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Domaine de Chevalier 2018

RegionBordeaux
SubregionPessac-Leognan
ColourRed
TypeStill
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

This much respected property in Pessac-Léognan is run with great care by Olivier Bernard whose family took it over from Claude Ricard in 1983. During the 1980s and 1990s there was a major programme of replanting here and since the early 2000's, with the vines reaching maturity, the quality here has returned to that of the great vintages of the 1940's and 1950's. Without doubt, the best vintages of Chevalier are the most recent ones. Domaine de Chevalier performs brilliantly every year now and is a regular star of our blind tastings. It wins its flight at the blind "Southwold" tasting with impressive regularity. However, prices have remained reasonable. This is always one of our best-selling wines en primeur. For Olivier, 2010 was always the best wine that he ever made but he thinks that the 2018 has the chance to beat it - as it has the power of 2010 with the roundness of 2009. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot.

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Tasting Notes

Here is another wine that needed aeration to really show its mettle, albeit not as much as others. The 2018 Domaine de Chevalier initially comes across a little ordinary. You ask yourself: What’s the fuss all about? But after 60–90 minutes it reveals an absolutely divine nose of raspberry, crushed rose petals, wild mint and Provençal herbs, beautifully defined and gaining intensity with each passing moment. The palate is very well balanced, the predominantly red fruit framed by fine tannins that provide the backbone to this Domaine de Chevalier, yet the overriding impression is one of elegance and finesse. An utterly sublime Pessac-Léognan that is going to give a lot of pleasure over the coming years. 2023 - 2045

94
Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2021

The 2018 Domaine de Chevalier has a compelling bouquet with copious black cherries, raspberry coulis, crushed stone and rose petal scents, suggestions of black olive developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. This is silky smooth in texture with hints of brown spice and dark chocolate infusing the black fruit, a touch of curry powder towards the finish that sets the tongue tingling after the wine has departed. This is a seriously fine Domaine de Chevalier from Olivier Bernard and his team. Does it rank alongside the 2016? Well, yes, it might well do that. Drink 2023-2045.

94/96
Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, aged for approximately 18 months in oak barriques, 35% new, the 2018 Domaine de Chevalier has a deep garnet-purple color, pouncing out of the glass with energetic scents of crushed blackcurrants, fresh, juicy blackberries and ripe plums, with suggestions of crushed rocks, bay leaves, unsmoked cigars and lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with muscular black fruits, framed by firm, ripe, grainy tannins and great tension, finishing long and mineral laced. Give it another 4 years in bottle to flesh out and drink it over the next 25+ years. 2025 - 2030

95+
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (End of Mar), March 2021

This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot to be aged for approximately 18 months in oak barriques, 35% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Domaine de Chevalier starts a little closed before bounding out of the glass with bold expressions of fresh blackcurrants, kirsch, black raspberries and fragrant earth plus nuances of lilacs, Sichuan pepper and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate maintains elegance and sophistication, with a lovely ripe, finely grained frame and plenty of freshness to back up the floral and black fruit layers, finishing long and perfumed.

94/96+
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

The intensity and perfumes on the nose are extremely impressive, offering pure blackberries and violets, as well as bark, wild-mushroom and raw-tile notes. It’s full-bodied with creamy tannins that envelop the wine and a gorgeous, subtly complex center palate with all the flavors found on the nose. Endless finish. Love the finesse and length to this. Greatest ever. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 5% petit verdot. Try after 2026.

99
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2021
Read more tasting notes...

Wow. I can’t get over the pureness of fruit in this wine with so much currant, tar and wet-earth character. Flowers, too. So aromatic. Full body, yet pureness and brightness of fruit. Layered. Incredible depth and beauty. 65 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 30 per cent merlot and 5 per cent petit verdot. Greatest ever?

99/100
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

The 2018 Domaine de Chevalier is easily one of the wines of the vintage. A wine of mind-blowing precision and regal elegance, Domaine de Chevalier dazzles from the very first taste. Dried herbs, rose petal, mint, blood orange, pomegranate and bright mineral notes all build in the glass. Richly layered but also translucent, the 2018 is a real head-turner. Don't miss it! 2026 - 2048

97
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2021

The 2018 Domaine de Chevalier is magnificent. Bright, lifted and wonderfully nuanced, the 2018 has so much to offer. Olivier Bernard turned out a dazzling Domaine de Chevalier in 2018 that speaks to precision and nuance above all else. Rose petal, mint, savory herbs and crushed rocks add striking aromatic top notes to this stunning, breathtakingly beautiful wine. The tannins need time to soften, but I doubt readers will be in a rush. The 2018 is simply majestic - that's all there is to it. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Tasted three times.

94/97
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019

Black core, cherry rim. Subtle and scented on the nose, even though it looks like a big wine. When I tasted this two days later, it was more open and rich on first impression. Plenty of oak on the nose, as you might expect at this stage. Crushed stones entwined with black, black fruit. Relative to the vintage, this has real tenderness on the palate, the finest of dry tannins and a finish that leaves your mouth clean, as 75% chocolate does. Very impressive. Drink 2025-2038

17.5+
Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

With a deep purple colour in the glass, this exudes the classic earthiness of the appellation, paired with ripe black cherry, dried herbs and sweet spices. The palate is wonderfully silky, with glossy, refined tannins gently framing the sweet fruit at the core. Bright acidity washes through and gives wonderful elegance and precision without losing the juicy, ripe fruit. The finish is long but restrained, with the sweet fruit and savoury spices of oak in perfect harmony. A magnificent Domaine de Chevalier that captures the best elements of the vintage.

95
Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

Possibly one of the finest wines ever to come from the Bernard family’s flagship estate near Léognan, the 2018 Domaine de Chevalier checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot that hit 13.5% alcohol and will spend 18 months in just 35% new French oak. Its saturated purple/plum color is followed by a mammoth bouquet of cassis, black currants, gravelly earth, smoked herbs, and tobacco. Full-bodied, deep, brilliantly balanced, and seriously concentrated, it has polished tannins, no hard edges, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s a heavenly Graves that will keep for 30+ years.

96/98
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

This is flashy, with mesquite, licorice, black tea and fruitcake aromatics leading the way to a frankly ripe core of steeped raspberry and plum flavors. Seems pretty liberal with the toast, but this has what it needs to come together in the end.

94/97
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019

These guys clearly know what they are doing, and they keep doing it. This wine is consistent even in difficult years but in years like this, where they have the room to manoeuvre, it really shines. This is great stuff, with lovely freshness to the deep fruit flavours. There is persistency and plenty of slate and freshly cut herbs to stack up against the juicy, concentrated fruit. It's a powerful, well handled and confident wine but doesn't push too hard. One-third new oak.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2040

96
Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2019

(65 Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 Merlot, 5 Petit Verdot) There is no doubt that this is a classy wine and it is certainly well-structured, but there is a tender mulberry tone in the core which signals a degree of complexity to it and even though the tannins are fairly rustic, they are sure to calm, too.

17.5+
Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.