Name: Saint-Emilion AOP
Cuvée: Château Cheval Blanc
Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé A
1x bottle 75cl
2015 is a dry vintage, warm at the beginning of the year, then cool on the maturation. The harvest was historically homogeneous, leading the property to not produce Petit Cheval. The 2015 wines are remarkably harmonious and balanced.
TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL
Temperatures and precipitation were close to normal values during the first three months of the year. The rest of 2015 was particularly dry, with the exception of a rainy episode in the first half of August. Total rainfall for the year amounted to 535 mm, the second lowest value in 20 years. Only 2005 received even less (501 mm). Temperatures were well above normal values from April to August inclusive. The months of September and October were dry and rather cool. With the exception of fairly heavy rainfall on October 2, the vast majority of the harvest took place in dry weather.
The bud-break took place during the last week of March for the Merlot and at the beginning of April for the Cabernet Franc, slightly late by a few days compared to the usual dates. By the time of flowering this delay had been made up. The veraison took place during the first week of August. The first plots of Merlot were harvested from September 15th. The Cabernet Franc was harvested between September 28th and October 7th. The variable weather at the beginning of the season necessitated monitoring to avoid any contamination by mildew. The pressure dropped off when dry weather set in in July. The water stress slowed the growth of the shoots and limited the size of the berries, two conditions that are essential for the success of a great vintage. A thinning carried out at the veraison stage made it possible to homogenize maturity. The grapes were harvested with a sanitary state close to perfection. The fine and very stable weather during the harvest (from September 15 to October 7) made it possible to wait for full maturity for each plot and a perfect sanitary state at harvest, without the slightest trace of Botrytis.
GRAPE RIPENESS AND YIELD
The exit of the vine was correct and the flowering took place in rather good conditions. In spite of a berry weight close to the average, the yield was quite clearly below normal values for both grape varieties.
Early water stress reduced the size of the berries for the Merlot. The rains in August had a greater impact on the berry weight of the Cabernet Franc, a later grape variety.
The composition of the must at maturity reflected the good ripening conditions. The grapes were rich in sugars and low in malic acid. The average degree of Cabernet Franc was slightly higher than that of Merlot, which had already been observed in 2011. Nevertheless, thanks to the cool conditions at the end of the season, the pH values at vatting were lower than average and the grapes retained a very good aromatic freshness. They were moderately rich in phenolic compounds.
Grapes were low in nitrogen, especially for the Merlot grape variety. This low nitrogen supply did not pose any quality problems, but it did require the tanks to be supplemented with nitrogen to ensure good fermentability of the musts.
2015 is a dry year, punctuated by rainfall at the time of veraison. The beginning of the year was hot and cooler temperatures were recorded during the ripening period. These climatic conditions were favorable to the ripening process. The 2015 wines are particularly harmonious and balanced.
The initially discreet nose quickly shows its aromatic complexity. Fruits dominate by mixing red and black fruits such as cherry, raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant. The floral register is not in pain, this wine expresses violet, rose, peony, lilac. Airing gradually brings peppery, spicy, almost caramelized notes. The nose shines by its brightness and clarity. The attack, creamy and voluminous, continues towards a mid-palate with powerful but coated tannins, rich and elegant, voluminous and refined. It is the balance between tannins and acidity that gives this wine its breed and gives it an endless length, fresh and fruity. The aromatic persistence of this Cheval Blanc is impressive.
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