1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

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Dan Kravitz
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1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#1 Post by Dan Kravitz » July 25th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Having opened most of my case too young, I decided to hold the last few bottles until 20 years. Then I forgot about it. Probably a mistake, but far from a disaster:

Healthy ruby color, no browning. Beautiful aromas feature very ripe red currants and a hint of plums with just a touch of old leaves. Light on the palate, refined, subtle. There is plenty of fruit, red currants not as ripe as the aromas, a touch of black pepper, even lighter touches of oak and sage. This was probably better a few years ago, but no complaints. I've got one left, it will go quickly as long as the weather remains like this in Maine... 68 degrees right now at 8PM. A fading beauty but still mighty attractive. Rated 89.28, probably a point or two better a few years back. Went beautifully with local fried chicken and wax beans from Vegetable Corner here in Harpswell.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#2 Post by Paul Savage » July 25th, 2011, 7:57 pm

Dan,

I haven't had this, but I'd be surprised if any '89 was near the downhill slope already. Did you give it some slow-O time to deepen and strengthen (which is the usual effect with "older" wines), and how about a cool serving temp, which also strengthens and focuses the fruit?

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#3 Post by dcornutt » July 26th, 2011, 3:17 am

Nice Dan.
This is a good drink but surprisingly they made an absolute killer red in 1991. I don't understand how your 1991 can be better than your 1989 and 1990 but there you go. This can be such a great wine when on song.
Cheers.
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#4 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 26th, 2011, 3:42 am

Dan,

Can you explain how you score wines to me? I've never seen someone score to the hundreth, hence my curiosity. TIA. [cheers.gif]
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#5 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » July 26th, 2011, 4:34 am

What is this wine?

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#6 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 26th, 2011, 4:38 am

Bdx. Pessac-Leognan. Tasty stuff.
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#7 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » July 26th, 2011, 5:00 am

Thanks, Brian. I suspected Bordeaux, but the name is a common one.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#8 Post by alan weinberg » July 26th, 2011, 6:43 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:Dan,

Can you explain how you score wines to me? I've never seen someone score to the hundreth, hence my curiosity. TIA. [cheers.gif]
pretty simple. He scores to the one-thousandth place, then rounds up or down.
alan

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1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#9 Post by Craig G » July 26th, 2011, 7:41 am

alan weinberg wrote:pretty simple. He scores to the one-thousandth place, then rounds up or down.
alan
Which rounding mode? Is he using dithered rounding?
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#10 Post by Dan Kravitz » July 26th, 2011, 5:27 pm

to all:
My scoring system is a firmly tongue-in-cheek complaint about wine writers whose 100 point system is really a 50 point system is really a 16 point system (as nothing is rated under 85). Take my scores for what they are worth... free, ie, nothing. Take them with a grain, or many metric tons of salt. FWIW, I appreciate the 100 point scale which has made wine accessible to so many people.

to Paul Savage - I decided on this at almost the last minute. I brought it up from the basement (60 degrees) to the house (68 degrees), pulled the cork, decanted 45 minutes later and attacked. I admit not a perfect approach, but what it was. I don't think the approach harmed anything, this is a Pessac-Leognan with a lot of Merlot in the blend. At 22 years, it's ready to go.

to BeauneHead - WOW! I know you're a Burgocentric (your board name gives a tiny hint [wink.gif] , but would not have guessed that you did not know this hallowed estate. IMO it is underrated by virtually every wine writer. It is, with Boyd Cantenac, the only Bordeaux future I have bought since '05. My first vintage was 1955 (superb in the mid 60s) and I've probably had 20 or more. Rarely disappointed, usually pleased with the value, sometimes just thrilled. '89 is not a thriller, '78 is in my Hall of Fame (not the same Hall of Fame as those who regularly drink 1st growths).

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#11 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » July 27th, 2011, 4:35 am

I certainly knew the name from Bordeaux, but there are others so named....I know of others with similar names in France. But, you're right...my knowledge of Bordeaux has diminshed over the years, though I have and enjoy some. I have liked many estates and used to buy them, too.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#12 Post by Odd Rydland » July 27th, 2011, 8:32 am

It is the only Bordeaux I buy reasonably regularly as well (a few bottles of 06 being the latest). Even better than their red is their white though, one of the greatest of names in the very underated world of dry, white Bordeaux.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#13 Post by Jay Miller » July 27th, 2011, 8:41 am

Dan - what's your take on recent vintages? A friend who's been following (and loving) them since the '70s told me that he thought they've gone a bit spoofy starting in the mid-aughts.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#14 Post by Odd Rydland » July 27th, 2011, 9:13 am

I thinks that's right. And they certainly command bigger scores, and prices. Though they are still in the "classical" camp IMO.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#15 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » July 27th, 2011, 9:35 am

I found their '05 rouge to be refreshingly understated, although still nicely structured. The 2010 blanc is a jaw-dropper.
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#16 Post by John Morris » July 27th, 2011, 9:41 am

The 04 was a sleeper, too, and a steal at $34.
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#17 Post by Ramon C » July 27th, 2011, 12:13 pm

Had the '89 DDC back in January 2010. There were some similarities between my notes and Dan's. Although, I thought that my estimate then was that wine needs a few more cellar years. I have a lone bottle being held out, too. Here was my TN:

