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The 1998 Cheval Blanc, a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, is deep garnet-brick in color and absolutely explodes with scents of exotic spices, incense, dried roses, cigar box and licorice, with a core of crème de cassis and dried cherries plus touches of black tea and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with rich, plushly textured fruit and then POW—it hits the mid-palate with an explosion of Chinese five spice and floral perfume sparks, leading to an epically long finish. This cannot fail to impress and can easily cellar for another 30 years or more. 100pts LPB
I seriously underestimated this wine, as I have often tended to do with Cheval Blanc. A potentially immortal example that has gained significant weight since it has been bottled, this blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot has a saturated purple color and a glorious nose of menthol, plums, mulberries, new saddle leather, cocoa, and vanilla. Remarkably fuller-bodied than I ever remembered it young, with an amazingly seamless texture and tremendous concentration and extract, this full-bodied yet gorgeously pure and elegant wine is impeccably balanced and certainly one of the all-time great Cheval Blancs. If it continues to improve as much as it has over the last three years since bottling, this wine will certainly rival the 2000, 1990, and 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030. (Jan 2003)
Our special guest for the night was administrator Pierre Lurton, and one of his favorite vintages under his impeccable guidance at Cheval Blanc is the 1998, a wine that has gone from strength to strength. I rated it in the mid- to upper-90s early on, but it seems to have hit the magical three-digit perfection. It offers extraordinary, exuberant aromatics ranging from truffle to forest floor to floral notes intermixed with blackcurrant and black raspberry. It is an incredibly complex, full-bodied, opulent wine that seems to be in mid-adolescence and capable of lasting another 25 to 30 years. 100 points (Hedonist's Gazette March 2017)
The 1998 Cheval Blanc has been a lauded wine ever since release. I have often, quite controversially felt that it never quite matched its startling performances in its first ten years, though it remains and excellent wine. Now at 20-years old it offers opulent, high-toned scents of maraschino cherry, iodine, crème de cassis, dried blood and a subtle, almost Provençal herb-like scent courtesy of the Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip, showy compared to other vintages of Cheval Blanc with sappy red fruit and a fine structured that lends this 1998 focus. Perhaps this bottle did not quite deliver the intensity on the finish that I was expecting, "jogging" instead of "sprinting" over the finish line. That said, it is a very impressive wine, even if personally I would not put it amongst the very best wines that Pierre Lurton has overseen. Tasted at Cheval Blanc.
This structured and powerful red is finally coming out its sleep. It shows intense aromas of dried fruits, mushrooms, forest floor and berries. It's full-bodied, very dense and velvety, and has an outstanding, ripe and richly fruity finish. A wine that harkens back to the legendary 1947 Cheval-Blanc. Drink or hold.
Quality 979 | Brand 995 | Economics 983 |
Quality: Predicted life of 17 years, one of the longest drinking windows in its peer group for the 1998 vintage, which averages 9 years Brand: Strong restaurant presence, featuring on 40 of the world's top wine lists, including Garibaldi Economics: More traded at auction than its peers, its top 5 vintages having seen 2,982 75cl equivalent bottles traded in the past year Production: Lower yields than its peer group average of 33 hl/ha
- www.wine-lister.com June 2017
Bottled sex. This is hedonism at its best. The wine is silky, refined, elegant, and pure. There is volume, depth and flowers, cherries, plums, herbs, licorice, and a touch of citrus in the aromatics that knocks you out. The seamless finish is all about its perfectly ripe, sweet, fruits drenched in velvet. Perhaps a bit more volume and this would easily score triple digits. Tasted Sept 2021
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