1999 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion (750ml)

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Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Sub-Region: Saint-Emilion
Grape Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Review Score: 93WA, 91-93IWC, 91WS

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The complex, explosively fragrant 1999 Cheval Blanc is a blend of 59% Merlot and 41% Cabernet Franc. It is already showing well, which is a good sign for a wine that traditionally is reserved early in life, but puts on weight and richness in the bottle. Stylistically, this wine is probably cut from the same mold as vintages such as 1985, 1966, and 1962. The color is a dense ruby with purple nuances. Once past the blockbuster bouquet of menthol, leather, black fruits, licorice, and mocha, the wine reveals medium body, extraordinary elegance, purity, and sweet, harmonious flavors with no hard edges. This is a seamless beauty of finesse, charm, and concentration. The 1999 is an exciting Cheval Blanc to drink relatively young. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2022.

93 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue # 140 - Apr 2002)

Medium ruby-red. Spicy, floral aromas of blueberry, violet pastille, licorice, bitter chocolate and black pepper. Very concentrated but currently tightly wound. An elegantly styled wine that can't match the 2000 for sheer layered richness, but impressively juicy and bright for the year. I may have slightly underrated this a year ago. This will not be bottled until November.

91-93 points, Stephen Tanzer's Int'l Wine Cellar (May/Jun 2001)

Love the chocolate mousse and berry aromas here. This is opulent, yet reserved, and beautiful. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a delicious finish. Offering so much finesse and beauty, this is a polished and gorgeous Cheval. '89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.

91 points, Wine Spectator (2010)