100pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cheval Blanc is blended of 59.5% Merlot, 37.2% Cabernet Franc and 3.3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose is incredibly youthful yet not so shy as some other 2016s at this stage, giving wonderfully intense scents of red currants, black cherries, wild blueberries and violets with nuances of star anise, cinnamon stick, rose hip tea, cigar box and wood smoke plus a touch of beef drippings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has jaw-dropping elegance and depth, offering up layer upon layer of fragrant red and black fruits plus an extraordinary array of mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid grainy texture, finishing with epic persistence and an edifying perfume. This is a very different style from the rich, opulently hedonic 2015, yet this wonderfully fragrant, beautifully poised and intellectually compelling 2016 is equally extraordinary.
99pts James Suckling
Wet earth and sliced, fresh mushrooms. Menthol. Dark berries, such as blackberries and blueberries. Full-bodied, dense and whole, but you don’t feel the tannins, even though it is so powerful and structured. Detailed and defined. Cashmere. Wonderful finish. Glorious young Cheval. Try after 2025, but so wonderful already.
This just keeps on going and going, the oak is perfectly integrated but holding everything in place. It has race, depth, complexity and feels true to the personality of the estate. It's deftly put together and feels grown-up, as Cheval Blanc so often does, with wonderful fresh mint notes and clear tannic structure. It's a bit like putting together a puzzle in your mouth, with a different piece fitting snugly into place every minute. It doesn't try too hard to impress, like so many others. This is the first year since the early 2000s to have some Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Drinking Window 2026 - 2046
97pts Wine Enthusiast
Rich, smoky and with powerful fruit, this structured wine also has an impressive perfumed character. Spice, blackberry fruits and rich tannins give wonderful firmness that will allow the wine to age well. Drink this already beautiful wine from 2025. Cellar Selection
97pts Wine Spectator
This has turned into a very dense wine, with waves of cassis, plum reduction and blackberry paste forming the core. Wrapped tightly in layers of tobacco and loam for now, while singed alder, incense, black tea and bergamot notes peek in here and there. The finish rumbles like thunder for now, with the swath of tannins, and there’s just a twinge of drought-induced austerity. But there’s acidity and drive too, and this will cruise in the cellar for some time. Best from 2025 through 2045.
97pts Jeb Dunnuck
The grand vin 2016 Château Cheval Blanc checks in as 60% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up in new barrels, and this is the first year a replanted block of Cabernet Sauvignon has made the top cuvée. Compared to the 2001 by Pierre Lurton, it displays stunning aromatic fireworks with notions of blackcurrants, forest floor, iron bar, graphite, and spice all soaring from the glass. It develops more floral nuances with time in the glass and, as always with this cuvée, it’s all about complexity and elegance. More medium to full-bodied, with beautiful tannins and perfect balance, it’s a decidedly classic, focused, elegant wine from this estate that will keep for 3-4 decades.