Cheval Blanc and you / Ageing and storage
With this rubric Cheval Blanc wishes to share with you advice, details and points of view to make your tasting experience as unique and accurate as possible.
A wine’s greatness lies in its ability to improve with age and reach its maximum potential as the years go by. The wines of Cheval Blanc are rare in that they are exceptional at all stages in their development, from very young to over a century old in particular vintages. The decision to age a wine implies the triumph of wisdom over curiosity and impatience. It is as risky as it is exciting as it draws you into a unique universe where it can reveal its many layers of complexity, achieving its optimum expression and glory. Through this slow and delicate process of evolution, eventually a wine will reach its peak condition.
Wine is a living being with a cultural history and it evolves, becoming more complex as the years pass by. Only the very best wines have the depth of soul needed to continue to improve with age. It is crucial, therefore, to master the age-old skills of storage, service and tasting.
Wine is a living being with a cultural history and it evolves, becoming more complex as the years pass by
When you acquire a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc you will also be in possession of its history and provenance: Every single bottle should offer a guarantee of optimum storage conditions from the start. Anything less will be a huge disappointment. Even the shortest time spent in less than perfect storage conditions can have a negative impact upon a great wine, causing irreversible damage.
The provision of optimum storage conditions for a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc will allow the wine to achieve and maintain its ultimate richness as it appears to slumber through the many evolutions occurring in the bottle. In this way, the wine’s potential is respected and its future guaranteed.
The ultimate emblem of wine storage is the cellar. It is like a cocoon, sheltering its elixir from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, allowing it to continue in its motionless journey. So, the cellar should be protected from heat and, more importantly, from sudden variations in temperature. Thermal stability is the key to the storage of wine: any variations in temperature should be progressive and, ideally, the temperature should never fall below 10 °C or reach above 18 °C. The ideal temperature is 14 °C. The cellar should also be shielded from vibrations and light, both of which are harmful to the ageing process.
Another important parameter is the level of humidity. It should be high enough to stop the cork from drying out which would damage the wine and cause evaporation in the bottle. The ideal level of humidity is 70-75 %. Above 80 % the labels can be damaged, although the wine itself should not be affected.
Lastly, each bottle should be laid on its side so that the cork is always in contact with the wine. If the bottles are being stored in cases they must be placed horizontally.
Discover our other advices
Knowledge and tasting
In order to fully appreciate a wine, it is important to understand its identity, its story, its roots and the journey it has travelled. The impact of vintage is vital and, in this regard, key vintages at Cheval Blanc can segmented into three main categories.
Service and food pairing
Once you have taken the crucial decision to open a bottle, next follows the question of service. The ideal temperature is between 15°C to 17°C. This is not an immutable rule, however: in reality, this can depend upon the time of year.