Like Malartic blanc there's a distinct touch of sweetness. Very rounded on the palate, but somehow also flat. It's a bit shapeless like a baggy sweater. But then its picks itself up and is superbly long. The length is the most impressive thing here, and gives hope it will develop well, but I'd be concerned that it's not just a bit more compact at this stage. Rating: 91+? L&S (Apr 2012)
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Stinky and sweet. A bit pinched on the palate but exotic on the nose. Dry finish. This is a wine with an impressive track record and is likely to bloom eventually. 2020-2040 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2012)
A blend of 85% Sauvignon Bland and 15% Semillon, the Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has a very taut bouquet with scents of granite, lemon rind and a touch of white peach and chalk dust. Great focus and intensity although it takes time to unwind. The palate is medium-bodied with a lovely elegant white peach and a drop of wild honey, very good acidity and a caressing, vanilla-tinged finish that shows great length. This is better than the red this year. Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2012)
Sauvignon Blanc 85%, Semillon 15%. The usual open and expressive purity of fruit from Chevalier here, polished and elegant, suggesting finesse, and free of overt varietal characteristics. There is also a little custardy richness. The only slight hint of the lead variety is a touch of capsicum, although overall the fruit is more yellow plum with a tinge of buttercream. Fresh, lemon-tinged, elegant, with a nicely balanced acidity on the palate. There is an attractive energy coming through the middle and a flourish of fruit on the finish. It's a good wine, no mistake, it just feels a little soft and polished to be considered a truly great Chevalier Blanc for me. This is no 2006. But it is still a delightful wine. Rating: 17-18 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2012)
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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