Cheval Blanc is one of the top wine estates in the world, one of just four Premiers Grands Crus Classes 'A' in Saint Emilion, along with Chateau Pavie, Ausone and Angelus. In 1998, the Fourcaud-Laussacs family sold Chateau Cheval Blanc to Albert Frere and Bernard Arnault after owning it since 1832.
Today its stellar reputation continues, bolstered by the hard work of Pierre Lurton, also of Chateau d'Yquem. Lurton oversees the 40 hectare vineyard, which sits on the border of Pomerol and St. Emilion. Planted to an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Franc -- 58% -- with the rest to Merlot, the vineyard soils consist of sand, clay and gravel; the clay soil lending opulence and power and the gravel more tannin structure to the wine. In its youth, Cheval Blanc can be wound-up and even tough, due to its strong Cabernet Franc component. In the best vintages, though, it shows a distinctly Pomerol-like lushness of texture with maturity, evolving into one of the region's most decadent and velvety elixirs. Expect a stunning bouquet of spicy dark fruits, flowers, bitter chocolate, tobacco, licorice and game that can improve for up to 50 years in bottle. The Chateau produces about 6,000 cases per year of the Grand Vin, as well as 2,500 cases of a second label called Le Petit Cheval.