1981 was a cool year in which the grapes took a long time to ripen. The wine has a certain intensity, but has aged quickly.  Although still fruity and well-balanced, it should be drunk sooner rather than later​.

1981 WEATHER CONDITIONS

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

The start of the growing season was wet, with many showers in May.  Summer was dry, but cool, except for the month of August, which was warmer than average.

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 1981 weather was not very dry though, due to the small degree of evaporation. Moderate water stress arrived fairly late.

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

1981 produced a small crop: just 25 hectolitres per hectare. This was a late-ripening year due to cool summer temperatures. The harvest began on the 1st of October. A beautiful Indian summer with average temperatures and little rain enabled the grapes to reach proper maturity. Picking went on from the 1st to the 9th of October.

  Begin End
1981 harvest dates October, 1st October, 9th
Average harvest dates 1946-2014 September, 24th October, 8th

 

1981 yield    (hl/ha) Average yield (1946 to 2014)
25.1 33.9

 

Degree of alcohol 13
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.23
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.55
pH -
Total SO2 (mg/L) 88
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 1.3
IPT (DO280) -

 

TASTING NOTES

Like the preceding vintage, 1981 has aged quickly, but remains fruity.

The colour is deep, but showing its age.

The nose is attractive and elegant, with fresh red fruit and eucalyptus overtones.

The wine starts out quite smooth and fresh on the palate with hints of forest floor, as well as beautiful flavours such as plum and roasted nuances. The structure lacks definition and the aftertaste shows overtones of prune and very ripe red fruit, as well as tannin that is a bit hard.

1981 Cheval Blanc is fresh and balanced, but has aged quickly. It is best to drink soon.