Château Cheval Blanc is a wine estate located in the commune of Saint-Emilion, on the edge of the Pomerol appellation. The Château was a Premier Grand Cru Classé A in the official classification of Saint Emilion classified growths until 2022, when the château decided to leave the classification on its own. Cheval Blanc is one of the most consistent estates in the world with the ability to be excellent at any age. The estate produces the "Grand vin de Cheval blanc" in red as well as a second wine "Le petit Cheval" which it offers in red and white. Since 1998, Bernard Arnault and Albert Frère have been the owners with the desire to revitalize the Château Cheval Blanc “with respect for its history and its heritage, and with total confidence in the teams in place. »
In 1832, Jean Pierre Ducasse, president of the Libourne court of first instance, bought a 16-hectare farm located on the Figeac estate from the Countess of Gères. He undertook major works there, built a castle and decided to break away from the Figeac appellation by christening his estate Château Cheval Blanc. In 1838, he bought 2 new plots from the Countess for an area of 16 hectares. In 1852, Jean Laussac Fourcaud married Charlotte Louise Henriette Ducasse and received the estate of Château Figeac as a dowry. Under his direction, the vineyard prospered, and new plots were acquired, bringing the total area to around 41 hectares.
The estate survived the phylloxera crisis and in 1926, Jacques Fourcaud-Laussac took over the management of the property. In 1943, Gaston Vaissière was hired as cellar master and the estate produced a legendary vintage in 1947. Changes were made to the vinification, and the estate was classified 1er Grand Cru Classé A in 1955.
In 1970, Jacques Hébrard became property manager, succeeding Jacques Fourcaud-Laussac. Renovation and expansion of the cellars began in 1974. In 1989, Jacques Hébrard retired and the management of the estate was taken over by Brigitte Hamelle, Martine d'Arfeuille and Claude de la Barre. Pierre Lurton, manager of Clos Fourtet becomes the domain manager. In 1998, the estate was then bought by Albert Frère, a Belgian businessman associated with Bernard Arnault. In 2011, a new cellar designed by Christian de Portzamparc was inaugurated. It has 54 thermo-regulated concrete vats containing 20 to 110 hectoliters, they correspond to the 54 plots of the estate.
In 2012, the estate entered the sixth official classification of AOC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru wines in the category: Premier Grand Cru Classé, however in 2022, the estate did not appear in the list of the 7th classification of classified growths of Saint-Emilion following its refusal to participate.
The Château's grape varieties are 52% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Château Cheval Blanc has the particularity of having a heterogeneous type of soil, composed of gravel and clay, which mingle on the 45 plots of its estate.
Aging takes place for 18 to 22 months in 100% new barrels.
Unlike the other wines of the Saint Emilion appellation, the main grape variety is Cabernet Franc, which brings suppleness, fruitiness and acidity. Powerful, without aggressiveness, spherical, silky, always elegant and distinguished in its matrix of Cabernet Franc surrounded by Merlot, the great wine of Cheval Blanc is close to a Pomerol, without quite resembling a Saint-Émilion.
Since 1988, Château Cheval Blanc has been producing a second wine called "Petit Cheval". It is made with the same know-how as the great wine but from younger vines. Aging lasts 10 to 12 months in oak barrels, 50% of which are new.
To these should be added the 3 vintages that obtained the 100% Parker rating: Cheval Blanc 1947, 2005 and 2010.
The wines of the château go very well with all types of red meat, game, dishes in sauce but also fish, provided that their recipe includes an element linked to the land (potatoes, mushrooms, etc.) . As for the cheeses, we will opt for strong cow cheeses (munster, maroilles, refined mimolette). Finally, on the side of sweets, the choice will be made of chocolate or coffee desserts.