Pierre-Olivier Clouet

1995 Vintage by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director from Château Cheval Blanc

1995 was a warm and early-maturing year. September was cool and fairly rainy.
This is a very good vintage at Cheval Blanc, with great balance and a complex, delicious flavour that still needs time to reach its peak​.

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VINE’S GROWING CYCLE

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

This was an especially warm year, with an average temperature of  14.1°C, i.e. 1.3°C less than average. After a dry, mild spring, there was a heatwave in summer with record highs in July and August.  There had been nothing like it for 45 years. There was little rain from June to August at Cheval Blanc, although there were wide disparities in Bordeaux: drought conditions in Pauillac, but above-average rainfall on the Saint Emilion plateau. The early part of September was cold and wet, but the rain stopped during the last 10 days of the month.  The fine weather then lasted until the end of October.

WATER BALANCE

Limited precipitation in June, July and August were conducive to marked water stress, which was beneficial to ripening.

GROWING SEASON

hanks to great weather, the growing season started early. Bud break took place about the 28th of March, with little difference between Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Mid-flowering occurred on the 1st of June. Véraison was observed in Merlot on the 4th of August and in Cabernet Franc on the 12th of that month. The weather was beautiful during the harvest, which lasted from the 15th to the 28th of September. In the previous 50 years, only the 1989 and 1990 vintages were picked earlier at Cheval Blanc. The grapes were in remarkably fine condition.

Phenological stage Merlot
1995
Average
1994-2014
Cabernet franc
1995
Average
1994-2014
Bud break March, 27th March, 28th March, 29th 2 avril
Flowering June, 1st May, 30th June, 1st June, 1st
Véraison August, 4th August, 2nd August, 12th August, 8th
Beginning of the Harvest September, 15th September, 19th   September, 27th
End of the Harvest   September, 27th September, 28th October, 5th
Number of days between …
Bud break and Flowering 66 days 63 days 64 days 60 days
Flowering and Véraison 64 days 64 days 72 days 68 days
Véraison and Harvest 43 days 48 days 41 days 50 days

 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

The grapes had the concentration found in warm, dry years: high levels of sugar and phenolic compounds, and lower acidity than the ten-year average. The crop was larger than usual.

1995 yield   (hl/ha) verage yield: 1946 to 2014
44.7 33.9

 

CELLAR WORK

Cheval Blanc did not bleed wine from any of the fermentation vats, nor chaptalise. 
1995 Cheval Blanc contains no press wine and was entirely aged in new oak barrels.

 

BLENDING

The blend consists of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot.

 

Degree of alcohol 13
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.37
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.56
pH 3,84
Total SO2 (mg/L) 120
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 1.2
IPT (DO280) 60

 

1995 is a very good vintage that shines because of its balance and complexity

 

TASTING NOTES

This was a dry, warm year producing rich wine with fine black fruit flavours.

The colour is a very deep ruby-red with some signs of ageing on the rim.

The powerful bouquet is dominated by very ripe black fruit aromas such as plum, blackcurrant, and blackberry. Roasted notes (coffee, praline, mocha, and caramel), are also perceptible, as well as ones like leather and truffle that come with age. In addition, elegant hints of violet and even dried banana and coconut come to the fore, along with attractive, well-integrated oak. The intense, complex bouquet leaves an impression of great freshness.

The wine starts out this way, as well as, elegant, rich, and concentrated on the palate. It is quite full-bodied with very ripe fruit (but no trace of overripeness) that prevails over tertiary aromas from barrel ageing. The balance is remarkable, the tannin opulent, and the finish tight and extremely long.

1995 is a gracious and very rich vintage that can be enjoyed now or for many years to come.