*2000 Chateau Cheval Blanc
Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2000
A wine of exquisite aromatic depth and grace, the 2000 Cheval Blanc is fully captivating. All the elements fall into place in an effortless, gracious wine. It’s frankly hard to move past the 2000 Cheval, because at this point, I want nothing to compete with it. (AG)
Coming out of a relatively dormant state, this 2000 is a spectacular Cheval Blanc. Of recent vintages, I think only the 2009 can give it a run for its money. A blend of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Franc, the wine has a sweet nose of menthol, melted licorice, boysenberry, blueberry, and cassis. A broad wine with compelling purity, a layered texture, and sweet tannin, with hints of coffee and earth in the background, this is by far the best Cheval Blanc since 1990 and before 2009. It is a legend in the making and can actually be drunk now, as the tannins have nearly melted away. This is a beauty with incredibly complex aromatics. (RP)
What makes Cheval Blanc so unusual is three main soil types – fine textured with clay, more coarsely textured with gravel, and large gravel with sand – that constitute a veritable patchwork. This singular terroir is made up primarily of clay and large-size gravel in certain plots and sandy soil with smaller gravel in other parts. Some estates in Saint-Emilion have excellent gravelly soil, while others in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol have very good clay soils. Cheval Blanc, on the other hand, is blessed with both types of soil in fairly equal proportions.
The most is made of this natural advantage thanks to an original combination of grape varieties: 52% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Each plot has its own specific profile due to the age of the vines, surface area, kind of soil, type of rootstock and grape variety, etc. Therefore, it only follows that the wine produced from each plot has its own profile too.
The ones from clay soil are powerful with velvety tannin, while the ones from gravel soil are more aromatic and elegant. A blend of both results in a wine that is both powerful and elegant with expressive aromatics as well as the complexity of the greatest wines.