As of writing this I've been working with Chevalerie for about two years. My French importer Laurent Bonnois had always admired them and had been working to import Chevalerie for some time. When Laurent finally got Chevalerie's wines he was so excited that I ordered the Chevalerie wines untasted; I never regretted it. Domaine de Chevalerie is accepted as one of the leading producers in Bourgueil. Established in 1640, Chevalerie is now run by Pierre, Stephanie, and Emmanuel Caslot. I've written about them before here: The Best Producer in Bougueil. Being as established as they are they don't need to worry about making wines that are "what the market wants"; they're free to just concentrate on making fantastically ripe and expressive wines, which they do very well. Chevalerie has about 81 acres that are broken up into a variety of specific separately farmed parcels. They sell off many of the younger grapes to focus on the plots that yield more distinctive individualistic wine.
BUT!...every year Chevalerie produces a Bourgueil that's an assemblage of grapes from their various vineyards and that's made to be delicious and consumed young. Each year the Caslot family commissions a different artist to design a label for it and re-names the wine. In 2010 Chevalerie's entry level wine was called Venus. At this point the 2011 cuvee has already been released but I have the last of the 2010 and it's just starting to really hit it's sweet spot and open up. It's currently delicious!
Aroma: The 2010 Chevalerie has a really intense aroma that hit's you with ripe blueberries and blackberries before you even get the glass to your nose! Behind that wallop of lush dark fruit there's a hint of sweet rich farm soil, black pepper, and just a whiff of spicy tomato leaf.
Palate: This wine is so delicious and plump, I'm impressed. It's not a super complex or intellectually demanding wine but it is delicious and very well balanced. It has perfectly ripe black cherry, blueberry, and blackberry fruit, but it also has just the right amount of acidity to make the wine bright and vibrant with out actually distracting from that plump fruit. There's a bit of black pepper and some ripe tannin on the finish that tie the Venus together The mid-palate gets a bit darker and adds some currant notes, but over all this is just delicious perfectly ripe Cabernet Franc.
I'm really glad I held onto this and gave it a chance to mature. It's gorgeous! The Chevalerie Venus is available for about $15 at The Rosemont on Munjoy Hill, Whole Foods, Downeast Beverage, RSVP, and Lakonia in Saco