Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2016 - A.O.C Pessac-Léognan
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94.2 sur 100 based on 4 Average rating of the Experts
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Experts Reviews

Score dans le Guide Parker
Robert Parker
Score de Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator
Score de James Suckling
James Suckling
Score de Jancis Robinson
Jancis Robinson

The 2016 Domaine de Chevalier is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it rocks up with expressive warm plums, blueberry compote and cassis scents with suggestions of sandalwood, baking spices and potpourri. Medium-bodied and delicately styled yet with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins, it sports restrained earth-laced fruit and a long finish.
points on 100
The core of fruit flavor here is sappy and dense, with lots of kirsch, raspberry pâte de fruit and plum reduction notes, yet this stays fresh and racy overall, with a bright iron spine, flashes of tea and tobacco and a long finish that shows a wonderful infusion of alder and tobacco flavors. Offers a lovely combination of prodigious fruit details, with a tug of earth. Best from 2024 through 2038. 12,000 cases made.
points on 100
A dense and tight DC with mineral, crushed stone, and cement and black currant. Full, tight and racy. Gorgeous. Leafs and tobacco undertones. Very tannic. Tight So strucured. Complex.
points on 100
Concentrated and luscious. Real life and savour on the (at the moment slightly inky) end. One of the most youthful samples I encountered. Dry sandpaper end but perhaps it's a more honest sample than most?
points on 20


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. «Only a great terroir can produce a great wine… I often start out with these words when speaking about Domaine de Chevalier.

Humble origins

“Chevalier’s history is an integral part of its identity... The true birth of the estate dates back to the second half of the 19th century. Until not so long ago, the forest took up most of the western part of the Graves, where we are located. How things have changed since then!

Archives from the 17th century show us that the small Domaine de Chivaley included “houses, outbuildings, gardens, grounds, vines, woods, and meadows.” The name "Chivaley", (meaning "knight" in Gascon) is believed to be linked, for an unknown reason, to the presence of the very old pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela which still borders the estate.

The term domaine, later replaced by château, originally had a wider meaning that has since disappeared. It referred to an ensemble, as at Chivaley, formed by a family residence and agricultural estate in which viticulture coexisted with other crops and breeding...”

A great Graves is born

“One of things that makes Chevalier unique is how it achieved fame in a relatively short time compared to the majority of Bordeaux great growths, which took several centuries to acquire a similar status… Of course, this is due to the terroir, but I would add that Domaine de Chevalier’s great chance was to have been managed by a limited number of owners, who all considered it essential to perpetuate a tradition of quality. The previous owners can be thanked for Chevalier’s present image of a famous wine at the top of its classification”.

“Only three men have managed Domaine de Chevalier from time it was acquired by Arnaud and Jean Ricard in 1865 until it was purchased by my family in 1983. As for Jean Ricard, I would say that he is the true creator of Chevalier as we know it. However, his son-in-law, Gabriel Beaumartin, who was at Chevalier for forty years, was responsible for crystallising its reputation”.

“Claude Ricard had been running the estate for thirty-five years when I arrived in 1983. He was much respected and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of winegrowing. Under his leadership, the estate was included among the elite grands crus in the 1953 classification of the Graves. It is also thanks to Claude Ricard that the château gained a true international dimension… We worked together for five years, which enabled me to understand Chevalier’s true nature”.

Continuity and progress

“In 1983, my family, until then specialised in the sale of grape brandy and Bordeaux great growths, decided to purchase the Domaine de Chevalier… When I was asked to become the new manager, I was fully conscious of – and attracted to – the tremendous challenge.”_ 

My family’s wishes were clear. I was to further the work accomplished over the past 120 years and adopt a long-term approach.This was to be based on maintaining the family tradition and continuing to produce a superb and famous wine, steeped in history. In keeping with this mission, I was able to make major investments in the vineyard and cellar. In short, I prepared the estate for the new millennium…

“Considerable efforts have been made since 1983… The vineyard, currently in full production, was appreciably expanded and all aspects of winegrowing were revisited. We cleared trees, constructed buildings, and reconfigured the vineyard. Nothing was left to chance… Even though the transition was smooth, the estate’s whole appearance, as well as its image, changed greatly.”

The terroir

“A constantly improving understanding of the terroir and a precise assessment of ripeness (always within the context of the vintage year) make it possible to anticipate, make the right choices, and limit risks. It is hard to describe the intensity of the vintage at Domaine du Chevalier, with its accompanying anxiety and numerous trips through the vineyard. Vintage time calls for total commitment, with constant mental concentration and physical activity. A successful wine depends on the effort that has been made during the vintage, and the taking of measured risks – keeping in mind that everything happens very quickly. For example, waiting three extra days for certain plots of Cabernet to ripen further can be a key factor in quality.”

Determining the picking order for each plot

“The crop is watched over especially carefully as of three or four weeks before the estimated harvest date. The juice is regularly analysed and sugar levels determined. We also taste the grapes because, when all is said and done, this is the only way to appreciate the quality of the juice.

Tasting the grapes is particularly important for red wine grapes seeing as physiological and phenolic maturity are not necessarily reached at the same time...

Repeated taste tests and laboratory analyses enable us to determine the picking order for grapes in each plot in accordance with specific characteristics of the vintage”.

Technical sheet

  • The producer
    Domaine de Chevalier
  • Type of wine
    Classified Growth
  • Appellation
  • Superficy
    50 hectares
  • Age of the vines
    35 years
  • Harvests
    100% hand harvested
  • Barrels
    35% of new barrels
  • When should you drink it?
    Drink between 2024 and 2045
  • Wine apogee
  • How is it now?
    Encore jeune on doit le garder en cave
  • Service temperature

The vineyard

This Red wine (Classified Growth) from Pessac-Léognan is made with a vineyard that has an area of 50 hectares by Domaine de Chevalier. The average age of the vines is 35 years. The harvest for this wine are 100% hand harvested.

Into the cellars

This wine has remained 18 months in Oak barrels. For this wine, the estate has made the choice to incorporate 35% of new barrels.


The AOC Pessac-Léognan is a fairly recent appellation since it dates from 1987. However, it has a very old terroir dating from the Middle Ages. Located on the southern and south-western edges of Bordeaux, the appellation includes all of the Grands Crus Classés des Graves, including the legendary Château Haut-Brion. It produces many red wines and some dry white wines (265 ha).
Composed of gravel, gravel, rolled pebbles, sands and clays, the soil allows red grape varieties (cabernet-sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, malbec) and white grape varieties (sauvignon and semillon) have a typical expression. It is this combination that gives its peculiar style to Pessac-Léognan wines.