About the Wine
Domaine de Chevalier is a classified Grand Cru Classé de Graves and regarded as one of the most important estates in the prestigious Pessac-Leognan appellation. Both a red and white Grand Vin are made at Domaine de Chevalier, known for quality and longevity, the Blanc is one of the longest-lived wines in all of Bordeaux.
Taking a unique approach during harvest, all grape sorting is done exclusively in the vineyards, even if it means some grapes are picked one at a time! To combat potential frost damage they employ wind machines and even helicopters in certain vintages. The reason this works is that it mixes the lower layers of cold air where the vines are with warmer air above the earth in order to avoid damage from frost. These types of meticulous practices are how they garnered a reputation for producing great wine even in average vintages.
Remaining a family-owned and managed estate. Olivier Bernard who began managing the estate at 23 years old in 1983, is now joined by his wife Anne Bernard and their two sons. Sustainable vineyard practices have been adopted to tend to the vines which are an average of 50 years old. The 2016 vintage received an exceptional 97 point rating from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
Surrounding many of the estates that performed best during the Graves Classification of 1959, Pessac-Leognan was established in 1987 in order to recognize the high-quality red and white wines produced here.
Aging: 18 to 20 months French oak, 40-60% new
Tasting Notes: Red Wine. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Intense dark ruby-purple color, A fresh nose of red and black fruits in a balsamic atmosphere with a hint of pine forest. Peppery spices and fresh notes of venison are integrated. A mineral complexity surrounds this entire bouquet. The palate is generous with a soft texture, silky and fruity. The sensation of a dense tannic structure is immediate. The texture is tight but refined and supple. Great tannins coated with fruity pulp give both velvety and firm texture. This large-scale wine deserves time to develop its great potential.
Aromas of blackberries, red and dark plums, cedar and gravel, as well as red flowers and brown-leaf tea. It offers a very sleek and powerful array of ripe dark fruit and a very plush, focused, and elegant bed of fresh, fine, and powerful tannins. Plenty of aging potential, this is still quite tight. A blend of 55 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. Try from 2024. ~97 James Suckling
The 2016 Domaine de Chevalier is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that saw an extended maceration, malo in barrel, and 18 months in just 35% new French oak. This deep purple-hued beauty boasts a powerful bouquet of tobacco smoke, damp earth, gravelly, rocky minerality, wood smoke, and loads of dark fruits. Full-bodied, deep, concentrated yet incredibly elegant and seamless on the palate, it’s a legendary Chevalier in the making. While I rated this as high as 99 points on one of the four separate occasions I was able to taste it, I’m being conservative with the score. it has some upfront charm but needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will keep for 3-4 decades. ~97 Jeb Dunnuck
The core of fruit flavor here is sappy and dense, with lots of kirsch, raspberry pâte de fruit, and plum reduction notes, yet this stays fresh and racy overall, with a bright iron spine, flashes of tea and tobacco, and a long finish that shows a wonderful infusion of alder and tobacco flavors. Offers a lovely combination of prodigious fruit details, with a tug of earth. Best from 2024 through 2038. ~96 Wine Spectator
This elegant wine wears its firm tannic structure lightly. It is densely textured, just starting on its road to maturity. Black-plum and berry fruits give the wine its weight as much as the tannins. It will age well over many years. Drink from 2026. ~96 Wine Enthusiast
Rich body, lovely dark spice, and full damson color, no question that this is superb quality and clearly one of the best on display in terms of its effortless delivery of all the components you want in a classified Bordeaux that is built for aging. Quality, complexity, and enjoyability on display. Drinking Window 2026 - 2043 ~96 Decanter
The 2016 Domaine de Chevalier is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot picked between 4-21 October at 45 hectoliters per hectare, and matured in 35% new oak. Oh yes! This is a perfumed bouquet that unfolds beautifully in the glass with blackberry, cedar, smoke and a light marine influence, not unlike Japanese nori. The palate is medium-bodied with such fine tannins that it bought to mind Burgundy rather than Bordeaux. There is a grainy texture here, quite saline in the mouth with an entrancing sense of symmetry, very classic but not austere on the finish, with a long and saline aftertaste. This is an outstanding Domaine de Chevalier from the busiest man in Bordeaux, Oliver Bernard. Tasted twice with consistent notes. ~94-96 Wine Advocate
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