Polished as always, this is a luxurious expression of St Julien. This always has a higher proportion of Merlot than many of its neighbours. Voluptuous on the palate, like pomegranate molasses it has both fruit sweetness and tangy acidity. Textural tannic power and dense fruit richness propel the wine on to a long and luscious finish. CP
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 Date 2026 - 2060
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. Drink 2025-2040
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.
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.
There is a dark, tea-like perfume at the core of this wine and it is incredibly attractive. The richness and power of carefully macerated berries, on the nose, never oversteps the mark and the summer sunshine is evident at the same time as the cool nights, too, in the restraint and finesse throughout. The finish is long and spicy and it props up the oak perfectly while hinting at the superb condition of the fruit at harvest. Exotic and floral, this wine will be slow to soften but when it does it will be a real eye-opener and it is another massive performance for this impressive estate.
Located in the north of Saint Julien, Château Beychevelle boasts one of the Medoc’s most remarkable châteaux surrounded by immaculate gardens. There are two theories explaining its name and nautical label - both acknowledging the passing ships in the nearby Gironde and the Gascon language - "beychet velo" or "bêche velle" meaning "lowered sails" and "sailing vessel", respectively. Particularly prized amongst the Asian market, this estate is renowned for producing wines of superb concentration and power with excellent ageing potential. In the words of Decanter’s Jane Anson, this château is “one of the most vibrant in Bordeaux right now”.
St Julien is like the middle child of the Médoc - not as assertive as Pauillac or as coquettish as Margaux. It lies firmly between the two more outspoken communes and as a result produces a blend of them both. St Julien's wines have often been sought out by aficionados for their balance and consistency, particularly in the UK. Yet due to its middle child nature, it can occasionally be overlooked globally and as a result underrated by those markets outside the UK. Despite the fact that it has no first growths, it has several second growths including Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré and Ducru Beaucaillou as well as the celebrated châteaux such as Talbot and Beychevelle.