A class apart from almost anything else from the Pessac union des Grand Cru tastings, so much more zip and tension than some of its rather flabby and sweet competitors. Classy flavours that betray a faint touch of the exotic, notes of stone fruit and guava mixed with flavours of citrus, crushed nettles and herbs. For all of its ripeness and depth there is a wonderfully balancing steeliness to the finish. Top notch. A blend of 70% Sauvignon and 30% Semillon aged for 18 months in barriques. Harvested between the 7th and 23rd September with successive “tries” to pick the best fruit in optimum condition. In some cases even on the same row fruit was harvest in three “passages.”
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.
The region has one first growth, Château Haut-Brion, whilst other renowned Chateaux currently doing well are La Mission-Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Haut-Bailly. Soils are gravely and well-drained and the plantations are similar in proportion to those of the Médoc, consisting mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The region is also well known for its long-lived whites that can be varying blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon oaked or unoaked. The most lauded are Domaine de Chevalier, Haut-Brion, Pape-Clement, De Fieuzal, and Laville-Haut-Brion.