Pierre-Olivier Clouet

1948 Vintage by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director from Château Cheval Blanc

1948 is a very good year marked by a drought conditions. The wine is atypical because it is very tannic – which is relatively rare for Cheval Blanc. It is perfectly balanced and incredibly young for a wine nearly seventy years old.

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS

WEATHER AND WATER BALANCE

The harvest began on the 27th of September after an extremely dry growing season that accounts for this beautiful vintage. The heat led to small, thick-skinned grapes with ink-black juice.

  Begin End
1948 harvest dates September,  27th October, 11th
Average harvest dates:1946-2014 September, 24th October, 8th

 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

YIELDS AND CELLAR WORK

1948 yield (hl/ha) Average yield: 1946 to 2014
24.8 33.9

 

1948 Cheval Blanc was very tannic when young and difficult to taste because of its 13.5° alcohol. One of the leading brokers in Bordeaux criticized the wine harshly, saying it reflected none of Cheval Blanc's usual smoothness and outgoing character.

The former owner, Claude Fourcaud-Laussac, said of this wine when he tasted it in 1989: "This teenager still has a great many years ahead of it". Indeed, its tannin has ensured a phenomenally long life. Although the aftertaste is not especially long, the wine's tannic texture is tighter than traditional vintages of Cheval Blanc".

 

TASTING NOTES

11th August 2015

The very ripe nose exhales fine aromas of plum and kernel-fruit, and complex aromas of hay and tobacco.

The freshness that emerges from this first nose then persists while the wine is becoming fuller, with rich and delicious flavors of pastry, macaroons and almond, but also fireplace, smoke and currants, giving this wine a rare olfactory richness and complexity.

In the mouth, the remarkable balance of richness and freshness is always present. Good acidity gives this great wine racy elegance and exceptional length. Fat, ample and delicious, the flavors include strawberry jam, raspberry coulis and warm milk.

15th April 2010

This vintage defines great Cheval Blanc. The key words here are freshness and elegance.

Over the years, this 1948 has softened and become incredibly silky with an aftertaste that goes on and on. This is a thoroughbred wine: well-balanced with amazing depth and incredible ageing potential.

Following the 1947 vintage totally outside the norm, and preceding 1949 - just as fabulous, but in a very different style - 1948 Cheval Blanc has the richness and balance typical of the château in warm years.