Built in the 17th century, reconstructed by the
marquis de Brassier in 1757 and extended by the Heine family at the end of the
19th century. Classical in its lines, the imposing facade, topped with a
majestic triangular pediment and with wings on each side, is embellished with
volutes and vases that give it an exuberantly baroque appearance. Château
Beychevelle has recently been restored to its original splendor. In 1984, a large number of shares in the estate were sold to Grands Millésimes de France (GMF), the French Civil Servants' Pension Fund. GMF subsequently bought all the remaining shares, and sold 40% on to Japanese group Suntory, who had already purchased nearby Chateau Lagrange in 1983. With new ownership came new investment, and in recent vintages this has been evident as improved quality in the finished product.
classified growth of Saint-Julien owes its first-rate reputation to the
particularly charming character of its wine. St. Julien, the smallest of the
four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted,
finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the
north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in
this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru
Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by
Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St.
Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru
Beychevelle's 85 hectares of vineyards are located in the far south of the St-Julien
appellation, just outside the hamlet of St-Julien-Beychevelle. The wine is
typically a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and
4% Petit Verdot. It is matured in oak barrels (50-60% new) for 18 months. Its
label depicts a beautiful galley with a large sail, as a consequence of its
ownership in the 16th century by the Duc d`Eperon, Admiral of France at the
time. The expression "Baisse-Vaille", meaning "lower sails", later evolved into
the name Beychevelle.
The grand vin is Chateau Beychevelle, there is a second wine Amiral de Beychevelle, as well as an AC Haut-Médoc made from a few vineyard plots bordering St Julien, Brulières de Beychevelle.
Chateau Beychevelle 2003 Bordeaux
“Medium to full-bodied with loads of fruit and glycerin, it is much more
approachable than usual, but also generously proportioned and
exceptionally well-balanced. Beautifully situated estate in St.-Julien, we might be seeing a resurrection in quality, or at least much more consistency. A beauty in an up-front, supple, sexy style is the generous and savory, dark ruby / plum-colored 2003 Beychevelle.”
Rated 90, Robert Parker
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