2012 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the stars of the vintage, it boasts a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of red and black currants, graphite, subtle flowers and well-integrated, toasty oak. Impressively built rich and medium to full-bodied without losing the quintessential elegance and finesse for which this famous estate is renowned, the 2012 Domaine de Chevalier is filled with purity, equilibrium and balance. The tannins are sweet enough that this wine should be accessible when released, and will last for 15-20 years. Is this a modern day clone of their brilliant 1953 (which I drank from magnum at Bern's Steak House in November for less than $500!)?
Firm, wood-aged character shows strongly here. The wine is dense and very firm, with a dark feel of extraction, but the juicy fruitiness underneath shows enormous potential.
This shows wonderful depth of fruit with blackberries, blueberry and spice. Minerals too. Full body, with beautiful and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Superb finish. Sensational for the vintage.
Fresh and nicely polished, with a rounded feel to the mix of plum skin, cherry preserve and currant notes. Alluring spice and dark tea notes fill in the finish. Sneakily long.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep, fully saturated ruby-purple. Blackberry, minerals, graphite and herbs on the nose, with added punch delivered by peppery spices. Sweet, supple and nicely concentrated, if with a bit less density and complexity than in recent top vintages, such as 2009 and 2010. Lovely black cherry and blueberry flavors display a tangy sweetness. The very long finish features dusty, fine-grained tannins and a clean mineral overlay. A little more concentration and I would have scored this wine much higher.
65% Cab Sauv, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. (Thanks for the back label!) Glowing dark crimson. The most complex nose of all 2012 Pessacs, with the exception of the Haut-Brion stable. Pretty muscular and a little obviously chewy on the end for the moment but confidently presenting a wine whose charms do not depend on ripeness but on terroir. Appetising.