I've wanted to visit Domaine de Chevalier for a long time. Because of the wines, bien sur, but also because of the man. The man behind it - what an incredible force. I've met Olivier Bernard many times in Toronto and his energy, his enthusiasm, are infectious. He simply radiates excitement when you ask about his projects. There was no doubt - I had to come see this estate for myself.
Newly installed concrete vats for fermenting the white wines ...
... followed by a slow, steady aging in cask ...
... sometimes even in the mother egg.
This is what I came for. A new story that M. Bernard is telling. A story of new beginnings, of authenticity, and of great possibilities. A 55 hectare plot of vineyards in Sauternes, producing both dry and sweet wines. Pure excitement.
DF and the man himself. Thanks very much to Veronique for showing me around, and M. Bernard for always being a source of inspiration.
2011 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge: A blend of 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 5% petit verdot. Inky with good depth; a fine and complex nose. Dark berries, still very young. Coating tannins, but very elegant.
2013 Clos des Lunes Blanche: The most widely exported bottle, through exclusive distributors. A beautiful nose, pure fruit with a touch of spice. Vibrant and sparkly on the palate, some creaminess. Lovely and bright, missing a bit of concentration, but a very, very exciting wine. Look out for these.
2012 Clos de Lunes d'Or: The flagship of the dry whites here. Immediate oak, great creamy, buttery notes. Bright fruit, viscosity is obvious - some alcohol showing (14% abv). Apricot on the palate, like a Sauternes, with great weight and roundness. A beauty in crushed velvet.
2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc: A barrel sample, but oak is very integrated. Elegant, fresh fruit, lots of dry extract and power on the palate. Pulsing with energy.
2013 Clos des Lunes Sauternes: Sulfur hits here. Apricots and freshness on the nose, but dries out on the palate. Very thick, but remains juicy. Balance is spot on ... I mean absolute finesse. Perfection here.