The 2015 Cheval Blanc represents the entire vineyard this year, since there is no Le Petit Cheval (two plots that did not meet requirements were not included in any blend). A blend of 45% Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Merlot, matured in 100% new oak, it has a very complex bouquet, subtle and tightly wound, very precise with dark berry fruit, hints of graphite, minerals and a hint of black pepper, perhaps a little spicier than recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with extraordinarily fine tannin. Beautifully balanced, perfectly controlled, this Cheval Blanc gently builds in the mouth, but remains strict and precise. The Cabernet Franc here is very expressive (though apparently the Merlot was showier prior to malolactic). This is an intellectual Cheval Blanc, thoroughly enjoyable, but it will need 10-12 years to really show its pedigree. A profound wine in the making, it will rank with the great wines of the past. – Neil Martin (March 23, 2016)
Posts Tagged: Château Cheval Blanc
A year after Robert Parker’s much anticipated retrospective of the Bordeaux 2005 vintage, which estates have profited the most? It would appear that while some wines have continued to roll on since last summer’s report, not all of the 2005s have experienced even a small boost in price.
Parker’s 10-years-on review of the much-admired vintage created a flurry of interest in the 2005s. Both in the run-up to the report’s release and in its immediate aftermath last June and July, wines from the vintage took prominent trading spots on the Liv-ex platform as buyers manoeuvered to acquire labels they thought might receive an upgrade – and which would then rise in price.
When the report came out at the end of June there were a number of upgrades, with 12 wines given ‘perfect’ 100-point scores but there were also murmurs that some (predominantly UK) favorites from the Left Bank had been overlooked once again.
The scores created a brief but intense period of trading for the ‘05s before quickly subsiding again but that doesn’t mean interest has dropped away entirely.
The effect of all this anticipation and trading is clear. Liv-ex reports that between June 2014 and June 2015 the 2005 vintage sub-index rose 10.3% and the wines are still up on average almost 5% over the past year.
Two thirds of the 2005 clarets on the index are in positive territory over the last year, the most successful being Smith Haut Lafitte which is up 41% following its upgrade from 95 to 98-points.
Angelus, Gruaud Larose, Beychevelle, Cheval Blanc, Haut-Brion, Clinet, Clos Fourtet and Troplong Mondot are all wines that have seen double digit increases in the past year.
Yet there have also been casualties, not least Margaux which was one of the wines in particular that merchants felt should have been upgraded to 100-points.
Ahead of the report that expectation saw its stock rise 7.8% in value but it has since declined 5.1% having only managed to maintain a 98+ score – potentially creating a buying opportunity for less score-sensitive collectors however.
Elsewhere, Parker’s influence apparently has less to do with the wine’s progress.
Continue Reading: The Drinks Business2005 Bordeaux, Chateau Angelus, Château Cheval Blanc, Chateau Haut Brion, Clinet
Cheval Blanc 2015 has been released at $611 per bottle ex-negociant, up 50% on 2014 ($407). It is being offered by the international trade at $7,642 per 12×75. This is 52.9% higher than the opening price of the 2014 ($4,998).
Ausone 2015 was also released at $611 per bottle ex-negociant, but is offered by the trade at a higher price of $8,236 per 12×750.
Cheval Blanc 2015 was scored in the late 90s by several key critics. In his report, Neal Martin (97-99) noted that it “flirts with perfection” but lamented Cheval’s tendency to price highly, “a pity because it puts a black mark against a stunning succession of wines in recent years”.
The wine’s price pitches it next to the 2005, which was upgraded to 100 points by Robert Parker in June last year. It is offered at discounts of 16% and 27% to the 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Buyers looking back might also find relative value in 2006 and 2014 which have strong critic scores and are priced around 35% below the 2015.
There was no Petit Cheval produced in 2015: the vast majority of parcels were deemed to be of high enough quality to go into the Grand Vin.
Originally published: Liv-ex BlogChâteau Cheval Blanc
The rain that fell over much of the Bordeaux region last weekend appears to have been too little and too late to spoil what is being predicted by many Bordelais to be the best vintage since 2010. It is still too early to make a definitive assessment, and parts of the Médoc received unwanted heavy rain in the second week of September, but weather conditions have been near-perfect elsewhere, notably on the Right Bank, where Cheval Blanc have already finished picking all their grapes. According to their technical director, Pierre-Olivier Clouet, this is going to be an incredible vintage.
A wide diurnal range has also been highly beneficial this year, with cool nights, even in August, ensuring that pH levels are low. Small berries have brought “amazing concentration”, in Clouet’s words. Overt tannins (‘croquant’ or crispy ones), deep colour, fragrant aromas, vivid acidity and around 14% abv have helped provide ‘everything you need’ in Clouet’s view. Cheval Blanc’s yield of 38.7hl/ha for their Merlot and 36.1 for their Cabernet Franc is also up on their average.
Continue reading: The Drinks BusinessBordeaux, Château Cheval Blanc