1998 Ch. Cheval Blanc, St Emilion

1998 Ch. Cheval Blanc, St Emilion

Product: 19988003285
1998 Ch. Cheval Blanc, St Emilion

Description

On this occasion, the 1998 Chteau Cheval Blanc could not match the stellar performance of the 1990, though it is still a great wine. It has a very pure, svelte bouquet with black cherries, camphor, creme de cassis and sage aromas. Giving it ten minutes to open in the glass, there is an attractive mint note that becomes ever more pronounced. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins cloaked in glossy red cherry and strawberry fruit. There is great backbone and structure to this Cheval Blanc with a very long finish that fans out gloriously. I'd be inclined to give it two, three, maybe even four more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Tasted March 2015.
Neal Martin - 29/07/2016

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About this WINE

Chateau Cheval Blanc

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.

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St-Emilion

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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Cab.Sauvignon

Cab.Sauvignon

The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.

It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.

The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate95+/100
Robert Parker

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate95+/100
On this occasion, the 1998 Chteau Cheval Blanc could not match the stellar performance of the 1990, though it is still a great wine. It has a very pure, svelte bouquet with black cherries, camphor, creme de cassis and sage aromas. Giving it ten minutes to open in the glass, there is an attractive mint note that becomes ever more pronounced. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins cloaked in glossy red cherry and strawberry fruit. There is great backbone and structure to this Cheval Blanc with a very long finish that fans out gloriously. I'd be inclined to give it two, three, maybe even four more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Tasted March 2015.
Neal Martin - 29/07/2016 Read more
Robert Parker
"This blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as classic aromas of menthol, plums, mulberries, and assorted black fruits. The oak, texture, acidity, and tannin are all beautifully integrated. While full-bodied, elegant, concentrated, and impeccably balanced, it requires several years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2020." 93/100 pts (Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2001) Read more