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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 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.