Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2019
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot is a fantastic example of a fleshy, hedonistic, and powerful expression of Saint-Émilion terroir. Château Beau-Séjour Bécot is owned by the Becot family who has overseen the trajectory of this property for many a generation. This esteemed producer is now a Saint-Émilion Grand Crus Classés Class B estate and shares this title with exalted properties like Château Valandraud. But the road to success wasn’t always smooth sailing for this impeccable property. Château Beau-Séjour Bécot did lose its classification in 1986 because of a family decision to merge the vineyards with other holdings. But the Becot family are vignerons, and a determined group of individuals. They hired the incredibly gifted oenologist and consultant Michel Rolland to help them attain their classification once more. Within ten years’ time, the property’s classification was restored – a triumph.
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot boasts a long and interesting history in the Right Bank. Vines on the grounds were first cultivated by the ancient Romans who recognized the promise of its terroir over 2,000 years ago. If one is fortunate enough to visit the grounds of this property, they will find stone ruins scattered amongst the vines to prove this. Subsequently, the property then was owned by the Monks of the Saint Martin Abbey in Saint-Émilion, who tended diligently to the vines and the vines of Château Canon as well. In 1787, with the help of Carles de Figeac, Jacques de Carles named this property Château Beau-Séjour, which meant something along the lines of, “beautiful resting place.”
The property changed hands many times until the Becot family took over the property and managed it for many generations. In 1979, the family made the decision to merge their vineyards which led to the demotion of the property. Château Beau-Séjour Bécot was still producing excellent wines in spite of this violation, and Michel Rolland vouched for the estate’s legitimacy to the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. Despite the support, the Becot family would have to wait until the Classification was re-evaluated ten years later. In that period, they worked tirelessly and made many upgrades to the viticultural process including harvesting at peak ripeness, lowering yields, using New Oak, and other practices to create a richly concentrated and hedonistic wine. Robert Parker was known to have sung many praises for this estate’s wines, and eventually when the reevaluation took place Château Beau-Séjour Bécot was promoted without question. The property received the high honor among the top estates in Saint-Émilion.
The terroir here is home to the traditional limestone that is associated with the appellation, and there are plenty of labyrinthian tunnels and quarries that run beneath the estate. The vines at Château Beau-Séjour Bécot are a bit older and are typically 45 years old. Merlot is clearly the star of the show in this wine, and it is interspersed with the lively varietal Cabernet Franc for added dimension and complexity. The wine does require 10-15 years in bottle prior to being enjoyed, and they are very much worth the wait.
"Rich plum colour. This takes its time to open, is pretty subtle at first, but then explodes in juicy fruit. Clear salinity where you can feel the slate scrape of the limestone terroir, alongside well expressed aromatics with touches of peony flowers. Elegant and succulent. Second vintage with Jean de Cournuaud as technical director. A yield of 46hl/ha. 65% new oak, with a mix of barrels and 20hl casks. 3.77pH. Harvest 18-21 September, with all the Merlots in 3.5 days instead of the usual 11 days (and in fact stretched over one month in 2018), with just 20 minutes from picking to vat. Thomas Duclos consultant." - Decanter Rating: 96
|Château Beau-Séjour Bécot