Nose here is restrained, with lovely gentle, soft stone fruit. In the mouth though there is an eruption of flavour and intensity - lovely tart apple skin, crisp and almost crunchily bright, like there is a current running through this it is just so full of sparky life, enjoyable and impressive. 75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon. Rating: 93 L&S (Apr 2015)
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The Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Sémillon matured in around 40% new oak, with a low pH, Olivier Bernard remarking that it was close to 3.0. It has an almost clinical nose, extremely well defined, Zen-like at first with scents of flint and cold granite, stone rather than fruit. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity, though it is not shrill. It is very focused, "minimalist" Domaine de Chevalier that Olivier remarked is perhaps the best he has ever made. Perhaps he is right. There is a Burgundy like sense of terroir coming through here, a wine that perhaps does not wish to conform to the Bordeaux stereotype of what a white Pessac-Léognan should be. So it's a bit of a sui generis, a one-off, and you'll love it. Drinking range: 2018 - 2035 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(May 2015)
The twist of clean minerality brings a smile. You are in the hands of experts here: citrus fruit and controlled sappy acidity - lovely persistency. A great wine - this estate is hitting it out of the park with red and whites. 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon. (Outstanding Pessac-Léognan.) Drinking range: 2019 - 2030 Rating: 95 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2015)
Powerful and intense, the 2014 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is very tightly wound today. Lemon peel, white flowers, slate and crushed rocks are all beautifully delineated. Blocked malolactic fermentations keep the flavors bright and the textures focused. The intensely mineral, salivating finish is a thing of pure beauty. There is little doubt the Chevalier Blanc is one of the wines of the vintage. Readers can look forward to several decades of exceptional drinking. In 2014, the blend is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. Tasted three times. Rating: 91-94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2015)
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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