Posted 4 years ago by Briana Lucas
Chevalier in French means knight. Deriving, from cheval, meaning horse; chevalier, then becoming one who works with horses. At one point his descendants must have been horsemen or just done something pretty fantastic for someone in the nobility.
Éric Chevalier is a rising star in the Nantais of the Loire Valley. For ten years, he sourced fruit for a large négociant in the Touraine. In 2005, he decided to return to his hometown of Saint-Philbert de Grandlieu, just southwest of Nantes, and ended up taking over the family domaine, Domaine de l’Aujardière, the next year.
His father, a talented vigneron who did not bottle much of his wines and was well-known as a high-quality source of bulk wine, had stopped working the vineyards and the vines were either going to have to be pulled up and replanted, or sold. Éric was anything but enthusiastic. Little by little his passion grew, and today he is proud to be the fourth generation to farm the domaine. He is also proud to be bottling more and more of the family’s production himself.
It might take some effort NOT to get excited about the wines of Éric Chevalier. The terroir of the Muscadet wine producing region on the western end of the Loire Valley where it borders the Atlantic is among the most complex in the world, but fortunately for us, this has never translated into high prices. Although Éric works with a number of different grape varieties, his terroir leaves its distinctive mark on each of his delicious, price-worthy wines.
His wines are work horses of the Loire. They are sturdy and dependable. If you aren’t familiar with his wines, we would very much like to introduce you!
Éric Chevalier Muscadet sur Lie 2013 – 100% Melon de Bourgogne, This Côtes de Grand Lieu has all the classic stony and fresh Muscadet characteristics, and also that added extra je ne sais quoi you find only from the best producers of the region.
Éric Chevalier Chardonnay 2013 – Here is a Chard that has seen zero oak. It has an easy simplicity, a directness. Dry, crisp, fresh as can be. It is reminiscent of its proximity to the ocean; you can almost feel a sea breeze on your face as you drink this.
Éric Chevalier Rosé of Grolleau 2013 – Grolleau is an indeginous grape varietal from the Loire, that takes its meaning from grolle, meaning crow for the dark small berries this variety produces. This is quintessentially the zippiest little Rosé I have ever had. Perfect with deep fried food, it will cut through the fat like a knife through butter.
Éric Chevalier Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 – Éric grows these fine Pinot Noir grapes not far from the Atlantic coast. There’s a terrific concentration of fruit here, but also a lovely whiff of ocean breezes. One word: Thanksgiving.
Éric Chevalier Cabernet Franc 2013 – Smooth yet substantial and outstanding for its everyday price. You know you’ve got a great bargain when the first half of the bottle is incredible but the second half is doubly better the next night.