One of the few châteaux in Bordeaux that is equally regarded for both red and white wine, Domaine de Chevalier has gone from strength to strength since the Bernard distilling company purchased this Pessac-Leognan property in 1983. Under the watchful eye of Olivier Bernard (who was only 23 when he took over) the vineyard has doubled in size. For the rouge, the 58 hectares are planted to 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Stéphane Derenoncourt of La Mondotte came on board as a consultant in 2012 and recent wines have been concentrated, minerally and still very well priced.
"Deep garnet-purple in colour, the 2017 Domaine de Chevalier opens with a cedary waft giving way to a good core of crushed black currants, blackberries and mulberries with suggestions of black truffles, tilled soil and black olives plus a hint of smoked meats. Medium-bodied with a good, solid frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it is elegantly fruited yet well sustained on the mid-palate and long finish."
93-95+ points, Lisa Perrotti Brown MW
"Deep crimson. A little leafy, fragrant in a herbaceous style. Firm and chewy. Tongue-tied at the moment but there's finesse in the dark, dusty fruit and tender graphite notes. Smooth and polished yet compact tannins. Savoury, dry, subtle aftertaste. Drink 2024-2037"
17 points, Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
"The 2017 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge was cropped at 34hl/ha between 11 and 29 September and is matured in 35% new oak for 18 months. It has a vivacious bouquet with quite generous black fruit, raspberry, brine and black olive that is well-defined and focused, if not possessing the complexity of the previous two vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly edgy tannin – layers of black fruit interlaced with melted tar and graphite, closing in a little towards the finish with a gentle grip. I appreciate the deft manner in which this fans out and leaves a mineral residue on the finish. A Domaine de Chevalier of refinement rather than power, one with “buvabilité” or “drinkability” "
92-94 points, Neal Martin.
"This is really delicious and round with soft and ripe tannins. Full body and juicy fruit. Shows ripeness and balance. A pretty wine to watch for the future."
93-94 points, James Suckling
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.