Chateau Cheval Blanc 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
The 1998 vintage of this wine was ranked #2 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2001
Château Cheval Blanc, the celebrated estate of St.-Émilion on the border of the Pomerol appellation in Bordeaux, is one of the two highest classified properties in that commune.
Cheval Blanc is distinguished by a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, typically in nearly equal proportions. The wines, capable of long aging, are praised for their classic style – powerful, complex, and above all, elegant.
Wine Spectator - "Blackberry, mineral and lightly toasted oak. Subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with wonderfully sweet fruit character and ultrarefined tannins. Goes on and on. Gorgeous and seductive. Best after 2009."
Wine Enthusiast - "There have been more complete Cheval Blancs than this, but this 2003 does have power. Huge fruit, huge solid tannins, concentration - maybe some charm would create a better wine. 92-94"
International Wine Cellar - "Good full, deep red. Sexy aromas of mocha, tobacco and milk chocolate, with a suggestion of roasted nuts. Suave, fine-grained and sappy, with lovely vinosity in the context of this heatwave vintage. Redcurrant and milk chocolate flavors linger impressively on the finish, which shows noteworthy energy and length, with sweet tannins. With its high percentage of 55% cabernet franc, this was very closed at the beginning, notes Berrouet, but is now "more human." But today I don't find enough complexity to merit an even higher score."
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Chateau Cheval Blanc Winery
The present-day Cheval Blanc vineyards had vines at least as far back as the 18th century, as shown by Belleyme's map of the region dated 1764. Nearly a century later, the estate was acquired by the Fourcaud-Laussac family who owned it until 1998, when it was sold to Mr Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère.
The vineyard is in a single block, and borders on the Pomerol appellation. An outstanding terror and unusual proportions of Cabernet Franc and Merlot give this great wine an absolutely unique flavor. Château Cheval Blanc has had a greater number of outstanding vintages than any other classified great growth over the past century.
Another unusual characteristic of Cheval Blanc is that once it reaches its peak, it maintains it for a very long time. This admirable wine is powerful, soft, rich, round and silky. It has tremendous fruit and elegance as well as exceptional quality from year to year. View all Chateau Cheval Blanc Wines
About St-EmilionView a map of St-Emilion wineries (saint eh-meel-YOHN)
A region named after the charming, quaint historical town in Bordeaux, St-Émilion is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It's grapes of choice are Merlot and Cabernet Franc (called Bouchet on the right bank). The region has its own classification system, updated and revised every few years. Two of the hottest chateaux of the area (and the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A) are Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc.
St.-Émilion produces the most wine on the right bank of Bordeaux. As most of its wine is based primarily on Merlot, St-Emilion wines are described as having finesse and elegance. The best wine of the region can last upward of 10-20 years, like a good left-banker, but many find that the wines here matuer earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils in the area differ greatly, from gravel to limestone to clay and sand. As a result, the wines of this region are diverse. Quality wines display silky tannins and ripe, soft fruit – the higher quality wine showing full-bodied texture and layers of complexity.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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