Chateau Beychevelle St. Julien Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Beychevelle, St. Julien, Bordeaux wine producer, Fourth Growth, profile, with wine tasting notes, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Beychevelle, due to its classic, stunning architecture of the chateau and beautiful gardens, is often referred to by its fans as the Bordeaux version of Versailles. However, the history of Beychevelle dates back much further than that. In its formative years, it was the property of the Foix Candale family. The Foix Candale were well established in Bordeaux by 1446, as they already possessed Chateau d’Issan in Margaux. In 1565, Bishop François de Foix Candale ordered the chateau to be constructed. Eventually, Beychevelle became the property of the Dukes of Epernon.

To understand the Duke’s power, it’s important to note that all the ships sailing in front of Beychevelle were ordered to lower their sails as a sign of respect. In fact, that is where Beychevelle took its name. Chateau Beychevelle, when translated from the dialect of the times, which was Baisse Voile, means lower the sails. This event is the inspiration for their label design and is honored with the statue of the boat in the garden, at the rear of the chateau.

Beuchevelle Dragon Boat 300x257 Chateau Beychevelle St. Julien Bordeaux Wine

Beychevelle was sold and sold again to a myriad of people. Because of the enormous cost to keep the estate up to date, each owner allowed Beychevelle to slide into further states of neglect. This pattern changed in 1757, when the Marquis François-Etienne de Brassier renovated and rebuilt the estate.

In 1825, Beychevelle was bought by Pierre-François Guestier. Guestier was a popular Bordeaux wine merchant and the mayor of St. Julien. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the Guestier family and the Barton family, the owners of Leoville Barton formed a Bordeaux wine negociant company that is still in business today, Barton and Guestier. Guestier strove to rebuild the reputation that Beychevelle earned at the start of the century. His efforts made sure Beychevelle was included in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. In 1875, Armand Heine, cousin of the famous German poet, Heinrich Heine purchased Chateau Beychevelle. Heine was responsible for building the north wing of the chateau. He also managed to replant the vineyard of Chateau Beychevelle following the phylloxera epidemic.

After Armand Heine died in 1883, Marie-Amélie Kohn, his American wife from Louisiana, managed Chateau Beychevelle. The Heine family continued to manage the Left Bank estate for several generations.

Chateau Beychevelle 300x200 Chateau Beychevelle St. Julien Bordeaux Wine

In 1970, Aymar Achille-Fould took over Chateau Beychevelle. In 1984, Achille-Fould took on a partner for the first time the GMF group. That trend continued in 1988 when the GMF group partnered with the Japanese Suntory company, who were already familiar with Bordeaux, as they owned the neighboring estate, Chateau Lagrange. In February, 2011, Chateau Beychevelle took on new owners when Suntory along with Pierre Castel purchased the St. Julien estate. Aside from Chateau Beychevelle, the partnership counts the well known Bordeaux negociant company Barriere Freres and Chateau Beaumont in the Haut Medoc as part of their holdings.

The Chateau Beychevelle, St. Julien vineyard cover 90 hectares. The terroir consists of deep, gravel based soils. The vineyard is planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. However, it is the goal of the estate to slowly replace a portion of their Merlot vines with more Cabernet Sauvignon. The vine density of 10,000 vines per hectare. On average, the vines are close to 28 years of age. Starting in 2008, Chateau Beychevelle began moving closer to organic farming techniques. Progress is always slow and steady in Bordeaux, especially in the Medoc. Today, close to 35% of their vineyards are farmed using organicac vineyard management techniques. It is the goal of the estate to continue to increase the amount of hectares in their vineyards that are farmed organically. However, while the estate continues to expand their organic farming, they also believe in being green, sustainable and energy efficient. All the waste created by the estate is not placed back into the environment. In fact, newly planted bushes, plants and assorted greenery were recently added to the grounds to help promote biodiversity.

The wine of Chateau Beychevelle is vinified in a combination of temperature controlled, stainless steel and concrete vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in tank. The wine of Chateau Beychevelle is aged in an average of 50% new, French oak barrels for about 18 months. There is a second wine, Admiral de Beychevelle. The estate also owns vines in the Haut Medoc appellation which are used to produced a wine sold under name of Les Brulieres de Beychevelle. Chateau Beychevelle also produces a negociant wine in partnership with their negociant owner, Barriere called Secret de Grand Bateaux. Secret de Grand Bateaux also displays the estate’s famed Dragon boat logo in their label design. The wine is available as a red wine and white Bordeaux wine.

