5 key facts about the Bordeaux-based wine makers
One of only four wines to receive the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status in the Classification of Saint-Émilion wine, Château Cheval Blanc (French for ‘White Horse Castle’) is one of the longest lived Bordeaux wines still being produced with a reputation that fits well with its outstanding longevity.
- The very best of Cabernet Franc
Cheval Blanc produces the most famous Cabernet Franc-based wine in the world and present régisseur Pierre Lurton is amongst the most talented winemakers working in Bordeaux today. Cheval Blanc requires a minimum 10 years of bottle age and the best vintages can last for 50 years or more.
- Fantastic four
Cheval Blanc’s vineyards are made up of a variety of soils: gravel, clay and sand, all of which are underpinned by an impermeable sedimentary rock. This allows the production of (Merlot 39%, Cabernet Franc 57%, Malbec 3%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1%) – all of which are left to ferment in stainless steel vats for 4 weeks followed by 18 months' maturation in new oak barrels.
- Attack on the senses
The beauty of Cheval Blanc is the complex, powerful perfume paired with textures that can feel as soft as polished silk and velvet. The wine is incredibly rich, yet it’s never heavy – it’s well known for being sensory and memorable.
- Standing the test of time
The most prestigious part of Cheval Blanc's history can be said to date from 1832, when Jean-Jacques Ducasse, President of the Libourne Trade Tribunal, purchased the core of the present-day estate. Over the next twenty years, the purchase of plots belonging to Château Figeac led to the creation of the 39- hectare vineyard as we know it today. The configuration has remained practically unchanged.
- Innovate and renovate
Cheval Blanc, with its recent renovations is now the most modern facility in St. Emilion today. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Around 1860, when the chateau for Cheval Blanc was being built, extensive work was also being done in the vineyards. In fact, even then, Chateau Cheval Blanc was at the forefront of vineyard management techniques when they added a vast network of drains in their vineyards. Chateau Cheval Blanc was probably the first estate in the Right Bank to install this type of drainage system.