Chateau Beychevelle 2016

Chateau Beychevelle 2016

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( regular price: $119.99 )

During the reign of Henri III, Beychevelle was the fief of the Dukes of Épernon, including the first of that name, Jean-Louis Nogaret de La Valette, an admiral in the French navy. According to legend, ships passing in front of his château lowered their sails as a sign of allegiance to this powerful man. In fact, the name Beychevelle comes from the Old French "Baisse-Voile", meaning “lowered sails”, as reflected in the château’s emblem. This depicts a ship with a griffin – the guardian of Dionysos’ wine crater in Greek mythology – on the prow. The Estate had many owners through the early parts of its history. The estate was essentially a money pit. Finally in 1875 the estate was purchased by Armand Heine. His American wife was from Louisiana and he felt she would appreciate the estate overlooking a large river and remind her of home. Ayma Achille-Foud purchased the estate in 1970 and eventually took partners. Today Chateau Beychevelle is owned by Grands Millésimes de France, which is part of the Castel and Suntory groups.

Chateau Beychevelle is planted to 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. They are currently in the process of replacing some Merlot vines with more Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

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Wine Spectator: 93
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. 19,167 cases made.
Wine Advocate: 95
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 it promises to overdeliver to those prepared to wait. Around 19,000 cases were made.
Decanter: 92
By this vintage, the gravity-operated vat room and cellar were in operation, with smaller steel vats allowing for greater parcel selection. Still closed on the nose, though with firm blackcurrant and blackberry aromas in the background, it’s suave and concentrated, showing ripe tannins and ample acidity. The wine seems balanced, though it’s not showing much complexity yet. Structured and persistent. Drinking Window 2024 - 2045.
Wine Enthusiast: 94
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.
Vinous: 96
The 2016 Beychevelle has a stunning bouquet of vibrant, shimmering blackberry and wild strawberry fruit laced with crushed stone and rose petals. The well-balanced palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a slightly savory/dried blood finish that lingers in the mouth. Tasting both in London and in Bordeaux, I found the latter bottle to have a little more precision and race on the finish. This will surely be a benchmark for this Saint Julien estate.
James Suckling: 94
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.
Jeb Dunnuck: 96
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.