In the running for the top second wine of the vintage, the 2018 Le Petit Cheval checks in as 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc and has incredible quality for a second wine. Floral notes of black cherries, graphite, and smoked earth all emerge from this medium to full-bodied Saint-Émilion that has plenty of classic Cheval Blanc elegance and purity as well as length. It’s already seamless and hard to resist, and ideal for drinking over the coming two decades or so.
'This year, this is truly a baby Cheval, right in line with the grand vin,' commented Technical Director Pierre-Olivier Couet. Ten percent of the total production this year went into this second label of Cheval Blanc. Composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Le Petit Cheval needs a lot of coaxing to encourage subtle nuances of crushed rocks, fallen leaves, potpourri and fertile loam to emerge before giving way to fragrant notes of warm blueberries, black raspberries, kirsch and unsmoked cigars with a touch of Marmite toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers layers of fresh, crunchy black fruits and loads of earthy sparks, framed by soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. (LPB)
Beautiful aromas of bark, dried mushroom, berry and tile follow through to a full body with richness of fruit, creamy and ripe tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs two or three years to come around.
This is sappy and bright, very light on its feet; an excellent second wine that is hard to argue with. A yield of 44hl/ha. The production split for this vintage was 74% Cheval Blanc, 10% Petit Cheval and 16% sold in bulk (including all of their press). (JA)
The 2018 Le Petit Cheval comes from the usual five parcels representing the diverse soils across the estate. It has a tightly wound bouquet with blackberry, blueberry, cedar and light iris petal notes, broody at the moment but opening with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied and very pliant with pure black fruit mixed with light truffle and tobacco notes. Harmonious with a precise finish that feels a tad compact at the moment. Therefore, give bottles three to four years once this is released, which it will be (unlike the previous vintage!) (NM)
Nicely focused, with a mix of red and black currant coulis notes laced with savory details and a fine chalky thread. There is tight-grained cedar on the finish, with lingering perfume as well. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. (JM, Web-2021)
Deepest cherry red. More scented than the Quinault L'Enclos just tasted. Very pretty, almost a touch floral, but still elegant. Black and dark-red fruit. Much more savoury on the palate, almost charry without being oaky. Silkiest of tannins, juicy and fresh. Lively, dancing. 17/20 points (JH)
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