2020 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

2020 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Product: 20208003298
Prices start from £282.00 per case Buying options
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2020 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Description

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

Olivier Bernard considers this to be the most powerful vintage ever for the domaine. He observes that the length of maturation in barrel will be key to how the powerful tannins are resolved. But he is in no doubt about its eventual status as a great modern Chevalier. From the sample, the tannins are much in evidence, hand in hand with dark, rich, almost chocolatey fruit. There’s huge depth and concentration on the palate; it is then crisp and elegant on the long, fine finish.

Drink 2026-2040.

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6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 39 cases £282.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability

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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Pessac-Leognan

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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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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Critics reviews

Jane Anson95/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
Wine Advocate95-97+/100
Jancis Robinson MW17/20
James Suckling96-97/100
Jeb Dunnuck95-97+/100
Michael Schuster93-94/100
Jane Anson95/100
Concentrated ruby red colour, a little subdued on the nose, built with structure and power, concentrated and should age well. Classical, powerful, not exuberant, an impressive Chevalier that has tannins and fruit and freshness, nothing shouting too loud. As it opens, you see a peony floral edge that is very attractive. Easily among the best in Pessac. A yield of 38hl/ha.

Drink from 2027 to 2042

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-97/100
The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier is going to need a number of years to unwind. Rich, heady and super-concentrated, the 2020 is so impressive, right out of the gate. Crushed rocks, rose petal, cedar, pomegranate and mint all build as the 2020 shows off its vibrant, layered personality. Domaine de Chevalier remains one of the most under the radar wines in all of Bordeaux. The 2020 is an absolutely brilliant effort from Olivier Bernard and his team. Tasted two times.

Drink from 2035 to 2055

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous93-95/100
The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier, which was cropped at 38hl/ha, is deep purple with glints of blue. The bouquet is very clean, precise and focused, not dissimilar to the impressive Malartic Lagravière that I tasted alongside, touches of wet granite and truffle emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. This Domaine de Chevalier has a deeply impressive structure counterbalanced by equally impressive freshness and elegance, fanning out wonderfully on the finish, which is very persistent. Just a shade off the outstanding 2019... perhaps.

Drink from 2026 to 2058

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate95-97+/100
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Domaine de Chevalier comes skipping out of the glass with energetic scents of ripe red and black currants, fresh blackberries and boysenberries, plus nuances of wild sage, cloves and cedar with a waft of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate surprises and delights with an unexpected richness and depth that remains locked away on the nose, revealing layers of fragrant earth and floral notions framed by fantastic freshness and firm, finely grained tannins, finishing with the most gorgeous, long-lingering perfume.

Drink from 2026 to 2053

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW17/20
Cask sample taken 6 April. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Spicy nose. Pretty saline and mineral on the palate – non flashy but with lots locked in there. And no shortage at all of tannin but it's ripe enough. Very much a work in progress but with a certain lusciousness of embryonic fruit.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021) Read more
James Suckling96-97/100
Iron, black mushroom and dark berry with some burnt orange peel. Flowers, too. It’s full-bodied with round tannins that turn linear and tight at the end. Excellent energy. Brightness and purity.

James Suckling (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck95-97+/100
From an estate that’s been on fire over the past decade, the 2020 Domaine De Chevalier is another brilliant wine in the making and checks in as 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Offering impressive cassis and darker berry fruits, it has complex notes of crushed flowers, violets, and damp earth-like nuances. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins and a silky, layered, seamless texture, it shines for both its richness and its balance. It also shuts down quite quickly, so if you’re going to drink bottles, try one in its youth. Otherwise, be sure to give bottles 7-8 years in a cold cellar. It should have 30-40 years of overall longevity.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster93-94/100
Dense, tight, closed at present, but mineral, persistent, and fine to smell; rich but restrained, vital in acidity, very fine in tannin; a refined, poised, classy wine, long across the palate, packed with fresh, ripe red fruit, subtly infused with gravel aromas, graceful and very persistent. Another very fine Domaine de Chevalier red.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more