The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge was cropped at 34hl/ha between 11 and 29 September and is matured in 35% new oak for 18 months. It has a vivacious bouquet with quite generous black fruit, raspberry, brine and black olive that is well-defined and focused, if not possessing the complexity of the previous two vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly edgy tannin – layers of black fruit interlaced with melted tar and graphite, closing in a little towards the finish with a gentle grip. I appreciate the deft manner in which this fans out and leaves a mineral residue on the finish. A Domaine de Chevalier of refinement rather than power, one with “buvabilité” or “drinkability”. Drinking range: 2021 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)
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Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier opens with a cedary waft giving way to a good core of crushed black currants, blackberries and mulberries with suggestions of black truffles, tilled soil and black olives plus a hint of smoked meats. Medium-bodied with a good, solid frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it is elegantly fruited yet well sustained on the mid-palate and long finish. Rating: 93-95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (Apr 2018)
Deep crimson. A little leafy, fragrant in a herbaceous style. Firm and chewy. Tongue-tied at the moment but there's finesse in the dark, dusty fruit and tender graphite notes. Smooth and polished yet compact tannins. Savoury, dry, subtle aftertaste. Drinking range: 2024 - 2037 Rating: 17+ Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)
This is really delicious and round with soft and ripe tannins. Full body and juicy fruit. Shows ripeness and balance. A pretty wine to watch for the future. Rating: 93-94 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2018)
A very expressive, open, fruit-rich and perfumed nose, full of fragrant black cherry character, intense and dusted with rose-petal and peony scents. These floral elements are prominent, although they come with rather impressively intertwined twists of back bean and melted tar. This confidence and expression translates perfectly onto the palate, which carries a creamy texture, with a polished tannic grip, fine-boned and fresh, and delightfully correct acidity. We have a real tour de force here, long and with a gentle caress of tannins in the finish. Impressive, and well set up for the future. Rating: 94-96 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2018)
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.