Excellent wine from Saint Julien with much elegance and finesse

Beychevelle

  

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Château Beychevelle is one of the most lovely places to visit in Haut Medoc/Bordeaux. There's an extremely well-kept garden in the chateau's front, but when you go into the backyard of Beychevelle. OMG! For sure, it's one fantastic sight down to the Gironde, especially when blue skies and sunny weather act as perfect coulisse.

I've always admired Beychevelle, even if this wine hasn't always been consistent. But when it's successful in the given vintage-like, 2005 and 2010, you get the fair share of elegance, finesse, and refinement. And 100% pure Bordeaux wine as a gift for you! Beychevelle has always been affordable and hasn't jumped the wagon of skyrocketing prices.

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  Philippe Blanc, Beychevelle's manager, tastes with us.  March 2015

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2021 Beychevelle (barrel sample) 92-93p

Tasted in April 2022. Intense crunchy cherries, minty, leather, mineral, elegance and finesse, complex, gentle tannin and discreet oak, velvety texture and lingering finish. Very stylish and attractive wine.

2020 Beychevelle (barrel sample) 95-96p

Tasted in May 2021. 51% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Intense aroma of black fruit, excellent structure and complexity on the palate, silky berries and tannin, creamy and vibrant, lingering long finish. Great style and sheer class! 

2019 Beychevelle 95+p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. 49% Cabernet Sauvignon + 46% Merlot + 3% Petit Verdot + 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.7% alcohol. On the nose, it's full of aromas of blackcurrants and black cherries, refined and classy with great elegance, full-bodied, cashmere everywhere, long and meaty aftertaste. Totally impressive effort. 

2018 Beychevelle 95+p

Tasted four times - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. 50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. An extraordinary aroma of wild cherries and mocha, great structure and complexity on the palate, luscious berries and silky tannin, creamy berries and great midpalate. Sleek and lingering finish. Classy, classy wine! 

2017 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted twice - last time in October 2019. Consistent notes. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon + 45% Merlot + 5% Petit Verdot + 1% Cabernet Franc. Fresh, elegant, soft texture, complex, finesse, sappy and persistent finish. This is a more refined and lighter wine from the property than usual.

2016 Beychevelle 96p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2019. Consistent notes. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon + 47% Merlot + 5% Petit Verdot + 1% Cabernet Franc. This wine showed great elegance and finesse, velvety texture, excellent balance and structure, and a persistent fruity finish. Aristocratic wine with great complexity and perfect structure. Fabulous stuff.

2015 Beychevelle 94p

Tasted three times - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. Aromatic and gentle, polished, luscious fruit, great finesse and elegance, and great length, seamless, velvety texture and savoury aftertaste. It's a great future.

2014 Beychevelle 94+p

Tasted three times - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 51% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Very aromatic on the nose with intense blackcurrants and blackberries, Well structured palate with ripe dark berries and corresponding tannin, bright acidity and meaty aftertaste. A classic vintage for the property.

2013 Beychevelle 89p

Tasted three times - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. It was a challenging vintage in Bordeaux with bad weather conditions. Beychevelle made an OK wine, lighter than usual, charming, round, but a bit four-squared. I don't think it'll make "old bones".

2012 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted three times - last time in October 2015. Consistent notes. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon + 44% Merlot + 4% Cabernet Franc + 5% Petit Verdot. This wine offered very aromatic black cherries, concentrated, silky fruit tannin, splendid complexity, fine grip, and long aftertaste. It was a superb effort for the vintage.

2011 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted four times - last time in November 2021. Consistent notes. This wine offered aromatic fruit (black cherries) and was quite intense and powerful with creamy fruit, fine structure, balance, and finish on the palate. Terrific effort for the vintage.

2010 Beychevelle 95+p

Tasted six times - last time in September 2019. Consistent notes. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon + 38% Merlot + 5% Cabernet Franc + 3% Petit Verdot. Aromatic, chocolate, cacao, fat fruit, and tannin are sophisticated, refined, long, rich, and complex. Beauty wine and an extremely graceful one.

2009 Beychevelle 93p

Tasted five times - last time in October 2015. Consistent notes. This wine was pretty aromatic, elegant, and subtle wine, full-bodied. Splendid aftertaste with a lot of flavours. Graceful and stylish.

2008 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted five times - last time in August 2011. Consistent notes. It seems to have gained more depth and concentration after bottling. It has an excellent bite and is very aromatic, dense, and complex. Delicious wine.

2007 Beychevelle 91p

It tasted six times - last time in September 2010. Consistent notes. It offered a good treat for your senses with exquisite, round, and charming wine, which had seductive cherry fruit aromas on the nose. This wine is still gaining more concentration and more structure.

2006 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted three times - last time in July 2021. Consistent notes. Meaty and fleshy wine with perfectly ripe blackcurrants and raspberries, delicate balance, and long aftertaste. This was in September 2009. Almost 12 years later, it's still great enjoyment with a classy nose of Cabernet Sauvignon and black winter truffles, finesse and elegance. Easily another 15 years in the cellar.

