Robert Parker 95
Here is another great bottle of Cheval Blanc to follow last year’s one, although now the 1990 looks to be exiting its slipstream to become the Cheval de choix. The bouquet is vibrant and animated with scents of kirsch, macerated red cherries, a smear of boot polish and sloes. It is hedonistic yet controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with a slight viscosity on the entry, retaining the lavishness and opulence that distinguishes it from the rest. There is plenty of glycerin towards the finish and you can see it cruising along for the next decade or two without losing its glow. Tasted February 2014.
(12.8% alcohol; 54 h/h): Amber-tinged red; based on other bottles I have tried, the color of this particular bottle seems slightly more evolved than usual. Penetrating aromas of strawberry jam, raspberry, red cherry, orange peel, flowers and minerals. Enters bright, dense and linear, with very pure flavors of red cherry, citrus, minerals, marzipan and subtle herbs. Finishes very long and pure, with a strong peppery note, a lingering coffee nuance, and chewy, mounting tannins. Complex and multilayered, this is a very impressive wine, magically combining fleshy depth and pure aromas and flavors without being overripe or heavy. I was told in the past by a local wine lover and expert that the 1982 Cheval Blanc actually contains 5% malbec in the final blend, but nobody can confirm this at the estate. The season began warm and dry during April, then turned very hot in July and very dry between August 10 and September 20. It was then hot again in September, with the harvest taking place between September 20 and October 2. Mid-flowering occurred on June 5 and mid-veraison on August 9. A very famous, much sought-after wine, the 1982 Cheval has often been scored 100 points by other wine critics. I’m not sure this bottle was quite up to that lofty standard, but it is undoubtedly a great wine.
Bright ruby with lots of development at the rim – really quite pale. Only lightly scented. Then very warm and rich on the front palate with a slight lack of focus. A bit smudgy and velvety. The finish is drying out a little. Definitely on the way down. Did it get a bit hot? Or was there a shortage of vat space? Clean minty finish. Fresh – it would be a lovely drink in isolation…. Pleasant without being a standout and certainly not robust.
Anticipated maturity: 1990-2010