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Domaine de Chevalier 2009

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

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Tasting Notes

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.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012

The 2009 Domaine de Chevalier has a vivacious, almost exotic bouquet with lavish black fruit, mint, oregano and cedar that all gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, ripe black fruit laced with white pepper and even a faint touch of Szechuan pepper. This displays exquisite balance and the finish feels deep and satisfying, clearly born in a great vintage. Tasted blind at the Domaine de Chevalier vertical at the property. 2021 - 2050

Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2019

Domaine de Chevalier is at No. 5 [in his top 10 wines of 2012]. It's one of the "flyers" in Bordeaux for me at the moment with the dedication to quality of owner Olivier Bernard, and many of the replantings of vineyards at the estate now coming into their own. The beauty and refinement of the 2009 DC red reminds me of some great old wines from the estate such as 1970 and 1959.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, December 2012

Remains deep damson in colour even at nearly 10 years old, and on the attack you find full and true blackberry cassis and bilberry notes, we are really building up layers and complexity on the nose. Gorgeous wine, just beautiful balance and juiciness, and a silken texture to the fruit, tannins that support without ever being intrusive, no question this can age. Tannins are deceptive because they build over the palate. Tobacco and walnut on the finish, I look forward to watching this develop further over the next few years. Drinking Window 2019 - 2035

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

Strong Cabernet aromas. Unusual! Well balanced and zesty. This seems what Pessac-Léognan should be. Very dry but not drying on the finish. Complete and full of minerality. Date tasted 2nd April 2010. Drink 2018-2030.

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2010

This much respected property in Léognan is run with great care by Olivier Bernard whose family took it over from Claude Ricard in 1983. During the 1980's and 1990's there was a massive programme of replanting and it is only in the last few years, with the vines reaching maturity, that the quality here has returned to that of the great vintages of the 1960's and before. Without doubt, the best vintages of Chevalier are the most recent ones. Domaine de Chevalier performed an amazing treble at our annual Southwold blind tasting, winning the Graves flight in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Prices, however, have remained reasonable. Monsieur Bernard has recently engaged the talented winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt (of La Mondotte, Canon la Gaffelière, Pavie Macquin fame) and the wine has benefited greatly from his input. Not only is Domaine de Chevalier the best value wine in Pessac-Léognan these days, it is now becoming one of the best of all. A property on the rise - one to watch. A real beauty, a multi-dimensional nose with roasted barbeque notes, leather, spice, mint and cream. Vanilla and cassis follow. Real Graves, tarry with some licorice and pepper on the finish. Great purity and balance, intense but un-forced. We seriously loved this wine. Brilliant.

Farr Vintners, November 2009

The sweetness of the fruit gives an attractive fleshiness on the nose. The palate has lots of fruit well balanced by fresher redcurrant that lifts and lengthens the flavours. It has a lovely mix of richness yet lighter racier elegance. Drink 2018-2040.

Derek Smedley MW, April 2010

Black red, fine intensity of fragrant Cabernet fruit, touch of wild roses, concentrated yet already showing potential complexity, beautifully expressed palate with density and fragrance and a taffeta aspect that adds lift to its succulent elegance and class. Drink 2015-30.

Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2010

Deep colour. A soaring, complex and classic Graves nose that reminds me of La Mission Haut Brion. There is so much going on here! Roasted meat, Asian spices, herbs, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Loads of fruit on the mid palate and a long finish. There is structure to balance the richness. Really complex and multi-dimensional. Excellent.

Stephen Browett, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2013
Read more tasting notes...

The finest wine I have tasted from this estate in my 30+ - year career, the 2009 (64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot) from this hallowed vineyard in Leognan was cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare and came in at 13% alcohol. It reveals an extraordinary, intense, pure, quintessential Domaine de Chevalier style, including silky tannin, dense plum, black currant, black cherry, floral, and graphite notes, terrific acidity, sweet tannin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel with no weight, but admirable precision and freshness. Consultant Stephane Derenoncourt has coaxed out all the elegance and complexity at this great site. A future legend in the making, this could be the best Domaine de Chevalier produced over the last half century. It should drink well for 35-40 years. (Tasted four times.) Drink 2010-2050.

Robert Parker added an asterisk to this wine score to signify that it is a wine he considers has the finest potential of all the offerings he has ever tasted from this estate in nearly 32 years of barrel tasting samples in Bordeaux.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

Tasted at the chateau. Dark garnet hue. The nose awakes slowly, imbued with a sense of control instead of the some of the more vivacious, immediate bouquets. There is very fine minerality and delineation, dark cherry fruit, Doris plum, just a hint of briary with a very faint hint of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, very fresh, not as much weight as some of the other Pessac/Graves, light on its feet, very feminine, wonderful definition on the finish. This looks like it will turn out to be a very pretty Domaine de Chevalier Rouge. Tasted April 2010.

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2010

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.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2012

Shows a super nose of crushed blueberry and blackberry, with hints of raspberry. Full-bodied, offering a fabulous core of fruit and ripe tannins that caress your palate for minutes. Love the chocolate and blueberry character. Wonderful texture.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2010
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.