Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe 'A' 2016

Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe 'A' 2016

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( regular price: $899.99 )

The 2016 vintage offers a reserved nose that opens quickly to red and black fruits, such as cherry, raspberry, blackberry and blackcurrant. In addition, there are abundant floral notes of violet, rose, lily and peony. As the wine gradually opens it reveals almost caramelized notes with pepper and spices. The attack is creamy and mouth filling, developing into the mid-palate with powerful, round tannins which are both rich and elegant, voluminous and refined. The balance between the tannins and acidity lend freshness and fruitiness and an extremely long finish. The aromatic intensity of this Cheval Blanc is impressive.

Cheval Blanc is designated Grand Cru Classe 'A', a distinction it shares with Ausone, Angelus, and Pavie.

Wine Advocate: 99
The 2016 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 59% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and (the return of) 3% Cabernet Sauvignon from the gravel soils since in this vintage the vines showed absolutely no stress. It delivers 14.25% alcohol with an IPT of 75 and a pH 3.67, which Pierre Lurton told me is a little lower than normal. As usual, it is matured in 100% new oak. It has a very pure, correct and quite penetrating bouquet with black cherries, blackcurrant, graphite and a touch of wild mint. It is bashful at first but opens with confidence with aeration (incidentally, I allowed my sample 40 minutes to open). The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin and a killer line of acidity that imparts so much freshness from the starting gun. That soupon on Cabernet Sauvignon does make a difference, lending a subtle vein of graphite that runs throughout the wine. It remains linear, with laser-like focus towards the extraordinarily persistent finish, pencil lead on the HB aftertaste. This is a classic and intellectual Cheval Blanc, not as charming perhaps as the 2015 Cheval Blanc, but it will unquestionably age gracefully over decades not years.
Decanter: 98
Another excellent Cheval, this is a wine that every year stands among the greatest in the region. The main impression is of a softly-spun silky texture with complete focus and clarity through the palate. There is some of the density of 2010 here, with the florality of 2005. Gorgeous. Many people spent a long time picking in 2016, but at Cheval Blanc everything came in within just 10 days, rather unusually picking grapes on gravel and clay at the same time. The blend is 59% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new oak.
Wine Enthusiast: 99
Fruit and tannins have combined so harmoniously in this impressive, magnificent wine. The acidity shoots through to give considerable freshness, lifting the blackberry fruit. What makes the wine though are the tannins, which support the marvelous fruit. It will obviously age for many, many years.
Vinous: 99
A wine of precision and extraordinary beauty, the 2016 Cheval Blanc is also one of the highlights of the year. In the glass, it is precise, delicate and understated. Hints of espresso, plum, spice and wild cherry all develop in the glass, but it is the wine's feel and vivid personality that stand out most. I expect the 2016 will put on weight during its aging, both in barrel and later in bottle. It is an absolutely stunning wine in every way.
James Suckling: 99
This is very powerful Cheval with searing tannins and bright fruit, acidity and mineral undertones. Full and muscular yet beautifully formed and polished. Its all about the form to this. Better than 2015.