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Domaine de Chevalier Graves Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine

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CHEVALIER Chateau2 Domaine de Chevalier Graves Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine

Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

The owners of Domaine de Chevalier, the Bernard family, have a long history dating all the way back to the 1155! What we know of as Domaine de Chevalier in the Graves/Pessac Leognan, appellation, was purchased in 1865 by Arnaud Ricard and his son Jean for 33,000 francs.  At the time, the Ricard family were familiar with the Bordeaux wine trade, as they worked as coopers, producing wine barrels. In 1865, the estate began selling their wine under the Gascon name of “Chivaley”. In those days, the 44 hectare property was used for mostly food crops and ranching. While there was a tiny Bordeaux wine making operation at the estate, because there was no money in wine, it was not their main interest.

Shortly after the elder Ricard passed away, the son transformed the property into a full time vineyard. The name was changed from “Chivaley” to the French “Chevalier”. When Jean Ricard died, his son-in-law, Gabriel Beaumartin, took over Domaine de Chevalier. At various times the Ricard family owned other top estates in the Graves appellation including Chateau Malartic Lagraviere and Chateau de Fieuzal.

When Gabriel Beaumartin died in 1940, no one was interested in managing the estate. Claude Ricard, Jean’s son, started at Domaine de Chevalier in 1948 when he was only 21 years old.  Under Claude Ricard, Domaine de Chevalier was included in the 1959 Graves Classification. When Domaine de Chevalier  was purchased 1983, OlivierBernard was only 23.

Olivier Bernard Barrel Room 300x224 Domaine de Chevalier Graves Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine

Olivier Bernard’s first decision was to retain the same wine making team at Domaine de Chevalier. In 1985, they purchased additional plots which almost doubled the vineyard in size. They began a replanting program lasting from 1988 to 1995. 

Some of the work Olivier Bernard undertook was the removal of the trees bordering the vineyard that were the most susceptible to frost. Next, a complete renovation entailing the construction of new wine making facilities to accommodate increased production. He created the now modern vat room, which became the focal point for the estate. Its cylindrical shape begins in the front of the cellar and continues all the way through the building. It is modern, airy, spacious and beautiful. The facilities were updated again in 2014.

Domaine de Chevalier has a complex terroir and soil that starts with the forest that surrounds the vineyards on three sides. The forest enhances the extremes of temperature and increase the risk of frost. The terroir is gravel and black sand with a sub-soil of a clay, gravel and hardpan. The estate added a drainage system in 1962 which makes a big difference because the sub-soil is prone to retaining water. Today, a wind machine and even helicopters are also used to keep the vines dry on occasion. This works because the helicopter blades stir and blend the lower layers of cold air with warmer air and helps avoid damage from frost. 

The 80 hectare vineyard of Domaine de Chevalier has 42 hectares under vine. The vineyard of Domaine de Chevalier is used to produce both red and white Bordeaux wine. For the white Bordeaux wine, 5 hectares are planted to 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon. For the red wine, 37 hectares are planted to 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare. On average, the vines are close to 30 years of age. The vineyard management techniques employed are sustainable farming methods. Only organic fertilizers are used.

2012 domaine de chevalier harvest 300x228 Domaine de Chevalier Graves Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine

At harvest, the estate takes a unique approach. Since sorting is done exclusively in the vineyard, the picking is done in passes, particularly for the white wine grapes. At times, because sorting takes place in the vineyard, the grapes are picked one at a time.

To produce the white Bordeaux wine of Domaine de Chevalier, after a light pressing, the juice is run off into barrel. There is no skin contact. Vinification takes place in French oak barrels. Once filled, the barrels are placed in a special cold room (the only other one in Bordeaux is at Chateau Margaux) to bring the barrel temperature gradually down to 18 to 20 degrees Celsius.  This helps the fermentation to take place on a gradual basis. Fermentation temperatures reach 25 degrees Celsius or on occasion slight warmer, up to 27 or 28 degrees Celsius. There is no malolactic fermentation. The wine remains on its lees with regularly stirring for an average of 12 months. The wine spends an additional 6 months in barrel before bottling.

To produce the red wine of Domaine de Chevalier, vinification takes place in stainless steel vats that range in size from 100 hectoliters to 150 hectoliters. In 2014, Domaine de Chevalier added 8 new, 80 hectoliter, egg shaped, cement vats for the vinification of the red wine. There are ample vats to allow for a parcel by parcel vinification. 33% of the red wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in new French oak barrels. The remainder takes place in tank.

