The Château Beychevelle 2014 is a blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 51% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. You might notice the high percentage of Merlot. This is because of the flowering, decisions made during blending and the low yield of the Cabernet Sauvignon. It was cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare between 25 September and 14 October during what the estate recorded as the driest September since 1961. That Merlot governs the aromatics here, the fruit clearly towards the red side of the fruit spectrum: cranberry and wild strawberry, almost Right Bank in style. The palate is ripe and fleshy, nicely defined with tensile tannins. I appreciate the nascent harmony here, with fine precision and a long sustained finish with fine salinity. You could argue that pinning your hopes on Merlot when so many others proselytize Cabernet Sauvignon was a risk however, in this showing it was a risk that was worth taking. "Pomerol does Saint Julien" perhaps? It seems to work on what may be the most seductive Beychevelle for years.
Score: 91/93, Neal Martin,
Wine Advocate (218), April 2015