The vineyards of Beychevelle are legendary. The best-known story is of the Admiral of France who ordered that all ships passing his château should lower their sail as a sign of allegiance. Philippe Blanc, the current head of this quintessentially elegant 'Versailles of the Médoc', with its park in the traditional French style, strives to make every year of this Classed Growth better than the one before, working alongside Technical Director Romain Ducolomb.
The September rains were a welcome surprise, boosting the ripeness levels of the berries and allowing for a copious harvest. They also caused a certain amount of dilution, which has made for a more restrained vintage, in comparison to last year. "We are very proud of the run of vintages we have had since 2014," remarks Philippe. The new winery, first used in 2016, has certainly helped ensure this success: these facilities, at the cutting edge of precision vinification, have helped improve quality.
The Beychevelle terroir always has the last word: it creates wines of consummate elegance. "The land has much more power than the people who make the wines," maintains Philippe. "Even when we make choices, we have to recognise that they come from our terroir." As Erik Orsenna wrote, "wine is liquid geography!" - and Blanc is in full agreement.
Surface : 250 hectares of which 90 planted with vines
Soils : deep Garonne gravel
Grapes : 62% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 5% cabernet franc, 2% petit verdot
Vine density : 10 000 vines/hectare
Age of vines : 28 ans
Production : 40 to 50 000 cases
Maturing : 18 months in oak barrels, half of which are renewed every year