20220418 103442

20220418 10362120230417 091013

Left - inside Beaséjour. Right - Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse presents a barrel sample of 2022 vintage - April 2023

In 1847, Pierre-Paulin Ducarpe bought the property now known as Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse. Before he died in 1869, he divided the property equally between his son and daughter. His son's part became Beau Sejour Becot, while his daughter's part became Beauséjour Duffau Lagarrose after she married a Duffau Lagarrosse male. The property has remained in the same family for over 150 years.

Beauséjour is located on a hill and slope just outside the village of St Emilion and situated close to Canon and Beau Sejour Becot. The vineyard comprises 6.5 hectares of land, planted with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. The vines are, on average, 45 years old. The soil is mostly clay on the bed of whole and crushed limestones.

In 1990, Beauséjour gained fame after receiving a 100-point rating from wine critic Robert Parker. The 1990 vintage is a benchmark for the property. During my visit to Beauséjour in May 1998, Jean-Michel Dubos, the winemaker at the time, stated that the combination of weather, quality of grapes, ripeness of the grapes, and the perfect time of the harvest made the 1990 vintage so perfect. He left the property in 2012.

After 1990, the property experienced a period of inconsistency. In 2009, the heirs of Duffau Lagarrosse hired Nicolas Thienpont, David Suire, and oenologist Stephane Derenencourt to improve the quality of the wine. The quality quickly improved under the new winemaking staff. Vintages from 2018 to 2020 echoed the success of the 1990 vintage.

Nicolas Thienpont and David Suire continued to work at the property until 2021, with the 2019 vintage being the last one they made together. They also made the final blend of the 2020 vintage.

In April 2021, 30 members of the Duffau Lagarrosse family put Beauséjour up for sale. After some initial bids from the Cuvellier family from nearby Clos Fourtet and Stephanie Rivoal-Bouard from Angelus, Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse, the granddaughter of the previous owner, did purchase the property with financial backing from Clarins Investment Fund, run by her friend Prisca Courtin-Clarins. She arrived at the property in April 2021 after working for Bernard Magrez. Before that, she gained extensive winemaking experience in Napa Valley, New Zealand, and Mexico and worked with Maxime Cheurlin at Domaine Georges Noëllat in Vosne Romanée (Burgundy).

Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse corrected the blend of the 2020 vintage (done initially by Nicolas Thienpont and David Suire) by adding more Cabernet Franc at the expense of Merlot. 2021 was the first vintage she made entirely by herself. She is an ambitious winemaker with many plans to improve the quality of Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse. She applied to have the property upgraded in the revised classification published in September 2022, but it remained a PGCC "B," which it has been since 2006.

Since she arrived at Beauséjour, Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse has been receiving advice from two consultants: Axel Marchal, a professor of enology at Bordeaux University, and Julien Viaud, an oenologist from Michel Rolland Consulting.

A new label was introduced from vintage 2021 with a different picture on the label, and the line "Heritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse" was replaced with "J. Duffau-Lagarrosse".

There's a second wine, Croix de Beauséjour, but it's produced in only some vintages.

The wine produced at Beauséjour is a perfect blend of power and elegance. It is multi-layered and sophisticated, opulent and delicate, vibrant and luscious, and a great delicacy to enjoy for many years. It is among the very best wines in Saint-Emilion.

Beauséjour has a great and informative website to take a look at: https://beausejour-jdl.com/


2022 (barrel sample) 98-100p 

I tasted it in April 2023. The soil here, a limestone one, is exceptional, and during the hot summer of 2022, it has “cooled” down the vines with a fantastic result! For me, 2022 marks a style change towards a more elegant, refined, and sophisticated one than vintages 2019, 2018, and 2016. A wine with a well-integrated mix of finesse and power, minerality, Burgundian delicacy, and the opulence of highly-esteemed Grand Cru wines from Chambolle Musigny/Gevrey Chambertin and Vosne Romanée. The blend for the 2022 vintage has 10% more C. Franc than in previous vintages: 69% Merlot + 31% C. Franc; the harvest of Merlot took place from the 6th to the 9th of September, and C. Franc was collected on the 23rd of September. ABV is 14.9%, but you can’t feel it while tasting. This is a mind-boggling effort and proof of Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse's extraordinary winemaking skills. Bravo!!  

