Thursday, July 18, 2013 - From 750ml. Level IN. Served at the St Geran in Mauritius. No decant and tasted over 2 hours. Colour was an attractive brick red, dark core, leather edge. Absolutely classic aromatic Cheval nose, lots of chocolate, cedar, truffle, spicy compote, some toffee. Very exotic, impactful and enticing.
The palate seemed a little plain after the hugely impressive nose, but very good. An extremely elegant wine with fruit mixed with sandalwood, black fruits, leather and good balancing acidity. Medium to long finish but beautifully poised and rounded.
Although 1997 is often pegged as an early developer this bottle begs to differ. I have drunk this wine 5 or 6 times over the last 10 years and this was its best showing yet. The nose continues to be stunning and aromatic but the wine is just so elegant now. The palate is rounded and there is still plenty of fruit and a chewy finish. The lifegiving tannin is there, but now firmly in the background.
As I reach the last part of my case it seems that this Cheval has hit its stride. It also seems Broadbent was right (again) that this a far better 1997 than others managed. It just took 15+ years to come around.