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Domaine de Chevalier L'Esprit de Chevalier Blanc (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux White Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • JS92
  • RP91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 92
James Suckling
Layered and dense with lots of pear and sliced-apple character. Full and juicy. Second wine of DC.
Barrel Sample: 91-92 Points
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 L'Esprit de Chevalier Blanc offers attractive pithy scents on the nose, fresh pear and a touch of white peach, with a hint of orange blossom. The palate is well balanced with a fine salinity, quite crisp and lightly spiced with veins of lemongrass and sea salt on the lively finish. This is a fine Deuxième Vin in a vintage that did not really favor the dry whites.
Barrel Sample: 89-91 Points
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Domaine de Chevalier

Domaine de Chevalier

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Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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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

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, Malbec and Camenere

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 White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

BTRF252673_2016 Item# 252673