2012 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Pessac-Léognan

2012 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge Pessac-Léognan

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Domaine De Chevalier | Code: 17194 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Pessac-Leognan | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

Case price (Bottle 12 x 75cl) £433.20

Bottle 12 x 75cl

7cs

£335.88

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£190.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£195.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

2cs

£199.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

3cs

£210.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

2cs

£240.00

BBX

Magnum 3 x 150cl

1cs

£200.00

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

17/20

DECANTER

17.5/20

JANCIS

16+/20

PARKER

92-95/100

WS

90-93/100

DECANTER - Velvety black-red, impressive concentration of ripe, slightly leafy fruit, good depth and clarity, slight green.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - 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.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 19 Apr 2013

PARKER - 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.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - 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.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Story

Domaine De Chevalier

Producer

Domaine De Chevalier

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.

Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

Region

Pessac-Leognan

In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux,  based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.

Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.

The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Haut-Brion, Ch. la Mission Haut-Brion, Ch. Pape Clément, Ch Haut-Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion, Ch. Carmes Haut-Brion, Ch. La Garde, Villa Bel-Air.

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