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1996 Château Cheval Blanc

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1996 Château Cheval Blanc

Single Bottle - Standard - 750ml

Starting bid HK$2,950.00
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Tasting Notes:

Medium ruby, with a garnet edge. Aromas of plum and fresh herbs, such as basil, that turn to cedar and cigar box. Full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins. Long and flavorful, with subtle chocolate, berry and light coffee aftertaste. Gorgeous.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2007.

Tasting Notes:

Tasted at the château, the 1996 Cheval Blanc was a majority of Cabernet Franc although the exact blend is not known. Firstly, the color is a healthy garnet with a mahogany rim. The bouquet has good intensity although it is certainly not a complex set of aromas: dusky black fruit, game, clove and a faint touch of hickory. The palate is quite sharp on the entry with noticeable acidity. My main criticism is a lack of cohesion and a lack of Merlot to bind everything together and lend fleshiness. It seems to be rather monochromatic, a Cheval Blanc with a single note, the finish conservative with a touch of black pepper and cooked meat, but a little frayed around the edges. I would drink bottles now and maybe larger formats would yield more pleasure. The bottom line is this is not one of the great Cheval Blancs and that is reflected in my score. Tasted July 2016.

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Château Cheval Blanc (French for "White Horse Castle"), is a wine producer in Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux wine region of France. As of 2012, its wine is one of only four to receive the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status in the Classification of Saint-Émilion wine, along with Château Angélus, Château Ausone, and Château Pavie. The estate's second wine is named Le Petit Cheval. In 1832, Château Figeac sold 15 hectares/37 acres to M. Laussac-Fourcaud, including part of the narrow gravel ridge that runs through Figeac and neighboring vineyards and reaches Château Pétrus just over the border in Pomerol. This became Château Cheval Blanc which, in the International London and Paris Exhibitions in 1862 and 1867, won medals still prominent on its labels. The château remained in the family until 1998, when it was sold to Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods group LVMH, and Belgian businessman Albert Frère, with Pierre Lurton installed as estate manager, a constellation similar to that of the group's other chief property Château d'Yquem. The vineyard is considered to have three qualities: one third Pomerol as it is located on the boundary, one third Graves as the soil is gravelly, and the remaining third typical Saint-Émilion. The vineyard area is spread over 41 hectares, with 37 hectares planted with an unusual composition of grape varieties of 57% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and small parcels of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. The average annual production is 6000 cases of the Grand vin and 2500 cases of the second wine, Le Petit Cheval. The manager of Château Cheval Blanc, Jacques Hebrard, was outraged at the evaluation of his 1981 vintage barrel samples made by influential wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. and asked him to re-taste. Upon arriving, Parker was attacked by Hebrard's dog as the manager stood idly by and watched. When Parker asked for a bandage to stop the bleeding from his leg, Parker says Hebrard instead gave him a copy of the offending newsletter. Hebrard denies that Parker was bleeding. However, Parker did retaste the wine and found it significantly changed from his previous evaluation; he therefore gave the wine an updated evaluation in a later issue of his publication The Wine Advocate. The Rumpole of the Bailey Series 4 episode "Rumpole and the Blind Tasting" deals with a large shipment of Château Cheval Blanc found in the garage of a minor South London fence, a regular client of Rumpole's, with the fence claiming he had no idea how it got there. The wine later proved not to be Château Cheval Blanc but rather cheap plonk in used Château Cheval Blanc bottles, as part of a scheme to commit insurance fraud; the bottles were shown to have been planted in the fence's garage by the wine merchant who owned the bottles, with the intent of reporting the bottles as stolen in order to claim the large insurance payment from the total loss of the wine. The film Sideways features the Cheval Blanc 1961 vintage as a plot element. Sean Connery drinks Château Cheval Blanc in the 1983 James Bond movie Never Say Never Again. Peter O'Toole as Anton Ego in the film Ratatouille ask for Cheval Blanc 1947 to accompany a dish of fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective.