Vertical Tasting of Chateau Cheval Blanc (Oct 2011)

(12.4% alcohol; 18.5 h/h): Garnet red. Knockout nose offers expressive scents of raspberry, strawberry, blood orange, cedar and faded violet. Then juicy and bright on the palate, with flavors of ripe red berries, underbrush and tobacco lifted by harmonious acidity. This impeccably balanced wine finishes extremely persistent, with a velvety, refined mouth feel, but I expected to find more density and precision. For many experts, the 1971 Cheval Blanc is one of the two or three best Bordeaux of the vintage, but this particular bottle seemed a little more evolved to me than others I have had in the past. The 1971 vintage was marred by a very rainy if mild spring and a July that was also wet, leading to considerable disease pressure on the vines. The harvest took place from September 30 to October 11.