Domaine de Chevalier Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Domaine de Chevalier
In late 2011, I had the last bottle in my cellar of the 1970 Domaine de Chevalier. Much to my surprise, it was still holding on to life and remained gorgeously complex in that ethereal Graves style. The 2009, one of the finest Domaine de Chevaliers yet produced, reveals a striking bouquet of burning embers, sweet cherry, black and red currant fruit, spice box, cedar and lead pencil shavings. The tannins are sweet in this fleshy, full-bodied offering. It is built on the notion of extraordinary harmony, elegance and complexity. While not the most concentrated or flamboyant 2009, its intense aromas are already reasonably evolved and its lusciousness and balance are terrific. Made from an interesting blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, its yields of 45 hectoliters per hectare were slightly higher than many of its neighbors achieved. Drink it over the next 25 years.
This is one of my all-time favorite wines from Domaine de Chevalier, a silky, rather classic Pessac-Leognan with notes of scorched earth, tobacco leaf and black and red currants, but no hard edges. Fragrant, complex aromatics are followed by a savory, expansively flavored wine made from a final blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine hit 13.5% natural alcohol, which must certainly be among the highest they have ever achieved, even eclipsing the 2009. An opulent, precocious style of wine that seems much more developed, complex and delicious than I thought from barrel, this beauty can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 20 or more.
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.
A spectacular effort, especially for this challenging vintage, Olivier Bernard's 2011 Domaine de Chevalier boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of subtle charcoal, graphite, black currants and black cherries. Rich and full-bodied with a multilayered mouthfeel and a long, complex, stunning finish, this is a profound example of a 2011 from a great terroir. Consume it over the next 20 years.
One of the fabulous sleepers of the vintage and a wine for serious Bordeaux afficionados to consider buying, the 2008 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. Surprisingly backward for a 2008, it is medium to full-bodied with moderate tannins, lots of purity and abundant charcoal, black currant and floral notes. The sweetness of the fruit, depth of flavor and textured, lush mouthfeel in this medium to full-bodied, ageworthy 2008 are impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be as impressive as the 2010.
Perhaps the finest wine made at this estate in many years (no doubt due to the influence of wine consulting guru Stephane Derenoncourt), the 2005 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest primarily Merlot with tiny portions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. A dark ruby/purple hue is followed by a classic Graves bouquet of charcoal, graphite, creosote, smoked herbs, sweet black cherries, and spice box. The wine is elegant on the attack, but fills out beautifully with a multilayered, rich mouthfeel, silky tannins, and a plush, opulent finish. This brilliant claret may turn out to be even better than my score suggests. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2030+.
The brilliant St.-Emilion-based consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt, is working his magic at this great vineyard in Leognan. The 2006, a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, is a revelation of sweet, lush, black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with subtle notes of scorched earth and barbecue spices. Round, luscious, sexy, and exceptionally complex, the wine is dominated by that smoky minerality that comes from this area. It is the quintessentially elegant yet substantial Pessac-Leognan with class, complexity, and potential. Despite wanting to drink most of the bottle when I was tasting it, I know it will be even better with 2-4 years of bottle age, and should keep for two decades.
One of the vintage's top successes, this blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot exhibits a juicy, black currant, forest floor, and soil-scented nose. Layered with brilliant precision, purity, and density, it is a medium to full-bodied, elegant, intensely flavored, soft, upfront blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It should drink well for 10-15 years.
Abundant notes of sandy, loamy soil, forest floor, black currants, cherries, and unsmoked high-class cigar tobacco jump from the glass of this complex, perfumed Pessac-Leognan. Medium-bodied and lighter than many 2000s, it has resolved all of its tannin, and appears to have reached full maturity. This wine has such superb balance that I suspect it will last another 8-10 years.
Made from an unusual blend for this great estate, the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot (no Petit Verdot), and the total production was less than half of normal. The wine achieved 13% natural alcohol, but yields were frightfully low. The result is an outstanding effort in this frequently disappointing, average quality vintage. The wine possesses a deep plum/ruby color as well as a sweet bouquet of incense, charcoal, red and black currants, and loamy soil. Medium-bodied with good texture, depth and purity, sweet tannins, and present but unobtrusive acidity, it should drink nicely for 12-15 years. Once again, it proves that Domaine de Chevalier often accomplishes impressive things in so-called “off” vintages.