The 2012 vintage was challenging … buds broke later than usual, and the vines grew very unevenly in April as a result of the difficult weather conditions. The harvest began on September 27th for Merlot and October 6th for Cabernet Franc. Despite this, the composition of the grapes was well balanced with good concentration and promising levels of key phenolic compounds.
During the April 9 tasting, the wines show every sign of being a good vintage ….
.. the Chateau Cheval Blanc 2012 I tasted was a very dark purple with rich berry aromas (black currant, blackberry). The wine had an herbal quality (mint) as well as mineral (graphite and limestone). I also detected black currant leaf, crushed blueberries, and tobacco leaf). This blend was 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. It will be gorgeous in a few years time.
The Le Petite Cheval 2012 was delicious and ready to drink right this minute with dinner! Lots of rich dark fruit, and hints of mint and licorice. Luscious creamy texture. The blend here is 25% Merlot and 75% Cabernet Sauvignon.
I also tasted the Chateau Quinault L’Enclos 2012, a vineyard located on the outskirts of Libourne near the River Dordogne, planted mostly with Merlot vines with an average age of 50 years. The wine is flavorful with an incredible richness of red and dark berries. This one is 81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc.