DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER
2009 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan
Ripeness evident on nose, subtle oak, intense, balanced, pure. Tannins grippy but full of dry black-cherry and sloe. Compared to the obviously sweet-tasting Saint Emilions of the von Neipperg stable (at the same tasting), it seems to have some greenness in its core, but in its own terms seems refreshing becasuse of it. Chewy black-cherry skin fruit on finish - very long on with this fruit drawing out a supple, mouthwatering length. At the Pessac-Léognan tasting it also showed well - flavoury, expressive cedar and black fruit, not sweet! Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2010)
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The 2009 Domaine de Chevalier has a vivacious, almost exotic bouquet with lavish black fruit, mint, oregano and cedar that all gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, ripe black fruit laced with white pepper and even a faint touch of Szechuan pepper. This displays exquisite balance and the finish feels deep and satisfying, clearly born in a great vintage. Tasted blind at the Domaine de Chevalier vertical at the property. Drinking range: 2021 - 2050 Rating: 91-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Mar 2019)
The finest wine I have tasted from this estate in my 30+ - year career, the 2009 (64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot) from this hallowed vineyard in Leognan was cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare and came in at 13% alcohol. It reveals an extraordinary, intense, pure, quintessential Domaine de Chevalier style, including silky tannin, dense plum, black currant, black cherry, floral, and graphite notes, terrific acidity, sweet tannin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel with no weight, but admirable precision and freshness. Consultant Stephane Derenoncourt has coaxed out all the elegance and complexity at this great site. A future legend in the making, this could be the best Domaine de Chevalier produced over the last half century. It should drink well for 35-40 years. Drinking range: 2012 - 2037 Rating: 94-96 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2010)
This wine has a dark and creamy, cherry red hue. A beautifully crisp aromatic definition here, with more obvious perfume and more vibrant, crunchy fruit aromatics then some of its peers. Nevertheless, the fruit does have a very ripe-rich profile with mulberry and dark red cherry. The same freshness is found on the palate, which has beautifully clean lines, elegant and more gently fleshy than some. The midpalate shows lovely breadth though, with a good backbone of ripe and grainy tannins. Sweetness and freshness combined here. This should be popular with fans of this domaine. Rating: 17.5-18.5+ Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2010)
Domaine de Chevalier
Domaine de Chevalier, located in Léognan and surrounded by forest, enjoys a particular microclimate. Unlike some of the Pessacs which are surrounded by urban development which raises the average temperature, Chevalier is quite a cool terroir.
Olivier Bernard has owned and run the estate since 1983, and has done much to improve the quality of the wines. The white has always been one of Bordeaux's finest, and is even better now, and Bernard has dramatically increased the quality of the red, especially in the last ten years.
Domaine de Chevalier has a soil of dark sand and fine white gravel. It is planted at 10,000 vines per hectare averaging 35 years old.
There are 7 Hectares planted for white with 70% Sauvignon and 30% Sémillon.
There are 60 Hectares planted for red, comprising 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
At the harvest the white grapes are picked in baskets with successive picking through the vines.
The red grapes are also picked in baskets, with triple sorting: first in the vines, then the complete bunch on the sorting table and third by optical sorting machine, berry by berry.
The white is pressed slowly, and settlement (débourbage) and alcoholic fermentation occur in the barrel, with 35% new wood. The wine is aged on the lees in barrel with stirring (batonnage), for 18 months.
The red grapes are vatted by gravity without pumping. The alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel and coated steel temperature-controlled vats. Maceration for 2 to 3 weeks with a maximum fermentation temperature of 30° C and manual pigeage. The wine is aged for 18 months (four months on the lees), with 35% new wood.
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