Profile: Chevalier Père et Fils


Tasted with Chloé Chevalier in Ladoix, 06 November 2018.

Domaine Chevalier Père et Fils
2 Grande Rue de Buisson
21550 Ladoix-Serrigny
Tel: +33 3 80 26 46 30

This was a domaine that I’d previously never had much interest in – the wines had a certain quality, but overlayed by too much toasty oak for my taste. But as the family of Claude Chevalier took on the reigns of the domaine, things have been changing. When I visited Chloé she had just been nominated as one of the finalists for the young winemaker of the year 2018 – a few days later she was the winner for her area – well-done Chloé – and well-done for my timing!

Chloé and her two sisters are the 5th generation of wine-producers in this same corner of Ladoix, Chloé’s father, Claude, is well-known but her generation are doing much more now. The domaine was once called Dubios, then Dubois-Chevalier, today Chevalier. They own 14.5 hectares, with a piece in Gevrey since 2005 and some Côte de Nuits villages even longer, otherwise this is a Côte de Beaune domaine, producing about 75% red wine.

Chloé explains “We are viticulture raisonnée, with three generations that have been ploughing the soil – my grandfather was like that! In the Spring I really limit the number of buds – it’s a choice – but I don’t want to do green harvests.

In the cuverie there are cement tanks, temperature controlled. Grapes here are all destemmed – a few tests were carried out in 2013 and 2015, also some in 2018, but destemming is the norm here. After they Rack the reds they don’t usually filter the wines – “But we have no rules, if it’s needed then it’s done, of-course – but usually the turbidity is fine,” says Chloé.

The main market here is Canada/US, about 30-35% of the domaine’s production is exported.

Chloé on 2018:
It seemed such a quick vintage, slow starting but it accelerated so quickly. Hot, dry but a good vintage despite the hydric stress. It was less ripe than we expected in mid-August so we waited until the 3rd of September to start harvesting – depending on the sector plus or minus but with high degrees, full phenolic maturity and unbelievable colours – atypical for sure with such colours. But we are happy. Bizarrely we had no rain but we still made a good volume of white – more than the reds – so surprising. No surprise, was less juice in the reds. We did have some hail in the Côte de Nuits Villages – that was some work to triage – half was hit – but otherwise triage was practically unnecessary.

Chloé on 2017:
In 2017 we started on the 7th September. Lower degrees of alcohol, more acidity, certainly more volume in the reds – a year we’ve been waiting for – morale-wise – with good clean grapes.

The wines…

It’s nice to see some development of style at this domaine – only the Côte de Nuits Villages hinting at the toasty oak of previous vintages – now the flavour of the wine shows more, the oak more spiced but less interfering – for my taste. A good address.

2017 Bourgogne Champs de Pommier
A single parcel in the commune of Ladoix on the ‘other’ side of the route nationale. Barrels of up to 5 years-old used for this.
A big, bright red nose, slightly powdery. Round, supple, nice line, fresh and easy – indeed charming. Pretty finishing flavours – modest but tasty with a subtle length.

2017 Ladoix
Bottled in August like the last wine. Multiple parcels – almost 4 hectares worth. Less than 5% new oak
Deeper coloured. More depth of fruit aroma with an attractive suggestion of flowers too. Directly silky, a wine of line – supple, long, growing in stature. Bravo – great silky-smooth villages. Directly delicious.

2017 Côte de Nuits Villages
Still in tank, racked at harvest time – probably to bottle at the start of January. Less than 10% new oak here.
Deeper, darker, some oak toast here. Like the Ladoix, this a sleek wine with direction and drive – but big and energetic in the mid-palate – this is darker fruited in personality – delivering its flavour well with just an extra accent to the mainly hidden tannin. Very good

2017 Ladoix 1er La Clous d’Orge
Probably the only bottling of this in red, ‘there’s a white bottled by another producer I think.’ Two new barrels in 14
A width of aroma, faintly spiced from the oak, but the nose grows and grows becoming beautifully vibrant – a great invitation. Direct again but with more volume and scale – an airy, floral component to this wine – very fine tannin with just the barest touch of tannin. Long, slightly structural, quite floral finishing – this is super!

