This is the finest Cheval Blanc for many years. It is, quite simply, magnificent. The wine shows the greatness of Cabernet Franc in the vintage, with 57% of the variety in the blend. It is beautifully structured and perfumed, with velvety tannins, balanced acidity and swathes of black-currant and black-cherry fruits. It’s well on course to becoming a legendary wine.
96-98 Barrel sample. An impressive wine, a true return to form for Cheval Blanc. The fruit is enormous, packed with sweet black berry juice, and with a brilliant freshness. There is a lovely smoky character, topped by ripe figs.
Plump, padded and comfortable is the initial impression. But this is also finely structured and dense, with tannins that are sweet, flavors of dark chocolate to go with the roundness and the enticing Cabernet Franc perfumes. In all, this is a great wine, with considerable aging potential, but with enough sweet fruit to make it attractive now.
96-98 Barrel Sample Dark chocolate and mocha flavors, very dark and intense, this is a big, concentrated wine, flavored with bitter cherries and structured. Certainly a great Cheval Blanc.
In 2000, it seems the Cabernet Franc made Cheval Blanc. It has given a mysterious, wonderful perfume to the intense richness of the Merlot. It has less of the explosive power of Ausone, it is more subtle and elegant, reserving its explosion of richness for the end, when a welter of black fruits seems to go on for ever
95–97. Barrel Sample. This wine has an impressive depth of flavor for the vintage. Acidity and freshness show through the elegant tannins, giving the wine a stylish structure. It is not a powerful Cheval Blanc, but it is so finely balanced.