1980 was a very cool, late-ripening year. The wine lacks concentration. It was aromatic when young and stills retain a certain elegance and fruitiness, but it does not appear to have a great ageing potential​.

1980 WEATHER CONDITIONS

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

The month of April was cool and dry. May, June, and July were very cool and wet. Dry weather returned in August and September with just about average temperatures. October was very wet, with 65 mm more rain than usual. 1980 set a new record for low temperatures until August.

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.  The water balance shows a steady supply this year.

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

1980 is one of the latest-ripening on record. Flowering did not occur until mid-June, and the harvest started on the 13th of October. Writing in 2012, this was the second latest at Cheval Blanc after 1932 (14th of October).  
The crop was small, with yields of 29.2 hectolitres per hectare. 
The Merlot grapes suffered a great deal from coulure, so this is very much a Cabernet Franc vintage.

  Begin End
1980 harvest dates October, 13th October, 22th
Average harvest dates: 1946-2014 September, 24th October, 8th

 

1980 yield   (hl/ha) Average yield (1946 to 2014)
29.2 33.9

 

Degree of alcohol 12.5
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.23
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.52
pH -
Total SO2 (mg/L) 80
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 1.5
IPT (DO280) -

 

TASTING NOTES

Very much a Cabernet Franc vintage, 1980 Cheval Blanc is an aromatic, delicious wine that lacks concentration and has not shown great ageing potential.

It is very brilliant and medium-deep in colour, but has aged quickly and noticeably.

The nose is quite mature, but there is still some fruit and well-integrated oak. The wine is very pleasant, balanced, and tasty on the palate. The texture is attractively silky and the aftertaste is long and elegant.

This is a delicious wine that is nevertheless past its best and is fading with each passing year. Although better ten years ago, it has retained its fruit and class.