Domaine de Chevalier 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
The red Domaine de Chevalier, the flagship of the Pessac-Leognan appellation, belongs to the elite of the great classified growth of Bordeaux.
The grapes are tripple sorted: 1st in the vines, 2nd on the complete bunch on the sorting table and 3rd by individual grapes on the sorting table. Vatting is done by gravity without pumping. Alcholic fermentation in stainless steel and coated steel temperature controlled vats. Barrel aged for 18 months.
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Petit Verdot
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated medium-deep ruby. Rather backward but extremely complex nose hints at cassis, blackberry, graphite, minerals and spices. Sweet, broad and rich, with enticing fresh minerality giving energy to the rather ripe, full-bodied cassis and spice flavors. Finishes perfumed and very long, with wonderfully lush, supple, fine-grained tannins and an almost decadent floral element. This is still a baby and one of the greatest young Domaine de Chevalier rouge wines I have ever tasted. It will outlive most of us: don't touch a bottle before 2018.
Wine Spectator - "Displays floral, blackberry and mineral aromas, with a hint of fresh tobacco. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Has a fine, polished texture. This is a class act--the best since 1998 for the red. Best after 2012. 10,000 cases made. "
The Wine Advocate - "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+. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This is more about elegance than power, a fresh wine with sweet fruit, and so elegant. The tannins do promise some good aging, but this is not a long-term wine. Hold for 8–10 years, but it is already a pleasure to drink."
Wine & Spirits - "Complex in its ripe fruit flavors of licorice and sun-dried cherries, this also has earthier, vegetal tones to its substantial tannins. Those tannins were rounder and sweeter at the en primeur tastings. Now the wine is at a tense moment in its evolution, and it feels flattened by the tannins rather than extended by them. Even so, it has a sense of classical proportions that should gain precedence as the power of the tannins diminishes. "
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Domaine de Chevalier Winery
Domaine de Chevalier is located in a clearing in the middle of a forest that protects the vines from extremes of temprature. In fact Chevalier is a sort of secret garden, far from the limelight. This is something of a paradox for such an excellent wine, among the greatest in Bordeaux.
Only a great terroir can produce a great wine... I often start out with these words when speaking about Domaine de Chevalier. They convey our fundamental philosophy, not only with regard to viticulture, but also the spirit that pervades the estate and the men and women who work here. They improve their already considerable skills year after year on behalf of that which is most essential to a fine wine; in my opinion balance.
Olivier Bernard View all Domaine de Chevalier Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.