|Classification||4ème Cru Classé|
47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Deep colour, ripe harmonious nose - not big. A calm mid-weight feel - supple with fine tannins full of flavour. Quite a milk-chocolate oaky and sweet middle. Soft, then a little astringency on the end. Fruit still there on the finish. Not all that substantial, but pretty enough. Drinking range: 2024 - 2040 Rating: 90-92 L&S (Apr 2017)
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I was able to taste the 2016 Château Beychevelle on two occasions, and it showed beautifully both times. This is also the first vintage made in the new cellar. Medium to full-bodied, incredibly seamless and elegant on the palate, yet beautifully concentrated, it offers a heavenly perfume of spring flowers, violets, saddle leather, and blueberry and cassis fruit. A blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, brought up in 50% new oak, it’s still tight, taunt, and reserved on the palate, yet has the hallmark purity of fruit and balance of the vintage front and center. Hide bottles for 4-6 years, and it will keep for 25+ years or more. Drinking range: 2023 - 2048 Rating: 96 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Beychevelle is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare between 3 October and 18 October. It is matured in 50% new oak. Furthermore, it is the first vintage to be matured in the new chichi winery whose glass exterior overlooks the passing traffic on the D2. It has a very pure, fragrant bouquet with black cherries, cassis, cedar and wet limestone, extremely precise to the point where you might think it was from the Right Bank (logical given the proportion of Merlot in the blend). The palate is sensational: understated at first and bridled with ultra-fine tannin, it is a Beychevelle armed with a disarming sense of symmetry. It builds in the mouth towards a fabulously tensile finish that is so fresh and full of energy that the senses are almost overwhelmed. Frankly, it leaves all the other Beychevelles in recent years standing. This is an electrifying 2016 from winemaker Philippe Blanc and his right-hand man, technical director, Romain Ducolomb. Drinking range: 2026 - 2060 Rating: 96-98 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Dark purple. Light peppery nose. Sweet palate entry with a hint of sweet oak, and then a bit austere on the palate. Lively coconut hint. Falls away on the finish. Competent rather than exciting. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2017)
St Julien Quatrième cru 1855 Jean-Louis Nogaret de la Valette, the first Duke of Epernon, was a powerful man. He was an Admiral and the Governor of Guyenne under King Henri III and in deference to him, so it is said, ships passing his estate on the River Gironde would dip their sails - this "baisse-voile" (or "bacha velo" in the local Gascon tongue) became "Beychevelle", and accounts for the presence of a rather fanciful ship on the label. The griffon at the prow of said ship echos the griffon in Greek mythology who guarded Dionysus's wine goblet. The fine château was built in the 18th Century, extended in the 19th, and has recently been restored. The vineyards are 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot with a little each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Wines are aged in wood for 18 months, with 50% of the barriques being new each year.
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