Domaine de Chevalier 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
James Suckling - "Aromas of blueberries and lemon rind. Full body, with soft and velvety tannins and bright fruity finish. Refined and beautiful. Layered wine. Pure fruit. Gravelley. Stoney. So classy and complex. Try in 2020. "
The Wine Advocate - "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."
Wine Enthusiast - "Dominating aromas of smoky new wood follow through to the toasty flavor that covers the fruit at this stage. But, like all 2009s, this is a rich wine that will balance out and show all of its opulence. That said, it will likely always be a firm, ageworthy wine, with the dark tannins always in evidence. "
Wine Spectator - "Very rich, but sleek and pure, with beautiful mouthfeel and layers of enticing fig, steeped blackberry and warm currant confiture nicely stitched with black tea and mesquite. The long finish has a tarry underlay, but stays polished. Approachable for its mouthfeel, but has the balance to age nicely. Drink now through 2025."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright, medium ruby-red. Nuanced, expressive nose combines dark cherry, redcurrant, mocha, graphite, cedar and hot bricks. Plush on entry, then sweet but firm in the middle, with a solid mineral spine giving shape to the fine-grained dark berry and cedar flavors. This wonderfully glossy wine boasts excellent structure on the subtly long back end, with its ripe cabernet sauvignon component much more apparent today than its merlot. 93(+?) points "
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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.