I was invited to a nice tasting of Cheval Blanc in Zürich held by a Swiss friend. He was very generous to offer these wines for a small group of eight people who traveled from London, Israel, Tokyo, etc. The wines were all decanted prior to the dinner, 3 hours and poured back into the bottle, or in some cases into a decanter to breath.
The venue was Lindenhof Keller, a perfect place to have a wine dinner. The menu was prepared by the host in conjunction with the chef René Hofer who is the owner of Lindenhof Keller. René is passionate, kind and very helpful. He prepared multiple courses, simple preparations to match the wines.
I admit, I expected more from Cheval Blanc, and felt a little disappointed by the wines in general. Many wines seemed past their time and some others were too young. The dinner was a good exercise in tasting Cheval Blanc, but be careful when you buy these big wines because they are often “Parkerized”.
1911 Cheval Blanc: a lazy wine, purchased in auction and suspect given the dating in red. The wine was rosy colored, brownish and passed its time with a medicinal citrus that lingers.
1960 Cheval Blanc: this wine was a low shoulder and undrinkable.
1982: elegant on the nose, impressive with hint of aged Cabernet, intense, slight chlorophyll, iron and a restrained spearmint.
1990 Cheval Blanc: a dusty classic, it had a message of ripeness and seemed bold in comparison to the other wines, a classic claret which fizzled out with a citrus mint, and hay.92 Points
1995 Cheval Blanc: stewed fruit, yet firm and classical.
1998 Cheval Blanc: liquorice cola, it was intense at the time we opened it and a few hours later it was less interesting. The 98 is powered with tannins and driven by fruit but I can’t say it is my style.
2000 Cheval Blanc: something terribly wrong with this bottle
Cheval Blanc 2005: wonderful and refreshing crushed berry fruit, colorful, long and a good representative of the vintage.
2010 Cheval Blanc: great pureness, intense rich fruit, a powerhouse but too young.
2003 Lafite Rothschild: this was served blind and was a home run, rich, long, balanced and modern enough to impress.