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The winemaker’s role is to reflect the best the terroir has to offer and to reproduce the intrinsic taste parameters that correspond to Domaine de Chevalier.
Olivier Bernard describes Domaine de Chevalier’s white wines: “Our aim is not to make the wine as fruity as possible at all costs. Measured extraction and barrel ageing create very complex wines – beautifully fresh, never heavy, and with an incredibly long aftertaste that “unfolds like a peacock’s tail”... We target the long term and make a great wine that needs time to reveal its full potential.”
Thomas Stonestreet confirms that “Domaine de Chevalier blanc is an incredibly complex wine, that can age for many years ... It features much more than just fruitiness. It also very velvety, rich, and concentrated...”
Rémi Edange has much to say about the wine’s bouquet: “An incredibly complex nose... Above and beyond the varietal aromas there are empyreumatic overtones of resin, smoke, liquorice, coffee, and even, in certain vintages, cedar and Havana cigars... With regard to the fruit, Domaine de Chevalier often shows quince as well as peach, apricot, pineapple, tropical fruit (lychees), and citrus. In older vintages, the bouquet is reminiscent of a fine Sauternes. As if this were not enough, there are also floral overtones of vine flowers, herb teas (lime-blossom, verbena), etc...”
Olivier Bernard has this to say about his red wines: “Domaine de Chevalier rouge has good structure and a great deal of finesse, complexity, and ageing potential – which does not exclude a smooth, fruity quality that makes it enjoyable in its youth. Always balanced, never aggressive, power is by no means the priority...”
Rémi Edange adds: “Chevalier’s red wines are well-structured with round, very fine, tight-knit tannin... They are tremendously elegant and distinguished with a very long aftertaste and more delicacy than power...”
The decade culminated with the hot year of 1949, when Bordeaux was hit by an unprecedented dry spell. Cold, rainy weather had hindered germination, which resulted in an exceptionally uneven distribution of pollen. This, in turn, made for a record small crop. With the arrival of summer, Bordeaux was subjected to a heat wave the likes of which it had never seen before. Temperatures as high as 43°C were recorded at Médoc. Early September brought massive thunderstorms followed by a period of ideal weather, which lasted until the harvest at the end of the month. The already small crop was made even smaller, but it produced a fantastically juicy wine that was extremely delicious even at a young age. The wines themselves have more backbone and are more elegant than the 1947 vintage. Indeed, these are missing the concentration which is found in the 1945. Mouton-Rothschild, however, is a capable challenger of even the best 1945s and 1947s, with its ample body and balance. The dry white wines produced were also outstanding, even though they are no longer very drinkable. Conversely, the Sauternes grapes picked at the end of a record dry October produced unique, noble rot wines.