Chateau Cheval Blanc 2012

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A beautiful wine that always seems to drink well, the 2012 Cheval Blanc has a sweet, fragrant nose of black and red currants, floral nuances and spice. Supple, round and juicy, this wine can be drunk now or cellared for another 15 or more years. Drink 2015-2030.

Score: 94 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

The final blend for the 2012 Cheval Blanc was 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Despite the use of 100% new oak, there is not a hint of vanillin, toast or espresso notes in the aromatic bouquet, which is filled with scents of black currants, sweet cherries, lavender, forest floor and a hint of underbrush. Concentrated with a surprisingly lofty alcohol level of 13.9% as well as a tannin level that equals their 2010 (a wine bestowed a three-digit score), this full-bodied, opulent 2012 has a pH of 3.8, which accounts for its suppleness, velvety texture and heady richness. It is a great success in this vintage. It will be approachable early given its silky structural aspects, and should last for two decades.

Score: 94/96 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Cheval Blanc has a perfumed, outgoing, almost "glossy" bouquet that wants to be noticed, lavished with damson, wild strawberry, fig jam and crème de cassis scents that are totally seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, succulent, sensual red cherries and wild strawberry fruit, though perhaps the finish showed some superfluous hubris that just erased some of the potential delineation and focus. On this occasion it was pipped to the post by Ausone, but let us see how it matures, because the white horse always repays those that are patient. Tasted January 2016.

Score: 93+ Neal Martin, (227), October 2016

The Grand Vin is a blend of 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc, 26th September until the 13th October that comes from 35 different parcels. The picking is done in the vineyard for the first sorting by the pickers and then sorted by hand as they are sure delicate than using optical sorting machine. It has a dense, broody nose that has the looming presence of the Quinault L'Enclos. It veers towards a red fruit profile, with "rocky" aromas, perhaps a touch of marmalade and quince. The palate is medium-bodied but displays very good concentration for the vintages. It feels very harmonious - silky but with a citric acid edge that lends the finish the tension it needs to maintain the freshness. This will probably become a masculine Cheval Blanc that will need a decade in bottle. Tasted April 2013.

Score: 95/97 Neal Martin,, May 2013

A Cheval Blanc with an impressive center palate of blueberries, chocolate, almonds and spices. Full body, a solid core of fruit and a long, long finish. Goes on for minutes. Beautiful wine. Seamless tannins. Needs a few years of bottle age. Better in 2017

Score: 94 James Suckling,, February 2015

This is really beautiful with blackberry, chocolate, and light nuts character. Full yet refined and beautiful. Seamless tannins. It goes on for minutes. This is so elegant and beautiful. The tannins are just right and not overdone for the vintage.

Score: 93/94 James Suckling,, April 2013

54% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Franc. Deep dark crimson. Marked Cabernet nose. Smells pure and fresh and crunchy. Finest of fine tannins but they go deep, as does the fruit. It is not leafy but there that classic Cabernet Franc fresh aroma that tends that way. There's some grip but fine friction. Elegant, long; energy underneath a relatively gentle-seeming exterior. 'Power and sweetness of Merlot and finesse of Cabernet Franc. The true Cheval Blanc style we like', says Kees van Leeuwen. Very clean, complex aromatic profile. Delicious and I think you could drink it, with much pleasure, even earlier than I have suggested. (JH)

Score: 18.5 Julia Harding MW,, April 2013
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