Cheval Blanc 2017 has been released at €432 per bottle ex-negociant, down 22% on the 2016 release of €552. It is being offered by the trade at £5,304 per 12×75, a decrease of 17% in sterling terms on the 2016 release of £6,400 per case.
Liv-ex members overestimated today’s release price by 14%. On average, merchants expected the 2017 to be released at €503 ex-negociant.
A number of critics noted that the Cheval Blanc harvest was down compared to the 2016 due to frost. Chris Kissack (The Wine Doctor) commented that “the spring frost took out 30% of the crop” and Rebecca Gibb MW (RebeccaGibb.com) reported that this lead to a “small harvest of just 50,000 bottles”. Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider) said that because of this, the final wine contained “the most Cabernet Sauvignon ever used in the blend in the history of the estate!”
Overall, the volume of stock coming to the market is down 65% on last year.
As a result, critical reception for this year’s Cheval Blanc has varied. Neal Martin (Vinous) awarded the wine 93-95 points. In his tasting note he commented that “this is a cerebral Cheval Blanc, not the greatest in recent years, but one of the most interesting to sit and think about (and then drink of course!)” James Suckling (JamesSuckling.com), on the other hand, was more generous and scored the wine 97-98 points. He described it as “muscular and flexing”, adding that it is “very Left Bank in terms of the power and depth”.
Liv-ex members were also impressed. On average they ranked this year’s Cheval Blanc as their seventh favourite wine in 2017.
Once again, today’s release is coming to the market at a significant premium to the price implied by Liv-ex’s ‘fair value methodology’. Buyers looking for value may wish to consider the higher scoring (97 NM) 2006 vintage, which is available at a 21% discount.
The 2005 vintage also offers relative value.
Liv-ex members can see ongoing real time prices for Cheval Blanc on our Fair Value analysis tool.