Jeff Leve First off, congratulations on your first thirty years managing Domaine de Chevalier! I know 2013 Bordeaux has been a difficult, wet, growing season year for the region. It even rained during your Ban de Vendages celebration on September 14. Some Pessac Leognan producers were already getting ready to pick Sauvignon Gris at that time. When did you begin picking for the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier white wines?
Olivier Bernard “We started harvesting with our Sauvignon Blanc Monday, September 23.”
Jeff Leve “How long did it take you to pick the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier white wine grapes?
Olivier Bernard “It was a fast harvest for us, even though we made three selections per plot.”
Jeff Leve When did you finish?
Olivier Bernard “We completed all the picking in one week. We finished Monday, September 30.”
Jeff Leve Is that the quickest harvest you have experienced at Domaine de Chevalier?
Olivier Bernard “We have no memory of such a fast picking as we experienced with the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier harvest.”
Jeff Leve Why did you need to pick in such a hurry?
Olivier Bernard “We took the maximum amount of risk possible to get clean, ripe fruits.”
Jeff Leve Due to the difficult growing season, what did you need to do in the vineyards for the 2013 Domaine de Chavalier harvest?
Olivier Bernard “During the year, we performed special works in the vineyard to help the grapes ripen later in the season and at the same time when possible.”
Jeff Leve Was the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier harvest for the white wines the latest on record?
Olvier Bernard “September 23 was our latest start date to being the picking. But the latest finish for Domaine de Chevalier was last year with the 2012 vintage. We did not complete picking until October 5!”
Jeff Leve What alcohol levels are you seeing?
Olivier Bernard “The Sauvignon Blanc ranges between 13% and 13.7%.”
Jeff Leve What about the alcohol levels in the Semillon?
Olivier Bernard “We are between 12.5% and 12.9% with the Semillon.”
Jeff Leve Where are your pH levels with the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier white wines?
Olivier Bernard “The pH is between 2.15 and 2.25.”
Jeff Leve With the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier white wine grapes, did one grape varietal perform better than another?
Olivier Bernard “At the moment, the Sauvignon Blanc is a bit more positive than the Semillon. But it is still too early to be sure of that. Let’s wait until December.”
Jeff Leve When did you start picking your red wine grapes?