Brilliant bright purple colour, this has intense rich fruitcake aromas. A wine with a richness and volume not often seen in this vintage. There is sweetness and a feeling of juicy succulence supporting the natural bite of acidity for the vintage. A strong wine from Pessac.
Made from an unusual blend for this great estate, the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot (no Petit Verdot), and the total production was less than half of normal. The wine achieved 13% natural alcohol, but yields were frightfully low. The result is an outstanding effort in this frequently disappointing, average quality vintage. The wine possesses a deep plum/ruby color as well as a sweet bouquet of incense, charcoal, red and black currants, and loamy soil. Medium-bodied with good texture, depth and purity, sweet tannins, and present but unobtrusive acidity, it should drink nicely for 12-15 years. Once again, it proves that Domaine de Chevalier often accomplishes impressive things in so-called “off” vintages.
A blend 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot picked between from the end of September up to around the 15 October, the Domaine de Chevalier has a toasty bouquet with dark chocolate scents that seem more pronounced compared to previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of greenness in the background. This is a broody, introspective Domaine de Chevalier, with good weight on the dry, gritty finish, but I feel it is missing its usual flair...at the moment. I strongly suspect that it will mellow and demonstrate more pizzazz by the time of bottling as this 2013 has impressive persistency, but it needs to really get hold of that oak.
Beautifully ripe, modern cassis character. Creamy texture, smooth and aromatic. A well-judged leafy element, firm but not impenetrable tannins, and refreshing acid. Comparatively light, but has convincing enough flavour and balance. (RH)
Superb colour, lovely cassis black fruits nose, rich smoothness on the palate with Chevalier tobacco leaf hints, elegantly exuberant in 2013. Drink: 2017-2028
Always among the best value wines on the Left Bank, this has over-delivered on flavour and complexity in 2013. Classic graphite and cassis characters are underpinned by well-judged oak and fine-grained tannins and a refreshing, grassy finish. 2018-26
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.