1989 Dom. de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Leognan
Leafy, minty, cigar, and leather nose. Meat, still tannic, ripe but quite lean, high acidity, and a mouthful. Chewy, chunky and lengthy finish. Imho, a good/worthy contrast to the ’85 Certan de May, but could use a few more cellar years. B+
@brera

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#18 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 22nd, 2020, 9:58 am

1989 Domaine de Chevalier - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (5/16/2020)
-- decanted 30 min before initial taste --
-- tasted non-blind over 2.5 hours --

NOSE: sous bois --- autumnal; somewhat reserved at first, with a strong note of mechanic's grease; meaty; "dark", with some stony mineral; with time, the grease note became lighter and some pleasant tertiary fruit aspects cautiously crept forward; mostly tertiary, but there's still some fruit --- it's not yet strictly autumn leaves in a glass and wood.

BODY: medium to medium-full bodied; garnet core with slight to slight-medium bricking throughout --- color is appropriate for its age, if not somewhat on the youthful side. The cork came out easily, was soaked about 1 or 2 mm without streaking. Capsule spun. No mold/gunk atop the cork. Fill was into the neck. Bottle was, essentially, pristine.

TASTE: good acidity; lovely aged character; clearly in its Prime Time right now; smoky; "dark"; quite rich, but the alc. is not noticeable; deeply-embedded fine tannin; little bit of oak still noticeable; wet stones mineral; tanned leather; absolutely fantastic bottle; wine showing very young for its age. Paired wonderfully with beef rib roast and mushroom risotto. Initially scored this out to 96, which felt too high. Amended down to 95, which still felt too high. Amended down to 94, which felt about right, but then, looking at the individual components of the score, felt like I was going to low on taste/overall, so back up to 95 – this is why I like do my scores the way I do – it keeps me honest … really, though, all this 96/95/94/96 is nitpicking. Bottom line: fantastic bottle in a fantastic place today. Drink 'em if you got 'em!

50, 5, 13, 18, 9 = (95 pts.)
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#19 Post by Kelly Flynn » May 22nd, 2020, 12:26 pm

I love this domaine. Earlier this week the 89 was ever-so-briefly available at Flickingers, which alas disappeared before my fat fingers could hit "send".

Recently picked up a few 82s. Look in great shape. Will report when I open.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#20 Post by Andrew K. » May 22nd, 2020, 2:03 pm

Certainly a great value. I had to pick up a case of 2018 futures with all the 100 point ratings at that price point.
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#21 Post by YLee » May 22nd, 2020, 4:17 pm

Andrew K. wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 2:03 pm
Certainly a great value. I had to pick up a case of 2018 futures with all the 100 point ratings at that price point.
Picked up halves mostly since Im the only one drinking.
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#22 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 23rd, 2020, 9:26 am

2018 got 100 points?!? Crap.

From whom?
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#23 Post by Jim Brennan » May 23rd, 2020, 9:57 am

Andrew K. wrote:
May 22nd, 2020, 2:03 pm
Certainly a great value. I had to pick up a case of 2018 futures with all the 100 point ratings at that price point.
The new stuff is nothing like the old stuff stylistically.

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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#24 Post by Andrew K. » May 23rd, 2020, 11:11 am

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 9:26 am
2018 got 100 points?!? Crap.

From whom?
Suckling, naturally. But I based my purchase on the 98 on CT with 7 reviews and lots of praise from other critics.

http://www.albanyvintners.com/wine/deta ... er%20Rouge
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#25 Post by Mark Golodetz » May 23rd, 2020, 11:41 am

Dan Kravitz wrote:
July 26th, 2011, 5:27 pm
to all:
My scoring system is a firmly tongue-in-cheek complaint about wine writers whose 100 point system is really a 50 point system is really a 16 point system (as nothing is rated under 85). Take my scores for what they are worth... free, ie, nothing. Take them with a grain, or many metric tons of salt. FWIW, I appreciate the 100 point scale which has made wine accessible to so many people.

to Paul Savage - I decided on this at almost the last minute. I brought it up from the basement (60 degrees) to the house (68 degrees), pulled the cork, decanted 45 minutes later and attacked. I admit not a perfect approach, but what it was. I don't think the approach harmed anything, this is a Pessac-Leognan with a lot of Merlot in the blend. At 22 years, it's ready to go.

to BeauneHead - WOW! I know you're a Burgocentric (your board name gives a tiny hint [wink.gif] , but would not have guessed that you did not know this hallowed estate. IMO it is underrated by virtually every wine writer. It is, with Boyd Cantenac, the only Bordeaux future I have bought since '05. My first vintage was 1955 (superb in the mid 60s) and I've probably had 20 or more. Rarely disappointed, usually pleased with the value, sometimes just thrilled. '89 is not a thriller, '78 is in my Hall of Fame (not the same Hall of Fame as those who regularly drink 1st growths).

Dan Kravitz
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Re: 1989 Domaine de Chevalier (red)

#26 Post by Jürgen Steinke » May 25th, 2020, 1:09 am

Dan,

I once sat next to the Chateau owner at a dinner, I guess it was 2006 +/-. He gave us several vintages to taste. The 1989 was included. It was a fine wine but actually a bit light. Strange when you have in mind that both Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion made memorable wines in that year. The wines from 1998 onwards were much better IMO. They are more intense but in no way overdone.

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