Cheval Blanc and you / Knowledge and tasting
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
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.
Some vintages have had no impact either on the Château or on the Bordeaux region in general. Some examples are 1973, 1974, 1977, 1984, 1987, 1994, 1997 and even 2002. These are not memorable vintages although, often, one can be pleasantly surprised upon opening a bottle. The second category comprises classic vintages which reflect the distinctive qualities of Château Cheval Blanc perfectly
These vintages act as ambassadors which draw both the team at the Château and the consumers into the realm of the château’s inimitable style.
Finally, we have the have the vintages classified as « extraordinary». These wines are extremely expressive even when very young and have the ability to beguile us with their sensory complexity from the very start of their existence. Amongst these fantastic vintages, we can cite 1947, 1961, 1964, 1982, 1990, 2009 and even 2015.
The wine is a cultural and living drink that evolves and becomes more complex
We are often asked: When is the best time to enjoy a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc? Put another way, it’s a question about how to enjoy it at its absolute peak. There is no simple response to this.
Just as every individual evolves through life, so then does the personality of our wine differ in each stage of its development. If you taste three bottles of the same vintage of Château Cheval Blanc at five, twenty and forty years old you will experience three variations of the same wine; three distinct journeys with each wine expressing a different palette of aromas woven from the same cloth.
Although we know everything about our wine from its conception and its birth, once the bottle has been corked it continues its adventure alone. This journey is part of the mystery, indeed of the magic: This is why it is impossible to predict the peak moment in any vintage. Each of our bottles has its own personality. Some even have their own particular destiny revealing their individuality when tasted.
Tasting should be an intimate and personal experience rather than an exercise involving rules and regulations. The meticulous care and attention which have been paid to our wine from its birth and throughout its formative years pave the way for the enjoyment of this privileged moment. Perhaps the ultimate in elegance is to approach this wine with simplicity: let your desire for pleasure dictate the way you enjoy it.
It is true that opening a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc which is less than 10 years old is to deny yourself of some of the wine’s potential. But why not be curious? Let it express itself, surprise you and impose its own personality, without over-complicating things.
Discover our other advices
Ageing and storage
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.
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.