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Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947

Journalists from around the world – mostly French and one from Asia – surround Chateau Cheval Blanc Managing Director Pierre Lurton (centre) following a tasting of 20 vintages of the Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A on 14 May 2011.

It is one of the greatest wines ever produced.

Just two years after the end of a devastating World War II (1939 – 1945).

I tasted Cheval Blanc 1947 when the wine was 64 years young. On Saturday 14 May 2011 at Chateau Cheval Blanc.

We were a group of journalists from around the world. Most were French. I was the only one from Asia.

The tasting of 20 vintages – from between 1919 and 2000 – was headed by Chateau Cheval Blanc Managing Director Pierre Lurton.

Outstanding vintages for me were 1919, 1949, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1971, 1985, 1988,1989, 1990, 1995, 1996 and 2000.

The indisputable star of the 20 vintages from between 1919 and 2000 was Cheval Blanc 1947. The wine has 10 gm of residual sugar.

Cheval Blanc 1919 – an outstanding wine produced after World War I (1914 – 1918) – is still alive, fresh and with lingering fruit.

One vintage stood head and shoulders above all the others.

Just as remarkable as the quality is the high quantity the vintage 1947 produced at Cheval Blanc, 60 hectolitres to a hectare!

The grapes had so much natural sugar the winery had to throw blocks of dried ice to stop the fermentation.

Cheval Blanc 1947 actually contains 10 gm of residual sugar. This is the main reason the wine has been able to stay so alive for such a long time.

Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 

Vibrant mid-red with a pale tawny rim. Ripe, rich fruit and tannins which are completely resolved and evolved. Very figs on the nose and palate. The sweet fruit (10 gm of residual sugar) is intense, persistent and long. The texture is pure velvet – rich, warm, soft and enveloping. Sensuous and baroque or, if you prefer, the artistry of Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero in its sumptuous richness. Full-bodied. This is the first time I have tasted this legendary wine. In the past, I have heard people associating Cheval Blanc 1947 with being Port-like. They are not entirely right. The fruit, flavour and texture is more like a miniature Pedro Ximenez. Watch this video of Winemaker Pierre-Olivier Clouet speak about Cheval Blanc 1947 at www.chateau-cheval-blanc.com/en/vintages/chateau-cheval-blanc-1947/.

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