Robert Parker 96 Points
The dense ruby/purple-hued 2005 Cheval Blanc’s ethereal bouquet of menthol, coffee, wet stones, black cherries, blackberries, and hints of graphite and spice soars from the glass. An equal part blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it is medium to full-bodied with a gorgeous texture in addition to high tannins that glide over the palate with no angularity or astringency. While it does not quite reach the perfection of the 2000, it should rival the profound 1998 and 1990. This is not a Cheval Blanc for near-term drinking as it demands at least a decade’s worth of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.
Wine Spectator 97 Points
This is really gorgeous on the nose, with blackberry, mineral, light vanilla bean and milk chocolate. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, caressing finish. This is racy and very beautiful. The tannins coat the palate, but leave a provoking impression. A Cheval for long-term aging. Best after 2017.–JS
International Wine Cellar 96 Points
Good deep ruby-red. Knockout nose offers terrific vinosity to the aromas of dark raspberry, mocha, minerals, licorice, menthol and dark chocolate. Lush, fat and suave, with superb energy and lift to the fine-grained, palate-staining flavors. Despite its rather high 14% alcohol, this boasts near-perfect balance and finishes with outstanding verve. A great vintage for Cheval, and likely to improve in bottle for at least two or three decades.