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April 25, 2014

Domaine de Chevalier 2013 EP Release

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Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2013 - £600, 12×75 or £300 6×75 EP – 97-98 JS

Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is one of the stars of Bordeaux 2013, a vintage that produced superb whites. In fact it was James Suckling’s dry wine of the vintage. He awarded it a staggering 97-98 points; the only wine to surpass it is was the phenomenal Chateau d’Yquem, bettering it by a solitary point, 98-99. Suckling posits that Chevalier Blanc ‘Has more weight than all the red wines made in 2013’, while Antoni Galloni awarded it his highest score with 94-97 points, stating ‘The 2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is fabulous’. Moreover, given its remarkable success in 2013 the release price of £50 per bottle is a generous offering from the Estate and £30 per case less than in 2012.

As the wine of the vintage this will be a huge success and they could have priced it higher, particularly as they only produce 1,200 cases. Its relative value is superb and hugely compelling when one considers the 95-96 scoring La Mission Haut Brion and Haut Brion 93-94 are priced at £440 and £550 a bottle respectively.

In 2013 the blend was made up from 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. The barrel sample was a bright lemon/gold, with an extremely aromatic nose of apple blossom, thyme, chamomile, quince, white peach, grapefruit, honey, mint and with wonderful minerality demonstrated in graphite aromas. The palate is incredibly weighty, dense, authoritative with a wonderful vibrancy and balance; the finish unfolds in your mouth for minutes. We also tasted the Chevalier Blanc 1983 and 1993 and both remain vibrant and extremely complex, the 2013 will improve for a decades yet drink beautifully in two years. This is a wine not to be missed; 96-98 points IG Wines.

Domaine de Chevalier
Chevalier is one of the few domaines well known for producing both top class red and white wines. The Blanc is an outstanding wine and often out performs its red counterpart. Found in Pessac Leognon, on a gravel hill top, it is set apart from other chateaux in a landscape surrounded by forest. It was classified as a Graves Preimier Cru in the 1953 classification. The oenologist is the world famous Stephane Derenoncourt who consults with many chateaux including Smith Haut Lafitte and Beausejour Lagarrosse which obtained 100 Parker Points in 2009 and 2010.

James Suckling 97-98 points
This white is so dense and powerful, with a finish that lasts for minutes. Pear, lemon, grapefruit and loads of minerals. Has more weight than all the red wines made in 2013. Full body. Profound depth. I look forward to tasting this from bottle in a few years.

Neil Martin 93-95 points
The Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is a blend 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. It has a potent bouquet with apple blossom and granite scents that are not as immediate as previous vintages but only nicely in the glass after 5 minutes aeration. The palate is a little spicy on the entry. It is a beautifully balanced white Domaine de Chevalier with a fine line of acidity. Perversely the bottle at the Château was reticent, but subsequent examples suggested dewy green apples, peach and citrus peel notes combining with devastating effect on the finish. This will be worth seeking out after bottling and would be my preference over its red counterpart.

Domaine de Chavelier 2013 - £300, 12×75 or £150 6×75 EP – 91-94 AG

Also released today is the very well made and structured Domaine de Chevalier rouge, finished with wonderful care and attention. The red from this Estate continues to be under-priced compared to many of its peers and scored 91-92 from James Suckling and 91-94 points from Galloni. These scores place it on par or better than most of the Second Growths and superb value for £25 a bottle.

James Suckling 91-92 points
Spice and tobacco character with berry and coffee undertones. Medium to full body, silky tannins. Seamless and integrated for the vintage.

Antonio Galloni 91-94 points
Graphite, smoke, plums and violets meld together in the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier. One of the most impressive wines of the year, the 2013 stands out for its energy, delineation and brilliant textural balance. With a little time in the glass, the 2013 opens up beautifully, showing off its multi-faceted personality. What a gorgeous wine this is. Violets, sage and new leather add the final layers of complexity to what is easily one of the wines of the vintage. The 2013 has been striking the three times I have tasted it. In 2013, the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

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