Neil Martin 96
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When I tasted the 2018 Cheval Blanc from barrel, I felt that it deserved a very good score, though not one that implied potential perfection. The bottle was tasted upon opening, but I only began to pen my tasting note after 3–4 hours’ decanting. I still find the bouquet more open than many recent vintages, the ripe brambly red fruit intermingling with clove, sage and light graphite notes originating from the Cabernet components (46% of the final blend). It is a really seductive bouquet, though not as complex or as nuanced as, say, the astonishing 2016 or the impressive 2015. The palate is medium-bodied with refined tannins. A harmonious and elegant Cheval Blanc that has retained the linearity I remarked upon in barrel. So it is not a flamboyant Cheval Blanc like the Cabernet-dominated 2017, but it is a far better wine thanks to the Merlot imparting flesh and rondeur. The finish is extremely precise but never powerful, almost Burgundy-like in weight, with a lightly spiced aftertaste. As the hours pass in the decanter, it gains depth and a little more precision on the finish. This does not possess the otherworldly profundity to equal legends such as the 1934, 1964 or 2016; it is simply a wonderful Cheval Blanc to sit back and savor as a Saint-Émilion par excellence. 2026 - 2050.
| Neil Martin
|Region||France | Bordeaux | Saint-Emilion|
|Bottle size||Standard bottle (0,75 liter)|
|Bottle condition||Bottles in perfect condition: Labels and capsules excellent. Levels into the neck. Stored in fully conditioned cellar.|
|When to drink||2030-2065|