This morning the powerhouse Chateau Beychevelle has released for £650 per case of 12, or £325 per case of six. This reflects a 4.1% pound reduction on last year’s release price. However, Beychevelle is loved by European collectors, yet since 2008 demand has been perennially electric, with the Dragon-boat-esque label making it a darling in Asia. Therefore, the demand is such that it performs magnificently from barrel to bottle. Since the 2005 vintage, Beychevelle has returned on average 85% since its barrel release price. Focusing on recent years the 2014 has risen 87%, the 2015, 50% and the 2016 already 21% since its en primeur release. As such, today’s release means the 2017 has been released at a 21% discount to the 2016’s trading price, 18% below the 2015’s and 15% below the similar scoring 2014. Moreover, the average trading price of the last 12 vintages, running form 2005 onwards is £860, as such the 2017 has been released at a 26% discount to this average trading price.
In 2017, Beychevelle has been awarded 90-92 points from the Wine Advocate, Lisa Perrotti-Brown says that it ‘opens with gregarious cassis and blackberry pie notes with touches of baking spices and underbrush plus a waft of lavender’. Neal Martin also awards it 90-92 points; ‘The palate is medium-bodied with sweet black cherry and boysenberry fruit, and plenty of crushed violet.’ Antonio Galloni who has awarded it 92-95 points says ‘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.’ James Suckling has awarded it 93-94, a point less than in 2016. This is a fine Beychevelle, it is very much in line with the 2014. While the 2017 does not hit the staggering heights of the 96-98 Wine Advocate score, it is close behind the 2015 and we can expect it to hit its upper limit of all tasting scores. Today’s release price therefore promises around 32% upside in the short-term. Leaving plenty on the table for collectors this is a ‘strong buy’, a shining light in what has been tepid campaign so far. We expect this to sell out globally by end of play today.
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.
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