Saturday, October 17, 2015
Tour and Wine Dinner at Domaine de Chevalier with Director Adjoint Rémi Edange and Owner/Director Olivier Bernard – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Led by Annette Schiller, the Bordeaux Tour 2015 by ombiasy WineTours took place from September 15 to 24, 2015. The group comprised 8 wine lovers from the United States, including Annette and Christian Schiller. I already provided an overview of the tour. See the list of postings at the end of the article. This posting focuses on: Tour and Wine Dinner at Domaine de Chevalier with Director Adjoint Rémi Edange and Owner and Director Olivier Bernard.
See: Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Director Adjoint Rémi Edange was our host.
Director and Owner Olivier Bernard, who is currently President of the “Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux”, the association of 133 grands crus estates in the Bordeaux region, joined us on the tour.
Tour and Wine Dinner
The tour started in the vineyard. We then moved to the modern production facility. Here we were joined by Olivier Bernard. We than had a tasting of the new vintage from barrel. From there, we moved to the dining room for a gourmet dinner with winetasting.
Domaine de Chevalier
Domaine de Chevalier is located south of the City of Bordeaux in the commune of Léognan, the capital of the Graves region.
Domaine de Chevalier is classified as a Graves Cru Classé. Domaine de Chevalier is one of the few Graves estates to produce both first class reds and whites.
Viticulture of significance at Domaine de Chevalier was begun during the 19th century when it was owned and run by Arnaud Ricard, also the proprietor of Château Malartic-Lagravière.
In 1983 Domaine de Chevalier was bought by the Bernard family, producers of Cognac and major Bordeaux wine merchants. Managed by Claude Ricard since 1948, he stayed on as advisor for several years. It was during the tenure of Claude Ricard, that Domaine de Chevalier was included in the 1959 Graves Classification.
From a property of 80 hectares, the vineyard area consists of 35 hectares of red grape varieties: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, and 2.5% Petit Verdot; and 4.5 hectares of white grape varieties: 70% Sauvignon blanc and 30% Sémillon. Since the Bernard family has taken over, the vineyard size has almost doubled.
The Grand Vin, Domaine de Chevalier, is annually produced in 7,000 cases of the red wine and 1,200 cases of the dry white. The red and white second wines, L'Esprit de Chevalier, has a production of 5,800 and 800 cases, respectively. There is also a third wine, Pessac Leognan.
The first grapes were planted by a man who was a chivaley, the old Gascon word for knight. Later the modern French word “Chevalier” was used for the estate, the old name “Domaine” instead of the word “Chateau” to describe a wine making estate has never been abandoned. It is one of a very few Bordeaux estates to be named Domaine instead of Château.
Olivier Bernard and Rémi Edange
Director Adjoint Rémi Edange was our host. Director and Owner Olivier Bernard, who is currently President of the “Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux”, the association of 133 grands crus estates in the Bordeaux region, joined us on the tour.
Fine Wine and Spirits Merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd: Olivier Bernard, whose family business owns the estate, is the outgoing but canny administrator whilst Rémi Edange is hands-on, knowing every vine and every barrel. The quality curve is now further accentuated by the team's bold move to appoint Stéphane Derenoncourt, of La Mondotte fame, as consultant winemaker.
We spent some time in the wine cellar with Director Adjoint Rémi Edange. Olivier Bernard joined us there. They explained to us in detail how their wines are made:
As for the white wine, the grapes are put into a pneumatic winepress where they are softly pressed. The must is run off into barrel in a refrigerated room. The must is decanted from its lees by gravity flow after approximately 24 hours. The barrels are then taken into the fermentation area. After long experimentation, we now use about 30% new oak. The final blend is done on the early side, in January after the vintage. Regular bâtonnage strengthens the wine’s structure and makes it more refined. Ageing takes place on the lees until the end of the first summer after the vintage. The wine then spends a second winter in barrel, after which it is naturally clarified – in fact, so much so that when it is bottled the following spring, only very slight filtration is necessary.
As for the red wine, fermentation is preceded by maceration lasting 4-6 days which highlights the wine’s fruit. A close watch is kept on fermentation temperatures, which can rise to 30-32° C towards the end. The wine is regularly pumped over and sometimes accompanied by pigeage (punching down the cap). The wine stays on the skins for 15-25 days. As the wine finishes its maceration, the temperature is gradually lowered to 20/22°C and then run off into new oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The final blending of red wine takes place in January.
The red wine ages entirely in barrel. This lasts 14-24 months for the grand vin. The proportion of new oak varies from 40 to 60% depending on the vintage. Racking is done by gravity flow from barrel to barrel and the wine is bottled in late June.
The second wine, Esprit de Chevalier ages for less time (approximately 12 months) in barrels that have already been used for two years. The third wine ages for around10 months in 2-4 year-old barrels.
Tasting 2014 Grand Vin Rouge and Blanc from Barrel
We then moved to the tasting room in order to taste the 2014 Grand Vin Rouge and Blanc from barrel. They are currently available at US$ 80 (white) and US$ 44 (red) through the subscription system.
We were served scallops, foie gras avec framboise, croque monsieur and duck.
We then moved to the dining room for a fabulous gourmet dinner with wine tasting, led by Rémi Edange.
Daurade Royale, Echalotes Confits et ses Perles
Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2007
Supremes de Caille et Foie Gras de Canard aux Noix
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2006
Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 2000
Corne de Verveine Glacee
Chateau Guiraud 2003
Wine Searcher Average Prices
Wine Searcher Average Prices: White Bordeaux Wine of Domaine de Chevalier (in US$)
Wine Searcher Average Prices: Red Bordeaux Wine of Domaine de Chevalier (in US$)
Thanks you Rémi Edange and Olivier Bernard for an outstanding first evening on Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015).
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
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Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
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Tour, Tasting and Wine Dinner at Domaine de Chevalier, Graves,with Director Adjoint Rémi Edange
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