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One of the finest wines made at this estate over the last three decades, Domaine de Chevalier's 2008 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) achieved 13% natural alcohol. It was cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare, which is significantly lower than in most top vintages. The most noticeable thing is that consultant Stephane Derenoncourt has drastically cut back the influence of new oak, or at least its ability to intrude on the aromatics and flavors. This beautifully textured, dense purple-colored 2008 exhibits notes of graphite, spring flowers, and blue as well as red fruits in an elegant, full-bodied, flavorful, layered mouthfeel. The freshness of the vintage, combined with low yields has given this cuvee an atypical density and richness that is largely unprecedented. Production is relatively small for the size of the vineyard (about 8,000 cases). This beauty should drink well for 25+ years. Score: 92-94 Robert Parker, eRobertParker.com

Very dark purple indeed. Attractive savour and life on the nose but a little bit green on the palate. Round but marked by acidity and less than opulent tannins but very polished and savoury. A bit too muscular? Fades on the finish. A little more flashy than previous vintages of Domaine de Chevalier than I remember. But it grew in the glass. Score: 17+ Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com

This is a little reticent on the nose, blackberry, liquorices and a touch of tar. Nice definition but very tight. The palate is full-bodied with ripe toasty tannins, nicely balanced and very good weight. Well defined with blackberry, pain grille and a touch of liquorices (a very light touch.) Classy stuff - just a little dryness on the finish. Tasted April 2009. Score: 90-92 Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com

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