Chateau Cheval Blanc 2005
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
Chateau Cheval Blanc produces a wine that has the ability to taste excellent at any age. It is in fact one of the most consistent wines in the world. Its subtlety and perfect harmony give Cheval Blanc its hallmark, combining power and elegance at the same time.
James Suckling - "This has a fabulous nose of black fruit, dark chocolate, nuts, and spices. It’s pretty much perfect. Full bodied, with beautiful fine tannins reminiscent of cashmere. A long, long finish rounds out this beautiful wine. Please don’t touch this until 2020. Find the wine!"
Wine Spectator - "This is really gorgeous on the nose, with blackberry, mineral, light vanilla bean and milk chocolate. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, caressing finish. This is racy and very beautiful. The tannins coat the palate, but leave a provoking impression. A Cheval for long-term aging. Best after 2017."
Wine Enthusiast - "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."
The Wine Advocate - "The dense ruby/purple-hued 2005 Cheval Blanc’s ethereal bouquet of menthol, coffee, wet stones, black cherries, blackberries, and hints of graphite and spice soars from the glass. An equal part blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it is medium to full-bodied with a gorgeous texture in addition to high tannins that glide over the palate with no angularity or astringency. While it does not quite reach the perfection of the 2000, it should rival the profound 1998 and 1990. This is not a Cheval Blanc for near-term drinking as it demands at least a decade’s worth of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035."
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep ruby-red. Knockout nose offers terrific vinosity to the aromas of dark raspberry, mocha, minerals, licorice, menthol and dark chocolate. Lush, fat and suave, with superb energy and lift to the fine-grained, palate-staining flavors. Despite its rather high 14% alcohol, this boasts near-perfect balance and finishes with outstanding verve. A great vintage for Cheval, and likely to improve in bottle for at least two or three decades. "
Wine & Spirits - "The aristocracy of St-Emilion coasts on nonchalant power, with the grandeur you would expect from this site on the edge of Pomerol's sacred plateau. Part voluptuous, part lean, this has a layering of flavor that could fill a writer's notebook with the earthy, meaty and spicy directions of its complexities. It's distinguished by an exact ripeness, so that the Bretty funk that might eat a lesser wine is merely a way into the cool limestone architecture, a tannic underground cellar that will sustain the fresh fruit. For the ages."
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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.