With its distinctive label of a sailing boat, Beychevelle is a Bordeaux that is popular the world over. Always one of the most forward and "user-friendly" of the Saint Julien classed growths, this is a wine that is usually made to give relatively early drinking pleasure rather than to win academic blind tastings. We have noticed a significant step-up in quality in recent vintages. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is low for the Northern Medoc and there is always a high percentage of Merlot in the final blend. Always polished and supple, it is in huge demand in China where it is known as "Dragon Boat Wine". The vineyard is 78 hectares.
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The 2016 Beychevelle has a stunning bouquet of vibrant, shimmering blackberry and wild strawberry fruit laced with crushed stone and rose petals. The well-balanced palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a slightly savory/dried blood finish that lingers in the mouth. Tasting both in London and in Bordeaux, I found the latter bottle to have a little more precision and race on the finish. This will surely be a benchmark for this Saint Julien estate. Drink 2023-2055.
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. Drink 2026 - 2060.
A barrel sample, the 2016 Bellevue Mondotte has a very deep purple-black color and comes bursting out of the glass with well-defined notes of crushed black plums, blackberry pie and chocolate-covered cherries plus hints of Indian spices, potpourri, roasted meats and wood smoke. The palate is very big, rich, full and built like a brick house with a firm frame of grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and layered. 2024 - 2055
Stacks of cassis, graphite and smoke on the nose of this rather full-bodied St.-Julien with a ton of velvety tannins that drive the long finish that’s simultaneously sweet, fresh and powdery. Try in 2022.
The softness and finesse to this are indeed impressive with blackberry and blackcurrant character. Full-bodied, dense and polished. Lovely texture and length. It builds on the palate. Clearly better in 2015. This is the first year in from the new cellar.
The 2016 Beychevelle offers quite a bit of up-front intensity and immediacy. Fruity, supple and forward, the 2016 holds quite a bit of appeal, although it is not as persistent or complex as I had hoped it would be, especially given how exceptional so many Saint-Juliens are in 2016. Tasted two times. Drink 2022-2036.
A heady wine, the 2016 Beychevelle possesses off-the-charts richness and intensity. White truffle, plum, lavender, black cherry and incense, along with an unctuous, racy feel, give the wine much of its exotic, voluptuous personality. Not at all subtle, the 2016 shows the more flamboyant side of Saint-Julien. Its balance is beyond reproach, however. Ripeness is pushed to the edge in 2016, yet the wine is absolutely compelling. This is a fabulous showing from Beychevelle and technical director Romain Ducolomb. Tasted two times.
Tasted blind. Purple fruits and lots of come-hither opulence followed by some green leafiness. One of the more immediately charming St-Julien 2018s.
Drink 2025 – 2039
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.
With its distinctive label of a sailing boat, Beychevelle is a Bordeaux that is popular the world over. Always one of the most forward and "user-friendly" of the Saint Julien classed growths, this is a wine that is usually made to give relatively early drinking pleasure rather than to win academic blind tastings. We have noticed a significant step-up in quality in recent vintages. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is low for the Northern Medoc and there is always a high percentage of Merlot in the final blend. Always polished and supple, it is in huge demand in China where it is known as "Dragon Boat Wine". The vineyard is 78 hectares. In 2016 the wine was made in their brand new, glass-walled winery. 47% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. As always this wine is juicy and fleshy with blackcurrant and cherry fruit. The tannins are super-slick and refined, making this one of the most approachable wines of the vintage. Cinnamon, cedar and clove bring moreish complexity to the round, seemless fruit. A refined, yet sumptuous wine that will prove delicious drinking from an early age.
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. 2023 - 2048.
Black fruits dominate the palate has firm black cherry at the start bright and fresh. Rich and ripe in the middle the black cherry and cassis is supported by fine ripe tannins. Although lighter bright at the back it fills out on the finish fleshy and rich. 2025-37
An extremely successful Beychevelle this year, a carefully drawn wine where the fruit register is deep and dark, the tannins a little brooding, and a seam of freshness runs right through and picks things up. Excellent persistency, a beautiful wine.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050