63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Noticeably the most purple-black colour at the Pessac-Léognan tasting. Almost pine-scented. Cool and fresh. Gorgeous classical dry palate: supple with superfine tannins. Very direct, buttoned-up, crunchy, austere even. I love this but it will require some patience. Rating: 93-93 L&S (May 2013)
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The nose is rich deep with a mix of ripe black fruits and fresher red. The palate is the same with the rich flavours underpinned by freshness all supported by firm but ripe tannins. There is a lighter feel on the back palate yet the finish has richness of flavour. 2018-35 Rating: 90-94 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (Dec 2013)
The Domaine de Chevalier has a lovely understated, very pure, quite feminine bouquet with seamlessly integrated oak that neatly encases the blackberry and blueberry fruit. There is a floral note that emerges with time. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins. There is a real backbone to this Pessac-Leognan, although the structured is disguised behind layers of velvety tannins. Gorgeous – but it deserves several years in the cellar. Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (May 2013)
One of the stars of the vintage, it boasts a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of red and black currants, graphite, subtle flowers and well-integrated, toasty oak. Impressively built rich and medium to full-bodied without losing the quintessential elegance and finesse for which this famous estate is renowned, the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier is filled with purity, equilibrium and balance. The tannins are sweet enough that this wine should be accessible when released, and will last for 15-20 years. Is this a modern day clone of their brilliant 1953 (which I drank from magnum at Bern’s Steak House in November for less than $500!)? I was joking with proprietor Olivier Bernard, who is now the president of the Union des Grands Crus, that his position seems to be accompanied by much higher scores from wine critics. Nevertheless, there is no question that Domaine de Chevalier has been on a relatively hot streak lately, and this 2012 is a beauty. 2013 - 2033 Rating: 92-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2013)
Further proof that the top Pessac-Léognan reds were a step up on the 2011s and not far behind the quality of the 2010s, this is a very elegant, patrician wine, described as “frockcoated” by one colleague. Spice, tobacco and freshness with plenty of oak, good cassisdominated fruit and a savoury reticence. Drink: 2020-35 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Apr 2013)
Velvety black-red, impressive concentration of ripe, slightly leafy fruit, good depth and clarity, slight green. Drink: 2016 - 2030. Rating: 17.5 Steven Spurrier (Apr 2013)
Fairly rich and dense with spice and a fair amount of power this is a very good DDC with fine control, too. Rating: 18 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Apr 2013)
Fresh and nicely polished, with a rounded feel to the mix of plum skin, cherry preserve and currant notes. Alluring spice and dark tea notes fill in the finish. Sneakily long Rating: 90-93 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2013)
Very dark crimson. Very concentrated and interesting on the nose. Sweet and voluptuous. Perhaps lacking a teensy amount of energy and drive. And the tannins are a little drying on the end. Acidity and grip are marked. Very much work in progress. As usual. Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2013)
Domaine de Chevalier
Dating back to at least the 17th Century, Domaine de Chevalier is a jewel in the Bordeaux crown. Producing both red and white wines, Domaine de Chevalier - located in Leognan - enjoys an interesting microclimate, surrounded by forest. Since 1983, Olivier Bernard has owned and run the estate. Much has been done to improve the quality of the wines. While the whites always had been appreciated, Bernard has done much to improve both the white and the red wines. This is definitely a wine to buy with confidence; supported by its ranking as Grand Cru Classe de Graves in 1959.
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