Chevalier 300x231 Domaine de Chevalier Graves Pessac Leognan Bordeaux Wine

The red wine of Domaine de Chevalier is aged in 40-75% new, French oak barrels for 18 to 22 months, depending on the character of the vintage. There is a second wine, L’Esprit de Chevalier, which is aged for approximately 12 months in two year-old barrels. There is also a third wine, Pessac Leognan. On average, Domaine de Chevalier produces 6,500 cases of red Bordeaux and for the white Bordeaux wine of Domaine de Chevalier, the production is close to 1,000 cases per year.

In 1993, Olivier Bernard entered into a management agreement with Pessac Leognan estate of Domaine de la Solitude. In 2009, Olivier Bernard added to his already busy schedule when he entered into a second leasing agreement to produce and market the wines of Chateau Lespault Martillac.

The Bernard family also maintains interests in the Sauternes appellation. Olivier Bernard is a partner in Chateau Guiraud. In 2012, Olivier Bernard added to their holdings in Sauternes with the purchase of Chateau Haut Caplane. They quickly renamed the estate, Clos des Lunes. Clos des Lunes will focus on making dry white Bordeaux wine, as well as sweet, white Bordeaux wine. However, it is expected that Olivier Bernard and his team will focus more on the production of dry white Bordeaux wine at Clos des Lunes.

www.domainedechevalier.com

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 30 vintages | 147424 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Mineral-driven with a blast of fresh citrus, the wine is long, keeping its citrus and stone personality tinged with fresh lemon sensations from start to finish. 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. 93-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
      1138 Views
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  2. 2013 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Tobacco, earth, fresh red berries and a touch of oak reign on the nose, followed by medium body and user-friendly style. You should be able to enjoy this soft, elegant wine on release for its refined cocoa and cherry character and finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
      1429 Views
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  3. 2012 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. With soft dark red berries, smoke, earth, coffee bean and cherry tones, the medium-bodied wine was produced in a fresh, elegant style, which will drink well young. 90-92 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      3530 Views
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  4. 2012 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Grapefruit, lemon, stone and vanilla make the attention-seeking perfume. Rich, fresh and zippy fruits with plush texture and a fresh citrus and spice finish remain with you long after the wine went where it was supposed to go. 93-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
      1886 Views
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  5. 2011 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Very classy in style, with fresh lemon, grapefruit, stone, vanilla, white peach and floral notes. Soft, polished, bright, fresh and clean, the mineral driven, crisp, sweet, citrus finish really carries through. The wine was made from a blend 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon.

      95 points - Tasted
      3051 Views
    2. Enticing layers of citrus, green apple, lemon, lime and spice lead to a fresh and concentrated, stone, sweet citrus oil and honeysuckle finish. 94-96 Pts

      95 points - Tasted
      3007 Views
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  6. 2011 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. The nose, with its smoke, truffle, tobacco, blackberry, espresso roast and earthy complexities is right out front. Medium bodied, with fresh, plum and cherries in the end note, this soft wine is already easy to drink.

      90 points - Tasted
      1969 Views
    2. From an assemblage of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine will be aged in 40% new oak. With earth, spice, blackberry and smoke, this elegant, polished wine ends with spicy red and black fruit with dark cherries. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
      2595 Views
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  7. 2010 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. This wine pops with an exotic array of scents, spices, mint, smoke, earth, and ripe berries. Silky, soft and polished, the wine ends with a long, polished, refined display of kirsch and black raspberries. From a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot, this has the structure to age and develop into something special for decades.

      94 points - Tasted
      5103 Views
    2. Domaine de Chevalier From an assemblage of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine shows a deep ruby color. With little effort, complex aromas of smoke, truffle, cassis, black cherry, earth and oak scents are easy to find. The wine is rich, concentrated and offers dark, earthy, black fruit that ends with a long, pure, blackberry and cassis filled finish. 93-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
      5932 Views
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  8. 2010 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Domaine de Chevalier Blanc An explosion of lemon, guava, grapefruit, lime and fresh picked flowers poured over wet rocks make up the perfume. Thick, rich, incredibly concentrated and intense, this dense wine has the perfect amount of acidity to feel bright and fresh. This was the only wine from the Pessac Leognan tasting that was too good to spit. 96-98Pts

      98 points - Tasted
      4830 Views
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  9. 2009 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Cherry pipe tobacco, smoke, licorice and plum notes create the perfume. In the mouth, the wine is rich, plush and round with a chocolate covered, fresh blackberry finish.

