In this vintage, the water stress on the vines was significant, yet grape maturity was achieved thanks to showers on September 13t. Château Cheval Blanc did not suffer from these climatic conditions. The exceptional terroir of this 1er cru classé A of Saint-Emilion was fresh and the vines prepared for the extreme situations imposed by the 2016 season. The 2016 Cheval Blanc blend is dominated by Merlot at 59% with 38% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, which returns in this year’s blend.
Cheval Blanc 2016 is dark with an inky color. The wine is dense and concentrated with elegance. Very classy! The nose at first expresses delicate fragrances of mint and bigarreau black cherry. The aromas are penetrating and indulgent with an intense freshness. Very pure, the nose, upon stirring, is complemented by a mineral character, almost like graphite. The aromatic depth does not present itself immediately, but the wine has a very wide aromatic spectrum that will reveal itself over time. The palate has plenty of class. The attack is lively and gives this wine a dazzling and dynamic character. The mid-palate is creamy and easy-drinking despite its 14.25 °C of alcohol. The tannic structure is classy and shows absolute maturity in both the Cabernet Franc and the Cabernet Sauvignon, which here is a sign of splendid structure. The retro-olfaction is fruity and the finish long. The frankness and density of this Cheval Blanc 2016 deserves respect. What a success! Definitely a wine with great aging potential!
The 2016 Cheval Blanc is blended of 59.5% Merlot, 37.2% Cabernet Franc and 3.3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose is incredibly youthful yet not so shy as some other 2016s at this stage, giving wonderfully intense scents of red currants, black cherries, wild blueberries and violets with nuances of star anise, cinnamon stick, rose hip tea, cigar box and wood smoke plus a touch of beef drippings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has jaw-dropping elegance and depth, offering up layer upon layer of fragrant red and black fruits plus an extraordinary array of mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid grainy texture, finishing with epic persistence and an edifying perfume. This is a very different style from the rich, opulently hedonic 2015, yet this wonderfully fragrant, beautifully poised and intellectually compelling 2016 is equally extraordinary.