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Chateau Beychevelle, Saint Julien, Bordeaux - 2016

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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.

"The 2016 Beychevelle has a stunning bouquet of vibrant, shimmering blackberry and wild strawberry fruit laced with crushed stone and rose petals. The well-balanced palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a slightly savory/dried blood finish that lingers in the mouth. Tasting both in London and in Bordeaux, I found the latter bottle to have a little more precision and race on the finish. This will surely be a benchmark for this Saint Julien estate. Drink 2023-2055."

94 Points Neal Martin