“Cultivated not far from Galichets yet at the bottom of the hillside and close to the domaine in Restigné, the 2015 Bourgueil Chevalerie is from vines averaging 65 to 70 years old on clay-silex soils and is very fine and a bit reductive on the intense nose. Round, refined and juicy on the palate, with fine tannins and very good length, this is a full-bodied, refreshing and tensioned, gastronomic red wine with a salty finish. Drink: 2021-2028. 90 points
Situated in Restigné in the Bourgueil appellation, Domaine de la Chevalerie has a family history nearly 400 years long. Pierre Caslot took care of the organically (since 2008) and biodynamically (2012) cultivated 33 hectares of vineyards until his death in autumn 2014. Then the 13th generation, his daughters Stéphanie and Laurie and son Emmanuel, took over, and it was Stéphanie who guided my first tasting at the domaine back in spring 2018. I liked the balance and gentleness of the fruity and refined wines a lot and even bought some of them, in particular, the matured ones, since the Cabernet Francs of the domaine age terrifically well and gain in finesse and complexity. However, I lost contact in the few following years and was very sad when Laurie Caslot told me this summer that her sister Stéphanie passed away far too early. Laurie said she and Emmanuel would continue “in her memory.”
The Caslots cultivate Cabernet Franc on the hillside of the villages of Restigné and Benais in five different lieux-dits, all situated in excellent terroirs on alluvial, clay, sand and chalk soils that all give particular wines. The family seeks to make “wines that are the most natural expression of their vintage and of their terroir,” which means that the individual maturity of each parcel is accepted and the fruits are harvested by hand in small boxes to conserve the integrity of the fruit. The whole bunches are first sorted by hand, then 100% destemmed before the berries are sorted again before the vats are filled by gravity. The controlled fermentation is natural and the maceration is gentle. The wines are then aged in demi-muids and large vats of 400 or 500 liters as well as in terracotta amphorae and ceramic jars.
I recommend being patient with the wines, even though they are already attractive as young wines. However, what you gain after 15 or more years can be even more spectacular.”
Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (08/21)