Domaine de Chevalier is one of the names to cite when talking about Bordeaux Blanc. Bright in its youth, its ability to age is legendary. Patience, here, is a true virtue.
White wine accounts for only 20% of production at Chevalier, yet the care poured into it is as profound as with their famed red blends. Fruit is grown with a focus on sustainabilty and, in many parcels, biodynamic practices.
In the bottle, you can expect a blend of majority Sauvignon Blanc, with Sémillon for richness. Grapes are handpicked and fermented in 100% new French oak. It is then aged on less for a year and a half: this makes it the longest aged dry white of Bordeaux.
"The 2016 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc has a clean, precise bouquet with a fine mineral vein that becomes more pronounced with aeration. The well-balanced palate is poised and harmonious, delivering a fine bead of acidity and real weight and penetration toward the lightly peppered finish. Superb. 2020-2038"
94 Points, Vinous
"Still very shy on the nose, but the candied citrus, fresh melon, pear and quince notes come through on the palate, together with discreet, toasty oak. Although this is really concentrated, the power is underplayed and the enormous, herbal and mineral depth steals up on you slowly and then whisks you away. You could enjoy it now, but there’s enormous aging potential. A blend of 70 per cent sauvignon and 30 per cent semillon. Try in 2021."
98 Points, JamesSuckling.com
The white of the vintage is the 2016 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, which comes from a high-density planting of 30-year-old vines located west and south of the town of Léognan. A blend of 75% Sauvignon and 25% Sémillon raised in 35% new barrels, it offers a massive bouquet of crushed citrus, salty minerality, white flowers, and grapefruit. Racy, full-bodied, concentrated and beautifully textured, it’s a brilliant wine that has more flesh and texture than the 2015 and will keep for two decades or more. Hats off to the team at Domaine de Chevalier for this brilliant, brilliant white!
99 points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
The Domaine de Chevalier 2016 Blanc is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. The nose reveals spiced pears, waxy lemons, honeysuckle and yuzu with wafts of lime juice and green guava. Medium-bodied with great intensity and elegance, it has a racy line cutting through the citrus and tropical layers, finishing long.
92+ points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
The 2016 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc offers quite a bit of upfront intensity and attack, but then loses persistence through the mid-palate and finish, which makes it come across as rather monolithic. I don't see the focus, tension or energy that are such signatures of the Blanc. Perhaps time in bottle will help to some degree, but I am not too optimistic that will happen.
92 points, Vinous (January 2019)
Though wine has been made in Pessac-Léognan since ancient Roman times, it was only in 1987 that the neighbouring villages of Pessac and Léognan were singled out from the surrounding Graves region and given their own appellation. The designation acknowledges that Pessac-Léognan is home to the most acclaimed properties of Bordeaux’s Graves region, such as the Premier Cru Château Haut-Brion.
The vineyards of Pessac-Léognan, just south of the city of Bordeaux, are crowded by suburban sprawl. About 3,000 acres are dedicated mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown for red wines, with a small portion devoted to Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and other grapes for white wines. Pessac-Léognan red wines are elegant and concentrated, with medium to full body. They offer distinct aromas and flavours of mineral and earth, and can have lush fruit or smoky tobacco character. Pessac-Léognan white wines are dry, unlike the famous sweet white wines from nearby Sauternes. They are generally crisp and minerally with citrus notes, often with rich character from oak aging and capable of improving with additional age.