1998 Château Cheval Blanc Château Cheval Blanc, St. Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France
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100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (May 2018)
The 1998 Cheval Blanc, a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, is deep garnet-brick in color and absolutely explodes with scents of exotic spices, incense, dried roses, cigar box and licorice, with a core of crème de cassis and dried cherries plus touches of black tea and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with rich, plushly textured fruit and then POW—it hits the mid-palate with an explosion of Chinese five spice and floral perfume sparks, leading to an epically long finish. This cannot fail to impress and can easily cellar for another 30 years or more.
95 Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2018)
The 1998 Cheval Blanc has been a lauded wine ever since release. I have often, quite controversially felt that it never quite matched its startling performances in its first ten years, though it remains and excellent wine. Now at 20-years old it offers opulent, high-toned scents of maraschino cherry, iodine, crème de cassis, dried blood and a subtle, almost Provençal herb-like scent courtesy of the Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip, showy compared to other vintages of Cheval Blanc with sappy red fruit and a fine structured that lends this 1998 focus. Perhaps this bottle did not quite deliver the intensity on the finish that I was expecting, "jogging" instead of "sprinting" over the finish line. That said, it is a very impressive wine, even if personally I would not put it amongst the very best wines that Pierre Lurton has overseen. Tasted at Cheval Blanc.
100 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (December 2017)
Another perfect wine is the 1998 Cheval Blanc, which is the usual blend of 55/45 Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Possessing an utterly captivating bouquet of sweet red and black fruits, forest floor, spice and dried flowers, it packs plenty of muscle and depth on the palate, yet is also expansive, elegant and seamless, with no hard edges. Just singing, with everything you could want; complexity, richness, elegance, depth, and length, drink this sensational beauty anytime over the coming two decades. I’m sure it will keep longer, but why in the world would you wait.