Domaine de Chevalier (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Lots of blueberry, hot-stone, slate and walnut aromas. Terracotta, too. Iodine. Full-bodied, round and dense with layers of fine tannins. Lovely depth and intensity. Extremely long and focused. Needs three or four years of bottle age just to start. Try after 2024.
A gem that readers should snatch up is unquestionably the 2017 Domaine De Chevalier, which is based on 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in just 35% new French oak. This deeply colored effort offers classic blackberry and blackcurrant fruits as well as medium to full body, complex notes of tobacco, gravelly earth, and chocolate, beautiful tannins, and a great finish. This is a classy, flawlessly balanced 2017 that offers up pleasure even today, yet it will keep for 30+ years. Having just had the good fortune to drink a bottle of the 1920, now at 100 years after the vintage, the longevity of this cuvee should not be underestimated.
The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier is deep garnet-purple in color with a nose of baked plums, black cherry compote, fruitcake and violets plus wafts of fragrant earth and rosehip tea. Medium-bodied, the palate has loads of fruit with plush, rounded tannins and a lively finish. A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, this vintage spent 18 months in French oak, 35% new.
Packed with ripe fruit, this shows juicy blackberry and spice flavors. They are balanced with the core of dry tannins that will allow this fruity, structured wine to age. Drink this wine from 2023.
Ripe and full in feel, with a swath of cassis, plum paste and fig preserve flavors that holds sway from start to finish, allowing roasted apple wood, licorice snap and black tea accents to chime in along the way. The fruit takes a solid encore on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2036.
Barrel Sample: 88-90
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.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.