2005 Beychevelle 95+p

Tasted four times - last time in March 2009. Consistent notes. 47% CS, 46% M, 3% CF and 4% PV. It is without doubt Beychevelle's best vintage in modern times. This wine impressed me a lot from the barrel in April 2006, and it's obvious it hasn't lost a single inch of quality since then. It's a fabulous thick aroma of dark berries, awesome, great length, balance and concentration, formidable depth and aftertaste, and its full load of finesse, elegance and graciousity. Seamless wine. How long will it keep? 20-40 years, I guess.

2004 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted four times - last time in August 2011. Consistent notes. 55% Grand Vin. 45% CS, 42% M, 7%CF and 5% PV. Great, great effort from the property. It embraces you with a wonderfully aromatic nose, a taste of dark cherries, exquisite finesse, and elegance. It oozes the sheer class and pure style of traditional Bordeaux. This wine will keep for another 10-15 years because of its delicious harmony between fruit and tannin.

2003 Beychevelle 88p

Tasted four times - last time in September 2010. Consistent notes. Harvest finished on the 30th of September. 53% CS, 34% M, 8%CF and 5% PV. Hot vintage, no doubt, as fruit is warm but not cooked. Through careful and thoughtful vinification, Beychevelle seems to have avoided dryness and edgy tannin. Nice grip, balance, and depth. 5-8 years from now.

2002 Beychevelle 90p

Tasted six times - last time in September 2009. Consistent notes. Very impressive for the vintage. A natural heartbreaker wine with its round and pleasant texture, luscious berries, and soft aftertaste. Good grip and aromatic touch. Drinks very well already now.

2001 Beychevelle 91-92p

Tasted seven times - last time in July 2020 Consistent notes. 55% Grand Vin. 54% CS, 39% M, 6%CF and 7% PV. Very minty wine. Sophisticated, very elegant, very stylish indeed. Potent and with a delicate balance. True Bordeaux wine without all these modern vinification gimmicks! One to keep for another 10-15 years. Still fine in July 2020 with a decade to go.

2000 Beychevelle 94p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2011. Consistent notes. Minty and therefore so typical of Cabernet Sauvignon. It was sophisticated, refined with exquisite elegance, delicious fruit sweetness, great length, and fresh, lingering aftertaste. Seductive wine! 15-20 years horizontally. The bottle tasted in November 2011 was even better, and I rated it 95p.

1999 Beychevelle 86p

Tasted five times - last time in March 2009. Not consistent notes. Troublesome vintage because of too much rain and too little sunshine! Wet cardboard, not fully ripe grapes, a bit dry on the palate and short aftertaste. On its way down, it tasted a lot better in 2005 and March 2009.

1998 Beychevelle 90p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2008. Consistent notes. 49% CS, 45% M and 6% PV. This vintage turned out to be better on the Right Bank than on the Left, as Merlot did better than CS. Quite dense and concentrated, luscious cherries, smooth and round on the palate. It seems, however, to lack more depth and structure. 10-12 years.

1996 Beychevelle 93p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2008. Consistent notes. 52% CS, 35% M, 7%CF and 6% PV. This is a spectacular wine for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon grew perfectly ripe in 1996, and you can taste it. Robust structure, impeccable balance, splendid concentration of ripe blackcurrants, truffles, deep and multilayered palate. Excellent and stylish wine with 10-15 more years to go.

1995 Beychevelle 90p

Tasted in March 2009. Very aromatic and stylish wine with enchanting elegance and finesse. Creamy fruit and soft texture, round and gentle wine. There is a pleasure for all the money in this wine, and it already drinks excellent.

1993 Beychevelle 85p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property. This wine showed barely perfect ripe fruit, but you don't expect too much when you know the bad weather was in this vintage. It's just decent and quickly maturing wine.

1991 Beychevelle 82p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property. 20% of potential grapes went lost when black frost hit Bordeaux on the 21st of April. This wine showed unripe fruit, a smell of wet cardboard, and edgy tannins, already in vast decline.

1988 Beychevelle 92p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property. The last time I tasted Beychevelle 1988 was in 1990 during a tasting in Copenhagen of 20+ vintages, but it hasn't changed that much since then. Still dark ruby red, complex on the nose and palate, well-knitted, refined concentration and balance, plus smooth finish. Nice treat!

1986 Beychevelle 93p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2008. Consistent notes. I like this wine! This gem from a great Cabernet Sauvignon year didn't disappoint. It was splendid wine with a lot of stuffing, firm structure, leather, tobacco, outstanding balance, and long aftertaste. Excellent wine, which still has 6-8 more years to go.