      93 points - Tasted
      9284 Views
    2. 2009 Domaine de Chevalier opens with smoke, dark berries, earth, and spice aromas. Elegant and round, with textures of silk, the wine ends with a fresh blast of spicy black cherries. 92/94 Pts

      93 points - Tasted
      9028 Views
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  10. 2009 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Fresh lemon, green apple, grapefruit, floral, spice and tropical fruit aromas combine with fleshy textures, concentration of flavor and minerality ending with a long, creamy, exotic sensation filled with ripe, fleshy, layers of citrus fruits.

      95 points - Tasted
      4589 Views
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  11. 2008 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. It took close to 3 hours of air before the wine softened and filled out. Elegant, in a classic way, the smoky, earth, blackberry, cassis and tobacco nose got better and better. Give this at least another 5 or more years.

      92 points - Tasted
      1576 Views
    2. Domaine de Chevalier shows classic Graves character with its smoke, tobacco, earth and cassis personality. Over the last few years, the wines seem to be produced with slightly more concentration. Stephane Derenoncourt has been working with Olivier Bernard with the red wines for a few years. This addition of richness adds a lot to the quality of this elegant Pessac Leognan wine.

      92 points - Tasted
      10279 Views
    3. 08 Domaine Chevalier Rouge is deep ruby. The 08 shows more depth and concentration than I recall in previous vintages. This elegant, rich wine has an opulent personality with a long, pure finish combining black and red fruits. 91-94 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      10056 Views
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  12. 2007 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. This wine exploded from the glass! You read that correctly. The fragrance jumped out of the glass faster than the Alien went after Sigourney Weaver. The perfume explosion filled the room with exotic scents of lemon lime, grapefruit, spice, honey, flowers and guava. Full bodied, concentrated, rich and intense. Great acidity that keeps the wine fresh. The finish seems endless. This is one of the finest white Bordeaux wines I have ever tasted. I could not stop talking about this riveting wine all night.

      97 points - Tasted
      4570 Views
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  13. 2006 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. With the help of Stephane Derenoncourt, this wine was produced in a lush style for the vintage. Lots of ripe black fruit, cassis, smoke and chocolate in thenose. Full bodied with a long, soft, dark berry finish. This is another 06 I think will be better than the 05 when both wines mature.

      92 points - Tasted
      9242 Views
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  14. 2005 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Super nice wine. The sweet, honeysuckle, citrus and red grapefruit nose gets you going. With , 60 minutes of air, the wine softens, leaving you with elegant, fresh, citrus and stone notes. Still young, this has serious aging potential.

      94 points - Tasted
      837 Views
    2. The wine opens with with its showy display of honeysuckle, citrus rind, minerality and Meyer lemon aromatics. Rich and concentrated, with lush ripe fruit blended with refreshing acidity. This is a strong example of white Bordeaux that can be enjoyed today, or aged as it's only going to get better over the next decade.

      94 points - Tasted
      3541 Views
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  15. 2005 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. From an assemblage of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot with a blend of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot making up the remainder of this Pessac Leognan wine, the perfume offers beguiling aromas of smoke, blackberry, black cherry, truffle, tobacco and crushed stone. With elegant textures, round tannins and a refined, personality, this Bordeaux wine is developing perfectly. The soft, silky finish ends with spicy, pure red and black fruits. Give it another 5-7 years in the bottle.

      93 points - Tasted
      7454 Views
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  16. 2004 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. This is all about elegance and finesse. The tannins are soft and refined. The fruit is ripe, but delicate. The nose is complex with its smoky, tobacco, earthy red berry qualities. This is drinking great today. The wine was made from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc.

      91 points - Tasted
      1312 Views
    2. With its tarry, black fruit and tobacco nose, this wine is starting to open. Not as complex or deep as the 05 or 06, but it will not require further aging to start delivering pleasure either.

      89 points - Tasted
      3577 Views
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  17. 2004 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. A beautiful wine, packed with pure, sweet, fresh citrus notes, flowers, honey, vanilla and mineral notes. Concentrated, long, fresh and refreshing, this is a great wine to lay down, or drink now.

      94 points - Tasted
      2142 Views
    2. Soft, stony and packed with ripe honeydew melons, lemon peel, lime, vanilla and grapefruit, there is a lot of freshness and lift here. Open it now, or save it for 5-10 years.

