1949 Château Cheval Blanc St. Émilion Grand Cru Wine Tasting Note

1949 Château Cheval Blanc  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

I know there are legendary bottles of this around, I remember one about 15 years ago, but this specific bottle was not showing its true depth. The fruit was ripe, generous, plummy, earthy, floral and leaf-filled. The texture offered depth, silk and an exotic mouth-feel, but the wine ended a bit too quickly. Still, any bottle of Cheval Blanc is more than a treat, and when you factor in that this was 70 years old, it was an amazing treat!

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1949 Cheval Blanc explodes with complex aromatics the moment the cork is gently pulled from the clutches of the bottle. Crushed stone, truffle, tobacco, smoke, cherry blossoms, cigar box, 5 spice and melted cherries are the first things you sense. This wine is all about the fragrance and texture. The mouth feel, shaped by the patina of 6 decades of aging is pure silk and velvet. This delicate St. Emilion ends with spicy, sweet, earthy cherries, herbs and strawberry. This was my second time tasting '49 Cheval Blanc. The previous bottle was a much better tasting experience. You know what they say, with time, there is no such thing as a great wine, just great bottles. While this bottle might not have been great, it was good and I was honored to have tasted it.

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cheval Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings

When to Drink Chateau Cheval Blanc, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Cheval Blanc can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting, but the wine is much better wine, these days. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-4 hours, give or take.

This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Cheval Blanc is usually better with at least 12-15 years of bottle age.

Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Some of the best vintages take over 20 years before they are mature! Chateau Cheval Blanc offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15-50 or more years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Cheval Blanc with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Cheval Blanc is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Cheval Blanc is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Cheval Blanc is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.

Cheval Blanc White WineLe Petit Cheval

Starting with the 2015 vintage, Cheval Blanc will produce a dry, white Bordeaux wine that is called, "Le Petit Cheval, Bordeaux Blanc". To avoid confusion with their second wine, Le Petit Cheval, the white wine will use silver print and a silver capsule. For the initial vintages, the wine was produced using 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Starting with the 2018 vintage, it is expected that wine will be a blend that will represent the vineyard plantings, 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon that came from about 1.4 hectares of vines. The grapes are planted in the vineyard just across the road from Cheval Blanc in the vineyards that were previously used by La Tour du Pin.

As we mentioned earlier, the owners of Cheval Blanc purchased La Tour du Pin in 2006. The first vintages produced were not available for sale to the public. 2015 is the first commercial vintage. To produce the wine, the grapes are entirely barrel fermented.

There is no malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in 3, large 400 liter oak barrels. The wine is going to be hard to find as not much is produced. The initial release will be about 400 cases and by 2020, the production should increase to an average of 1,250 cases.

The wine will be sold as a generic AOC white Bordeaux Blanc because AOC law does not allow white wine grapes in Saint Emilion. According to Pierre-Olivier Clouet, the Technical Director of Cheval Blanc, who spearheaded the project, the wine reminds him in some ways of a great Sancerre from the Loire Valley.

Cheval Blanc also maintains an interest in the Mendoza region of Argentina where they produce the wine Cheval des Andes.

www.chateau-cheval-blanc.com