I had only tasted the ’66 Cheval on one previous occasion, and that bottle was a stylish, complex and gentle middleweight. This bottle was several notches up from the previous one, offering terrific mid-palate depth and great length and grip on the complex finish. The bouquet is classic, mature Cheval, with a level of intensity and depth that is not far off the 1964. Scents of roasted chestnuts, black cherries, hints of bell pepper, tobacco, a bit of menthol and coffee tones soar from the glass. On the palate the wine is full-bodied (rather a shock after the more middling bottle I tasted a few years back), with a great core of fruit, layers of flavors, excellent structure and focus, and a long, complex and powerful finish. This is not a vintage of Cheval that has a strong reputation, but this bottle was absolutely dynamite. Great juice. (Drink between 2002-2025)
Following from a delicious half-bottle in February, the Château Cheval Blanc 1966 put in another impressive performance just a few months later. Served blind, it has a typical bouquet for the vintage: tobacco and cigar box, the fruit in the background, tertiary and classic in style. The palate is very well balanced and errs more towards the Left Bank than the Right Bank: structured, firm, aloof but compelling. This is a sublime expression of Cheval Blanc and it deserves to be drunk over the next 8-10 years. Tasted September 2014. (NM)
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