Domaine de Chevalier is a 66-hectare winegrowing estate in Léognan, Gironde. Owned by the Bernard group, it has been run by Olivier Bernard since 1983, who has made numerous investments in both vineyard and winery. The Château is one of the 6 crus classés in the Graves region, classified for both its red and white wines. The estate covers some 100 hectares, 45 of which are planted with vines, divided into 40 hectares of red vines and 5 of white vines.
HARVESTING: Hand-picked in crates, meticulously sorted in the vineyard, then in the cellar before and after destemming.
WHITEWINEVINIFICATION: direct fermentation in barrels
REDWINEVINIFICATION: Three vats (stainless steel, concrete tulip, wood) to optimize parcel selection, perfect extraction and refine blending.
WHITEWINEAGEING: the grand vin is aged for 18 months in barrels (1/3 new wood), with stirring of the lees.
REDWINEAGEING: Aging of the grand vin in barrels (1/3 new wood) for 16 to 18 months, with stirring of the lees for the first 4 months.
the history of domaine de chevalier
The history of the estate dates back to the 17th century. At that time, records show that the estate was called "Domaine de Chivaley" and included houses, an outbuilding, gardens, land, vineyards, woods and meadows. The name Chivaley, which means "knight" in Gascon, derives from an ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela that borders the property.
In the second half of the 19th century, the estate, under the name Domaine de Chevalier, came into its own under the impetus of brothers Arnaud and Jean Ricard. For 40 years, with the help of his son-in-law Gabriel Beaumartin, they forged the style and signature of the wine. Then it was Claude Ricard, a passionate winegrower renowned for his knowledge of viticulture, who took over the running of the estate. He raised the quality of the wines, which were included among the Grands Crus Classés de Graves in the 1953 classification. It was also under his leadership that the estate acquired an international reputation.
In 1983, the estate was bought by the Bernard family, specialists in the Bordeaux brandy and Grand Cru trade. Claude Ricard stayed on for 5 years to advise Olivier Bernard, the estate's current owner.
Under Olivier Bernard's leadership, Domaine de Chevalier experienced a period of growth and expansion. He brought significant changes to the estate, investing heavily in renovating buildings and improving winemaking facilities. Mr Bernard introduced new winemaking techniques and adopted a more environmentally-friendly approach while preserving the estate's heritage and history. These efforts have improved the quality of the wines and earned the winery a leading reputation in the Bordeaux region.
Located in the commune of Léognan, in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, Domaine de Chevalier extends over a 100 hectares and includes 66 hectares dedicated to vines, planted with red and white grapes. The vineyard is particularly surrounded by a forest, enabling the grapes to ripen early in the summer. It also provides a habitat for a number of species beneficial to the vineyard.
The estate's soils are composed of deep gravels, which offer excellent water permeability and provide good aeration for the vines' roots, planted at high density and aged around 35 years. For the reds, 63% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. For whites, 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon.
The climate also plays an important role, as the influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean regulates temperature and provides humidity during the vine growth period. This ensures gradual, harmonious ripening of the grapes, as well as good acidity and intense aromatic expression.
I go in the direction of the wine, constantly seeking balance without denying the contribution of modernism, but always with this idea of a certain past, a certain history...
THE KNOW-HOW OF domaine de chevalier
It all starts in the vineyard, with the white grapes generally harvested around 15 days before the reds. Harvesting is carried out in several stages, with successive selections depending on ripeness, and in crates weighing around 30 kg, to ensure that the berries remain perfectly intact until pressing. Fermentation then takes place in barrels, and the wine is aged on its lees for 18 months in oak casks.
For the reds, harvesting takes place in mid-September, following on from that of the whites. It begins with the Merlot grapes, followed by the Cabernet Franc, which are then sorted in the vineyard. The grapes then undergo a second sorting when they arrive at the winery, and a third after destemming, to ensure that only the ripest, best-quality grapes are kept. The berries are then gently crushed and gravity-fed into temperature-controlled vats. This is followed by alcoholic fermentation and punching down of the cap, and a vatting period of around 3 weeks after malolactic fermentation. Finally, the wines are aged in barrels for 14 to 24 months for the grand vin, and 12 months for the second wine.
Domaine de Chevalier rouge is a flagship product of the Pessac-Léognan appellation and belongs to the elite of Bordeaux's Grands Crus Classés. Made from old vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, it is a red wine distinguished by its balance, structure, finesse and elegance.
Domaine de Chevalier white is recognized as one of the best dry white wines. Made from old Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon vines, this white wine is distinguished by its freshness, finesse and aromas of citrus, exotic fruit and white flowers.
The domaine also produces a second wine, L'Esprit de Chevalier in red and white, from a blend of young vines.