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Chateau Cheval Blanc 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • WS96
  • WE93
  • JS99
  • RP99
  • WE99
  • RP99
  • WE99
  • D98
  • WS97
  • WE96
  • JS96
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
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.

WE 93
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

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Chateau Cheval Blanc

Chateau Cheval Blanc

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Chateau Cheval Blanc, , France - Bordeaux
Chateau Cheval Blanc
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.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

VCJBWP_1006_03_2003 Item# 88904

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