Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint Emilion Grand Cru [Pre-arrival] 2018
RP98+: The 2018 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a 3.75 pH and 14.5% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs considerable swirling and air to releases fragrant notes of stewed plums, juicy black cherries and ripe blackberries with underlying suggestions of damp soil, black truffles, rose oil and cardamom with wafts of underbrush and iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate is densely packed with rich black fruits and loads of earthy accents, framed by super firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness to balance, finishing with amazing length and a beautiful array of floral and mineral sparks.
JD98: Showing beautifully from barrel and now from bottle, the 2018 Château Cheval Blanc is a final blend of 54% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a pure, classic Cheval Blanc in that it relies more on complexity and elegance than power, offering a beautiful perfume of red and blackcurrants, spring flowers, spice, forest floor, incense, and tobacco. This carries to a medium to full-bodied Cheval Blanc offering wonderful purity of fruit, a seamless, layered texture, incredible tannins, and a lengthy, focused finish. It shows less of the sunny style of the vintage now than it did from barrel, and it's a wonderfully complete wine that delivers awesome freshness in its aromatics, plenty of ripe, sweet fruit, and the tannins and structure that seem to come from a long, cooler season. Reminding me slightly of the 2016, with a touch of the 2001, give this gorgeous wine 5-7 years of bottle age, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.
JS99: Love the floral character to the aromas of dark fruit, such as blueberries and black cherries. Red and black licorice, too. The full-bodied palate starts slowly and then expands with super polished, searing tannins that lead you up the palate into a place of grandeur. Lightly chewy at the end. Such great purity and presence here. 6% cabernet sauvignon in the blend with franc and merlot. Try after 2028.