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Château Cheval Blanc

Historically one of Bordeaux’s greatest wines, Cheval Blanc has been top of the pile in St.Emilon for the last 50 years. It is only in recent years that its place has been threatened (some might argue even surpassed) by the renaissance at Ch Ausone. Separated only by a ditch and a road from Pomerol, Cheval has always had a unique style of its own. Neither typically St. Emilon nor Pomerol in character, “Cheval Blanc is Cheval Blanc”, so says Robert Parker. This is thanks in part due to the unusually high proportion of Cabernet Franc used in the wine. Nowhere else in the world does this variety come into its own as it does in the soils of this illustrious estate

The Cheval Blanc vineyards, and the property itself, border those of Pomerol; Cheval Blanc’s most intimate neighbour is Château L’Evangile, a Pomerol property, which lies just across the road. The vines, which are 57% Cabernet Franc, with the balance mostly Merlot (39%), augmented by a little Cabernet Sauvignon (3%) and Malbec (1%), lie on three principle terroirs; first a blend of gravel and sand over much of the vineyard, secondly a large area of sand and clay over a compact blue clay, whilst lastly a smaller proportion of the estate is sandy-clay with iron deposits. The vines are aged over 30 years on average, and there is a conscientious approach to vineyard management. Herbicides are nowhere to be seen, anything other than natural fertiliser is eschewed and the soil between the rows is ploughed to control weeds and to encourage deep root formation. The vines are harvested typically at 35 hl/ha, assisted by a green harvest during the summer.

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