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 2018 the blend is 50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
The 2018 Beychevelle has a fresh, fragrant nose with plenty of blackberry, gravel, mint and incense aromas. It is not the most powerful Saint-Julien but it is certainly very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp entry and plenty of sappy black fruit, quite dense for Beychevelle. Tasting it three or four times, the first example showed an unexpected greenness on the finish; however, this was not evident on the others sampled. 2024 - 2045.
The 2018 Beychevelle has the highest level of alcohol at the estate at 14.5% according to winemaker Philippe Blanc. It has an attractive bouquet with liquorice tinged black fruit that gains intensity in the glass whilst maintaining admirable definition. The palate is smooth in texture, moderate depth, a little softer than anticipated with black fruit mixed with (again) liquorice, mint and white pepper. It is certainly a flamboyant Beychevelle, but in my opinion that comes at the expense of a little typicité. It remains a thoroughly pleasurable Beychevelle, although I prefer the more complex 2016 at this stage. Tasted twice with consistent notes. 2021 - 2040
Aged for around 18 months in barrel, 60% new and 40% second fill, the 2018 Beychevelle needs a fair bit of swirling to release classic notes of cassis, plum preserves and ripe blackberries, with emerging suggestions of unsmoked cigars, tilled soil and cedar chest, plus a waft of pencil lead. The medium to full-bodied palate is still very tightly wound, offering finely packed black fruit and earthy layers within a frame of firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. This will need a good 5-6 years to come around and then will drink beautifully over the next 20+ years. 2026 - 2046.
The deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Beychevelle wafts sensuously from the glass with fragrant Black Forest cake, potpourri, star anise and black tea scents over a core of black raspberries, warm blackcurrants and kirsch with touches of fallen leaves and lavender. Full-bodied and packed with fragrant red and black fruit layers, it has a firm, velvety texture and fantastic freshness lifting the very long, perfumed finish. Beautiful! Anticipated time in barrel is 18 months, 60% new and 40% second fill. The tentative blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Currants and blackberries with crushed stone and fresh herbs. Some flower stem, too. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and linear with firm, driven tannins. This needs four or five years of bottle age to open and come together. Try after 2025.
This is concentrated with a solid core of fruit, yet it’s energetic and driven with plenty of pretty and forceful tannins. Dusty texture. Persistent finish.
An unabashedly flamboyant, exotic wine, the 2018 Beychevelle possesses tremendous richness and raciness right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, spice, menthol and espresso infuse this sumptuous Saint-Julien with striking aromatic and flavor complexity. Soft contours and silky tannins add to its irresistibly sensual personality. Time in the cellar should help the new oak assimilate, but readers should be prepared for a full-throttle, heady wine. 2028 - 2043
The 2018 Beychevelle is an exceptional, utterly vivid wine. Deep and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2018 has so much to offer. Super-ripe black cherry, crème de cassis, licorice, new oak and chocolate infuse this unctuous, spectacularly ripe Saint-Julien. Beychevelle is exotic, flamboyant and full-throttle, not to mention absolutely stunning. The high presence of Merlot in the blend gives Beychevelle much of its sensuality. What a wine! The 2018 is 50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.
50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc; 60% new oak. Barrel sample.
Inky crimson. Lively elderberry-like tangy fruit on the nose. Thickly textured and rather oaky on the palate, slightly monolithic at this stage. Could do with a bit more freshness overall. (JH) 14.5%
Deep colour, with sweet vanilla and cherries on the nose. The palate is smooth, polished and fine, with seamless tannins giving a rounded texture that will make this approachable in its youth. All juicy fruit and cream, the balancing acidity gives enough lift while allowing the ripeness to shine through. Pure, fine and long on the finish.
Showing beautifully both times I was able to taste it, the 2018 Château Beychevelle checks in as a blend of 50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that's aging in 60% new French oak. This ultra-pure, refined, gorgeously layered Beychevelle offers terrific notes of black cherries, blackberries, cassis, violets, and damp earth. Deep, concentrated, and layered on the palate, it has a thrilling sense of purity and elegance as well as building structure. This is the third vintage vinified in the new cellar, and the 2018 represents a selection of 50% of the total production. It hit 14.5% alcohol with a healthy pH of 3.74 and a massive IPT of 81. Hats off to director Romain Ducolomb for another brilliant wine that I suspect will surpass both the 2015 and 2016!
Ripe and concentrated, but very sleek, with a remarkably pure beam of cassis and plum reduction flavors. Sweet spice, violet and apple wood notes are thoroughly embedded throughout. Polished and very long.
(50 Merlot, 41 Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 Petit Verdot, 3 Cabernet Franc) | 60% new oak | 14.5% alc Beychevelle continues its run of excellence with this carefully assembled wine. Nothing is hurried or out of place and the nose, in particular, is sensational. I like the fact that it is not too extracted or heavy on the palate and this means that there is an even flow of fruit all of the way to the finish. The acid is perky and it nips at the heels of the fruit and the tannins are super-fine and mouth-watering. This is a huge success for Beychevelle.