Pierre-Olivier Clouet

1964 Vintage by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director from Château Cheval Blanc

1964 is a great year for Cheval Blanc. The weather was very good: warm and dry. This was the first year in which Professor Emile Peynaud provided winemaking advice. He helped to produce a distinguished, ethereal wine, despite technical means that now seem fairly limited.

1964 WEATHER CONDITIONS

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

1964 is one of the finest vintages of the 1960s, after the superb 1961. The warm, dry weather conditions from May to October provided the background for a very great year.

WATER BALANCE

There was relatively marked water stress, an essential factor in quality.

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

HARVEST, YIELD AND CELLAR WORK

The 1964 harvest was early, starting on the 22nd of September and lasting until the 9th of October. Yields were average (38 hectolitres per hectare).
1964 was the last vintage to be entirely fermented in oak vats.  Since it was such a hot year, great attention had to be paid to temperature control during fermentation. 
Faces with these fairly challenging conditions, the Fourcaud-Laussac family (owners at the time) called on the famous Professor Emile Peynaud – referred to as the "father of modern oenology" – to offer winemaking advice. This was the beginning of a long relationship.   Both malolactic fermentation and ageing of this outstanding vintage took place entirely in new oak.
Degree of alcohol: 12°.

  Begin End
1964 harvest dates September, 22th October, 9th
Average harvest dates: 1946-2014 September, 24th October, 8th

 

1964 yield    (hl/ha) Average yield: 1946 to 2014
37.9 33.9

 

TASTING NOTES

1964 is a great vintage for Cheval Blanc in an atypical year for Bordeaux.

The wine has a fine red colour with amber highlights.

The bouquet displays a host of straightforward intense aromas, including tertiary ones of leather, forest floor, and Virginia tobacco, with a hint of ripe cherry.

The wine is astonishingly young and, despite its richness, remains elegant and fresh. The tannin is beautifully silky. Rich and wonderfully complex, 1964 Cheval Blanc is a very refined, soft wine. The finish is unbelievably long.

The 1964 Cheval Blanc is altogether classic, distinguished, and delicate. Superb.