Intense aromas of tar, blackberry and wet earth, with just a hint of tobacco and flowers. Full-bodied, chewy and long. Extracted, yet turns caressing and velvety in texture. Broad-shouldered and muscular for this estate. This is better than the 2000. Best after 2012.
Eighty thousand bottles of 2004 Cheval Blanc were produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot. Subtle herb, menthol, cranberry, black currant, and licorice aromas emerge from this dark ruby/plum-colored wine. It is medium-bodied and elegant with plenty of sweet fruit, but not a lot of weight or intensity. The complexity and nobility of Cheval Blanc’s gravelly terroir is apparent in this delicate, subtle St.-Emilion. Give it a few years to develop additional aromatics, and drink it over the following 12-15. (RP)
Good bright ruby-red. Subdued but pure aromas of plum, flowers, licorice, menthol and Asian spices. Suave on entry, then dry and tight in the middle; extremely backward and shut down. Most impressive now for its finesse of texture. But today there's little sign of the fleshiness the wine showed in the spring after the harvest. Lock this one away for a while and forget about it. This vintage has more Cab Franc than Merlot. 90(+?) points
Deep, soft-edged garnet. Gorgeously complex and seductive aroma – perfumed, multilayered and even a little exotic in its spice, a touch of orange. Even with all that seduction, there's a breath of fresh air and energy. Soft, fresh and elegant. Fabulous harmony and delicacy on the palate – less intense than I expected from the nose but there is great persistence. Super smooth, gently fresh and finely aromatic. 19/20 points (JH)
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