Chateau Beychevelle invested more than 15 million Euros to completely renovate their wine making facilities with a major remodeling of their cellars, vat rooms, tanks and visitor center. Designed by the noted architect Arnaud Boulain and Atelier BPM, the most striking feature of the new winery is its glass walls, which allow visitors to peer directly into the winery and view the wine making taking place. The construction was finished in 2016.

beychbarrel 300x225 Chateau Beychevelle St. Julien Bordeaux Wine

Due to the high demand of their wine, known as the Dragon Boat wine, coupled with the rampant counterfeiting that takes place in China, Chateau Beychevelle has added anti counterfeiting measures to their bottles using the Tesa PrioSpot system. The Tesa PrioSpot method adds a unique code to each bottle that is stored in a database that allows purchasers and sellers to check for the authenticity of each bottle along with the name of the original, authorized distributor.

Chateau Beychevelle is a traditionally made and traditionally styled Bordeaux wine full of cassis, earth, spice and tobacco notes that age’s well. But the wine in most recent vintages lacks excitement. However, they took on a new wine maker to assist with Philippe Blanc, Romain Ducolomb who was previously working at Chateau Clinet in Pomerol. The first vintage for the young Romain Ducolomb is the 2012, which showed softer tannins and more ripeness. It will be interesting to see what the new team continues to add to the wine of Chateau Beychevelle.

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 19 vintages | 77949 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2013 Château Beychevelle

    1. With an earthy, sweet and sour cherry nose, this classically styled wine serves up strong notes of cherry griotte and licorice in the fresh, but austere, short finish. Blending 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot, this is the first time since 2001 the property did not use Cabernet Franc in the blend. The wine reached 13.4% alcohol. This represents 45% of the Grand Vin. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
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  2. 2012 Château Beychevelle

    1. A blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.3% alcohol with 3.82pH. The wine will be aged in 50% new French oak. Good depth of color, truffle, earth and blackberry scents come to the forefront. Soft, round and showing some nice flesh, the wine ends with fresh black and red spicy fruits. This is a nice effort for the debut vintage with their new winemaker, Romain Ducolomb. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
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  3. 2011 Château Beychevelle

    1. Medium bodied with bright cassis and cranberry fruits, herbs and is slightly austere in style, with some dryness in the bright finish. With luck, time might soften the wine.

      88 points - Tasted
    2. With lead pencil, cedar and cassis, the wine is medium bodied and tannic, ending with bright cassis and cranberry. 88-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
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  4. 2010 Château Beychevelle

    1. Much better today, than it seemed to be on release. Full bodied, soft, refined, with the structure to age and develop, with air and effort, tobacco, black cherry, forest floor, fennel and cigar box aromatics are easily found. Polished, fresh and soft, this vibrant wine will get better for years. I would wait until at least 2020 to pop a cork.

      93 points - Tasted
    2. Beychevelle A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot create a structured, masculine, four-square styled wine dominated by fresh, ripe, cassis notes. This old school style of wine will please some tasters more than it did me. 89-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
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  5. 2009 Château Beychevelle

    1. Another wine that is better today, than on release. Showing a fleshy, polished refined, round personality. with soft, silky tannins and ripe dark berries with some dark chocoalte notes, this is a refined, elegant Bordeaux that needs more time in the bottle.

      92 points - Tasted
    2. Earth, smoke, blackberry and cassis aromas lead to a full bodied wine that is slightly firm in its personality.

      91 points - Tasted
    3. 2009 Beychevelle offers spice, cedar, cassis, oak, and black raspberry aromas. Full bodied, with soft tannins, the wine ends with a dark berry finish. Beychevelle is one of the few non First Growths popular in the Asian market, in part because of the wine’s logo. The image shows a boat that was used to ferry barrels of Bordeaux. In China, the boat is called a Dragon boat, a symbol of good luck. June 16, 2010, marked the official date of the Dragon Boat festival in China. It is possible that was the same day 2009 Beychevelle was offered as a future. 90/92 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
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  6. 2008 Château Beychevelle

    1. Old school in style, the wine combines cassis, cranberry and earthy flavors. The finish has a hint of tart and green flavors along with the bright cassis sensation. Fans of old school Bordeaux wine will like this much more than I did.

      88 points - Tasted
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  7. 2006 Château Beychevelle

    1. Black raspberry, earth, spicy cassis and floral notes in the perfume are the best part of the wine. Medium bodied, almost light in style, in a good sense, this is a great example of what the British refer to as a luncheon Claret.

      90 points - Tasted
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  8. 2005 Château Beychevelle

    1. Tight, but with coaxing, aromas of dark berries, cassis, earth, spice and tobacco could be found. In personality, while well made, this medium bodied wine is a bit four square and lacks the depth and concentration found in many of its neighbor's wines. Still tannic, this blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc demands another 5-8 years before it comes out of its shell.

