. Serious Cheval. (JS)  (6/2001)

Jancis Robinson

 Extremely rich and smooth, but also notably appetising. This wine has been beautiful all its life. Dark and 'minerally' with a whiff of cordite. Wonderful combination of flattering richness and sweetness with freshness. 19/20 points (JR)  (4/2016)

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Price: $1,399.99

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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