Beychevelle, always known as a very smooth and delicate wine, has become richer and more muscular in recent decades. Incorporating a larger proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, a longer cuvaison, more new oak for barrel aging, and the option of a second label for lighter wines have all resulted in a better constructed, more concentrated style of St. Julien.
These changes have not meant a sacrifice of charm or finesse, however. Even in top years, Château Beychevelle is uncommonly smooth, supple and drinkable at a young age. With lovely soft, plummy, gentle flavors, it does not need to be laid down for long aging. Surprisingly given its easy approachability, Château Beychevelle does not fade faster than other wines and can age well for 15 years or more in the better years. It is usually best drunk within 7-20 years of the vintage.