The growing season began during cool, wet weather. August and September were much better. The wine is fairly light – pleasant and aromatic for about twenty years, but without much further ageing potential.

1987 WEATHER CONDITIONS

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

After a cool, wet month of June, July was relatively warm and wet. A period of Ende weather set in during the month of August. These favourable conditions continued throughout September, which was dry and exceptionally hot. October was mild and rainy.

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. Showers in June and July prevented any significant degree of water stress. This did eventually occur, but late in the season along with dry weather in August and September.

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

Yields were medium-high. The harvest took place on the late side (2-13 October), but the grapes had suffered from poor weather conditions.

  Merlot Cabernet franc
  Begin End Begin End
1987 harvest dates October, 2nd October, 4th October, 7th October, 13th
Average harvest dates (1986-2014) September, 19th September, 27th September, 27th October, 5th

 

1987 yield    (hl/ha) Average yield (1946 to 2014)
34.1 33.9

 

Degree of alcohol 12
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.43
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.64
pH -
Total SO2 (mg/L) 108
Reducing sugar content (g/L) >1.0
IPT (DO280) -

 

TASTING NOTES

Light and fruity, but pleasant, 1987 Cheval Blanc is somewhat lacking in structure and is not a year for long ageing.

The wine is medium deep in colour with brown on the rim, as befits a nearly 20 year-old bottle.

The nose is very forthcoming and concentrated with attractive hints of caramel and patisserie. A suggestion of vanilla and toasty aromas reflect ageing in new oak barrels.

1987 Cheval Blanc starts off quite smooth, fresh, and balanced on the palate. It is very aromatic and charming. While faithfully reflecting the château's terroir, it does not, however, have the structure and depth of great vintages, despite its engaging fruitiness.

Pleasantly aromatic for the first twenty years, this wine is not suited to long ageing and is now definitively past its peak. It is thus advised to drink any bottles in the near future.