It’s the perfect imperfect wine – 1947 Cheval Blanc. I am sure most of you have heard about this legendary red. It’s ageless. It’s also priceless. And it’s also probably the most counterfeited wine of them all.
Yet I had a perfect bottle of the wine about a week ago in Los Angeles, during a vertical tasting of the great St. Emilion estate. Check out my previous blog. And look at the video with this. I also did a vertical of Chateau d’Yquem, the famous Sauternes. The tastings were organized by collector Bipin Desai and Pierre Lurton, head of both estates who attended the tastings in Southern California.
Each time I taste the 1947 Cheval (assuming the bottle is real) I am amazed by its richness, complexity and depth of fruit and flavor. Here is my non-blind score and tasting note from the LA event:
1947 Cheval-Blanc: Dark ruby garnet. Dense color. Incredible nose of ultraripe fruit with masses of prune and coffee. Turns to crushed raspberries with a sugar undertone. Like raspberry tart. Full-bodied, extremely powerful and dense. Port-like. Incredible. It is so rich and decadent. Such sweet, ripe fruit. Turns to coffee and spice with fruit tea. Not sure what to say. I am speechless. The legend lives. 100 points, non-blind.
What's amazing is that the wine is almost totally flawed. There are many technical problems with this red, including four to six grams of residual sugar, and a volatile acidity of 1.2 grams, according to Lurton. He also said it had about 14.4 percent alcohol, which was high for those days.
No top winery today in the world would release a wine with those kinds of figures. Most critics would probably slaughter it with low points if it were made today. Yet the Cheval 1947 is a legend. Some say it is the greatest wine ever produced.
Makes you think. Perhaps we are all looking at perfection in a wine in the wrong way?
Horacio Campana / Butler Me — Monterrey, Mexico — November 12, 2007 8:00pm ET
James Suckling — — November 12, 2007 10:00pm ET
George Fischer — Cleveland, Ohio — November 13, 2007 10:36am ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — November 13, 2007 12:35pm ET
Larry Schaffer — Central Coast — November 13, 2007 2:33pm ET
James Suckling — — November 13, 2007 5:23pm ET
Larry Schaffer — Central Coast — November 13, 2007 6:42pm ET
Mike Roberts — Neerbeek, Netherlands — November 14, 2007 6:33am ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — November 14, 2007 10:19am ET
Richard Horvath — November 14, 2007 6:30pm ET
Jesper Hedegaard — November 14, 2007 7:07pm ET
Paul Rakovich — Las Vegas — November 16, 2007 6:57pm ET
James Suckling — — November 17, 2007 12:07pm ET
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