96-98+/100 Robert Parker Jr.
2010 Cheval Blanc: The 2010 Cheval Blanc contains 13.8% alcohol, which is very high for this estate, and has an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Franc in the final blend (56% versus 44% Merlot). Yields were tiny, adding to the richness and intensity already instilled by the drought of summer and resulting tiny berries. In the style of some of the great Cheval Blancs of the late 1940s, this wine is rich, opulent, full-bodied, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, as saturated purple in color as any Cheval Blanc I have seen. Mulberries, black currants, fresh minerals, and floral notes jump from the glass of this full-bodied, dense wine. With its tannins, good acidity and surprisingly modest pH, this should be an exceptionally long-lived wine, more backward and delineated than the fatter, more opulent 2009. Drink it over the next 30+ years. Drink 2011-2041.
Wine Advocate (Neal Martin) 95-97/100 A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, the latter suffering a little coulure (so bunches were cut earlier during the season after veraison to increase homogeneity.) The Merlot were reaching around 14.5% alcohol and the clay/gravel soils inhibited the increased alcohol level at the end. The harvest began on 15th September and finished on 13th October with a major part of the vineyard picked on 7th October. Like many samples, the Cheval Blanc takes a long time to open but eventually reveals a very refined, tightly-knit bouquet with dark berries, espresso, underbrush, the Cabernet Franc dominating the Merlot at present. The palate is medium-bodied and much more masculine compared to the fleshier 2009 last year, like the nose, the Cabernet Franc defining the wine with touches of dried herbs, a little allspice and white pepper. There is a firm backbone to this Cheval Blanc, quite structured towards the spicy finish, fresh but obdurate and broody. This will need a decade to really open up. Very promising, but do not expect fireworks...yet. Drink 2020-2040+ Tasted March 2011.
James Suckling (James Suckling) 99-100/100 The blueberry and blackberry character and bouquet of violets is off the charts. Full body, the Cabernet Franc dominates the blend now, with so much dark fruits, minerals and flowers with hints of spices. It is a very powerful and linear CB and shows amazing length and purity. Zen-like focus.
Decanter Magazine (James Lawther MW) 20/20 Sublime wine. Fresh, floral, perfumed. More elegant and sensual than the '09. Pure, sumptuous fruit. Refined texture and tannins. Lovely acidity for balance. Seamless. Drink 2020-2050. (20 points)
Wine Spectator (James Molesworth) 95-98/100 Lush and very rounded, with lots of muscle and heft, but also great polish and pose to the gorgeous boysenberry, plum and fig notes. Supercreamy on the finish, with bittersweet cocoa, violet, mint, anise and tobacco in reserve. Tasted non-blind. —J.M.