Name: Saint-Emilion AOP
Cuvée: Château Cheval Blanc
Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé A
1x bottle 75cl
2014 is a wet year until the end of August. The summer rainfall favored the growth of the berries and therefore a certain dilution, especially on the Merlot grape variety. However, a very nice after-season allowed the grapes to reach a good maturity, with a total absence of herbaceous tastes. The Cabernets particularly benefited from these conditions.
TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL
The end of the winter was mild and rainy. April and May were cool and moderately wet. A dry and hot weather settled from May 25 to June 21, favouring a satisfactory end of flowering. On June 22nd and 27th, thunderstorms put an end to the water deficit that was beginning to set in. July is very watered with temperatures close to normal values. August is cool and rainy. Towards the end of the month a turnaround occurs. September is hot and sunny. The weather is globally dry, with only three rainy days, on September 17, 18 and 30. October is very mild and not very rainy. The months of September and October were among the warmest in 20 years.
The budburst occurred in 2014 one to two days ahead of the average dates. The first flowers were observed around May 22nd, but flowering was long to generalize because of the low temperatures during this period. It took dozens of days to go from the early flowering stage to the mid-flowering stage, which was reached on June 2 for the Merlot and June 5 for the Cabernet Franc. This represents a delay of 5 days on the average dates. The end of flowering was rapid. Fruit set went well on most of the plots. The first verée berry was observed very early, on July 15, but the veraison progressed very slowly. Mid-veraison was reached on July 30 for the Merlot grape variety, two days ahead of the average date. Cabernet Franc reached mid-ripening on August 6. Veraison was very spread out.
In the absence of water stress, ripening was slow, which explains a longer than usual veraison-harvest time. The good weather conditions made it possible to spread out the harvest over 23 days, in order to harvest each plot at optimal maturity. Exceptionally, the last plots of Merlot were harvested 8 days after the start of harvesting of the Cabernet Franc grape variety.
GRAPE RIPENESS AND YIELD
The exit of the vine was correct and the flowering took place in rather good conditions. The veraison was particularly long and a thinning out was necessary to eliminate the bunches which presented a consequent delay. In the end, the yield was close to the average for the Merlot grape variety and quite much lower than the average for the Cabernet Franc.
The near absence of water stress before the veraison favoured the growth of the berries. This was particularly evident for Merlot; for this variety, never in 20 years had the berries reached such a weight at maturity (+28% compared to the average). For the Cabernet Franc the difference with the average values was more measured (+8%).
VINIFICATION AND MATURING
Although Château Cheval Blanc rarely uses subtractive techniques, most of the Merlot vats were bled in 2014 to compensate for the large size of the berries of this grape variety. The average bleeding over the entire harvest was 10%.
In 2014 the Merlot had a vatting time of 29 days and the Cabernet Franc had a vatting time of 25 days.
Cheval Blanc was aged 100% in new oak barrels for 15 months.
Beautiful color of the robe, a deep ruby. The rich, airy nose reflects an impressive intensity, evolving towards a bouquet of cedar. Aromas of black fruits, such as blackberry and blackcurrant, and red fruits, such as cherry and raspberry, blend harmoniously. The floral note is expressed through a fruity and heady rose aroma. The aromatic brilliance and precision sum up the nose of this vintage. On the palate, the attack is frank and powerful, even opulent. The second half of the mouth is full of fruit with an unctuous and willingly fat texture that perfectly coats the density and tension of the ripe tannins. The fresh and elegant finish is remarkably long.
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