2017 Ladoix 1er La Corvées
Below Clos des Orges on the map – but the situation is exactly the same it’s not ‘below’
A little more concentration to this nose – more faintly floral to start. Direct, fresh, a touch of salinity, long and with a concentration. To wait a little longer for than the Orges despite the same setting…

2017 Aloxe-Corton
Three parts, largest in Valozières, totaling a little more than 1.5 ha
A hint of reduction, something floral there too. A little more depth of tannin, Good volume – scale – flavour growing over the palate. Fine, pure. Delicious – like the Corvées wait for that extra touch of tannin to start fading. Lovely and persistent – fine lip-smacking, finishing flavour.…

2017 Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru
A big part of 82 yo vines in Valozières and a small part in Coutières the latter was once in the villages but decided to keep 1er which is why the domaine doesn’t still use the valozieres label – 35% new oak
A nose of depth and currently a little oak spice. Round, depth of flavour, good concentration and very good complexity. Long, flavours of weight, persistent width on the palate. To keep. But worth your patience…

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin
Also 35% new oak – different cooper. Crais and Etelois – ‘Yes, the latter a little point right next to Griotte.’
A deep nose, vibrant, some oak notes too – time in the glass and there’s a very attractive floral arriving. Mouth-filling, layered delivery. The depth is slowly changing. This is really rather good. A sleeper!

2017 Corton-Rognets
Some young – 10 years – vines included in this cuvée, the other parcels 25 and 45…
A spicy oak nose. Oak-spice complexity is the main note – but the shape and the delivery of mouth-watering flavour is impressive and shows fine texture – very fine tannin with practically nothing astringent. Long, but essentially it’s an oaky wine today…

2017 Corton Cuvée Georges Chevalier
To celebrate Chloé’s grandfather who died in 2017. Vines in Carrières and Grand Lolières. Some of the vines bought by grandfather – ‘exchanged for a horse – but not a race-horse – the excuse being, you know the vines are quite high!’
Lots of colour. A little less overt oak-spice, some floral accents. A little more scale, a more vibrant delivery of fruit flavour – it was hard to find the fruit in the last – layered, waves of flavour. Very different style

Les Blancs:

2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay
A single old-vine parcel in Ladoix called les Pieces – opposite La Mort. In the domaine since 2005.
A deep and wide fruit nose – good weight. Hmm, this is very nice in the mouth – perhaps a hint of tropical fruit, but fresh, mouth-filling. Waves of finishing flavour.

2017 Bourgogne Aligoté
In the plain of Ladoix, below the village. Bottled before harvest like the other bourgognes…
Hmm – this is round and a little floral. Round and fresh in the mouth – lovely energy, depth of flavour – bravo – delicious and long – so yum!

2017 Ladoix
Multiple parcels – about 4! Two are very young vines. The average probably less than 20.
Fuller nose, richer also with a modest oak accompaniment. In the mouth a nice, mineral, mobile wine of energy, and a very faint oak component. Nice wine – a very tasty finish.

2017 Ladoix 1er Les Grechons
Long lines of vines, the bottom with deep soil, the top with white and thin soil – very different. 30% new oak…
A deeper nose, faint oak-spice. Sleek, lovely shape – long direct flavour – growing concentration. I like this very much – excellent – very yum!

2017 Corton-Charlemagne
Rognets – exchanged for a horse – 0.5 ha. 40% new oak – this and the last not yet bottled.
Hmm – clean, vibrant, pure mineral – the nose directly announces itself. Rounder, layered flavour, slightly oaked – the oak becoming more obvious towards the finish. Long, faint tannin. Today I prefer the Grechons.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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