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Domaine de Chevalier 2005

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

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

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A glorious wine from Domaine de Chevalier, this 2005 reveals notes of graphite, subtle charcoal, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, silky tannins, and a long, multi-dimensional finish. This is a killer effort from the Bernard family, who own this famous terroir in Pessac-Léognan. Drink it over the next 20-30 years.
JS 94
James Suckling
This is really pure and fruity with flowers and stones. Full and dense, but still a bit tight. Not really giving much at the moment, but beautifully balanced and silky, and opening up to a long, long finish. This is excellent. Pull the cork after 2015.
WS 93
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.
WE 91
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.
W&S 90
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

Domaine de Chevalier

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Domaine de Chevalier, France - Other regions
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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

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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.

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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.

CVY4097A5_2005 Item# 101713