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Chateau Beychevelle 2016

  • JD96
  • RP95
  • JS94
  • WE94
  • D94
  • WS93
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
I was able to taste the 2016 Château Beychevelle on two occasions, and it showed beautifully both times. This is also the first vintage made in the new cellar. Medium to full-bodied, incredibly seamless and elegant on the palate, yet beautifully concentrated, it offers a heavenly perfume of spring flowers, violets, saddle leather, and blueberry and cassis fruit. A blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, brought up in 50% new oak, it’s still tight, taunt, and reserved on the palate, yet has the hallmark purity of fruit and balance of the vintage front and center. Hide bottles for 4-6 years, and it will keep for 25+ years or more.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Beychevelle is comprised of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. It spent 18 months aging in 50% new and 50% second-use barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it is a little broody to begin, opening slowly to reveal subtle savory notes of dried herbs, charcuterie and black olives before breaking through to a profound core of warm cassis, baked black plums, red currant jelly and candied violets. The palate is medium-bodied and delicately played with a quiet intensity of tightly wound nuances and fantastic freshness, finishing with a lingering savory lift. This latent beauty will require a bit more time than most 2016s, but promises to over-deliver to those prepared to wait. Around 19,000 cases were made.
Rating: 95+
JS 94
James Suckling
Stacks of cassis, graphite and smoke on the nose of this rather full-bodied St.-Julien with a ton of velvety tannins that drive the long finish that’s simultaneously sweet, fresh and powdery. Try in 2022.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Now with a brand-new, see-through glass winery, this estate is showing its true elegance. The wine does not have great power but it offers a ripe, smooth, sophisticated texture and black fruits. It already shows delicious flavors that will improve. Drink from 2025.
D 94
Decanter
This is the first wine made in Beychevelle's new cellars, and when I tasted it at the chateau in July it was excellent, scoring higher than here. This time around we tasted two bottles, as there was a query over brett in the first one. Compared to the July tasting, it's a little bit more difficult to unravel this time around, although there are rich black fruits and attractive layers of frangipane and tar, with high-toned acidity that lifts and sculpts. The tannins do an excellent job of holding all this in place. Matured in 50% new oak. 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. A yield of 45hl/ha in 2016.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This has a slightly beefy edge, with warmed plum and blackberry paste flavors pumping through. Shows a touch of heft on the back end, with dark tobacco and earth notes leaving a subtly chewy feel, though there's ample fruit to soak that up. Best from 2024 through 2038.
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Chateau Beychevelle

Chateau Beychevelle

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Chateau Beychevelle, 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 Chateau 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.

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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.

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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.

JOAF153336_2016 Item# 153336