Pierre-Olivier Clouet

1992 Vintage by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director from Château Cheval Blanc

Execrable weather, combined with high yields, worked against ripening in 1992. While the wine is certainly light, it is also aromatic and pleasant. It is nevertheless unable to develop further.

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VINE’S GROWING CYCLE

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

This year was marked by major contrasts in the weather. After a very warm, sunny month of May, June was awful, with a great deal of rain (200 mm). Things improved in July, which was followed by a hot, but very wet month of August. Weather in September was uneven, but with temperatures, rainfall, and sunshine close to the monthly average.

WATER BALANCE

There was no water stress in 1992. In fact, this was one of the wettest vintages in 50 years in Bordeaux. This was largely due to a series of showers from June to August.  The absence of water stress obviously had an effect on wine quality.

GROWING SEASON

Seeing as production was very limited in 1991, yields were generous in 1992, a year in which growth was quite vigorous, especially in the month of May. Special care needed to be taken in June to avoid the spread of mildew and grey rot. The grapes ripened at an average pace. The harvest began on the 24th of September and finished on the 10th of October.

  Merlot Cabernet franc
  Begin End Begin End
1992 harvest dates September, 24th October, 1st October, 2nd October, 10th
Average harvest dates (1986-2014) September, 19th September, 27th September, 27th October, 5th

 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

Despite a few showers, the weather mostly cooperated all throughout picking. The grapes were noticeably lacking not only in sugar, but also phenolic compounds.  Total acidity was very high, but pH was close to average. The grapes were picked into small crates at Cheval Blanc starting with this vintage. Meticulous manual sorting was necessary to eliminate all trace of grey rot and underripe grapes. The crop was larger than usual.

1992 yield   (hl/ha) Average yield (1946 to 2014)
63.5 33.9

 

Degree of alcohol 12.5
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.22
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.54
pH 3.80
Total SO2 (mg/L) 88
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 0.8
IPT (DO280) 53

 

1992 Cheval Blanc is surprisingly pleasant, with rich aromatics despite the very difficult weather

 

TASTING NOTES

Despite the especially poor weather that year, 1992 Cheval Blanc is extremely pleasant.

The colour is medium-deep with noticeable bricking.

The intense nose is Merlot-dominated and redolent of red fruit, caramel, and attractive, understated oak.

The wine is smooth, round, aromatic and tasty on the palate. With some aeration, it proves to be charming and shows good oak, even if it does not have the power of the best vintages. This light wine nevertheless has a long, soft aftertaste.

Lacking somewhat in structure in this challenging year, 1992 Cheval Blanc is still flavoursome and pleasant, although it will not improve.