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Chateau Beychevelle 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
  • JS96
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This is the first time in the estate's history that the naturalalcoholic degree was so high: more than 14.4% for Merlot and12.5% for the Cabernets. Initial tastings showed the wines to bedeeply-coloured and very fruity. The 2008 vintage has turned outto be a pleasant surprise after the challenges encountered duringthe growing season. It seems very likely that 2008 vintage willbe superior to 2007.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 96
James Suckling
A subtle, refined 2009 with complex aromas and flavors of currant, smoke, mineral and lead pencil. Full body with ultra-refined tannins and a long, long finish. An integrated, beautiful Beychevelle. Hard not to drink now but will be much better in 2017: a wine for long-term aging.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A big, spicy wine, packed with new wood as well as ripe, soft fruit. It's smooth, polished and balanced. Fine tannins add to the structure.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This has a slightly brawny edge, but feels like it's filling out quickly, with lush, dark fig sauce, black licorice snap and graphite notes taking on more depth as it airs in the glass. Extra black tea and anise hints flash on the finish. Drink now through 2019. 20,833 cases made.
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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.

WDW10490100122608_2008 Item# 109874