2012 Ch. Cheval Blanc, St Emilion

2012 Ch. Cheval Blanc, St Emilion

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Cheval Blanc | Code: 17199 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Cab.Franc | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£2,393.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£2,395.00

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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

18.75/20

JANCIS

18.5/20

PARKER

94-96/100

WS

94-97/100

DECANTER - Understated, fresh, elegant nose. Beautifully pure fruit on the palate - blueberry and blackberry notes. Plump mid-palate then lovely, silky tannins. A notch better than a very good 2011. The winemaker compares it to 2000.
James Lawther MW, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - 75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot. Pure Cabernet Franc nose with great graphite freshness. Lighter and silkier than Quinault. Soft tannins, delicate, fresh and long. Scented. Late harvest and late-ripening conditions. Just-ripe fruit perfect for Cheval Blanc style. Moreish and mouthwatering finish. Very long given this fresh delicacy. pH 3.8.
Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com, 29 Apr 2013

PARKER - The final blend for the 2012 Cheval Blanc was 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Despite the use of 100% new oak, there is not a hint of vanillin, toast or espresso notes in the aromatic bouquet, which is filled with scents of black currants, sweet cherries, lavender, forest floor and a hint of underbrush. Concentrated with a surprisingly lofty alcohol level of 13.9% as well as a tannin level that equals their 2010 (a wine bestowed a three-digit score), this full-bodied, opulent 2012 has a pH of 3.8, which accounts for its suppleness, velvety texture and heady richness. It is a great success in this vintage. It will be approachable early given its silky structural aspects, and should last for two decades.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Tightly wound, with a core of red currant, red licorice and bergamot. The long, earth-driven finish shows a tug of clay and warm stone, while a backdrop of bittersweet cocoa and dark tea waits in reserve. Reveals a sinewy side, balanced by muscle and flesh. Impressively rendered for the vintage. Tasted non-blind.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Story

Chateau Cheval Blanc

Producer

Chateau Cheval Blanc

Château Cheval Blanc, a 1er Grand Cru Classé (A) is unquestionably the leading estate in St. Emilion. It is located in the north-west of the St. Emilion appellation, bordering Pomerol.

Cheval Blanc's vineyards (Merlot 39%, Cabernet Franc 57%, Malbec 3%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%) enjoy a variety of soils: gravel, clay and sand, all underpinned by an impermeable sedimentary rock (`crasse de fer'). Fermentation and maceration last 4 weeks in stainless steel vats, followed by 18 months' maturation in new oak barrels.

Cheval Blanc produces the most famous Cabernet Franc-based wine in the world and present régisseur Pierre Lurton is amongst the most talented winemakers working in Bordeaux today. Cheval Blanc requires a minimum 10 years of bottle age and the best vintages can last for 50 years or more.

Grape

Cab.Franc

Cab.Franc

Cabernet Franc is widely planted in Bordeaux and is the most important black grape grown in the Loire. In the Médoc it may constitute up to 15% of a typical vineyard - it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is used to add bouquet and complexity to the wines. It is more widely used in St.Emilion where it adapts well to the cooler and moister clay soils - Cheval Blanc is the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world, with the final blend consisting of up to 65% of the grape.

Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire where the cooler growing conditions serve to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas. The best wines come from the tuffeaux limestone slopes of Chinon and Bourgeil where growers such as Jacky Blot produce intense well-structured wines that possess excellent cellaring potential.

Region

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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