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Domaine de Chevalier is one of the few Graves estates to produce both first class reds and whites. The property was purchased by the Ricard family in 1865 and remained in their hands until it was bought by the Bernard distilling company in 1983. Domaine De Chevalier has 35 hectares of vines and red wine accounts for 80% of the production. Made from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine is fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats and then matured in oak barriques (50% new) for 18 months. Domaine de Chevalier is fortunate to have such a fine team to run its affairs. Olivier, whose family business owns the estate, is the outgoing but canny administrator whilst Rémi Edange is hands-on, knowing every vine and every barrel. Whilst their white wines have always been amongst the very finest, the reds were simpler affairs. But from the 1995 vintage onwards greater flair and concentration was in evidence. The quality curve is now further accentuated by the team's bold move to appoint Stéphane Derenoncourt, of La Mondotte fame, as consultant winemaker. Domaine De Chevalier is classified as a Graves Cru Classé.
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Esprit de Chevalier is a charming red wine with many of the same qualities as the grand vin and the added advantage that can be enjoyed earlier.
Case price (12)
Case saving £48.00
Bottle 12 x 75cl
This is one of my top five ‘must haves’ this year…again! I have bought it for my own cellar every year since 2004. It’s just heavenly and you know, because Olivier Bernard is a pragmatic realist, that it is going to be priced at a level where we can all indulge ourselves a little. It is multi-layered, sophisticated but still generous. Pure yet decadent, it has such silky tannins that you have to go digging about in the glass to find any at all. It also has the honour of having the longest finish of any wine we tasted during the en primeur tasting week. This is an outstanding wine from 2012. Drink 2018-2035. Simon Staples, Asia Director
Case price (12)
Case saving £47.28
Bottle 6 x 75cl
Magnum 3 x 150cl
An explosive nose of pineapple, grapefruit and slight citrus overtones heralds the spiced pears and pineapple which continue on to the powerful yet refined palate, with a precise balance of acidity. The finish lasts at least 10 minutes and no doubt this wine will go on for at least a decade... What more can a wine offer? This truly is one of the finest dry whites I have tasted in a long time and if you don't have a case, or two, in your cellar, I would strongly advise you pick one up before they sell out. Ben Upjohn -Berrys' Cellar Plan Team - Sept 2008
This is a totally sensational wine. We tried it 30 minutes after tasting the rare and incredibly expensive Ch. Haut-Brion Blanc and frankly it not only gave that great wine a run for its money, we think it was superior. This has the depth, minerality, intensity and charm of a top Grand Cru white Burgundy. The nose is fresh with concentrated floral notes of exotic citrus and an attractive flintiness. Totally harmonious with integrated oak and a rich, tight mineral core, it left us with a mouthwatering two to three minute long finish.
Domaine de Chevalier always seems to know how to please. The 2008 has a fantastic, opulent nose of liquid blackcurrants and a concentrated, intense palate of dark cassis fruit but with that lovely freshness indicative of the vintage. This is a wine with plenty of flesh on its bones, but one which combines power with grace and balance. Ripe, grainy tannins and a savoury, mineral finish complete this very rewarding wine.
Olivier Bernard has crafted a succession of stunning wines over the past few years and this may well be his best yet.
