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The Story

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...”




Wine Information

The 2012 Bordeaux vintage is a year for vineyard management and workers. Call it a wine makers vintage, or change your tune and name it vineyard managers vintage. Either descriptor works perfectly. The estates with the financial ability to take the necessary actions in the vineyards during the season, coupled with the willingness to severely declassify unripe grapes will produce the best wines. Even then, it’s going to be a difficult vintage with small quantities of wine. From start to finish, the growing season and 2012 Bordeaux harvest have been stressful for the vintners, the vines and with the grapes now in the process of being vinified, the winemakers. The 2012 Bordeaux vintage did not get off to a good start. Following a cold winter and wet spring, the April rains drenched the Bordeaux wine region. Following the April rains, there were outbreaks of mildew, which required spraying.

May was warmer than April. Things cooled down a bit again in June. All this brought on flowering that was late and uneven. That resulted in small bunches with berries that ripened at different times, which brought down the quantities and necessitated in serious work in the vineyards and intensive sorting at harvest. Oliver Bernard /Domaine de Chevalier 2012 Domaine de Chevalier will be seen as a historic year for the estate and its owner, Olivier Bernard. In part, the owner, Olivier Bernard was elected to the important position of President of the UGC, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. Olivier Bernard was already busy with having to manage one of the top Pessac Leognan chateau, as well as being in charge of his families’ holding company, Financiere Bernard, which owns the successful negociant company Millesima and Sobovi along with Wine and Company. Olivier Bernard succeeded Sylvie Cazes, thre previous president, who unexpectedly resigned in November 2012. We were able to speak with always charming and erudite Olivier Bernard about the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier vintage and harvest. 



Tasting note


Light and Pale






Average in Acidity, High alcohol content and Medium tannin



Written Notes

A dark and deep colour with powerful notes on the nose, some black fruit but a little bit animal on the nose too. Strong tanins with long finish, hope the time will polish the discreet harshness in the end. Well done

  • 95p

Ruby. Scented, layered, red berries, fruity nose, some minerals, vanilla. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fruity, elegant, red berries, some spices, long. 92

  • 92p

Deep and intense color. Generous and fresh nose of ripe fruits. Red and black berries mixed with lightly peppery spices. Presence of mineral. Menthol and liquorice.
Immediate fruit and freshness on the palate. Full bodied wine with structuring ripe and supple tannins without hiding finesse and complexity. Nice acidity gives tension and freshness.
Very long class finish.

DRUVSAMMANSÄTTNING 65% CS, 30% M, 2,5% CF, 2,5% PV TASTINGNOTE En mycket vacker blå-svart färg. Perfekt mogna druvor, en av de smidigaste och mest kompletta vin som någonsin producerats av denna berömda egendom, bra längd och perfekt lojalt gjort vin helt appellationens anda.
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Bordeaux, Pessac Leognan

Inside Information

FINE: When did you start to bring in your fruit for 2012 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc?

Olivier Bernard: “We started the white wine harvest September 12 with the Sauvignon Blanc. The final Sauvignon Blanc was brought in September 20. The Semillon was harvested from September 20, through September 24.” 

FINE From a technical viewpoint, what are your technical analysis showing for Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon?

Olivier Bernard “For the Sauvignon Blanc, the potential average alcohol levels are quite good. We are at an average of 14.1% with the pH coming in at 3.2.” 

FINE: I know it’s early, as the fruit is just starting its vinification, but does the Domaine de Chevalier 2012 white wine remind of any previous Bordeaux vintage?

Olivier Bernard “It looks like a combination of 2000 and 2009, based on the weather conditions and balance for Pessac Leognan.” 

FINE: What do you like about the fruit that you have been bringing in?

Olivier Bernard “We achieved great power and freshness. The fruit is clean, pure and offers fantastic ripeness with balance, due to very good acidities. This will help bring a nice tension to the wine. It’s all you need to make a top white wine!” 

FINE: What about for the red wine?

Olivier Bernard “Malolactic fermentation is taking place right now. Some of the lots are finished. The red 2012 Domaine de Chevalier seems full bodied and displays ripe flavors. The level of quality is much better than we expected. We are very happy.” 

FINE: What caused you the most problems with the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier growing season?

Olivier Bernard “For the red 2012 Domaine de Chevalier, it was the lateness of the picking dates. We had to take great risks with the forecast to pick grapes with ripe skins. The sugar and acidity were perfect, but as you know, the skins were late.” While a growing season is never over until it’s over, uneven flowering is never a good omen. The lateness in the flowering pushed the entire vintage back 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the chateaux. Generally speaking, late harvests are not usually harbingers of good things to come.

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