This morning we are delighted to release one of the most exciting wines of the campaign, the stunning Beychevelle. In 2018 it has produced one of its finest ever wines, awarded 94-96+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the Wine Advocate. She describes it as enveloping ‘Black Forest cake, potpourri, star anise and black tea scents over a core of black raspberries, warm blackcurrants and kirsch with touches of fallen leaves and lavender…it has a firm, velvety texture and fantastic freshness lifting the very long, perfumed finish. Beautiful!’ We agree, it is a Beychevelle for the ages, set to surpass even the 2016, which was a new high-point in this great Estate’s history. Antonio Galloni agrees whole heartedly awarding it 93-96 points; ‘an exceptional, utterly vivid wine…spectacularly ripe Saint-Julien…exotic, flamboyant and full-throttle, not to mention absolutely stunning. The high presence of Merlot in the blend gives Beychevelle much of its sensuality. What a wine!’
Beychevelle has huge global demand and has long been a favourite wine of European collectors, yet in recent years the Dragon-boat-esque label has made it a darling in Asia. The demand for what could be its finest ever vintage will be enormous. Today’s release price of £718 per case of 12, or £359 per case of six, is unmissable, offering not only a 15% discount to the current trading price of the 2015 and the 2016, but a 18% discount to the average trading price of Beychevelle running back to 2015. In fact, the Price Over Points Ratio (POP) of 46 reflects the discount to market on release, offering a huge value play. Moreover, running back to 2005, vintages of Beychevelle have increased on average 94% since their barrel release. It is a wine to buy perennially, to ensure one retains an allocation and the 2018 is a fabulous exemplar for this great Estate.
Chateau Beychevelle has one of the richest histories in the Médoc, its roots can be traced back to the 14th Century when a feudal castle belonging to the Foix family occupied the site. The property passed to the husband of Marguerite de Foix-Candale, the Duc d’Epernon in 1587. The Duc was heavily involved in politics and was even in a coach next to Henri III when he was assassinated. He also became an Admiral of France which indirectly led to the name Beychevelle being used for the wine produced on the Estate. Due to the Duc’s position, ships passing on the Gironde close to the Estate were required to lower their sails as a salute, therefore, Beychevelle is a corruption of Baisse-Voile meaning lower sail.
Chateau Beychevelle’s reputation began to flourish under the innovative and respected Pierre-François Guestier, leading to Fifth Growth status in 1855 despite never being mentioned in any of the previous unofficial classifications of Bordeaux. After the death of M. Guestier in 1874 the property was sold to Armand Heine and upon the death of his wife passed to his son-in-law M. Achille-Fould. The Achille-Fould’s were prominent in French politics during the early 20th Century, however, after a period of neglect, the Estate was sold to the French pension fund, GMF in the 1980s who proceeded to sell 40% to a Japanese group. It was under this corporate ownership that much needed investment was made in the Estate and the wines of Beychevelle began to return to the glory years last seen in the 19th Century.
The Chateau at Beychevelle is one of the finest buildings in the Médoc, built during the 18th Century in the style of Louis XV, it commands stunning views of the vineyards and perfectly manicured flowerbeds. Beychevelle is situated in the south-east of St Julien near the village and is known for powerful wines with extreme concentrations of blackcurrant and cassis.