The weather in 1977 was very difficult due to April frost, summer showers, and cool temperatures throughout the growing season. The wine was of lesser quality than some other vintages of Cheval Blanc this decade​.

1977 WEATHER CONDITIONS

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

It was cooler than usual from April to September. In addition, a hoar frost (as low as -6 °C) from the 20th the 30th of April ravaged the vineyard.  Spring rainfall was close to average. This was followed by a regular series of showers until late August. September was very dry, with only 9 mm of precipitation. It was warmer and drier than usual at harvest time.

WATER BALANCE

In order to grow well, the vine needs for water stress to set in slowly so the grapes to ripen well and become concentrated. Recurring heavy rains in August and September prevented water stress. 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

The strong frost from the 20th to the 30th of April devastated the vines. The vintage was thus already seriously compromised. Furthermore, summer rain did not exactly help, and the threat of mildew was at an all-time high. Along with 1991, this is one of the most challenging vintages ever made at Cheval Blanc, both in terms of quality and quantity.

  Begin End
1977 harvest dates October, 10th October, 15th
Average harvest dates: 1946-2014 September, 24th October, 8th

 

1977 yield    (hl/ha) Average yield: 1946 to 2014
7.8 33.9

 

Degree of alcohol 12
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.34
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.61
pH -
Free SO2 (mg/L) 10
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 2.08
IPT (DO280) -

 

TASTING NOTES

This was one of the most trying years of the last several decades at Cheval Blanc. Hoarfrosts in April and cold wet summer weather more or less sealed the fate of the vintage.

The wine is thus rather weak, with a patent lack of ripeness on the nose, as well as a dry, acidic taste. Starting out thin and light, time did not help to improve it.

Today, progress in winemaking at the estate's state-of-the-art facilities would undoubtedly have produced a much better wine in a year such as this.