Domaine de Chevalier
Address: 33850 Leognan
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 64 16 16
Extremely well known estate that produces exceptional white wine that ages superbly. The red is excellent too and widely seen as being on great form since 2003. Domaine de Chevalier was bought by the Bernard family in 1983 from Claude Ricard. Olivier Bernard is the estate’s director. The second wine is L’Esprit de Chevalier.
Vineyard/Terrior: 35 hectares red and 5 hectares white varieties planted on gravel with a clay-gravel subsoil. Red varieties comprise 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. White varieties comprise 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon.
Winemaking/Elévage: Red aged in barrel for twenty months, depending on the vintage, half of which are new. The white is aged in barrel for 18 months, one third of which are new.
- 2015 Silver/green; racy with minerality; depth; saline edge; apple note; tightly coiled on the palate; racy style – more Puligny than de Fieuzal’s Corton; candy and peardrop notes here on the palate too; will blossom during elévage. Tasted UGCB 7/6/16. Drink 2020-2025. 92-94
- 2014 Silver; apple and peardrop notes; vinous; mineral and some spice; piercing; taut and elegant on the palate; apple freshness with mineral, zippy finish. Should fill out further. [75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Sémillon]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted UGCB 1 April, 2015. 91-93+
- 2013 Palest grey; round and fine; some lees and waxy notes; some oyster shell; racy palate with salty minerality; fresh; pretty good length and acidity. Moreish and good life ahead. UGCB April 2014. Drink 2017-2025. 90-92+
- 2012 Very washed colour – palest silver/grey; tight and very mineral; crisp and very cool on the palate; some spearmint notes; nice; balanced and appetizing on the palate; quite lean and tight still. Needs a few years to come out. Classical Domaine de Chevalier. Drink 2018-2025. 91+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Palest/washed gold; freshness and minerality; feels crisp; palate quite elemental; racy; almost Chablis Grand Cru like. Great minerality. Obvious class, usual restraint. 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon. 92-94+ UGC Weds April 10, 2013.
- 2011 Very pale grey/almost washed; fine nose; polished; some cream and citrus; flint on the palate with race and elegance. Good length. Pure. Feels long term with the usual restraint of youth here. Not flashy. 2016-2025 91+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Lightest grey/gold; quite leesy, weighty nose; still fairly neutral; very spicy palate and broad; palate more expressive; citrus and grapefruit hints and some floral tones; palate has nice bite and acid and really good length. Palate wonderful if aromatically little dumb at this stage. 93-95+
- 2010 Palest green/gold; quite neutral at first; pure mineral style; dense palate, lots of concentration; depth and intensity; power here; salty, wet beach pebbles tang. Excellent length and depth. Not a showy wine [cf Pape Clément’s white] but works because of its minerality, depth and length. Stunning. 95 [Earlier] Colourless, fresh, ripe, some wax, feels very substantial; broad palate with depth; not especially complex but lovely depth. Terrific length and intensity with real zip on the finish. 93-95/100 Tasted 6 April UGC
- 2009 Pale straw; full nose, some wax but dumb and pretty taut feel; depth; some spice, wax and wet wool on palate; weighty; lots of depth here. Excellent weight , should be brill in 5+ years. 92-94/100 [Earlier] Pale straw; attractive wine; some cashew and apple; grassy note from the Sauvignon Blanc and waxy tones from the Sémillon. Palate very fresh and bold with good structure. Very good wine. Intense and with good acid. Good zip at the end. Potentially really excellent 92-94/100 [80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sémillon] Tasted 31st March 2010 UGC Primeurs tasting.
- 2008 Grey gold; fresh, ripe notes; quite firm palate with some grassy notes but quite full bodied and solid too; wax on the palate and acid keeps the palate refreshed. Looks good and long term 90+/100 UGC ‘10
- 2007 Pale straw; some apples and cashew; length and good acid. This is very fine and should fill out. 88-90+/100 Oct ‘09 UGC London tastings.
