A spectacular effort, especially for this challenging vintage, Olivier Bernard's 2011 Domaine de Chevalier boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of subtle charcoal, graphite, black currants and black cherries. Rich and full-bodied with a multilayered mouthfeel and a long, complex, stunning finish, this is a profound example of a 2011 from a great terroir. Consume it over the next 20 years.
|Score: 94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014|
A very good effort from this estate located in the southern sector of Pessac-Leognan, the 2011 Domaine de Chevalier is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot that achieved 13% natural alcohol. It offers medium body, attractive sweet red and black currant fruit, a round, supple texture, and hints of roasted herbs and damp earth. Drink this pretty, elegant effort during its first 10-15 years of life.
|Score: 87/89||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012|
The 2011 is a blend of two-thirds Cabernet and one-third Merlot but Olivier Bernard then mentioned that is includes 6% Petit Verdot. The nose is closed at first but it demonstrates fine precision with blackcurrant, boysenberry, limestone and graphite aromas, again, almost Pauillac like in profile. The palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannins on the entry, crisp acidity: a Domaine de Chevalier struck through with a citric like freshness. A little abrupt and "spiky" on the finish perhaps, but this is a fine, masculine, classic Domaine de Chevalier for mid-term drinking. Tasted April 2012.
|Score: 90/92||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012|
This is a rich wine for the vintage with mineral, raspberry and lemongrass character. Full body, chewy tannins and a long finish. Need three or four years to come together.
|Score: 92||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2014|
Very polished tannins to this refined and beautiful red with minerals and blackberries. Some wet earth too. Full and very integrated now.
|Score: 92/93||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012|
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 1980s and 1990s 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 1960s 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 and 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. Approximately 60% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest Merlot and a little Petit Verdot. There is good depth and concentration here with stoney, flinty, gravel notes. Great purity and perfect balance between fruit and tannin. Harmonious.
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, March 2012|
There are mainly black fruits on both nose and palate sweet at the start but fresher in the middle. The tannins feel ripe giving richness on the mid palate but towards the back the freshness of red fruits gives a lighter feel on the finish.
|Score: 89/92||Derek Smedley MW, April 2012|
These aren't the flashiest of wines in their youth, even in riper vintages, but they often develop beautifully with time. This is poised and almost reticent, with refreshing acidity, fine-grained, savoury tannins and elegant cassis and graphite flavours. Less good than the château's white in 2011, but generally a good buy. 8+ years.
|Score: 92||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012|
Elegant black berry fruits, lightly expressed concentration, lovely texture and depth, strong tannins already blending in and a long life in front of it. Drink 2016-2035.
|Score: 17.5||Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2012|