Domaine de Chevalier, Blanc Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru

Domaine de Chevalier, Blanc Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru, 2018

  • icon-type Type

    White

  • icon-year Year

    2018

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    France

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    12.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Sauvignon Blanc 75%, Semillon 25%
  • Rating

    JS 98, RP 95

Rémi Edange was keen to point to the health of the vineyard soil and the domaine’s protected position, which helped to manage the maturation of the white grapes.

This is a full-bodied Chevalier Blanc but still an admirably aromatic one, albeit more focused on warm scents like coriander and mace. A very complex wine. Drink 2023-2035.

About Domaine de Chevalier

Domaine de Chevalier is a Bordeaux wine from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, ranked among the Crus Classés for red and white wine in the Classification of Graves wine of 1953 and 1959. The winery and vineyards are located south of the city of Bordeaux, in the commune of Léognan. It is one of a very few Bordeaux estates to be named domaine instead of château.

Domaine de Chevalier is located in a clearing in the middle of a forest that protects the vines from extremes of temperature. In fact, Chevalier is a sort of secret garden, far from the limelight. This is something of a paradox for such an excellent wine, among the greatest in Bordeaux.

The estate dates from the 18th century, and viticulture of significance was begun during the 19th century when it was run by Arnaud Ricard, also the proprietor of Château Malartic-Lagravière; from 1900 to 1945 it was owned by Gabriel Beaumartin, a son-in-law. Severe frosts in 1945 made partial replanting necessary, and normal production was not resumed until 1953.

Managed by Claude Ricard since 1948, the Ricard family was forced to sell the estate in 1983 to the Bernard family of Cognac, though Claude Ricard stayed on as advisor for several years.

Stéphane Derenoncourt is retained as consultant oenologist.

From a property of 80 hectares, the vineyard area consists of 35 hectares of red grape varieties: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, and 2.5% Petit Verdot; and 4.5 hectares of white grape varieties: 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon.

The Grand vin, Domaine de Chevalier, is annually produced in 7,000 cases of the red wine and 1,200 cases of the dry white. The red and white second wines, L'Esprit de Chevalier, has a production of 5,800 and 800 cases, respectively.

Grape variety
Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage ("wild") and Blanc ("white") due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. It is possibly a descendant of Savagnin. Sauvignon Blanc is planted in many of the world's wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. The grape is also a component of the famous dessert wines from Sauternes and Barsac. Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Romania, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bulgaria, the states of Washington and California in the US. Some New World Sauvignon Blancs, particularly from California, may also be called "Fumé Blanc", a marketing term coined by Robert Mondavi in reference to Pouilly-Fumé.

Depending on the climate, the flavour can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. In cooler climates, the grape has a tendency to produce wines with noticeable acidity and "green flavours" of grass, green bell peppers and nettles with some tropical fruit (such as passion fruit) and floral (such as elderflower) notes. In warmer climates, it can develop more tropical fruit notes but risks losing much aroma from over-ripeness, leaving only slight grapefruit and tree fruit (such as peach) notes.

Wine experts have used the phrase "crisp, elegant, and fresh" as a favourable description of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley and New Zealand. Sauvignon Blanc, when slightly chilled, pairs well with fish or cheese, particularly chèvre. It is also known as one of the few wines that can pair well with sushi.

Along with Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first fine wines to be bottled with a screw-cap in commercial quantities, especially by New Zealand producers. The wine is usually consumed young, as it does not particularly benefit from aging, as varietal Sauvignon Blancs tend to develop vegetal aromas reminiscent of peas and asparagus with extended aging. Dry and sweet white Bordeaux, including oak-aged examples from Pessac-Léognan and Graves, as well as some Loire wines from Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre are some of the few examples of Sauvignon Blancs with aging potential

Winemakers in New Zealand and Chile harvest the grapes at various intervals for the different blending characteristics that the grape can impart depending on its ripeness levels. At its most unripe stage, the grape is high in malic acid. As it progresses further towards ripeness the grape develops red & green pepper flavours and eventually achieves a balance of sugars. The flavours characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc come from the chemicals methoxypyrazines. Grapes grown in Marlborough's Wairau Valley may exhibit different levels of ripeness over the vineyard, caused by slight unevenness in the land and giving a similar flavour profile to the resulting wine.

Sauvignon Blanc can be greatly influenced by decisions in the winemaking process. One decision is the amount of contact that the must has with the skins of the grape. In the early years of the New Zealand wine industry, there were no wineries in the South Island, which meant that freshly harvested grapes had to be trucked and then ferried to the North Island, often all the way up to Auckland. This allowed for prolonged exposure of the skins and juice which sharpened the intensity and pungency of the wine. Some winemakers, like the Loire, intentionally leave a small amount of must to spend some time in contact with the skin for later blending purposes. Other winemakers, like in California, generally avoid any contact with the skin due to the reduced aging ability of the resulting wine.

