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Chateau Cheval Blanc 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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0% ABV
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4.8 5 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 from Cheval Blanc is a quintessentially elegant, beautiful, deep bluish/ruby-colored wine from St.-Emilion, with raspberry, blueberry, and floral notes, impressive density, great precision, freshness and purity. Full-bodied, but extremely light on its feet, I don’t mean to gush, but it is super-intense, rich and just so meticulously crafted! This is another fabulous wine and a perfect expression for this vintage. It is difficult to forget the gorgeous blueberry and raspberry fruit, full body, sweet tannin, a multi-layered texture, and purity and palate presence of this stunning wine. Drink it over the next 20 years. P.S. In 2005, this was 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot.
JD 99
Jeb Dunnuck
What I think the 2010 will taste like in 4-5 years, the 2005 Cheval Blanc (It’s the normal blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc) is another monumental wine from this estate that does everything right. Crème de cassis, spring flowers, exotic spices and dried soil nuances all soar from the glass of this still youthful, inky-colored, complex, nuanced Saint-Emilion. Like the 2010 and 2009, it’s beautifully concentrated, layered, deep and long, and is, I suspect, right on the edge of its plateau of maturity. It will keep for three decades or more.
JS 98
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!
WS 97
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.
WE 97
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.
W&S 96
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

Chateau Cheval Blanc

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Chateau Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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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.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

NDE96146_2005 Item# 96146