2014 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2014 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Product: 20148003298
Prices start from £295.00 per case Buying options
2014 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

The yield was 40 hectolitres per hectare this year: that doesn't represent a great yield, but it is much better than recent years, in particular 2013. I always buy this wine for my own cellar and will be doing so again. Soft and really approachable, this is a gentle wine. Shy, but pretty on the nose, it is decadent and could be enjoyed very early; but that's not to say it won't age well, all the component parts are singing in harmony: ripe, fleshy fruit, freshness, attractive acidity and silky, fine tannins. The finish is soft too. This is so silky and enjoyable, even when tasting a barrel sample.

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous93
Wine Advocate93/100
Decanter18.25/20
Jane Anson93/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93
The 2014 Domaine de Chevalier has a classy, quite sophisticated bouquet with blackberry, boysenberry, graphite and brine aromas that feel very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, quite saline in the mouth with a brisk, lightly spiced, white pepper sprinkled finish that lingers long in the mouth. Olivier Bernard has crafted quite a sublime 2014 Pessac-Léognan. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.
Neal Martin - Vinous.com - March 2018 Read more
Wine Advocate93/100

The 2014 Domaine de Chevalier has a wonderful bouquet with pure blackberry, raspberry coulis and iodine-tinged aromas that seem to envelop the senses. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, superb acidity and a sense of symmetry that is uncommon in the 2014 vintage. This is a sophisticated, precise wine from Olivier Bernard that could be one of top wines of the vintage. There is an approachability to this Domaine de Chevalier, which you do not always find, however I would be inclined to give this 3-4 years in bottle.

Drink 2021 - 2045

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Mar 2017)

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Decanter18.25/20
Rich and silky in texture and great sense of controlled power on the attack. Love the balance here, they have extracted more than some, but with great control and this gives very promising hints of how it will develop over the next decade. The restraint that comes with the tannins is apparent, this is an excellent wine from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% perit verdot, 13.5%abv. Harvested up to October 17 and only started on October 1, so really made the most of the fine late autumn weather. Read more
Jane Anson93/100

Seriously dark purple in colour, this is crowded aromatically in the best possible way, offering an array of dark fruits, rosemary and cinnamon spice. Opens up on the palate eventually but still clearly young, needs time to soften the edges, a touch of austerity and hardness to the fruit at first, the angles are still closed and tight, but great persistency points to the quality, and this is going to age well.

Jane Anson, Decanter.com (Apr 2018)

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About this WINE

Domaine de Chevalier

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.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux remains the centre of the fine wine world. The maritime climate on the 45th parallel provides for temperate winters and long, warm summers, perfect conditions for growing grapes suited to the production of classically-constructed, long-lasting wines. This vast region of 120,000ha of vineyards (four times the size of Burgundy) is home to 10,000 wine producers and 57 different AOCs. Red now makes up 88 percent of Bordeaux wine, and is usually referred to as Claret. The origin of this name was to differentiate the lighter-coloured wines of the coastal region from the deeper "black" wines from up-country regions. 

The Left Bank, comprising the wine regions of the Médoc, Pessac-Léognan and Graves are planted predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives on the gravelly soils left by the ancient course of the river. This is a thick-skinned variety which ripens late, producing powerful, tannic wines capable of long ageing. It is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Petit Verdot. The highlights of the Médoc are the four communes of St- Estèphe (blackcurrant concentration); classical, cedarwood and cigar-box Pauillac; richly-fruited St Julien; and elegant, fragrant Margaux.

On the Right Bank, most famously in St-Emilion and Pomerol, it is the fleshy Merlot grape which prevails, sometimes supported by Cabernet Franc. Here the soils are more mixed, with gravel and clay underpinning the rich, fruity wines of Pomerol. Styles vary more in St-Emilion, depending on the predominance of sand in the lower-lying slopes, or limestone on the hillsides and plateau. 

By the 18th century, individual properties - known as châteaux, however humble - were becoming known for the quality of their wines and in 1855, those of the Médoc (plus Haut-Brion, a property commended by Samuel Pepys as early as 1663) were classified into five levels of classed growths. Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut Brion were cited as First Growths, to whose ranks Mouton Rothschild was elevated by presidential decree in 1973. Beneath the ranks of the classed growths lies a raft of fine châteaux known as Crus Bourgeois, while a host of less well-known "petits châteaux" still makes attractive, enjoyable Claret at affordable prices.

The other jewel in the Bordeaux crown is the district of Sauternes, making some of the most outstanding sweet white wines in the world (from the likes of Châteaux d'Yquem, Rieussec and Climens). The foggy autumn mornings along the banks of the Garonne River near Sauternes and neighbouring Barsac enable the noble rot, botrytis cinerea, to form on the skins of the grapes, which can still ripen in the afternoon sun as late as the end of October or early November. The Sémillon grape is the prime component, but Sauvignon Blanc and a little Muscadelle are also planted to provide insurance if the weather is less favourable to Sémillon, as well as offering a counterpoint in flavour.

There are many inexpensive dry white wines - more Sauvignon than Sémillon - from regions such as Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves, with just a handful of outstanding properties located in Pessac-Léognan. The most famous of the great dry whites hail from Châteaux Haut Brion, Laville Haut Brion and Domaine de Chevalier.

The finer wines of Bordeaux are sold en primeur in the late spring following the harvest, some two years before the wines are ready for physical delivery. The châteaux offer their wines through a system of Bordeaux négociants (brokers) who sell them on to importers round the world. Prices vary enormously from one vintage to another, dependent on perceived quality and world demand, which shows no signs of diminishing, especially for the great years.

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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.

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