Lovely vibrant aromas of fresh grapefruits and peaches. This is a full and textured wine, with mouth coating flavours and balanced clean freshness. A delicious blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon.
A gorgeous effort, the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier, made from a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon that reached 13.5% natural alcohol, boasts abundant notes of creme brulee, lemon custard, candle wax and oranges in its beautifully rich, honeyed personality. Great acidity gives laser-like precision to its component parts. Drink this full-bodied white wine over the next 2-3 decades.
The Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has a reserved, stony nose that you have to be patient with - give it a few minutes and there are some subtle undergrowth scents that begin to emerge, hints of orange blossom and dried apricot. The palate is well balanced with a delicate touch of spice on the entry. This is very focused with good weight and it displays wonderful tension on the finish that offers a Burgundy-like texture. Wonderful.
Sweet and rather oily start. Lots of weight. Could only be Pessac-Léognan – tant mieux! Big and beefy but not sweet. I admire this style – for food. Long, with an admirably dry finish. Drink 2014-2024
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.