2018 Le Petit Cheval (St-Emilion)

70% Merlot/30% Cabernet Franc. Lifted blackberry fruit, tobacco and liquorice, then graphite on the finish. Full bodied, silky, smooth tannins and long finish. Impressive. (NT 23/04/19)
St-Emilion, Right bank, Bordeaux FRANCE
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Closure Style
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
92 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, April 2019
17 points, Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, May 2019
93-95 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, April 2019
90-93 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2019
93-95 points, Chris Kissack, th

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Media Reviews

Jane Anson

Juicy, precise and elegant, this is also extremely well balanced. It has soft black fruits, liquorice and gently smoked cedar. The sensation of density is almost hidden at first but in terms of numbers, the tannins are the highest since 2011. Through the palate the sensation increases to a soft two-point jab between tannins and fruit. Picked 11 September to 11 October. Fewer young plots are in the wine this year as the dryness of the summer meant some blockages, so they sold off 16% in bulk, with just 10% going into Petit Cheval (from five diverse plots of clay, gravel and sand). Drink 2025 - 2040. 92 points

Julia Harding

70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Deepest cherry red. More scented than the Quinault L`Enclos just tasted. Very pretty, almost a touch floral, but still elegant. Black and dark-red fruit. Much more savoury on the palate, almost charry without being oaky. Silkiest of tannins, juicy and fresh. Lively, dancing. 17 points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

`This year, this is truly a baby Cheval, right in line with the grand vin,` commented Technical Director Pierre-Olivier Couet. Ten percent of the total production this year went into this second label of Cheval Blanc. Composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Le Petit Cheval needs a lot of coaxing to encourage subtle nuances of crushed rocks, fallen leaves, potpourri and fertile loam to emerge before giving way to fragrant notes of warm blueberries, black raspberries, kirsch and unsmoked cigars with a touch of Marmite toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers layers of fresh, crunchy black fruits and loads of earthy sparks, framed by soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. 93-95 points

Antonio Galloni

The 2018 Petit Cheval represents 10% of the estate`s production and is taken from a collection of five parcels that span all of the three main soil types of the property: sand, gravel and clay, all of which were, inc identally, in the Grand Vin in 2016. A wine of remarkable harmony and class, the 2018 Petit Cheval possesses striking textural depth and nuance. Succulent black cherry, mocha, grilled herb, licorice and menthol build in a voluptuous, racy Petit Cheval that will drink well right out of the gate. The blend is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. 90-93 points

Chris Kissack

The second wine of Cheval Blanc is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the fruit harvested from five parcels, all of which have contributed to the grand vin in previous vintages (such as 2016 of course). It is a mix of vine ages, young and old, and terroirs, including clay, gravel and sand. This took 10% of the crop, and 15% was sold off. It has a very fresh and lightly reductive nose, smoky and matchsticky, with some very precise red fruits coming in behind. There are some lovely notes of toast and cigar box from the oak. The palate feels the same, smoky, toasty, with tobacco notes wrapping up the slightly degraded fruit, all resting on a bed of polished chalky tannins and fresh acidity. Very stylish, polished and precise, looking like a very convincing baby Cheval. Poised, defined and confident, it culminates with a lovely round of polished and velvety tannins in the finish. The élevage here will be in 50% new oak and 50% second-fill oak, for 12 months. 93-95 points

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