I started the week tasting this as my first Cru Classé and I finished the week tasting it; on both occasions it really impressed. Lovely sweet loganberry aromas, this is a rich and concentrated wine, with good levels of intensity aided by its tightly integrated tannins. Lots of charm and sweetness on the finish. A very rewarding wine.
The Domaine de Chevalier 2014 is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 30% Merlot. It has a fragrant bouquet with blackberry, black plum, cigar ash and woodland scents, complex though not as intense as its white counterpart. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, quite firm tannin that underpin a classic Domaine de Chevalier that has just the right amount of austerity at this stage. Reserved perhaps, but it is beautifully knitted together with a lovely bay leaf tinged finish. Quintessential Domaine de Chevalier...which is what we all want.
Particularly dark crimson. Intense nose. Quite thick and dense. Then soft and beguiling on the palate. Unusually low in acidity! Quite luscious. And a cool finish. Complete. Drink 2022-2036
Tightly focused, with red currant, bergamot, Campari and sandalwood notes woven together and carrying through the well-polished finish. Has a noticeable twinge of singed wood and sweet earth at the end. A touch more backward than most of the Pessac pack right now.
Very dense and beautiful with chocolate, currants and spices. Walnut and hazelnut character too. Full body, silky tannins and a long finish. Balanced and fine.
The 2014 Domaine de Chevalier is stunningly beautiful. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, spice and leather are all supported by veins of underlying acidity and minerality. Sweet floral and spice notes continue to open up over time, but it is the wine's imposing structure that stands out most. Readers will need to be especially patient here, as the domaine's wines are typically very slow to mature. That is especially like to be the case with the 2014, as the tannins are quite imposing at this stage. The 2014 is going to need a considerable amount of time. The only question is how much. I expect the 2014 will still be magnificent at age thirty and likely beyond. The 2014 is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot that spent approximately 35 days on the skins. Olivier Bernard adds that the Merlots were brought in between October 10 and 17, which is quite late by the domaine's standards.
Rich and silky in texture and great sense of controlled power on the attack. Love the balance here, they have extracted more than some, but with great control and this gives very promising hints of how it will develop over the next decade. The restraint that comes with the tannins is apparent, this is an excellent wine from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% permit verdot, 13.5%abv. Harvested up to October 17 and only started on October 1, so really made the most of the fine late autumn weather. Drink: 2023-2040
Very smart depth and quite robust and solid, this is a big lump of a wine which has yet to show any juicy fruit, but it will be there in time judging by the intensity of flavour.
Known for its exquisite Graves finesse, this property has been owned by Olivier Bernard since 1983. Consulting oenologist, Stéphane Dérononcourt was hired some years back which has contributed to the fresh and clean style. Meticulous parcel selection enables their grand vin to be the best representation of their impressive terroir.
Stretching from the rather unglamorous southern suburbs of Bordeaux, for 50 km along the left bank of the river Garonne, lies Graves. Named for its gravelly soil, a relic of Ice Age glaciers, this is the birthplace of claret, despatched from the Middle Ages onwards from the nearby quayside to England in vast quantities. It can feel as though Bordeaux is just about red wines, but some sensational white wines are produced in this area from a blend of sauvignon blanc, Semillon and, occasionally, muscadelle grapes, often fermented and aged in barrel. In particular, Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its superbly complex whites, which continue to develop in bottle over decades. A premium appellation, Pessac-Leognan, was created in 1987 for the most prestigious terroirs within Graves. These are soils with exceptional drainage, made up of gravel terraces built up in layers over many millennia, and consequently thrive in mediocre vintages but are less likely to perform well in hotter years. These wines were appraised and graded in their own classification system in 1953 and updated in 1959, but, like the 1855 classification system, this should be regarded with caution and the wines must absolutely be assessed on their own current merits.