This is my wine of the vintage. Don’t mess about, tell it like it is. Flawless like a perfect diamond. When we look at wines we are always looking for perfect harmony and balance, and rather sadly looking for what’s wrong with a wine, rather than what’s right with it. Is the acidity too high, given the alcohol and weight of fruit? Are the tannins too tough for the amount of fruit? Here, this year, it was too easy. The wine is perfect. The richness of ripe fruit is close to exotic but not flabby because of the delicious balance of acidity and freshness. Heavenly. It’s going to be a nightmare getting any due to the small crop, but if you can, do. Surpasses even the brilliant 2007. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
“Breath taking”. Tasting at the Château with Olivier Bernard is always one of the highlights of our week. He tells it like it is, every time. Also, the tasting is always fabulous. The estate is best known for its legendary white wine, but, for me, since the truly stunning 2005, his red is up there with some of the super seconds and I have bought at least a case every year since 2005. 2011 again is exceptional. It has a seamless balance between power and finesse. Cool and focussed with such fine tannins you hardly notice them. It’s the definition for me that makes it stand out. It doesn’t have the decadence of Pontet-Canet or the power of Lynch-Bages, but it sort of sits between the two for me, in not only structure but taste. If that’s the case, what’s not to like at approximately half the price? One of my top wines of the vintage. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
Domaine de Chevalier produces 7000 cases a year, this tiny production as been supervised by Olivier Bernard from the Bernard Distilling Company. Since the acquisition in 1983 the wine has been made in a most robust and powerful style with an increase in the use of oak balanced with the almost natural charm and finesse of the wine. Decanted for an hour before serving, the nose offers mature notes of briary fruit, cedar wood and earthy spices, while the palate is rich, broad and endlessly complex. A wine to challenge the mind and soothe the soul.
There is a qualitative similarity between 2012 and 2011 for the dry white wines of the Graves, high praise indeed given the undoubted quality of the latter. However the summer of 2012 was hotter and drier, giving what Remi Edange at Domaine de Chevalier called a "pulpeux" quality to the wines. That is to say a fleshy and juicy character. This 2012 white is very impressive with a bright firm fruit showing citrus and stoney flavours in equal measure. As usual as 70/30 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, this is sure to be an outstanding wine once it has finished its maturation in oak. Mark Pardoe MW, Wine Buying Director
Ripe fruit and hints of tobacco hit the nose before you discover the palate has well-balanced acidity and silky tannins. There is a good concentration a blackberries and earthiness with a slight hint of liquorice. As with the estate's white, the finish goes on and on. This is one for the traditional Bordeaux lover. Ben Upjohn - Fine Wine Team
Very ripe, exotic fruit aromas abound on the nose of the 2009 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc whilst sweet mango and ripe grapefruit mingle on the palate. There is serious power to this wine but the crisp acidity keeps it fresh. The richness of fruit is balanced by a mineral seam of gravel and the finish is long and rewarding.
This is the second wine of the most famous of white Bordeaux and exudes fresh and zingy tropical fruit with soft creamy oak on the nose, followed by an exotic, yet steely and mineral finish which really pays homage to the famous Grand Vin. Drink from next summer. Simon Staples, Sales & Marketing Director
Rich and succulently ripe red fruits spill from the glass of this excellent wine. It's really soft and plump in the mouth with a true feel of the Grand Vin at the finish. Offering great early pleasure. (Simon Staples, Sales & Marketing Director)
This is my favourite white Graves from 2014, as it quite often is. A marker is the terrific harmony and elegance. Displaying white flower notes, honeyed citrus and fig, this is just simply textbook white Bordeaux. There is a purity which other 2014s can't quite match and a full body which carries the high acidity. The acidity is welcome: mouth-wateringly fresh and expressive on the palate. White peach, passion fruit and cream combine to create a wonderful flavour. The finish is long, engaging, satisfying and impressively crisp. 75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Sémillon
Simply sensational! This has absolutely everything I love in a bottle of Bordeaux. It’s almost like a made-to-measure suit and, as with a suit that would fit me, this is extremely voluminous and capacious. Fabulous wafts of gently crushed blackberries ooze out of the glass like dry ice; it’s so cool and precise, dense but utterly beguiling. This has firm but ripe-as-you-like tannins with a traffic-stopping finish of several minutes. For many years at this excellent estate their white wine is always number one or two in quality over the whole vintage, and since their stunning 2005, their red has been zooming up the Bordeaux charts culminating the their spectacular double whammy of 2009 and 2010. This is an exceptional wine and a must-have ! Simon Staples, Fine Wine Director Olivier Bernard has crafted a succession of stunning wines over the past few years and this may well be his best yet. There is a wonderful purity and precision, a real sense of terroir, and great harmony between the Cabernet Sauvignon (64%) and Merlot (34%). The quality of tannins is exemplary, the balance is perfect, the length extraordinary, and the whole thing reeks of pure class. Sorry, but this is a personal favourite and I can’t help but wax lyrical about it!
