Good full, deep red. Sexy aromas of mocha, tobacco and milk chocolate, with a suggestion of roasted nuts. Suave, fine-grained and sappy, with lovely vinosity in the context of this heatwave vintage. Redcurrant and milk chocolate flavors linger impressively on the finish, which shows noteworthy energy and length, with sweet tannins. With its high percentage of 55% cabernet franc, this was very closed at the beginning, notes Berrouet, but is now "more human." But today I don’t find enough complexity to merit an even higher score.
Robert Parker 92
The 2003 Cheval Blanc, a blend of 56% Cabernet Franc and 44% Merlot, reveals an exquisite bouquet of mulberries, forest floor, new saddle leather, spice box and spring flowers. The first-growth quality aromatics are followed by a complex medium-bodied wine with more density than anticipated. The wine seems fully mature although there is an unexpected freshness and underlying depth of fruit. This beauty should continue to drink well for another 7-8 years. One of the principal theories of the bizarre, historically hot and dry summer of 2003 is that grapes planted in gravelly and sandy soils were the least successful. If that was true 100% of the time, Cheval Blanc would have made a horrible wine. In fact, both the grand vin and second wine at Cheval Blanc did well in this vintage. It was the earliest harvest in over 110 years at this estate, and the resulting wine is a beauty.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022
Mid soft garnet. Fragrant with red fruit, just a touch leafy with stony/graphite edge and some undergrowth and sweet spice. Dry and more savoury on the palate though still has nice bright fruit in the middle. Much fresher and more youthful than most. Tannins are dry but the whole still just achieves harmony. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020