      92 points - Tasted
      1639 Views
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  18. 2003 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. More interesting with its perfumed scents of tobacco, earth, cigar box, dark cherry and spicy nose than on the medium bodied, refined, soft, dark cherry filled palate. There is no sensation of jam or over ripeness in the wines character. This is probably close to fully mature as its already delivering most of its charm.

      90 points - Tasted
      1925 Views
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  19. 2003 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Lemon, lime, vanilla, stone and spearmint aromas created the delightful perfume. The wine is fat, round, soft and lush and could use a bit more freshness in the open, expressive, lemon wax finish.

      91 points - Tasted
      2783 Views
    2. Like many 2003 Pessac Leognan wines, this is maturing at a rapid pace. With a nose of sweet lemons, lime, honey suckle and stone, the finish is filled with lush, polished citrus and orange sensations. Unlike many vintages of Domaine de Chevalier blanc, this is not a wine that is going to make old bones.

      91 points - Tasted
      3050 Views
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  20. 2001 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. With coaxing, lemon, spring flowers, wax, honey and vanilla scents became evident. Medium/full bodied with elegant, refined textures, the wine ends with a sweet, fresh, vanilla, citrus filled finish.

      92 points - Tasted
      2677 Views
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  21. 2001 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Rapidly maturing, this medium bodied wine of finesse offers a soft, tobacco, earth, smoke, truffle, black raspberry filled wine that requires consumption over the next decade or a little sooner.

      89 points - Tasted
      2724 Views
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  22. 2000 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Complex aromatics are filled with smoke, cassis, burning wood, truffle, tobacco, black and red plums and forest floor scents. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with soft textures, ending with a fresh, creme de cassis and spice filled finish, this is close to entering maturity. I'd drink this over the next 10-12 years.

      90 points - Tasted
      4988 Views
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  23. 1995 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Smoke, earth, cassis, cedar wood, tobacco, ash and tar made up the interesting perfume. Medium bodied, this soft, charming, mature wine finishes with sweet, red and black fruits.

      90 points - Tasted
      3409 Views
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  24. 1994 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Starting to take on a golden hue, with notes of spice, olives, herbs, nuts and citrus. The wine seems to be tiring, ending with, orange, lemon, nuts and pears in the finish. I'd opt for drinking this sooner than later as it's starting to drop its fruit.

      89 points - Tasted
      2524 Views
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  25. 1990 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Light ruby in color, with bricking at the edges, the wine offers smoke, truffle, tobacco, cassis, earth, spice and cigar aromas. Medium bodied, elegant, soft and refined, this is fully mature and will not improve. I'd drink this over the next 5 years as I don't think it has the stuffing to age much past that point.

      90 points - Tasted
      2767 Views
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  26. 1984 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. A nice wine, with good freshness, clean citrus and stone flavors that taste much younger than its three decades of age.

      89 points - Tasted
      1020 Views
    2. With a good depth of color, making this look much younger than its 30 years of age, the wine pops with spicy, citrus and honeysuckle notes. While its not the most complex wine, it's one of the few wines from this poor vintage that is still drinking well.

      89 points - Tasted
      1673 Views
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  27. 1974 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc

    1. Served double blind, not one taster guessed this was 40 years of age. Olivier Bernard explained this was a good vintage for the white Bordeaux wine. With its youthful peersonality, fresh lemon, grapefruit, mineral and honey driven, plush, polished personality, I had to agree with him.

      90 points - Tasted
      794 Views
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  28. 1964 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. From a magnum that had not been moved from the chateau since bottling, this was rocking! The smoke, tobacco, tar, truffle, earth, cigar box and wild strawberry filled perfume got you going. The silky, fresh, cherry filled finish took you the rest of the way. The perfect provenance had a lot to do with this wines stunning quality. Still, that being said, it's worth seeking out, if you're a fan of mature wines as it's not that expensive.

      92 points - Tasted
      1356 Views
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  29. 1955 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. This fully mature wine offered smoke, tobacco, forest floor, cigar box,, spice, cassis and olive tapenade scents. Medium bodied, with elegant textures, this soft styled wine finished with light kirsch and cassis flavors.

      89 points - Tasted
      1415 Views
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  30. 1934 Domaine de Chevalier

    1. Pure elegance, this refined, smoky, earthy, spicy, fresh, soft, sweet wine was all about its delicate. ripe cherry, smoky personality. This tasted like it was from the 1960's. What a treat!

      90 points - Tasted
      723 Views
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