1993 was a cool and wet vintage, but a dry spell in July and August had a very salutary effect. 
Produced in a typical Merlot year, this vintage of Petit Cheval is well-balanced. It is ageing elegantly, and has retained its intrinsic fruitiness.

WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VINE’S GROWING CYCLE

TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL

he three first months of the year were mild and exceptionally dry. The above-average temperatures continued on through April, May, and June, but these three months were also very wet, with twice the usual rainfall. July was cool, with average precipitation, whereas August was dry with temperatures in keeping with the seasonal norm. A period of beautiful weather In the middle of the month had a decisive effect on vintage quality. A slight water stress prevented the berries from swelling and brought vegetative growth to an abrupt halt.  September was cold (-1.8°C less than average) with heavy showers starting on the 9th.  The same type of weather continued into the first half of October.

WATER BALANCE

A short period of water stress occurred in August, between the abundant rainfall in June and that in September. This was definitely beneficial to quality.

GROWING SEASON

he growing season started slightly ahead of schedule, with bud break in early April (2/4/93 at Cheval-Blanc), followed by mid-véraison in early August (6/8/93 for Merlot and 13/8/93 for Cabernet Franc). A wet month of June brought with it a major attack of mildew, and plant protection measures were absolutely necessary. The harvest started on the 20th of September for Merlot and the 27th of that month for Cabernet Franc. Picking drew to a close on the 5th of October.  Yields were relatively high.

  Merlot Cabernet franc
  Begin End Begin End
1993 harvest dates September, 20th September, 25th September, 25th October, 5th
Average harvest dates 1986-2014 September, 19th September, 27th September, 27th October, 5th

 

FEATURES OF THE VINTAGE

RIPENING AND YIELDS

espite September showers, the quality of the wine was fairly good.  The vintage potential was largely achieved after the first week of September and, due to low temperatures, it remained intact until picking. The fruit was in very good condition. Botrytis cinerea (grey rot) spreads when the thermometer rises above 15°C. As it so happened, the average temperature in the last ten days of September was only 13.9°C (as compared to 17°C in a "normal" year). The grapes did not weigh very much, which is a sign of concentration. The sugar levels were low and acidity was average, with little malic acid - a sign of the fruit's physiological ripeness.  There was also good phenolic concentration, especially in Merlot. Furthermore, the colouring matter was easily extracted, and the wine had a deep, dark hue.

1993 yield    (hl/ha) Average yield (1946 to 2014)
48.6 33.9

 

Volume in bottles : 40 120.

Degree of alcohol 12.5
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.62
Volatile acidity (g H2 SO4/L) 0.60
pH 3.82
Total SO2 (mg/L) 80
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 0.5
IPT (DO280) -

 

TASTING NOTES

1993 Petit Cheval is a polished, well-balanced wine with rich fruity flavours.

The colour is deep and brilliant.

The complex bouquet features aromas of stone fruit such as cherries, as well as nuances of strawberry and raspberry jam, liquorice, and well-integrated oak. There are also subtle overtones of clove, black pepper, and caramel, along with cedar and cigar box notes.

The wine starts out quite full-bodied, round, and deliciously fruity on the palate, going on to show considerable elegance and good long aftertaste. 1993 Petit Cheval is quite tannic and has a polished structure. There are a few citrus nuances on the finish.

 This wine's balance and tannin have enabled it to age very well and to retain its full fruity flavour.