The label says ‘Orchis Mascula’ – not sure if that’s just a bit of decoration, or the name of the cuvée. Dark, slightly spicy aromas, hints of sweet smoke – almost certainly some stems – approaching a floral perfume. A nice width of flavour, then the acidity comes to the fore – but no problem – a hint of tannin too as you head into the finish. An hour later and it’s rounder, better balanced and quite tasty with a clear strawberry flavour. Good wine – a second bottle in the cellar should be quite interesting with a few more years…
Medium colour. A kind of candied sweetness mixes with red fruit and eventually a beguiling floral aroma – lovely. This wine has thinned-out, plenty of acidity but intensity too and an impression of extract. Still very drinkable but not the gorgeously cushioned drinkability of its first few months in bottle. This remains a great Brouillards.
Medium golden colour. The first notes on the nose were – ouch – of Jerez, I left the bottle for five or six hours. On returning there’s merely a suggestion of that oxidative note, more to the fore is dense core of aroma that smells of old oak and some suggestions of mature aromas. Full in the mouth, flavour growing in the mid-palate with cool acidity; the flavour is intense and very long, some creamy and toffee elements too – though it’s not particularly moreish. Day two it’s a little (not lots) better, still with a hint of oxidation. Day three there is none, perhaps the colour is also more yellow than gold. Now it has creamy depth with a hint of lanolin (normally I expect this on 15+ year-old wine). In the mouth it’s full and powerful a hint toffeed and still maybe not the greatest mid-palate flavour – but for the first time I’ve topped up my glass. So, this Chevalier is in an awful place right now. Accepted there were sherry aromas when opened, and even on day two. But no-one tasting this wine on day 3 would say it was premoxed, it has become cleaner every day; it was on the same level after 72 hours (open) as after 48 – just that rather frumpy presentation that many 05s show.
Medium-plus red, perhaps starting to lose some of the colour of youth. The nose is lovely; invitingly deep, dark fruit with a hint of mineral. Mouthfilling, with excellent acidity and still slightly sticky but smooth tannin. There’s plenty of flavour here and a mineral length too. Drinking very well right now – I’m tempted to try some of the other cuvées. Lovely.
Popped and poured. Medium-plus colour. The nose has a hint of Bordeaux about it with a slightly mineral, cigar-box aroma; but slowly it releases a blend of violet flowers and flashes of gorgeously sexy red and blackberry fruit. In the mouth this has a very understated layer of velvety tannin; otherwise it is immaculately smooth and polished, slightly linear and shows a wonderful mid-palate intensity. The flavour in the finish is dark and concentrated, reminding me again of that half mineral – half cigar-box impression. the flavour easily hangs on for over a minute. Day two the last half a glass is very tight – the natural order is restored.
Dark colour. Concentrated red berry – so much so it’s like a sauce reduction. Clinical, clean lines – very linear but silken. Really good intensity and even an impression of flavour! Despite the note it tasted pretty good. Plenty more left for experimenting with the vintage over the next decade and a half!