Tasting here is always very special as we are offered the three previous vintages to ‘compare and contrast’. This is very rare in Bordeaux as the vintage variance is so striking. Our experience here just showed us after a week of only tasting 2009s where this vintage really is. We bought a lot of 2007 and 2008 of this underrated château and they are showing beautifully but the 2009 literally blows them both into a different dimension. Sumptuous amounts of raspberry fruit just wafts from the glass. This is so clean and pure on the palate too, with layer after layer of minerality enhanced with generous puppy fat to round it off in a dramatic way. Totally classy, really breathtaking. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
Magnum 6 x 150cl
Bright vibrant black cherry fruit laced with warm vanilla. It really has an essence both on the nose and palate of the Grand Vin which was amazing this year. Scrumptious and super value. A quaffers favourite.
This just blew every other white we tasted out of the water. Made from 87% Sémillon and 13% Sauvignon Blanc, the perfect climate conditions have helped create an absolute gem. The wine is marked by a wonderful harmony and elegance; white peach, passion fruit, citrus and cream all combine in a glorious, pure, racy style, while the minerality is reminiscent of Burgundy's superstars Coche-Dury and Leflaive. The nose is creamy, pure and expressive while the sleek, exotic palate builds in the mouth to a stunning finish. This is the white wine of the vintage, without a shadow of doubt. Simon Staples - Fine Wine Director The price of this wine is such that I can't help thinking what sort of white Burgundy I could get for the same price: an unfair comparison perhaps but I can't help it. That said, the 2006 delivers. The concentration and weight are very impressive, with crisp acidity underlining a peachy nose. An excellent wine that will age well for those with the patience to leave it in the cellar. Stuart Rae, Fine Wine - Oct 2008
I fell in love with this, not only from barrel 3 years ago, but last autumn when in bottle. Sensational wine, I bought 3 cases in different sizes. Lovely contrast to St Juliens, Pauillacs. The best wines of 2005 show an irrepressible energy and as soon as the aromatics of the Chevalier hit you, you can feel the vigour in the rich intoxicating black fruit and the minerally, gravelly overtones that only great Graves can offer. The seemingly endless finish and perfect harmony of this wine, combined with the firm yet supple tannins, immensely concentrated fruit and life-giving acidity look set to make this a legendary Dom. de Chevalier. Simon Staples, Fine Wine Director "Rich, ripe, intense and complex nose. Generous, full, concentrated palate with rich fruit, vanilla and spices." Pessac & Graves Tasting Panel - Highly Recommended 4/5 Stars- Decanter Dec 08
H/Bottle 24 x 37.5cl
2006 is a much underrated vintage and as is so often the case, a so-called classic vintage proves its merit after a decade or so in bottle. Domaine de Chevalier is just such a case in point and whilst it’s starting to drink beautifully now, it will continue to mature and develop over the next decade and beyond Fergus Stewart - BBR Private Account Manager - 19-Mar-2015 Owner Olivier Bernard's attitude to nature and wine, working the soil naturallyand respecting the terroir and the style of the vintage, makes him a Burgundian at heart according to Jasper Morris MW, which is praise indeed. 2006 was aCabernet vintage in Pessac, according to Olivier, and the extra Cabernet in hisblend (67% CS and 4% CF) has made his 2006 more structured than usual. It hasan exotic, creamy blackberry nose, a wonderful harmony and structure, and alovely concentration of pure, minerally cassis fruit with coffee hints. This isanother tour de force of outstanding quality. Simon Staples - BBR Fine Wine Director - Jun-07