Pierre-Olivier Clouet

1982 Vintage by Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director from Château Cheval Blanc

This was an outstanding year, where quality went hand in hand with quantity. 1982 Cheval Blanc is rich and complete. It is one of the finest vintages in the latter half of the 20th century​.



The early part of the growing season was mild and moderately wet. April, on the other hand, was particularly dry. The hallmarks of the vintage are the hot month of July and the drought conditions from the 10th of August to the 20th of September.  A heatwave occurred after the 10th of September that was conducive to ripening.


In order to grow well, the vine needs for water stress to set in slowly so the grapes to ripen well and become concentrated. The water balance shows that water stress was fairly important this year. This was due to regular, but less-than-average rainfall.



1982 was an early-maturing year, with mid-flowering taking place on the 5th of June and mid-véraison on the 9th of August. The harvest started on the 20th of September, and picking went on until the 2nd of October. As is often the case in Bordeaux, a great vintage (grapes in perfect condition, high sugar levels) went hand-in-hand with above-average quantity.

  Begin End
1982 harvest dates September, 20th October, 2nd
Average harvest dates: 1946-2014 September, 24th October, 8th


1982 yield   (hl/ha) Average yield (1946 to 2014)
54.3 33.9


Degree of alcohol 13
Total acidity (g H2 S04/L) 3.43
Volatile acidity  (g H2 SO4/L) 0.49
pH -
Total SO2 (mg/L) 88
Reducing sugar content (g/L) 1.6
IPT (DO280) -



The beautiful colour is medium-deep and showing some bricking on the rim.

The nose is remarkably powerful, concentrated, and complex with an elegant succession of truffle, crème caramel, and prune aromas, as well as a slight smokiness. When swirled in the glass, the bouquet goes on to reveal roasted overtones of coffee, cocoa, and chocolate overlaying spice (cinnamon) and praline.

The wine starts out smooth, fresh and rich on the palate. It is rich, concentrated, round, and sinewy on the palate, but also fluid and in no way heavy. The velvety tannin is accompanied by flavours of cedar and blackcurrant, accompanied by blackberry and raspberry jam nuances that go into a very long aftertaste.

This wine seems virtually eternal and still has the attributes of its flamboyant youth.