This was a very hot year with record drought conditions. The growing season started exceptionally early. 
This vintage of Petit Cheval is deliciously round and enjoyable​.

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VINE’S GROWING CYCLE

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

This was a very hot, dry year. Cumulative rainfall was 664 mm at Bordeaux-Mérignac, i.e. 25% below the regional average. There was even less rain in Saint Emilion. While summer was quite hot, there was no true heat wave. The highest temperature recorded between véraison and the harvest was 32.5°C. Insolation was above average (+13% in July, August, and September).

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. 1989 was one of the driest vintages in the past 50 years. Only 2005 had a more negative water balance.

GROWING SEASON

1989 was an exceptionally early year as well, with bud break in late March, flowering the last week in May, and véraison the first week of August. The harvest started on the 7th of September – the earliest date since the beginning of in the 20th century for Château Cheval Blanc – and lasted until the 27th of that month.   The crop was larger than usual.

  Merlot Cabernet franc
  Begin End Begin End
1989 harvest dates September, 7th     September, 27th
Average harvest dates (1986-2014) September, 19th September, 27th September, 27th October, 5th

 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

The fruit was in remarkably fine condition seeing as there had been very little threat all year long from vine diseases. The grapes were rich and concentrated.  
The average degree of alcohol was 13°. 
The somewhat excessive weather conditions created a slight gap in ripeness between the pulp and the skin. This explains why there are a few herbaceous notes in the complex bouquet.

1989 yield    (hl/ha) Average yield: 1946 to 2014
50.7 33.9

 

Degree of alcohol 12,5
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.14
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.46
pH -
Total SO2 (mg/L) 108
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 1.2
IPT (DO280) -

 

TASTING NOTES

The brilliant ruby-red colour shows bricking in keeping with its age.

The elegant, expressive bouquet features aromas of fruit, liquorice, and well-integrated oak.

The wine starts out quite round and balanced going on to reveal tasty cocoa overtones. The tannin is rich and elegant, and the aftertaste if fine and flavoursome.

This second vintage of Petit Cheval is truly tasty and is presently at its peak.