Thursday, 27 January 2011

Domaine de Chevalier

One of the highlights of visiting the various Chateaux with Bella Wine Tours is meeting some of the characters who make the wine. Some of the Chateaux owners live far away, some Chateaux are owned by large insurance companies or multinational cosmetics companies. But many of the Chateaux which we visit have a common theme. The people are truly passionate about wine. They adore their jobs and their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion is evident.
One of the highlights of last year was when I took a small group of UK clients on a Bordeaux Day trip as the clients were already on holiday staying nearby in the Dordogne.

The group wanted a relaxed day, without being too intense, too 'winey' and to include a couple of big names!
So we decided to explore the Graves and Sauternes area.
We visited Chateau La Louviere the stunning property owned by Andre Lurton and tasted the wines. Then we visited Domaine de Chevalier in the Pessac Leognan area. This immaculate property is owned by Olivier Bernard, the charismatic French man whose family bought the estate in 1983. The estate is not organic or biodynamic but they are very careful with spraying and vineyard treatments. They are in a very wooded area just to the south of Bordeaux, so they are more prone to disease and infection and frost.

We met Remi Edange, who is Olivier Bernard's right hand man at the estate. It was evident that Remi was completely obsessed and totally driven by the estate and viticulture. At the estate we had the astonishing good luck to taste some of the 2010 white wines that were just being gently pressed. We tasted some incredible free run Sauvignon Blanc juice from the press. What an experience.

We then had a quick look around the cellars, whilst trying to keep out of the way of the workers, before adjourning to taste some wines.

We tasted barrel samples of Domaine de Chevalier red and white from the excellent 2009 vintage. We also tasted Domaine de Chevalier 2005 red just for a bit of fun. (still very young but an amazing wine)
I firmly believe that Domaine de Chevalier wines are some of the best value wines in Bordeaux in context with what is happening with the price of the First Growths. These wines are for true wine drinkers, not necessarily for speculators.
After Remi's passionate explanations and history of the family, the property and his unbounded enthusiasm for life.....and after tasting the stunning wines.....we decided it was time for a decent lunch. So we went to the excellent restaurant Table du Lavoir at the 5 star Vinotherapy hotel Les Sources de Caudalie.
In the afternoon we were planning to visit Chateau d'Yquem!

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