Another important decision is the temperature of fermentation. French winemakers prefer warmer fermentations (around 16-18 °C) that bring out the mineral flavours in the wine while New World winemakers prefer slightly colder temperatures to bring out more fruit and tropical flavours. A small minority of Loire winemakers will put the wine through malolactic fermentation, a practice more often associated with New Zealand wines. Oak aging can have a pronounced effect on the wine, with the oak rounding out the flavours and softening the naturally high acidity of the grape. Some winemakers, like those in New Zealand and Sancerre, prefer stainless steel fermentation tanks over barrels with the intention of maintaining the sharp focus and flavour intensity.

Alternative Names: Fumé Blanc, Sauvignon Bianco, Muskat-Silvaner, Muskat-Sylvaner

Sémillon

Sémillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, mostly in France and Australia. Its thin skin and susceptibility to botrytis make it dominate the sweet wine region Sauternes AOC and Barsac AOC.

Sémillon, which is relatively easy to cultivate, consistently produces six to eight tons of grapes per acre from its vigorous vines. It is fairly resistant to disease, except for rot. The grape ripens early, when, in warmer climates, it acquires a pinkish hue. Since the grape has a thin skin, there is also a risk of sunburn in hotter climates; it is best suited to areas with sunny days and cool nights.

The Sémillon grape is rather heavy, with low acidity and an almost oily texture. It has a high yield and wines based on it can age a long time. Along with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, Sémillon is one of only three approved white wine varieties in the Bordeaux region.

The grape is also key to the production of sweet wines such as Sauternes. For the grapes to be used for sweet wine production, they need to have been affected by Botrytis (also known as "noble rot"). This fungus dries out the grapes, thus concentrating the sugar and flavours in the grape berry.

Alternative Names: Malaga, Chevrier, Columbier, Blanc Doux, Wyndruif

About Pessac-Leognan

Pessac-Léognan is a prestigious appellation for red wine in the Bordeaux region of south-western France. It was carved out of the Graves sub-region in 1987 as recognition for its high quality red and white wines. Many of the estates in what is now Pessac-Léognan were the best performers in the Graves Classification of 1959.

The regions wines tend to be based on the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grape varieties. They best suit the terroir of Pessac-Léognan. The dominant soil type is the same gravel (and sand) which gave Graves its name.

Pessac-Léognan's white wines are made predominantly from Sauvignon Blanc (a required minimum of 25 percent) and Semillon grapes. This duo thrive on the sandier soils of the appellation and produce extremely long-lived wines. In other regions and countries, blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are usually best consumed within a few years of harvest. The wines are often matured in oak for greater complexity.

The northern vineyards of the appellation are intermingled with the southern fringes of Bordeaux city. Those in the south are surrounded by the forests which produce the other main export of Graves: timber. Orchards and fields dominate the landscape of the Entre-Deux-Mers region just across the Garonne river, but pine forests and housing are predominant in Pessac-Léognan.

Among many top chateaux, the four most prestigious are Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion, Laville Haut-Brion and Pape Clément. The latter is named after Pope Clément V, who ordered its original vineyards to be planted in the 14th Century. Each of these is located within the southern city limits of Bordeaux. The soils here are deep, with a high proportion of gravel, and are considered the best of the appellation. Their superior drainage helps to maintain the high quality of the vineyards.

The commune (or Bordeaux suburb) of Pessac lies just to the south of these chateaux. Léognan lies 10 kilometres (six miles) further on. The latter is also home to several other quality members of the Bordeaux elite. These include Domaine de Chevalier, and Chateaux Haut-Bailly, Malartic-Lagravière, Larrivet Haut-Brion and de Fieuzal. Léognan is surrounded almost entirely by pine forests and vineyards, and benefits from the same superior drainage as Pessac.

Southeast of Léognan lies the commune of Martillac. Smith Haut Lafitte has made massive improvements since the 1990s, and boasts an impressive hotel and spa. Latour-Martillac, in the very south of the Pessac-Léognan zone is another chateau on the upgrade.

Regular price $844.00

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This is a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection. The wine is quoted as a price in S$ for purchase and transfer into a UK bonded warehouse. The purchase price is a duty/tax free price and does not include delivery to Singapore. Please contact us below if you wish to enquire delivery or storage options for a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection to Singapore or elsewhere.

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