2022 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux
The 2022 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc was picked from 22 August to 1 September. It has an instantly satisfying bouquet as it "launches" scents of passion fruit, lemon rind and patisserie scents, very well-defined and focused. The palate is intense on the entry and impressive in weight and density. Perhaps there's not quite the tension of the previous vintage, but it is long and thickly textured on the finish. Excellent.
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is stunning. It exudes textural depth, intensity and pedigree from the very first taste. I imagine it will still be stellar in another few years’ time. For now, it is a wine to think about cellaring. Time brings out dried lemon peel, sage, mint, chamomile, salt and crushed rock scents that lend both vibrancy and complexity. In most vintages, the Blanc is either incredibly steely or ample in feel. In 2022, it is both. Tasted four times.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
Wine Advocate (April 2023)
Light nose but a very convincingly mineral palate. Some real delicacy. How did they manage that? Sleek and smoky. A wine for white-burgundy lovers … Very juicy. I suspect this will go through many stages.
Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com (April 2023)
A deep and layered white with rich and intense structure. It’s full yet agile with so much energy and intensity. Cooked apple, lime zest and nougat with oyster and sea bed undertones. Fascinating already.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
Round, full, compelling, charming and confident, this has a width and density that is really well worked, calm, not super vibrant but really rich in terms of fruit expression with coolness, white stone fruit flavours and some subtle toasting.
Feels structured and well worked, serious but not as tense as many with more fruit persistence and depth than a lot of the whites this year. Perhaps missing a touch of acidity bit this is very good indeed and ends with a zestiness that is really appealing. Tasted twice. Derenoncourt consultants.
Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2023)
The 2022 Domaine De Chevalier Blanc brings more dimensions and layers, as well as richness. Based on 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon, aging in 40% new oak, it has a beautiful perfume of honeyed citrus, subtle tropical flowers, and chalky, minerality nuances.
This carries to a medium to full-bodied white with plenty of density and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and a gorgeous finish. I wouldn't be surprised to see this end up in the top handful of whites in the vintage.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
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.
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.
Sauvignon Blanc & Sémillon
The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.
In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.