Overview of the Wine
The present-day Cheval Blanc vineyards had vines at least as far back as the 18th century, as shown by Belleyme's map of the region dated 1764. Nearly a century later, the estate was acquired by the Fourcaud-Laussac family who owned it until 1998, when it was sold to Mr Bernard Arnault and Baron Albert Frère.
The vineyard is in a single block, and borders on the Pomerol appellation. An outstanding terror and unusual proportions of Cabernet Franc and Merlot give this great wine an absolutely unique flavor. Chateau Cheval Blanc has had a greater number of outstanding vintages than any other classified great growth over the past century.
Another unusual characteristic of Cheval Blanc is that once it reaches its peak, it maintains it for a very long time. This admirable wine is powerful, soft, rich, round and silky. It has tremendous fruit and elegance as well as exceptional quality from year to year.
Grape / Blend
54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc
Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
This vintage is already complex, and features an impressive range of aromas and flavors from the very first. The color is a deep crimson with mauve highlights. The nose exhibits great aromatic purity and astonishing complexity: red fruit (raspberry, cherry), black fruit (blackcurrant jam, blueberry), and delicate floral nuances (rose and violet). Freshness (mint and eucalyptus) and minerality (graphite, chalk) round out the vivacious aromatic profile. The bouquet is quite unique: tremendously pure, and the oak is not even noticeable – the sign of a great vintage. 2012 Cheval Blanc starts out straightforward and powerful on the palate. The middle palate is concentrated, with firm tannin that is nevertheless incomparably rich. The elegant texture is accompanied by fresh, complex flavors. The wine’s incredible length is both rich and delicate. In fact, the wine seems to rise in intensity and then recede imperceptibly and seamlessly. 2012 Cheval Blanc is polished, complex, and delicious with totally impressive length for a Saint Emilion this young.
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
A step up over the 2011, the 2012 Cheval Blanc offers a similar medium to full-bodied, elegant style yet has slightly more freshness and purity. Smoked black fruits, cassis, tobacco leaf, and sappy flower notes all emerge from this thrillingly textured, balanced, focused 2012. It opens up with time in the glass, has ripe, sweet tannins, and it’s another one of those wines that offers pleasure today yet will cruise for decades. The final blend is the usual 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Readers should be happy to have bottles in their cellars.
95 Points - Wine Spectator
This wine is gorgeous in all facets, offering a simultaneously loamy and creamy mouthfeel, seamless layers of red and black currant, cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit, and a long, tobacco-fueled finish that features alluring hints of black tea and incense. The fruit and terroir shine in this broad, deep and defined style. Best from 2018 through 2030.
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast
With a wonderful 45% blending of fragrant Cabernet Franc, this is a sumptuous, perfumed wine. It's rich with a velvet texture that hides the dark tannins while bringing out the rich plum flavors. The dense texture is balanced by some fresh acidity and a fruity aftertaste.
94 Points - James Suckling
A Cheval Blanc with an impressive center palate of blueberries, chocolate, almonds and spices. Full body, a solid core of fruit and a long, long finish. Goes on for minutes. Beautiful wine. Seamless tannins. Needs a few years of bottle age.
93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted blind at the 2012 Southwold tasting, the 2012 Cheval Blanc has a perfumed, outgoing, almost "glossy" bouquet that wants to be noticed, lavished with damson, wild strawberry, fig jam and crème de cassis scents that are totally seductive. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, succulent, sensual red cherries and wild strawberry fruit, though perhaps the finish showed some superfluous hubris that just erased some of the potential delineation and focus. On this occasion it was pipped to the post by Ausone, but let us see how it matures, because the white horse always repays those that are patient.
Product size: 750ml