1982 Beychevelle 94p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property from magnum. This wine was simply a beauty with all the ingredients this vintage is famous for. Dense, full of perfectly ripe fruit, great structure, finesse, refinement, and that superb balance. A great, great vintage for Beychevelle. 6-10 more years in the cellar. 0.75 l bottle of this vintage tasted in November 2008 - more developed than I thought. A bit jammy. Otherwise, nicely balanced and with tasty dark fruit. 89p.

1978 Beychevelle 87p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property. This wine tried very hard to follow the footsteps of 1986 but had some greenish aroma on the nose and seemed not to have ripe fruit on the palate. Beychevelle's manager, Philippe Blanc, explained that Cabernet Sauvignon plots were harvested too early at Beychevelle in this vintage.

1975 Beychevelle 88p

Tasted in November 2008. Not my favourite vintage on the Left Bank, but Saint-Julien did come up with some pretty good wines. Beychevelle suffers a bit from not fully ripe CS, but overall it's a very nicely made wine with no aggressive tannins, good depth, and a gentle aftertaste.

1970 Beychevelle 93p

Tasted twice – last time in April 2008 at the property. This wine brought me back the pleasant memories of an adorable bottle that tasted in 1990 in Copenhagen. It is a very tight, perfectly structured and well-balanced wine, which impressed with its youthfulness, length, and finishes. Delightful.

1966 Beychevelle 89p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property. This wine had the same flavours as 1978 but in much lesser intensity. Broad-shouldered, compact, firm and robust wine, which certainly wasn't over the hill. It will keep its ingredients together for a couple of more years.

1959 Beychevelle 94p

Tasted at Domaine de Chevalier in March 2019. Not in the same class as 1949, but you were quickly impressed by the elegance, finesse, and graciousity of this wine. Simply deliciously delicate wine.

1955 Beychevelle 95p

Tasted twice - last time in November 2008. Consistent notes. It was an enormous pleasure to "meet" such an excellent and sophisticated piece of Beychevelle's history. Incredibly seductive, refined, beautifully balanced, and sweetly finishing wine. In November 2008, it had a very pure aroma of truffles. I will be going that strong for 5-6 more years.

1949 Beychevelle 97p

Tasted in March 2019 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. This bottle came from my cellar and was recorked in the 1990s. It tasted still young and virile, with great acidity, excellent truffy aroma, pure elegance and finesse, delicate and lingering finish. Stunning wine. Very similar to the fabulous 1945 Beychevelle I tasted in 2015!

1945 Beychevelle 97p

Tasted in March 2015 during dinner at Domaine de Chevalier. Truffles, beautifully aromatic nose, stunningly gracious and stylish wine, and excellent palate with lively fruit, tannin, and acidity. Smooth and gracious finish. Awesome stuff!

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Heavenly stuff!

1934 Beychevelle 97p

Tasted in April 2008 at the property. It was a showstopper of high rang. I also tasted this wine in 1990, but it was Danish bottling, impressive but not quite up to chateau bottled. This genuine 1934 from the cellars of Beychevelle was a pure delight and a perfect example of how beautifully Bordeaux can age. Fantastic structure, incredible balance, refined elegance and finesse, silky fruit, and what a seduction. Simply wonderful wine!!

1928 Beychevelle 97p

Tasted in November 2002. Impressively very dark colour. Dense and intense on the nose, potent, powerful with ripe fruit and cocoa plus chocolate on the palate. Fabulous wine, which still is going strong.

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1. I spent two weeks in Bordeaux in April 2022 to taste 2021 vintage from the barrel. A review of 300+ tasted barrel samples - "2021 BORDEAUX FROM BARREL" in "VINTAGES".

2. Impressions from my trip to Bordeaux in November 2021 are here - chapter "2021 Bordeaux visits" in "VINTAGES". Additional TNs from barrel samples of 2020 vintage tasted in Bordeaux - chapter "2020 FROM BARREL", in "VINTAGES".

3. 2019 vintage's TNs on 85 wines tasted in Bordeaux in November 2021 plus additional TNs on 120+ wines tasted in Copenhagen during January-March 2022 are published. Check out chapter "2019 BARREL/BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

4. Tasting notes concerning the 2018 vintage on wines tasted from the bottle in Bordeaux in November 2021- chapter "2018 IN BOTTLE" in "VINTAGES".

5. The Burgundy blog in the News chapter is a new feature, including impressions from Burgundy tastings/tasting dinners attended since November 2018. It'll also have impressions on tasted wines from Beaujolais' best winegrowers. I explored this wine area in April 2022 while tasting Morgon Cote du Puy from five producers in 2018 and 2019. A tasting of top cuveés from the same producers took place in mid-June 2022. The report will be published in September 2022.

6. In addition to my website, I also post tasting notes to an excellent website run by Pekka Nuikki from Finland, www.tastingbook.com, where I have 11.400+ followers and published 2.950+ TNs by primo September 2022. Tastingbook.com users have voted me as nr. 24 in the 2022 competition of "The best wine critic in the world".