Classification: Fourth Growth (4ème Cru Classé)
Château Beychevelle is one of the most beautiful properties of Bordeaux and is in St Julien, immediately opposite Château Branaire Ducru. The imposing Château dates back to the 17th century and has a baroque feel to it. The 175 acres of vines are located in the far south of Saint Julien just outside the hamlet of Saint Julien Beychevelle and the Château is less than a mile away from the River Gironde. The Château takes its name from the French “Baisse-Vaille” which means “lower sails” as the Château once belonged to the French Grand Admiral Jean-Louis Nogaret de la Valette. The galleons lowered their sails as they passed the Château in homage to him and the label symbolises this by depicting a ship with sails lowered. The Château's emblem is a ship with a prow in the shape of a griffin guarding the door of Dionysus' cellar.
Today the Château is owned by the Grands Millésimes de France (GMF), the French Civil Servants' Pension Fund and the Japanese group Suntory, who also own nearby Château Lagrange. With new ownership came new investment, and in recent vintages this has been evident as improved quality in the finished product. Château Beychevelle's vineyards are planted with 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and lie on beds of deep Garonne gravel.
Château Beychevelle is renowned for its suppleness, smoothness and its rich, and sometimes chocolatey character. It was previously known as a very delicate wine but has become richer and more full flavoured due to more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. The best examples from Château Beychevelle vintages are powerful and concentrated, with a trace of sweetness from the ripe Cabernet grapes and can age effortlessly.
Château Website: www.beychevelle.com
Oenologist: J Boissenot