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Château Cheval Blanc - Le Petit Cheval - Bordeaux Blanc 2021

Price: $165.00

Producer Château Cheval Blanc
Country France
Region Bordeaux
Varietal Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon
Vintage 2021
Sku 017955
ABV 14.00%

95 Points - Jane Anson

In any conversation regarding the “royalty” of Bordeaux wines, Château Cheval Blanc dominates a large portion of that dialogue. The prestigious Saint-Émilion estate had been crafting otherworldly wines decades before receiving the highest possible distinction of Premier Grand Cru Classé “A” in 1954, an exalted rank that has been confirmed every ten years since. In fact, Cheval Blanc is a member of the exclusive “Club of 9”, made up of the five Left Bank First Growths, fellow St. Émilion estate Château Ausone, Château Petrus of Pomerol and Premier Cru Supèrieur Château d’Yquem of Sauternes. The Club of 9 is not just a nickname given to the top echelon of Bordeaux estates, but a council where the technical directors of each property discuss and share technical issues, research and the challenges each of their estates and regions are facing. Yet with all these accolades and accomplishments, Château Cheval Blanc is not one to rest on their laurels. Their most recent project — Le Petit Cheval Blanc — is ample evidence of the estate’s determination to continue to evolve and climb the ladder beyond greatness.

The incredible story of Petit Cheval Blanc — the estate’s first and only white wine — began in 2006, when Cheval Blanc acquired an eight-hectare vineyard adjacent to the property. The next two years witnessed an exhausting study and restructuring of the vineyards: soil surveys, plot-by-plot cartography and clonal and rootstock selection. At the end, 1.5 hectares were planted to Cabernet Franc and added to the Cheval Blanc rouge. The remaining 6.5 hectares of sandy-clay plots were deemed perfect for the cultivation of great white wine. These vineyards were planted to Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, affirming its true Bordeaux identity.

A book could be written on how dedicated and thorough these vineyards are tended. The same person — since the vineyard’s inception — has been pruning each plot; sculpting every single vine, one-by-one, since day one! Thinning, aeration, vertical growth control: each vine receives undivided attention and tailor-made treatment. Harvest is performed manually, ploy-by-plot, selecting “al dente” berries: fresh, juicy and crunchy. No money is spared in the cellar with only the best and most advanced techniques, from pressing to fermentation to aging, constantly adapting to the vintage.

The ultimate goal was to create a wine respecting the six fundamental qualities of Cheval Blanc: freshness, complexity, potential for aging, depth, length and purity. Five vintages were produced, tested and internally reviewed, though never released. All these steps necessary on the “path to excellence” that culminated in Petit Cheval Blanc’s debut in 2014.

Composed of Sauvignon with a touch of Sémillon, this beautiful Bordeaux Blanc is an aromatically complex marvel, with a zillion tiny nuances… green apple, lychee, and mango interweaved with citrus and white flowers. The wine is inviting and zesty on the nose without being overbearing. The attack is fresh and generous, though exhibits a lovely combination of tension and density. The full-bodied palate possesses both a fine dose of energy and graceful structure. Petit Cheval Blanc is a true symphony of elegant flavors that is a testimony to its noble origins!

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