Area of production: 5 ha
Average production: 18.000 bottles
Age of vines: ~35 years
Olivier Bernard's extensive project at Domaine de Chevalier has really come to fruition. After a bold and not to mention expensive re-planting program throughout the `80s and then a decade and a half of patience for the vines to gain maturity, we can really see the benefits. 2005, 2008, 2009 and now 2010 rank amongst the very best wines produced in this sprawling commune. Powerful but graceful, true to their terroir, and just so enjoyable to drink; this has become one of our 'must buy' estates. Olivier's wines offer 'super second' class at relatively affordable prices.
Blend: Sauvignon Blanc 75% & Sémillon 25%
Yield: 45 hl/ha
Vintage report: The unquestionably successful 2016 vintage is due to the conjunction of several important factors. A rainy period lasting from the 1st of January to the 20th of June replenished water reserves and paved the way for a large potential crop. The significant precipitation between January and late June enhanced vine growth in spring and built up essential water reserves in our gravelly well-drained soil. Quasi-miraculous flowering guaranteed a large crop.
A window of opportunity – a spell of splendid weather from the 4th to the 11th of June – miraculously opened in the context of a "spring monsoon". This led to perfectly - fertilised flowers producing well - formed, sizeable bunches. An exceptionally dry period from the 1st of July to the 13th of September was conducive to richness and power. Summer was warm, but not excessively so, and also extremely dry. In fact, this was one of the driest summers in a hundred years... In early summer, our deeply-rooted old vines were fortunately able to draw on water reserves accumulated in spring.
The month of August was ideal for developing tannic structure in our red wine varieties and sugar levels in the white wine ones. However, these drought conditions were very trying for our young vines with relatively shallow roots. This necessitated the highly unusual step of watering them. We were really in need of rain by early September! This finally arrived, on the 13th of that month. These 40 mm of rain did a world of good, giving a boost to ripening and refreshing the vines.
An Indian summer from the 15th of September to the end of October provided finesse and elegance. The Indian summer, combined with diurnal temperature differences due to cool night-time temperature, ensured a good end to ripening of the various grape varieties, as well as refined red wine tannins, while maintaining fresh fruitiness.
The dry white wine harvest began on 12/09 with Sauvignon Blanc and finished with Sémillon on 05/10. The golden-coloured grapes were handpicked in four passes. They were rich, tasty, fresh, and in prime condition.