On opening the cork fell into the bottle. It was fished halfway out and removed with a Durand corkscrew. Anytime one gets the opportunity to try a Cheval Blanc it is truly a treat! Of course, this is not a great year and it might be getting a bit old but it still has plenty to offer. It took about 15 minutes to really open up. Purple in color, slight browning at the edges. There is some initial bottle stink but that blows off leaving cherries, slight dried cherries, spice, dust and blood. Interesting. On the palate, this has nice tart cherries layered with dry forest floor and some funk. The tartness of the fruit gives this more energy than expected. Good complexity. While certainly past prime, it drinks fine and would work on the dinner table.