Chateau Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval (Futures Pre-sale) 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
James Suckling - "This has a little more Cabernet Franc than usual. Intense aromas of dried flowers, spices and blueberries. Full-bodied, juicy and fruity, with a beautiful softness and polish. Goes on for minutes. Best Petit Cheval. The second wine of Cheval Blanc. Best after 2018. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Le Petit Cheval is the best second wine I have ever tasted from this estate. Composed of two-thirds Merlot and one-third Cabernet Franc, it is better than most vintages of the grand vin from the sixties and seventies. Notes of chocolate, black cherries, herbs, and spice emerge from this full-bodied, thick, juicy wine. Enjoy it over the next 10+ years.
Barrel Sample: 91-93 Points "
Wine Spectator - "This has density and heft, but stays pure and almost accessible now, thanks to its lovely, rounded feel, which allows the plum, fig, steeped black currant, melted licorice snap and loam notes to hang gracefully through the finish, with well-buried acidity. Best from 2013 through 2023. 1,665 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "(65% cabernet franc and 35% merlot; pH 3.87; 14.3% alcohol) Deep ruby. Vinous nose offers precise and surprisingly deep aromas of blackcurrant and strawberry. Enters light and smooth, with nicely concentrated flavors similar to the aromas. The extremely silky tannins are not at all those of a second wine, and this Petit Cheval displays much greater than usual texture and depth of flavor as well. Finishes with lively acidity and a lingering blackberry quality. A tasty, well-made, nicely balanced midweight wine that should offer immediate drinking pleasure, this is one of my three best "second wines" of the vintage.
Barrel Sample: 89-92 Points "
Wine Enthusiast - "Density with an important structure, this wine is concentrated, with fresh plum flavors. There is a slight edge of greenness, bringing out acidity.
Barrel Sample: 88-90 Points"
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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.