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Domaine de Chevalier (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 97
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.
RP 95
Robert Parker's 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.
WE 95
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.
WS 93
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.
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Domaine de Chevalier

Domaine de Chevalier

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Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Image of 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

Pessac-Leognan

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Recognized for its superior reds as well as whites, Pessac-Léognan on the Left Bank claims classified growths for both—making it quite unique in comparison to its neighboring Médoc properties.

Pessac’s Chateau Haut-Brion, the only first growth located outside of the Médoc, is said to have been the first to conceptualize fine red wine in Bordeaux back in the late 1600s. The estate, along with its high-esteemed neighbors, La Mission Haut-Brion, Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pique-Caillou and Chateau Pape-Clément are today all but enveloped by the city of Bordeaux. The rest of the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan are in clearings of heavily forested area or abutting dense suburbs.

Arid sand and gravel on top of clay and limestone make the area unique and conducive to growing Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc as well as the grapes in the usual Left Bank red recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and miniscule percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The best reds will show great force and finesse with inky blue and black fruit, mushroom, forest, tobacco, iodine and a smooth and intriguing texture.

Its best whites show complexity, longevity and no lack of exotic twists on citrus, tropical and stone fruit with pronounced floral and spice characteristics.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BALDDCH15_2009 Item# 135076