En Primeur Releases: 3 June 2021
3 June 2021
One of the most consistent – and by that we mean consistently excellent – estates in Bordeaux over the past 30-odd years has been the venerable Domaine de Chevalier. Their 2020 has received a raft of exceptional scores once again and at 565 per 12 looks one of the buys of the campaign. To hand over to some of our esteemed critics and writers...
“The medium to full-bodied palate surprises and delights with an unexpected richness and depth... finishing with the most gorgeous, long-lingering perfume” Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“remains one of the most under the radar wines in all of Bordeaux. The 2020 is an absolutely brilliant effort” Antonio Galloni
“Easily among the best in Pessac” Jane Anson
Domaine de Chevalier is one large continuous vineyard that can be divided into almost 100 sub plots, all with their own characteristics and soil complexities, divided amongst the gentle rise-and-fall of the Pessac landscape. The surrounding forests help regulate any extreme weather events and encourage a healthy biodiversity. These elements combine to stunning effect in 2020, and proprietor Olivier Bernard has presided over what may transpire to be the finest of the many exquisite vintages he has produced in his many years at the helm.
We can also offer limited quantities of this year’s Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, a fabulous success in 2020 and one of the white wines of the vintage. It is available at GBP 797 per 12 IB.
96-97pts James Suckling “Iron, black mushroom and dark berry with some burnt orange peel. Flowers, too. It’s full-bodied with round tannins that turn linear and tight at the end. Excellent energy. Brightness and purity.”
95-97+pts LPB, robertparker.com “Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2020 Domaine de Chevalier comes skipping out of the glass with energetic scents of ripe red and black currants, fresh blackberries and boysenberries, plus nuances of wild sage, cloves and cedar with a waft of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate surprises and delights with an unexpected richness and depth that remains locked away on the nose, revealing layers of fragrant earth and floral notions framed by fantastic freshness and firm, finely grained tannins, finishing with the most gorgeous, long-lingering perfume.”
95-97pts Antonio Galloni, vinous “The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier is going to need a number of years to unwind. Rich, heady and super-concentrated, the 2020 is so impressive, right out of the gate. Crushed rocks, rose petal, cedar, pomegranate and mint all build as the 2020 shows off its vibrant, layered personality. Domaine de Chevalier remains one of the most under the radar wines in all of Bordeaux. The 2020 is an absolutely brilliant effort from Olivier Bernard and his team. Tasted two times.”
95-97+pts Jeb Dunnuck “From an estate that’s been on fire over the past decade, the 2020 Domaine De Chevalier is another brilliant wine in the making and checks in as 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Offering impressive cassis and darker berry fruits, it has complex notes of crushed flowers, violets, and damp earth-like nuances. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins and a silky, layered, seamless texture, it shines for both its richness and its balance. It also shuts down quite quickly, so if you’re going to drink bottles, try one in its youth. Otherwise, be sure to give bottles 7-8 years in a cold cellar. It should have 30-40 years of overall longevity.”
95pts Jane Anson, Decanter “Concentrated ruby red colour, a little subdued on the nose, built with structure and power, concentrated and should age well. Classical, powerful, not exuberant, an impressive Chevalier that has tannins and fruit and freshness, nothing shouting too loud. As it opens, you see a peony floral edge that is very attractive. Easily among the best in Pessac. A yield of 38hl/ha.”
GBP 565 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 585 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 575 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 655 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 422 each IB
96-97pts James Suckling “A dense, creamy DC white with lots of rich cooked-apple, mineral, cream and praline character. It’s full and very layered with chewy intensity and a long, bitter-lemon and almost honey finish. Pretty phenolic tension, too.”
94-96pts LPB, robertparker.com “The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc bursts with notions of ripe yellow apples, juicy pears and lime blossoms, plus hints of blanched almonds, yuzu zest and wet pebbles. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers impactful apple and citrus flavors with a racy backbone and seductive oiliness to the texture, finishing long and minerally.”
