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Chateau Beychevelle (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
Barrel Sample: 96-98 Points
WS 96
Wine Spectator
A textbook St.-Julien in the making, with crushed plum and warm cassis notes inlaid with anise and graphite accents. The muscular, driven finish is just a touch chewy in feel but gets soaked up quickly on the finish by the pure fruit. Really solid.
Barrel Sample: 93-96 Points
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
With tannins that are beautifully integrated into the rich black-fruit flavors, this is already a well-balanced wine. It is solid and will last, though the attractiveness of the fruit is already there.
Barrel Sample: 94–96 Points
JS 95
James Suckling
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.
Barrel Sample: 94-95 Points
D 95
Decanter
The first vintage made in Château Beychevelle’s brand new cellar; the combination of great weather and technical advances deliver a brilliant wine full of brooding dark cassis fruits, pushed onwards and upwards by confident tannins. You can feel the benefit from the new smaller-sized stainless steel vats, which allow for better plot work. The Beychevelle winemaking team now have 100 different lots to choose from for the blend – double the amount they had before. Consequently, the wine has precision, complexity and layers. Malolactic fermentation in the barrels, plus no racking until the moment of bottling, also helped deliver the richness and weight that strikes across the palate. One of the most impressive Beychevelles in years. 1% Cabernet Franc rounds out the blend.
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Chateau Beychevelle

Chateau Beychevelle

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Chateau Beychevelle, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Chateau Beychevelle, A prestigious Cru Classe whose character has been forged by three centuries of history... Nowhere does the word Château in its noblest sense ring as true as it does at Beychevelle.

The elegance of its classical architecture makes it a jewel in the crown of the Médoc, coveted since its creation by the powerful families who have successively marked the economic, political and cultural life of Bordeaux and the regio.

St-Julien

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BALF347746_2016 Item# 347746