With its distinctive label of a sailing boat, Beychevelle is a Bordeaux that is popular the world over. Always one of the most forward and "user-friendly" of the Saint Julien classed growths, this is a wine that is usually made to give relatively early drinking pleasure rather than to win academic blind tastings. We have noticed a significant step-up in quality in recent vintages. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is low for the Northern Medoc and there is always a high percentage of Merlot in the final blend. Always polished and supple, it is in huge demand in China where it is known as "Dragon Boat Wine". The vineyard is 78 hectares.
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Beychevelle has a fragrant, floral nose with warm cassis, preserved plums and Morello cherries plus earth, herbs and cinnamon touches. Medium-bodied, it has lovely expression with firm, fine grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. The wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, 60% new and 40% second fill. The final blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Fifty-two percent of the production was dedicated to the grand vin, with 240,000 bottles produced. 2022 - 2042
The 2017 Beychevelle was, atypically for the vintage, quite ostentatious from barrel. Not in bottle! It has retained an atypical rich and generous bouquet that you could almost mistake for the following vintage with scents of red cherries, boysenberry, hints of crème de cassis and violet. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and fine acidity. It feels a little compact at the moment although I admire its focus. Picking at straws, it just feels abrupt on the finish, scrapers out of the exit door a bit too hastily. As such, this is a good Beychevelle, but not one of the best in recent years. Tasted twice with consistent notes. 2022 - 2040
The 2017 Beychevelle was cropped at 54hl/ha between 18 September and 3 October, matured in around 60% new oak with 13.4° alcohol. It has a very ripe blueberry, almost iodine-scented bouquet that is much more extroverted than its peers (like the 2016 last year.) The palate is medium-bodied with sweet black cherry and boysenberry fruit, and plenty of crushed violet. The palate is ripe and succulent; a sweet core of blue and black fruit here although perhaps its neighbor across the road, Branaire Ducru, displays a little more terroir at this early stage. Maybe that is because of the saignée? I would just like to see a little more restraint come through in bottle while I noticed greater precision developing during the 30 minutes the sample spent in my glass. Drink 2021-2040.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Beychevelle opens with gregarious cassis and blackberry pie notes with touches of baking spices and underbrush plus a waft of lavender. Medium-bodied with a great core of ripe black fruits, it has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and balancing freshness, finishing long. The final blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4 Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Aromas of flowers, berries and light cedar with some milk-chocolate undertones. Medium body. Creamy tannins and a firm, caressing finish. Shows tension and focus. Better after 2022.
Very fine tannins already with a solid core of blackberry and blueberry character. Hints of flowers. Full-bodied, well-integrated and tight, not to mention fresh and long.
The 2017 Beychevelle is a luscious, extroverted beauty. An exotic mélange of super-ripe dark cherry, red plum, pomegranate, espresso, licorice and blood orange build as this potent, unctuous Saint-Julien opens up in the glass. The tannins need time to soften but should not be much of an issue in another few years' time. I very much like the push and pull of ripeness and energy in the 2017. In a word: memorable. Tasted two times. 2025 - 2047
The 2017 Beychevelle is absolutely gorgeous. Creamy and beautifully layered on the palate, Beychevelle exudes exotic richness in its ripe red/purplish berry fruit. Even though the 2017 is rather flamboyant in style, it retains quite a bit of brightness to play off its more extroverted leanings. Beychevelle was impressive on the several times I tasted it.
Deep crimson with purple rim. Tangy, slightly wild black fruit, more bramble than cassis. Smooth, rounded and rather gentle but still persistent. Supple tannins already, though they may be deceptive.
Tasted blind. Deep ruby colour. Very floral and fragrant fruit. High toned. Succulent entry, quite polished and fleshy. Full array of fruit and fresh, vibrant acidity. The tannins are fine but firm, offering excellent structure against the fruit. This is approachable and easy to like.
Drink 2024 – 2037
2017 was the second vintage to be produced in the impressive new winery here. Yields were good in 2017 but a strict selection process has led to more second wine being produced than is normal. The breakdown of the grand vin is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Bright ruby colour with blueberry, wood smoke and vanilla on the nose, which is open and enticing. The palate is soft, with plush and polished tannins framing a core of cassis fruit and sweet oak flavours. This is not the most profound wine, but it has superb texture and a very moreish flavour profile. The softness suggests it will be drinkable at a younger stage than most St Juliens, which is certainly a good thing in this vintage, to enjoy the floral, juicy purity of the fruit.
The black fruits on the nose are firm and fresh the start of the palate tight but it opens up in the middle with fleshy ripe fruit. Firm at the back the finish is quite tight. Drink 2025-2036.
This is a fine expression of St-Julien, with extremely pretty aromatics and brambly, juicy black fruits that remain soft and persistent through the palate, with the tiniest hint of acidity tightening the tannins. It's not as expressive as in 2016, but that was exceptional, though this is certainly a wine to recommend in 2017.
Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
A super-fragrant Beychevelle with bright Merlot fruit very much in evidence. Lovely and pure and silky, with little aggression on the finish, this is already a very harmonious wine with buoyancy and charm. There is some spice and warmth on the finish, which gives some richness but all in all this is a forward and luscious wine.