Cheval Blanc 2006 – 75cl
$1,168 – $6,658
In 1832 Chateau Figeac sold 15 hectares/37 acres to M. Laussac-Fourcaud, including part of the narrow gravel ridge that runs through Figeac and neighboring vineyards and reaches Chateau Petrus just over the border in Pomerol. This became Chateau Cheval Blanc which, in the International London and Paris Exhibitions in 1862 and 1867, won medals still prominent on its labels. The chateau remained in the family until 1998 when it was sold to Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods group LVMH, and Belgian businessman Albert Frere, with Pierre Lurton installed as estate manager, a constellation similar to that of the group’s other chief property Chateau d’Yquem.
Chateau Cheval Blanc, a 1er Grand Cru Classé (A) is unquestionably the leading estate in St. Emilion. It’s vineyards (Merlot 39%, Cabernet Franc 57%, Malbec 3%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%) enjoy a variety of soils: gravel, clay and sand, all underpinned by an impermeable sedimentary rock (`crasse de fer’). Fermentation and maceration last 4 weeks in stainless steel vats, followed by 18 months’ maturation in new oak barrels.
It has the most floral bouquet of the four Premier Grand Cru Classé A (now 5 with the promotion of Figeac). An explosion of crushed violets and potpourri, hints of leather and cigar box, the Cabernet Franc clearly lending this complexity and character. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. It feels wonderfully structured and comes with an insistent grip that coats the mouth. This is backward and almost surly, but you have to stand back and admire the precision and arching structure on the mineral-rich finish.
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