Owned by the Bernard family since 1983, the beautiful Domaine de Chevalier is at the top of the list of the finest Bordeaux Crus Classes. The estate, located in the heart of the Pessac-Leognan appellation to the south of Bordeaux, is surrounded by a green haven.
Domaine de Chevalier watches over a rare vineyard wich comprises 45 hectares of vines dedicated to the production of red wine. The vineyard lies on gravelly soil with a clay and gravel subsoil.
The cool spring delayed the flowering period, which was recorded in mid-June. The summer was dry but without any heat waves, these ideal weather conditions persisted from the 15th of September to the 25th of October. Sunshine, lots of light, dry winds and alternating hot days and cool nights made up this Indian summer. Historically late, the 2008 harvest was characterised by low yields, optimal concentration and good levels of acidity mixed with great freshness and superb tannins.
The vinification and aging
The grapes are hand-picked in small crates, based on their level of ripeness, and are rigorously sorted in the vineyard, then in the cellar before and after destemming. The vinification is carried out in a plot-by-plot manner in small tulip-shaped tanks, thus ensuring an optimal extraction. The wine is aged in barrels (1/3 are new oak) for 16 to 18 months, with regular stirring of the lees during the first 4 months.
Domaine de Chevalier 2008 comprises a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (66%), Merlot (25%) and Petit Verdot (9%).
Brilliant, with a beautiful dark color.
Fresh and complex, the nose gives off intense fruity fragrances.
Full and dense, this wine is seductive due to its structure and elegance. Powerful, the palate combines minerality and tasty aromas of ripe fruit sustained by a beautiful acidity.
The Domaine de Chevalier 2008 can be kept in the cellar until around 2023, in order to reveal its full aromatic range.
One of the fabulous sleepers of the vintage and a wine for serious Bordeaux afficionados to consider buying, the 2008 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. Surprisingly backward for a 2008, it is medium to full-bodied with moderate tannins, lots of purity and abundant charcoal, black currant and floral notes. The sweetness of the fruit, depth of flavor and textured, lush mouthfeel in this medium to full-bodied, ageworthy 2008 are impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be as impressive as the 2010.