This has dreamy aromas already, with notes of Lapsang souchong tea, smoldering cigar and cold charcoal wafting up from the core of dense yet supple currant, fig and blackberry preserves. A loamy edge thumps through the finish, giving this an addictive, head-bobbing bass line. Best from 2026 through 2040. *Collectibles* (JM)
Aromas of strawberries, flowers and rose petals. Medium to full body and such beautiful polish and finesse. The texture is remarkably silky. It’s a wine all in elegance and harmony. Such length. Try in 2022 but already a joy to taste.
The 2014 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc and 55% Merlot, picked from 19 September until 8 October. It has a very succinct, almost understated bouquet, here a mixture of red and black fruit, cold limestone and crushed rose petals (the latter observed when the wine was in barrel). It is not a set of aromatics that go out and grab your attention, rather the sophistication creeps up on you. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin. Unlike the Deuxième Vin, there is real structure and backbone here, a gentle but insistent grip in the mouth. It errs towards black instead of red fruit, intermingling with sage and cumin, then segueing into a precise finish with a long, lingering ferrous finish (à la Pomerol!), finally a hint of oyster shell on the aftertaste. It is one of the most subtle Cheval Blancs that I have tasted in a long time, although it will doubtlessly be deceptively long lived. This is a serious Cheval Blanc for serious oenophiles. (NM)
With its high proportion of Cabernet Franc (45%), this is a finely perfumed rich wine. It has great tannins, a smoky character that comes from the wood. The tannins are quite marked, giving a tight firm edge to the wine that otherwise has generous fruitiness. This is a complex wine, impressive, and likely to age over many years. Drink from 2028. *Cellar Selection* (RV)
The 2014 Cheval Blanc does not convey the same sophistication and panache as the Angélus. This is more rugged and earthier, quite powerful with pencil lead and sous-bois aromas developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, plenty of blackberry laced with cedar, mint, fruitcake and white pepper notes. It finishes with some style and it feels very long on the finish. I just think that unlike Angélus this is going to need several years to really knit together. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. (NM)
Tasted blind. Real freshness here on the nose even if there is a slight lack of concentration. A hint of saltiness. Very appetising and rewarding without anything forced. Not that rich but very grown-up and sophisticated. Just about the first 2014 I was tempted to drink. 18.5/20
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