Chateau Cheval Blanc (Futures Pre-sale) 2011
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
The color is a deep crimson. The first nose immediately reveals the wine's complexity. The aromatic expression combines hints of violet and peony which develop towards notes of summer fruit, raspberry and black cherry. This stylish vintage boasts aromatic freshness, precision and clarity. On the palate the attack is rounded and ample. The middle palate is full and fleshy, with an exceedingly long-lasting finish. The tannins are elegant and silky, creating perfect balance on the palate. This wine leaves a highly aromatic impression of fruit and freshness.
Wine Enthusiast - "This has sweet and soft tannins, with a smoky flavor that lingers on the ripe, opulent finish. Its initial richness suggests it could almost be consumed now, until you taste the massively-structured finish.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points"
Wine Spectator - "Very perfumy, with lovely red and black fruit that's pure and refined. There's a creamy feel, with hints of bergamot, cassis and toasted spice. Long and very suave through the finish. Well put together.
Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points"
The Wine Advocate - "Somewhat reminiscent of their brilliant 1998, the 2011 Cheval Blanc has turned out to be a top-notch success. Its deep garnet/plum/purple color is followed by hints of blueberry confiture intermixed with raspberries, mocha, damp forest and a hint of mint. Exhibiting a velvety, opulent texture along with considerable class and flesh as well as sweet tannin, this flavorful, forward 2011 should drink beautifully for two decades or more.
Barrel Sample: 94-96 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Highly perfumed, knockout nose of strawberry, white pepper and flowers. Bright and fresh in the mouth yet delineated and firmly structured, with a seamless quality to its red berry, floral and mineral flavors. This oozes class and grace, finishing long and suave, with very smooth tannins. Though this 2011 is less structured and powerful than the 2010 version, when Cheval Blanc gets the cabernet franc as it did in 2011, it's simply one of the world's greatest wines. But chief viticulturalist and winemaker Kees Van Leeuwen told me that 2011 wasn't a walk in the park: among the estate's many parcels, some had grilled berries and there was huge disparity in the ripening curve between parcels (some were extremely early and others late), leading to a harvest that lasted 23 days, the longest here in memory (normally it lasts 14 to 18 days).
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points"
James Suckling - "A really beautiful wine with super silky tannins with chocolate, spice, berries and spices. Full body, with super polished tannins and a long, long finish. The first wine from the new winery of Cheval. Very precise. Very polished. Cabernet Franc gives the quality."
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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.