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L'Esprit de Chevalier Pessac Leognan 2000

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
  • WS89
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The second wine of Domain Chevalier, the Esprit de Chevalier must must nevertheless be complex, balanced, well-structured and, above all, elegant enought to be in keeping with Chevalier's image.

Esprit de Chevalier is a charming red wine with many of the same qualities as the grand vin and the added advantage that it can be enjoyed earlier.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator
Aromas of crushed plums and light coffee follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with velvety tannins and plenty of fruit on the finish. Give it bit of time. Very good second wine. From Domaine de Chevalier. Best after 2004.
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L'Esprit de Chevalier

L'Esprit de Chevalier

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L'Esprit de Chevalier , Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
2000 Pessac Leognan
Domaine de Chevalier is renowned for its ability to produce great wines even in unfashionable vintages thanks to its unique terroir and draconian selection in the vineyard and the cellar. In fact, this philosophy at times requires vineyard workers to carry out 5 waves of picking in order to pick only the ripest possible grapes. Furthermore, as of 1986, the planting of young vines led to the creation of both a red and white second wine called Esprit de Chevalier. This includes vats that do not have quite the structure and focus of the grand vin as well as the wine made from young vines. Vats that go into red Esprit de Chevalier must nevertheless be complex, well-balanced, well-structured and, above all elegant enough to be in keeping with Chevalier’s image. Esprit de Chevalier is a charming red wine with many of the same qualities as the grand vin and the added advantage that it can be enjoyed earlier. As for the dry white Esprit de Chevalier, this barrel-aged second wine is rich, lively, and complex with very pure aromas. Esprit de Chevalier blanc is a fruity, classy wine but more open than the grand vin and therefore a treat to drink young.

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 black and blue fruits, mushroom, forest, tobacco and iodine. Textures will be smooth and intriguing.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

VCFV254_00_2000 Item# 100717

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