The 2000 Cheval Blanc is a wine that I have encountered more than a dozen times. Now at just over 20 years of age (how time flies – I remember tasting this from barrel), it has a lovely, quite beguiling bouquet of brambly red berries, iron rust, Provençal herbs and clove, powerful and somehow enveloping. The peppery palate is medium-bodied with quite firm, stocky tannins and good backbone, though coming after a vertical of recent vintages, it feels more rustic and feral. As Pierre-Olivier Clouet noted, there are fewer “pixels” in this millennial Cheval Blanc, but you can’t help falling for its charms. Ready to drink now but will age for the next 20–30 years. Tasted at Cheval Blanc.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2040
Robert Parker 97
An ex-chateau bottle, this is the best bottle of Cheval Blanc 2000 that I have encountered in several years, though we had to reject one corked example first! Coming directly from the chateau, it has a backward, sultry bouquet that demands coaxing form the glass, but it eventually reveals wonderful delineation and brooding power with scents of dark plum, fireside hearth and anis. The palate has a sublime entry, almost understated until a wave of intense dark cherry and iodine crashes onto the back palate. Velvet smooth in the mouth, this is clearly a vin de garde that has a very long future ahead. Tasted February 2014.
Very dark and healthy looking. More complexity and savour than the late 1990s vintages – not so obviously sweet and oaky. Lighter in weight though. Falls away a little on the finish. The difference between this and the Petit Cheval tasted side by side was not so enormous. Light and silky – not rich and oaky. If anything rather weak. Certainly not a standout. I seem to remember preferring the 1998 at the Bibendum tasting with Pierre Lurton reported on here.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024