HONG KONG – The Chinese Year of the Horse calls for something special and what could be more apposite than a mouth-watering, direct-from-the-château sale of fabulous vintages and formats from St. Emilion’s Château Cheval Blanc, surely the most evocative name in the whole of Bordeaux. And Hong Kong, with its passion for horse racing, is the obvious ‘stable’ for these superlative wines. Do join us there on 28 May, or get on the telephone or computer, to corral some treasures.

The sale features over 600 lots highlighted by an offering direct from Château Cheval Blanc.

There is something elegant about equestrian matters, but I would not quite know where to start in the Year of the Snake, for instance – although I have seen some bottles with horrific contents, none of which will ever reach a Sotheby’s saleroom. My own Chinese astrological sign is the Rooster, or Cockerel. Quite apart from the fact that Cockerel attributes have to be matched with the Western signs of Taurus and Gemini (I am a ‘cusp’ person), making one’s character as complex as the best vintage of Cheval Blanc, I really should drink Chianti Classico on a daily basis. The black rooster, the Gallo Nero, is the emblem of the Tuscan region’s best wines, produced between Florence and Siena, and I certainly crack open a bottle whenever a bistecca or a plate of pasta comes into sight.

A variety of magnums across several decades will be offered at the wine sale in Hong Kong.

With Cheval Blanc, one’s thoughts turn to more sophisticated fare, at least when dining at the Château, a treat that makes it all worthwhile! After tasting the 2013 this Spring (both the Grand Vin and Petit Cheval are excellent in this complicated year), we were regaled with a Truffle Salad, followed by Veal and Morel mushrooms, a marriage made in Bordeaux, if not in heaven. As Cheval Blanc matures, it seems to take on some rich undergrowth, leathery, opulent flavours that combine beautifully with feathered game, hot or cold, while young Cheval Blanc, or a flagon or two of Petit Cheval, can be great with a hamburger. Certainly, Pierre Lurton, who is a keen gastronome as well as heading operations at both Cheval Blanc and Yquem, never stands on ceremony and his infectious enthusiasm for what he does is one of the joys of the wine world. I can bear witness to his good spirits at all times, having recently been stranded with him at Panama City’s glamorous airport, in the small hours of the morning, after a big dinner in Rio and before an onward flight to Mexico City. After that, making wine must seem easy!

So, celebrate the Year of the Horse with Cheval Blanc, which appears in this sale in formats from Magnum to Melchior, to suit every occasion and grace every festivity.   Personally, I have sometimes shared a magnum à deux, but a Melchior (18 litres) requires a quorum of wine lovers. It is interesting how quickly they appear over the horizon once the name of Cheval Blanc is mentioned!

Sotheby’s international wine specialist Serena Sutcliffe, MW is one of the world’s leading authorities on wine. 

A Celebration of Year of the Horse: Cheval Blanc Direct from the Château and An Important European Cellar will be held in Hong Kong on 28 May.

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