Cheval Blanc is considered the greatest wine of Saint-Émillion, and shares a worldwide reputation comparable to any Bordeaux First Growth (and therefore any wine on earth). Being Right Bank-situated, no wines from the region were included in the original 1855 classification of Bordeaux, but Saint-Émillion devised its own ranking system 100 years later - one that is considered incredibly robust and up-to-date, due to its regular re-appraisal.
Cheval Blanc has been ranked as a Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) - the highest possible - since the inception of the classification.
The property borders Pomerol on one side, often drawing commentators into describing Cheval Blanc as combining the best of the two: having the richness and opulence of Pomerol tempered by Saint-Émillion’s unique elegance and poise.
The wine is generally led by Cabernet Franc, followed by the signature Merlot of Saint-Émillion.
Medium deep colour. Beautiful raspberry, dark berry, praline minerally slightly sappy aromas. Palate is slinky in texture with elegant red and dark fruits, lacy dry textures and underlying savoury notes. Finishes chalky firm, long and savoury.
94 points, Langton's
2014 Cheval Blanc is still looking very youthful and wearing a bit of puppy fat, sporting gregarious red and black cherries notes with hints of oolong tea, wilted roses and dusty soil. Medium-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and plenty of freshness supporting the lively fruit, it finishes on a lingering perfumed note. Drink 2022-2042.
95 points, Wine Advocate, August 2018
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.
96 points, James Suckling.com, Feb 2017
A wine of exceptional finesse, the 2014 Cheval Blanc lifts from the glass with captivating aromatics and sculpted red-fleshed fruit, all with the extra kick of acidity and overall freshness that are such a signature of this vintage. The 2014 is bright, finessed and persistent. It will almost certainly put on weight in bottle. I have a feeling something special is developing here.
96+ points, Vinous, Feb 2017
Real freshness here on the nose... A hint of saltiness. Very appetising and rewarding without anything forced... very grown-up and sophisticated. Just about the first 2014 I was tempted to drink. Drink 2023-2043.
18.5/20 points, JancisRobinson.com, Feb 2018
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.
97 points, Wine Spectator, Feb 2017
One of the great successes of the vintage... a wonderfully refined, nuanced wine that doesn't show its 100% new oak. Grassy, mineral and elegant, with notes of graphite, red berries and cinnamon, silky, supple tannins and remarkable palate length.
98 points, TimAtkin.com. April 2015
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.