chateau beychevelle 4eme cru classe, saint-julien 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.