2008 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
*Cellar Selection* Dominating aromas of smoky new wood follow through to the toasty flavor that covers the fruit at this stage. But, like all 2009s, this is a rich wine that will balance out and show all of its opulence. That said, it will likely always be a firm, ageworthy wine, with the dark tannins always in evidence. (RV)
Just starting now to open, with bright fruit, light smoky and meaty undertones. Medium to full body, fresh finish. Drink or hold.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the fabulous sleepers of the vintage and a wine for serious Bordeaux afficionados to consider buying, the 2008 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. Surprisingly backward for a 2008, it is medium to full-bodied with moderate tannins, lots of purity and abundant charcoal, black currant and floral notes. The sweetness of the fruit, depth of flavor and textured, lush mouthfeel in this medium to full-bodied, ageworthy 2008 are impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be as impressive as the 2010. (RP)
Domaine Chevalier has produced one of the stars of the vintage, an absolute stunner that should put to rest any talk that 2008 was in any way a substandard vintage. Long on optimally ripened, distinctly curranty fruit and showing exceptional concentration and length, it is sturdy without being tough, and, if fairly supple to start, it is underpinned by ample, very fine-grained tannins guaranteeing a decade of growth.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep purple-ruby. Slightly reticent, medicinal aromas of cassis, ink, minerals and fresh herbs. Pure, fresh and clean, with a straightforward delivery but sneaky concentration to the blackberry and graphite flavors. Juicy acidity keeps the flavors light and lively and makes for a classic, precise Bordeaux experience. Finishes firmly tannic and long. Very typical of the undervalued, cooler 2008 vintage, this lacks only a bit more flesh for a higher score, but it's a classic Pessac-Leognan. 92+ (ID)
Lilac, tar and cassis bush aromas are followed by a broad swath of mulled plum, black currant and maduro tobacco. The strong, mineral- and tar-filled spine drives through the finish, which picks up a smoldering edge. (JM)
Still quite dark crimson. Markedly scented. Much more confident and gouleyant than most. Well done! Very fluid and unforced – though slightly less ripe than the 2011 perhaps.
This wine is so good it's scary. Perfectly balanced and packed with flavor and round tannins. Some toasty nuances and plenty of minerals. One of the best 2008 Bordeaux. (Clyde Beffa Jr, K&L Bordeaux Buyer)