Chateau Beychevelle (6-Pack OWC Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Beychevelle 2018 can be characterized by two words: Harmony and Concentration. This vintage presents a balance rarely achieved at this stage. A bouquet of well-ripened red and black fruit invites us to sample the intense, harmonious palate. Very silky tannins accompanied by fruit bursting with freshness and concentration. 2018 will join the list of Château Beychevelle’s truly exceptional vintages.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Ripe and concentrated, but very sleek, with a remarkably pure beam of cassis and plum reduction flavors. Sweet spice, violet and apple wood notes are thoroughly embedded throughout. Polished and very long.
Barrel Sample: 94-97
Barrel Sample: 95-97+
Barrel Sample: 94-96+
Barrel Sample: 94-96
This is concentrated with a solid core of fruit, yet it’s energetic and driven with plenty of pretty and forceful tannins. Dusty texture. Persistent finish.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
This is a dark, deep colour that perfectly reflects the rich blackberry and bilberry fruits on the nose. I really have noticed that Beychevelle has raised its game over the last few vintages and it's maintaining that step-up here. The 2018 is built to age, and will do so with very little trouble. It has viole. t edging, a good ripe tannic structure and is full of life. It's rounded in terms of mouthfeel, smoothed out but not knocked off balance by the alcohol. It may be approachable earlier than usual perhaps, but with class, ambition and St-Julien signature. A yield of 55hl/ha, with 50% of production going into the grand vin. 60% new oak. Drinking Window 2027 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 94
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.
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.
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.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
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.