2021 (barrel sample) 95+p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2023. Consistent notes. 79% Merlot + 21% C. Franc, 13.5% alcohol. The frost didn't affect the vineyard. Harvest finished relatively late, meaning mid-October, with C. Franc perfectly ripe. This is the first vintage made 100% by Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse. Dark red, fresh, pure, mineral, violets and roses, raspberries, C. Franc, shined through, was precise, focused, and had superb midpalate, structure, and length. It's more complex and longer compared to the one I tasted last year. It was quite an achievement for her first vintage. A great future awaits! 

2020 98+p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2023. Consistent notes. 79% Merlot + 21% C. Franc. It was fascinating when I tasted it along with the 2019 and 2018 vintages in November 2021. This wine was similarly stupendous from the bottle when tasted in April 2023. It is similar to 2022, which I tasted on the same occasion. Creamy berries and silky tannin. Multilayered, sophisticated, and seamless. It has a fabulous structure, mid-palate, and a superb finish. Fantastic effort.

2019  97-98p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. I wrote in June 2021 after tasting a barrel sample of 2019 BDL. "It's a beautiful effort! It had a great nose with a remarkable intensity of black cherries, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder. It was fleshy on the palate with high complexity and a sophisticated touch and had a luxurious and lingering finish. This wine oozes sheer class! It was identically impressive from the bottle in November 2021 and had some elegance, too. 

2018 98+p

I tasted it twice in 2021 from the bottle. Consistent notes. It's a badass sublime wine. High-class nose with a riveting intensity of black cherries, grated chocolate, and mocha, creamy on the palate with exquisitely grained tannin, extraordinary complexity, sophisticated touch, and lingering finish for over 60 seconds.

2017 (barrel sample) 95p

It was tasted in April 2018. It is fresh and oaky, with plenty of dark berries, juiciness, length, silky tannin, elegance, and splendid structure. It has a delicate complexity and a persistent finish. This is a strong performance for the vintage.

2016 (barrel sample) 95p

I tasted it in April 2017. It has an excellent nose of black fruit, a velvety texture, excellent acidity, a great composition, and is very complex and refined. It was a stupendous effort.

2010 (barrel sample) 96p

I tasted it in April 2012. The nose and palate have intense aromas of black cherries with excellent purity, structure, and length. This is a fantastic effort.

2009 94p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. Almost a twin brother of 2010. It is less complex, however, and without the grace and lusciousness of 2010. 

2008 93-94p 

Tasted twice - last time in April 2012. Consistent notes. I liked it a lot! Aromatic and deep nose of black cherries and raspberries. Sappy, vibrant, long, and complex, with fine acidity, structure, and meaty finish.

2005 93+p

I tasted it twice, the last time in April 2012. It has consistent notes. It is full-bodied and delicate, with aromas of perfectly ripe berries, a rock-solid structure, and significant depth and length on the palate. It was a splendid effort.

2000 94p  

I tasted it in April 2003. It was a stylish wine of the traditional winemaking school with aromas of dark berries, splendid composition, fine length, and remarkable balance. It can be kept for many years.

1990 93-100p?

This vintage is the birth year of the present owner, Josephine Duffau-Lagarrosse. The bottle of this wine tasted in December 2016 was disappointing if you take its fame into context. I've tasted it a few times earlier, and it was much better, with breathtaking complexity, richness, length, and finish. The first time I tasted it, I rated it 100 points. Delicate complexity but not striking concentration and richness. My bottle was closed on the tasting day or a bit faulty. I've got one bottle left in my cellar and will keep it for a vertical tasting in the near future. I hope it'll show its true colors then!!

1918 96p

I tasted this chateau bottling in November 2018. It has an intensely rich nose of black fruit, thick on the palate, long, and still fresh. It has excellent balance and complexity. It has a smooth, fruity finish. It is vibrant and full of life. This is a 100-year-old meditation wine. This was fabulous stuff!

1918 2

 It was a fantastic and sublime experience! November 2018.


©2003-2024 greatbordeauxwines.com