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You could smell that all day long. Immediately Cheval Blanc, with perfectly ripe Cab Franc and Merlot, that terroir speaking through the glass. The sweetness of fruit that hits you right out is unreal.Then the contrast of savoury flavours which follow give the wine a sense of harmony. It's a story, baby. Out of the park. - April 2019
The 2018 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a 3.75 pH and 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs considerable swirling and air to releases fragrant notes of stewed plums, juicy black cherries and ripe blackberries with underlying suggestions of damp soil, black truffles, rose oil and cardamom with wafts of underbrush and iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate is densely packed with rich black fruits and loads of earthy accents, framed by super firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness to balance, finishing with amazing length and a beautiful array of floral and mineral sparks. Thirty-three plots contributed to this wine, out of the forty-three in production. Of the rest, five went into Petit Cheval and five into bulk. It will need a good 6-7 years at least to really start to strut its stuff and should cellar for a further 30 years or more.
When I tasted the 2018 Cheval Blanc from barrel, I felt that it deserved a very good score, though not one that implied potential perfection. The bottle was tasted upon opening, but I only began to pen my tasting note after 3–4 hours’ decanting. I still find the bouquet more open than many recent vintages, the ripe brambly red fruit intermingling with clove, sage and light graphite notes originating from the Cabernet components (46% of the final blend). It is a really seductive bouquet, though not as complex or as nuanced as, say, the astonishing 2016 or the impressive 2015. The palate is medium-bodied with refined tannins. A harmonious and elegant Cheval Blanc that has retained the linearity I remarked upon in barrel. So it is not a flamboyant Cheval Blanc like the Cabernet-dominated 2017, but it is a far better wine thanks to the Merlot imparting flesh and rondeur. The finish is extremely precise but never powerful, almost Burgundy-like in weight, with a lightly spiced aftertaste. As the hours pass in the decanter, it gains depth and a little more precision on the finish. This does not possess the otherworldly profundity to equal legends such as the 1934, 1964 or 2016; it is simply a wonderful Cheval Blanc to sit back and savor as a Saint-Émilion par excellence.
Love the floral character to the aromas of dark fruit, such as blueberries and black cherries. Red and black licorice, too. The full-bodied palate starts slowly and then expands with super polished, searing tannins that lead you up the palate into a place of grandeur. Lightly chewy at the end. Such great purity and presence here. 6% cabernet sauvignon in the blend with franc and merlot. Try after 2028.
Deepest cherry red. Pure cassis, with a more savoury mineral aspect and opening to become more scented. Very, very fresh. Dark and mineral on the palate. Extremely fine tannic texture. More savoury, with that dark finesse on the finish. Long, chalky finish, so dry and yet so elegant. - Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, April 2019
The 2018 Cheval Blanc is magnificent. In a vintage in which so many wines are opulent and dense, Cheval Blanc maintains striking translucence while conveying the natural radiance of the year. Silky, perfumed and exceptionally vivid, the 2018 pulses with energy from start to finish. Sage, mint, lavender and mocha all meld together on the sumptuous finish. Cabernet Franc, such a Cheval signature, has probably never been so ripe. In a word: dazzling.
Showing beautifully from barrel and now from bottle, the 2018 Château Cheval Blanc is a final blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a pure, classic Cheval Blanc in that it relies more on complexity and elegance than power, offering a beautiful perfume of red and blackcurrants, spring flowers, spice, forest floor, incense, and tobacco. This carries to a medium to full-bodied Cheval Blanc offering wonderful purity of fruit, a seamless, layered texture, incredible tannins, and a lengthy, focused finish. It shows less of the sunny style of the vintage now than it did from barrel, and it's a wonderfully complete wine that delivers awesome freshness in its aromatics, plenty of ripe, sweet fruit, and the tannins and structure that seem to come from a long, cooler season. Reminding me slightly of the 2016, with a touch of the 2001, give this gorgeous wine 5-7 years of bottle age, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.
A great Cheval Blanc that stands up to the potential that I found during en primeur. Extremely restrained and classic in its construction, shot through with points of mint, liquorice, raspberry and eucalyptus. The fresh aromatics mean you could almost think that it is from a cool year, except for the huge density that runs through the palate, along with a creamy texture. Extremely good-quality. Something that you are going to want to put away for a good few decades. I get big, chewy tannins on the finish. Exceptionally good and extremely elegant. 3.77pH. Bottled July 2020. A yield of 44hl/ha.
Tasted by Jane Anson (at Bordeaux, 10 Nov 2020)
Part of Bordeaux 2018 in bottle: full overview plus top scoring wines
This is a much more structured and intense wine than expected and it has a dark core and a stern mineral edge which runs all of the way to the finish. There is great freshness and lift on the finish and the tannins are firm but not dry. Tense and introverted, the Cabernet Franc element takes control and it forces the Merlot to stand firm. It was the cool nights in the autumn that fixed the perfume and majesty of the Cabernet Franc and this in turn has made this wine what it is. This is a superbly suave and commanding Cheval Blanc and I like its restraint and control. - MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
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