- 2015 Mid depth; some wet rocks; ripe fruit; spices; solid effort; nice creamy tones to the fruit; pretty gutsy on the palate; lots of matter here; grip on the finish. Will impress more after elévage. Tasted UGCB 7/4/16. Drink 2022-2032. 91-93+
- 2014 Deep and saturated colour; dark at centre; nice ripe fruit; nicely judged; blackcurrant, some cassis and black cherry; quite voluptuous; little oak; dark chocolate and black cherry notes on the palate; lots of matter; currently some oak to be soaked up on the back palate; grip too; lots of matter; quite big; this will work very well. The comparison here is with 2010 but with more flesh. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2020-2035. Tasted 1 April, 2015. 92-94+
- 2013 Deep and dark looking at the centre; colour tight to rim; ripe fruit aromatically, some wet earth and wet rocks; tightish but there is a good seam of fruit on the nose; sweet attack with good saturation; pretty sappy and chewy on the finish but the wine is well constructed. Inky. Good effort. [80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2018-2028. 89-91
- 2012 Mid depth; ripe spicy aromatics with plushness and polish; quite solid palate; full if lacking a little complexity at this stage; reliable red this and good effort. Should develop well. Drink 2017-2025. 91+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; very pretty nose [immediately reminds me of the 2005]; perfume and lushness; lots on the nose; powerful entry; plenty of matter but a little angularity to the tannins on the end which gives a sappy finish. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. 89-91+ UGC Weds April 10, 2013.
- 2011 Saturated looking; healthy; deep plummy nose; ripe and clean; blackcurrants too, alongside cassis; aromatic and deep; soft palate – caressing; mid weight and extremely well handled for the vintage here. Very polished but not at all pushed. Real success here [reminds me a bit of 2008 though softer at the same stage]. 2015-2025. 90+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; close to the edge; some clean fruit; blackberry and blue fruits; attractive and better handled than some; cherry and red fruit tones too; blackcurrants dominate the palate, fresh and lots of fruit here. Impressive effort. Structure too but lots of fruit to match. This will be very good. 90-92
- 2010 Deep and saturated looking; very dark at core; rounder and generous with a little more development apparent; chocolate tones, wet earth and elegance; open fruit on the palate; very full; structure there but hidden a little by the flesh; cool fruit and nice balance between the bite and chew of the fruit and the fleshy character – the product of the vintage’s ‘cool’ maturity? Genuine length. Very fine. Drink 2018-2040. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; full earthy blackcurrant aromas with some oak; layers of blackcurrant fruit; density and chew here; lots of material and extract and not inconsiderable acid giving a degree of grip. Will need a bit of time but all the elements are here. 93+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Very deep and dense; real colour and intensity; brooding and deep, blackcurrants, some earth and chocolate; ripe entry, sweet and good attack. Lots of grip here and acid. Density but also sweetness. Very ripe but with grip. Very good 92-94+/100 Tasted 6 April 2011 UGC
- 2009 Deep and saturated but still vibrant and healthy looking; very attractive lifted leafy blackcurrant nose with genuine complexity; blackcurrants, mocha and spices; full palate with plenty of spicy blackcurrant fruit; nice sap and freshness too; depth here. Very enjoyable already. This is deceptive – and seductive – stuff! Drink now – 2030+ 95+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth; nice lifted nose; good and deep; briary notes, blackcurrants; oak influenced palate; lifted; some leaf. Polished wine. 91+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Mid red, black; healthy; strong nose; blackcurrants and wet stone; some spices; stone and mineral elements; ripe; palate open and nicely done; blackcurrants and some stones and minerals on the palate; dense and quite structured. Tannins but in balance. Will be good 90-92+/100 [45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot]. Tasted 31st March 2010 UGC Primeurs tastings.
- 2008 Deep and arterial looking; saturated; layers and depth to the nose; nice seam of blackcurrant fruit and toasty oak; very full and enticing; ripe full palate too; this is really looking good; lots of flavour and bite. Structured and with grip but plenty of flesh on the bones. This looks very good indeed. 92+ MW Institute Nov ’12. [Earlier] 2008 Very dark, opaque at centre, tight to rim; quite strong, firm nose; some stalky blackcurrant fruit, quite pure; some oak too; flesh and extract here alongside the tannin. Quite dense and concentrated. A little drying on the finish. Long haul but promising. 90+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
- 2007 Deepish colour; tight to edge; earthy, mineral tones; some meaty, malty tones; quite full, seemingly; some red fruits on the palate; some chew and depth; not that bad, though feels a tad extracted on the finish with rather angular tannin and some tartness 87/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; some depth; substantial wine here; polished; red fruits with nice concentration; some earth, gravel and tar; palate ripe and sweet and nicely lifted quality; very good. Tannins quite round. Intense wine with density. Some chocolate and espresso on the finish. Showing very well given the difficulties of this vintage. 90+/100 Oct ’09 UGC London tastings.
- 2006 Deep at core, quite pent up nose, inky and fresh, some higher tone notes with aeration; some fruit cake and some mineral and wet stone; quite unyielding though it feels deep; red fruits on the palate, quite chalky and minerally, lacks richness and real flesh but full and dense instead; tannins here and some dryness but fruit is there. Chewy finish. Should be good in time. Length but tannins a fraction dry on the end. 88-90/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.