      90 points - Tasted
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  9. 2003 Château Beychevelle

    1. Ruby with slight bricking at the edge, jammy black raspberry, forest floor, cigar box, cedar and earthy scents create the nose. On the palate, the wine is soft, silky and offers sweet, ripe roasted black cherries and juicy plums.

      90 points - Tasted
    2. Still young, with air the wine revealed an earthy, tobacco, blackberry, forest floor nose. On the palate, the wine feels a little dry, ending with black cherries and herbs. This is a nice wine. It's well made, but it lacks the depth found in the best wines of the vintage.

      90 points - Tasted
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  10. 2001 Château Beychevelle

    1. Medium bodied, with a lean to the red berry side of the range, there is freshness, spice and earth, but not a lot of excitement in this wine.

      88 points - Tasted
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  11. 2000 Château Beychevelle

    1. The nose offers tobacco, blackberry, cassis, wet earth, cedar chest and cassis. On the palate, the wine is firm, fresh and traditional. This is well made and developing nicely, but there is a lack of excitement in the wine that would make me want to open another bottle. Tasters that prefer less ripe, lean, traditional or classic Bordeaux wine, will like this a lot more than I did.

      90 points - Tasted
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  12. 1990 Château Beychevelle

    1. With more red fruit than black fruit in the earthy aromas, this traditionally made St Julien is past full maturity. Medium bodied, soft textured and a bit four square, the wine ends with a light, black plum and cranberry finish. Drink up.

      87 points - Tasted
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  13. 1989 Château Beychevelle

    1. Dirty cherries, earth and wood. This was a one dimensional, boring wine

      88 points - Tasted
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  14. 1985 Château Beychevelle

    1. Charmless, lacking fruit and excitement expressed an austere personality.

      83 points - Tasted
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  15. 1982 Château Beychevelle

    1. Mature scents of cassis, tobacco, earth and spice were easy to spot. Full bodied and concentrated, this usually four square, structured wine offered ample pleasure. Full bodied and with ripe tannins, this charming wine showed a lot of stylish, ripe dark berries in the mouth filling finish.

      93 points - Tasted
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  16. 1978 Château Beychevelle

    1. This is a dog of a wine that never stops barking. Brown, red tint with not much fruit. Drink up if you dare.

      80 points - Tasted
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  17. 1970 Château Beychevelle

    1. Light in color, this medium bodied Bordeaux offered smoke, tobacco, earth, cassis and spice aromas. The wine ends with spice, cassis and cherry. A nice example of traditional, aged Bordeaux. However, there is no reason to hold it any longer. As light as it is, it will only drop more fruit in the future.

      85 points - Tasted
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  18. 1964 Château Beychevelle

    1. It's always nice to be surprised when a wine shows much better than expected. Beychevelle was on top of their game in the 60's and this bottle shows why. Truffle, smoke, tobacco, earth, plums and leather scent to a soft textured, medium/full bodied wine that is fully mature. The wine ends with a spice and cassis finish. This bottle was in such perfect condition, it is probably better than most examples out there to taste.

      89 points - Tasted
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  19. 1961 Château Beychevelle

    1. Tobacco, smoke, cassis, cedar wood, truffle and forest floor aromas made their presence known. Still going strong at over 50 years of age, this concentrated, classic, old school Bordeaux wine ends with a long, masculine, yet refined, cassis, earth and spice filled finish. Beychevelle was producing strong wines in the 40,s 50's and early 60's. I bought a case of this wine a few years ago and every bottle has been a pleasure to taste!

      93 points - Tasted
    2. Tobacco, cigar box, ash, gravel, cassis, forest floor and wet earth aromas keep your nose busy. Round, soft, full bodied and filled with blackberry and plums, this is one of the better buys for people seeking a Bordeaux wine from the 1961 vintage.

      90 points - Tasted
    3. Beychevelle was at one time, a more expensive wine than Ducru Beaucaillou or Gruaud Larose. This bottle showed why. Truffles, earth, tobacco, cassis, stone, and scents of roses were easy to detect. Sweet, soft, elegant and fresh in the mouth, this delightful, fully mature Bordeaux wine ended with a long cassis, spice and cold steel filled finish. This is one of the better buys for a wine from this legendary vintage.

      93 points - Tasted
    4. Light ruby with tea color. Tobacco, cedar, cassis, truffles, earth, spice and herbs start off the perfume. Full bodied, with ample concentration, the wine ended with cassis, spice, blackberry and tart dark cherry finish. This was a surprise aas I was not expecting much. It’s always great when you expect the worse from a bottle, and you end up with a great tasting experience that was much better than anticipated.

      90 points - Tasted
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