94-96pts Antonio Galloni, vinous “The 2020 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is fabulous. Bright and airy in the glass, the 2020 bristles with energy. Lemon confit, crushed rocks, mint and white pepper all pulse with tons of vibrancy. This finely-cut, chiseled white is going to need a number of years to be at its best, but it is so impressive and so full of potential. Bright saline notes punctuate the dazzling finish. Time in the glass brings out the wine's texture and layers. The Blanc is one of the world's great wines, hands down.”
95pts Jane Anson, Decanter “An excellent white with precision, flesh and confidence, sure to age well. A ton of white pear and some soft pepper spice keeps up the pace and lift from beginning to end, and the intensity continues to build after the wine has left the palate - a sure sign of something special happening. A yield of 43hl/ha. Tasted twice. Unusual for me to score the red and white Chevalier at the same level, but both are extremely successful in this vintage.”
GBP 797 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available – please enquire
Today sees the release of one of our favourite right bank wines, the ‘quintessential Pomerol’ Chateau Gazin, at GBP 673 per 12 bottles under bond.
Chateau Gazin is run by the 5th generation of de Bailliencourts whose ancestor Louis Soualle bought the estate in the early 20th century. It boasts some of the Right Bank’s most privileged terroir, sitting as it does in prime position on Pomerol’s famous plateau, adjacent to Chateau Petrus and but a chip and a putt from both Chateaux Lafleur and L’Evangile. Recent vintages have seen this traditional Pomerol properly start to express the full potential of its coveted location and 2020 looks to be another great success, while remaining, as Neal Martin puts it, “Classic Pomerol through and through.”
“Gazin is normally a big, backstrapping Pomerol as its vineyard sits between Lafleur and Petrus.” - Robert Parker
2020 is the third in succession of successful vintages for Pomerol and Chateau Gazin in particular, James Suckling wondering if indeed this isn’t the “best of the trilogy?” Only time will tell of course, but it’s certainly garnered plaudits from across the critical spectrum: “I love this,” exclaims Jane Anson in Decanter, “really fantastic,” hails Suckling, while Dunnuck calls it “a classy, thrilling wine.”
If you like full-bodied, old school Pomerol surfeit of personality and style, then go no further, this is the address for you.
Gazin 2020 tasting notes and prices
94-96pts Jeb Dunnuck “A quintessential Pomerol with its beautiful red and blue fruits as well as floral, earth, and sappy herb aromas and flavors, the 2020 Château Gazin is medium to full-bodied and has wonderful purity, ultra-fine tannins, and no hard edges. It shines for its purity and elegance and is just a classy, thrilling wine.”
96-97pts James Suckling “This is really fantastic with so much intensity and focus. Firm, linear tannins frame the wine beautifully. Polished and fine. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and posed. Complex flavors of blackberry, black olive, mushroom and bark. Persistent finish. Best of the trilogy?”
94pts Neal Martin “The 2020 Gazin, which contains no Cabernet Franc this year, has a wonderful bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, crushed stone and pressed iris petal scents, very focused and precise, that really whisks you down to Pomerol. The medium-bodied palate displays fine-grained tannins and a silver bead of acidity. Very sapid with a little more dryness on the finish than its peers, which gets the saliva flowing. Classic Pomerol through and through.”
94pts Jane Anson “I love this, extremely classic Gazin, which has depth and pep, and a jaunty feel to the black fruits. The freshness keeps the core of this wine firm from beginning to end, as do the chewy tannins. This is not an exuberant vintage but at this particular estate it suits the personality because it is always fairly old school and classic. For the first time no Cabernet Franc in the blend, just Cabernet Sauvignon. A yield of 35hl/ha. No added sulphur during fermentation. Tasted twice, there are plenty of tannins here but it is highly successful.”
GBP 673 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 693 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 683 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 763 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 494 each IB