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Chateau Beychevelle 2012

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

Blend: 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This is a smooth, rich wine that's intensely concentrated and packed with great black-currant fruits. The wine has weight and a sense of structure to support the great fruitiness.
Barrel Sample: 93-95 Points
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The grand vin, the 2012 Beychevelle, is one of the stars of St.-Julien. Opaque purple, with beautiful crème de cassis notes, the wine has floral underpinnings, sweet tannin and a nice layered, multi-dimensional mouthfeel. This is elegant and powerful, rich and intense, but light on its feet. This is a great Beychevelle and certainly seems to exceed the vintage’s character and expectations. Give it 4-6 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 25-30 years.
Rating: 92+
JS 92
James Suckling
This shows an outstanding density of fruit with currant, blueberry and raspberry character. Full-bodied, compressed and tight. Fine tannins. Better in 2017.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Very solid, with a bramble-lined core of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry fruit, backed by anise and singed wood spice notes. A bolt of graphite pins the finish down. Best from 2016 through 2024.
D 90
Decanter
2012 was a relatively cool vintage but this remains lovely and open on the nose. There's a good density to the black fruit, mixed through with charcoal and cedar notes. Still tight on the finish but a good quality wine, with appealingly supple tannins through the mid-palate and it should be ready to drink before both the 2011 and the 2010 vintages. The gravel soils of Château Beychevelle, alongside the thermal effect of the river, often give it one week difference of ripening compared to neighbouring estates further to the west of the appellation, and this really helped in 2012. This was the first year with technical director Romain Ducolomb, who came from Château Clinet, although he is originally from Burgundy and has worked both in Burgundy and Napa along the way. 4% Cabernet Franc makes up 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.

WBX6328626_2012 Item# 181243