Cheval Blanc’s managing director Pierre Lurton describes the 2010 vintage as one of ‘cool maturity’, a vintage that allowed for the steady build up and accumulation of flavour and alcohol without plunging acids. Nights in late August at Cheval Blanc were distinctly cool, down to 5C on occasion. ‘It was like keeping the grapes in the fridge overnight’ said technical director Pierre Olivier Clouet. Certainly the vintage conditions have enabled Cheval Blanc to make impressive wines. Grand Cru Classe Chateau La Tour du Pin has been managed by the team here since 2006 and was also shown. The vineyards of this eight hectare estate are planted on a mix of gravel and sandy soil overlying clay and lie close to Cheval Blanc.
The following wines were tasted at Chateau Cheval Blanc on Monday 4th April 2011:
Chateau Cheval Blanc
Deep and dense; tight to the rim; legs; dense nose, some smoke, deep and intense; some floral notes, attractive but overall sense of depth; palate ripe and seductive; really velvety here; extremely well managed extraction; lots and lots of flesh; very silky and velvet; quite a lot of tannin but very ripe and balanced by grip; lots of material here, almost deceptive. Excellent length. So much fruit here, incredibly seductive stuff. [56% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot, alc 14.5%] 98+/100
Very saturated black; to the edge; very pretty nose, plums, seductive and very attractive; good intensity but also accessible; full of flavour and extract on the palate; lots of concentration here; very supple, tannins well managed; fills the mouth with flavour. Good length; lots of fruit and extract here. Chewy but fresh and tannins round. Excellent. [75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, alc 14.5%] 93-95+/100
Chateau Le Tour du Pin
Deep and dense; tight to the rim; creamy ripeness on the nose; some fresh plum; good concentration with flesh; intense and some elegance; good mid-palate; good weight and intensity. Vibrant and alive. Nice length and extract. [75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, alc 13.9%] 90-92+/100