Cheval Blanc 1949

Château Cheval Blanc 1949, St Emilion 

This isn’t an attempt to grandstand.

I was lucky enough to try this very special wine during a recent visit to ‘The Fort Knox of wine’, 100 feet underground in Octavian’s Corsham Cellars, and I thought it would be interesting to share the experience.

You can hear more about it on our podcast: Inside the Fort Knox of Wine

The 1947 Cheval Blanc is legendary – but 1949 was an excellent vintage too.

And this bottle? Was mind-blowing.

I’ll be honest and say I’m not the biggest fan of Cheval Blanc. It’s never really made sense to me as a wine – or, rather, never really floated my boat. A bit too diffuse, chewy, sinewy.

When Susie drank the 1966 one lunch she came back and raved about it. I still didn’t get it.

But with this 1949 – it finally made sense.

After 70+ years, it was just so elegant and Burgundian – earthy sappy, forest floor. Yes tobacco and cedar and fine tannin, still Bordeaux, but with a warming spice and haunting lift and lightness.

So complex, so persistent, a wine that affects you on an emotional level. You can’t remain unmoved with a wine like that.

Also so alive and vibrant. Just a great moment in my wine life – undoubtedly one of the very best Bordeaux wines I’ve ever drunk.

I tried it alongside the 1998, another legendary vintage, which was impressive, but didn’t hold a candle to the 1949.

We also tried quite a few other special wines on this occasion. Find out more about those by listening to the podcast.

10/10, Peter, September 2022