|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pessac-Léognan|
This much respected property in Pessac-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 major programme of replanting here and since the early 2000s, with the vines reaching maturity, the quality here has returned to that of the great vintages of the 1940s and 1950s. Without doubt, the best vintages of Chevalier are the most recent ones. Domaine de Chevalier performs brilliantly every year now and is a regular star of our blind tastings. It wins its flight at the blind "Southwold" tasting with impressive regularity. However, prices have remained reasonable. This is always one of our best-selling wines en primeur.
The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier is full of promise, bursting with aromas of dark berries and plums mingled with loamy soil, bay leaf, licorice, potpourri and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, its velvety attack segues into a lively, layered core, concluding with a long, nicely defined finish. Olivier Bernard doesn't think that this will surpass his 2018, but I tend to disagree. The 2021 is a blend of fully 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The 2021 Domaine de Chevalier was picked from September 28 until October 15 at 30hL/ha. Tobacco- and sous-bois-infused black fruit unfurl with a sense of assuredness on the nose, the best example, a third bottle toward the end of my tastings, being the most delineated. This has energy rather than horsepower. The palate is medium-bodied with pencil-lead-infused black fruit and a slightly powdery texture, certainly the most saline in recent years, leading to an almost Pauillac-inspired finish. Stylish and classic Domaine de Chevalier.
The 2021 is strongly Cabernet led and impressively dense for the vintage. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby colour. Gravelly, earthy spice and rich black fruit burst from the glass on the nose. This same sweet and savoury blend follows on the palate. Plush oak and ripe tannin props up the deep, savoury fruit. There is excellent fruit through the middle, persisting long into the finish. The structure builds to the finish, which is chewy and vertical. Very well made and one to consider in 2021.
A medium-bodied DC with a pretty core of ripe fruit that shows licorice, blackberry and some currant character. Spice box, too. Very long, with fine tannins and plenty of energy.
A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Domaine de Chevalier rouge is deep garnet-purple in color. It comes bounding out of the glass with bold notes of cassis, kirsch, and redcurrant jelly, plus nuances of pencil shavings, dried Provence herbs, and tree bark. Light to medium-bodied, the palate is delicately played with soft-spoken red and black fruits and a firm, grainy texture, finishing long and savory.
Inky purple in colour, powerful aromatics. Chevalier is often an estate to turn to in challenging vintages, and is proving its mettle here. This is another league from much of 2021, extremely impressive in quality. Clove, saffron, turmeric, leather, complex layers of flavour that unroll slowly and get a sense of momentum building. The fingerprint of 2021 comes through in the savoury black fruits and austere tannins that need more filling out over ageing, but this is exceptional. 30hl/h yield. In organic conversion.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample.
Deep purplish crimson. Savoury nose with something more complex than just fruit. Good density and depth though still a little oak evidence (hardly surprisingly). Tingly finish. Polished tannins. Really quite fine and not lacking anything. Bone dry and on the refreshing side but it really doesn’t taste like a wine from a less-than-successful vintage. Good weight and balance in the mouth. Refreshing but not austere.
Drink 2028 – 2045