2016 le petit cheval, saint-emilion grand cru
Why We're Buying
Le Petit Cheval may be a second wine, but it's no slouch. The Bordeaux red blend contains roughly 70% cabernet franc and 30% merlot, yielding a complex and succulent body. The combination of black cherry, caramel, and tobacco notes ages well for up to 20 years.
The refined, yellow grapefruit nose and the elegant first impression on the palate hardly prepare you for the tidal wave of flavor and freshness that then hits you. Yet, the wine remains so light-footed and delicate. Then you glide into the distance through the very long, silky finish. Drink or hold.
Robert parker's Wine Advocate
Pow! The 100% Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Le Petit Cheval Blanc explodes from the glass, delivering a tantalizing perfume of ripe peaches, mango and fresh pineapple with hints of lime blossoms, lemongrass, fresh ginger and spearmint plus a waft of cedar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with tropical and stone fruit flavors complemented by a compelling textural component and a racy line of acid, finishing very long and very delicious. (LPB) 94+
Aged in a variety of differently sized barrels to minimise oak impact, you get the varietal character of 100% Sauvignon Blanc on the fist nose. This is quickly overtaken by tight, punchy slate and rosemary aromas, bringing in more complex layers from the mid-palate onwards. A lovely texture with a rich, soft mouthfeel and a citrus bite, this is very good, but not as good as the reds in this vintage. From 2018 some Semillon will be added to the blend. (JA)
While the red deservedly gets all the attention from this estate, they make a thrilling white as well. The 2016 Le Petit Cheval Blanc is all Sauvignon Blanc brought up in barrel. It boasts a vivid light gold color to go with notes of key lime pie, crushed citrus, and white peach that build beautifully with time in the glass. It’s balanced, medium-bodied, and pure.
Aged on the lees for 20 months in equal proportions of demi-muids, foudres and wooden vats, the 2016 Le Petit Cheval Blanc has a fresh lime flower and orange blossom bouquet that reveals a touch of gooseberry in the background. The palate is well balanced, displaying slight roundness on the entry, hints of tropical fruit (kumquat, passion fruit), and frangipane on the finish. Very fine. (NM)