Chateau Cheval Blanc Grand Vin 1986
St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Winemaking and Maturation
1986 was a cool and dry year conducive to excellent Cabernet grapes. The vintage benefited from optimum conditions for the slow and complete ripening Cheval Blanc always looks for. Despite high yields, 1986 Cheval Blanc has fantastic aromatic intensity and has aged remarkably well.
The 1986 vintage is atypical due to the high proportion of Cabernet Franc, which accounts for this variety’s two hallmarks: remarkably elegant aromatic intensity and considerable ageing potential. The medium-deep colour is showing some bricking in keeping with its age. The intense, complex nose expresses all the refinement of Cabernet Franc, showing hints of ink, fruit in brandy, and mint. With aeration, the bouquet displays overtones of Virginia tobacco and cedar. However, the overriding olfactory component is blackberry. The wine starts off quite smooth and soft on the palate. The tannin is soft, ethereal, and extremely elegant. The aromatic profile is huge, encompassing Morello cherry jam and leather. Wonderfully fresh and with obvious finesse, the long aftertaste is reminiscent of caramel. 1986 Cheval Blanc is a great wine at its peak, but will easily stay on its plateau for several more years.