2018 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Saint-Emilion
The Collective Review
One of the absolute rising stars of the Gironde and a new benchmark Saint-Emilion. The previous 2015 vintage was chosen as one of Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines. Michel Rolland was a previous consultant, now the reigns have been taken over by Thomas Duclot.
Located immediately in the west of the magical town of Saint-Émilion on the Saint-Martin de Mazerat limestone plateau, Beau-Séjour Bécot is in the heart of the appellation.
The estate has been devoted to winemaking since the Gallo-Roman period. In 1787, General Jacques de Carles, wishing to commemorate for all time the pleasure that he enjoyed staying there, named the estate "Beau-Séjour" (meaning "lovely stay").
In 1969, Michel Bécot acquired the ChÂteau and brought the area under vine up to 18.50 hectares thanks to the purchase of neighbouring vineyard plots with the same terroir. He also turned seven hectares of former underground limestone quarries into a storage cellar where tens of thousands of bottles age under ideal conditions. His work in improving and embellishing the estate went on until his retirement in 1985. His two sons, Gérard and Dominique, have followed in their father's footsteps while introducing numerous technical innovations to both the cellars and the vineyard.
Only the ripest, healthiest grapes are now harvested, and then sorted one by one. Gérard's daughter, Juliette, started working at the ChÂteau in 2001 in order to market wines from the family estate.
Juicy and forward in feel, with fresh plum, blackberry and anise notes. Dense, but still silky and refined in feel, revealing a long mineral echo through the finish. This is so pure, it seems almost too easy to drink already, just as you realize how ridiculously long it is.' Read more
Juicy and forward in feel, with fresh plum, blackberry and anise notes. Dense, but still silky and refined in feel, revealing a long mineral echo through the finish. This is so pure, it seems almost too easy to drink already, just as you realize how ridiculously long it is.'
Just when I was sure the 2016 Beau-Sejour Becot was the best wine ever produced at the property, along comes the 2018! Deep in color, the wine shows a strong floral and mint accent with dark chocolate, black plums and even darker cherries. This is the highest level of concentration experienced with their wine, but it is also remarkably energetic. There is lift, vibrancy, minerality and multiple platforms of fleshy, opulent, sensual ripe, dark pit fruits. The silky finish coats your mouth with flavor and the essence of pure fruit. This is perfectly balanced between power and sensuality. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, aging in a combination of 65% new, French oak with 35% of the wine raised in amphora and used oak casks. The Merlot was harvested from September 12-25 and the Cabernet's was picked between October 4 and October 10. '
The 2018 Beau-Séjour Bécot is fabulous. Dense, rich and explosive, the 2018 has it all. Soaring aromatics and a huge spine of tannin give the 2018 its regal contours. The 2018 was barreled down late, and it is still coming together, especially in its aromatics, but its potential is evident. A wine of tremendous character and personality Beau-Séjour Bécot dazzles in 2018. It is an utterly captivating Saint-Émilion from Juliette Bécot and Julien Barthe, along with their consulting winemaker Thomas Duclos.'
The 2018 Beau-Sejour Becot is composed of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot was harvested on September 12-25, and the Cabernet varieties were harvested on October 4, 5 and 10. Yields were 46 hectoliters per hectare, and it is anticipated that the wine will age for 16 months. Sixty-five percent of the wine will be matured in new barriques, while 35% will be aged in vats, amphorae and large oak casks of 20-hectoliter capacity. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bold, expressive notions of stewed plums, blackberry pie and Black Forest cake with nuances of menthol, mocha, molten licorice and wild sage plus a waft of lavender. Full-bodied, the palate is laden with latent energy, offering slow-releasing glimpses at dark, seductive berry preserves layers and vibrant earthy accents, framed by firm, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.'
A very fresh and beautiful wine with extremely fine tannins that melt nicely into the pure fruit. Medium to full body. Crisp and very fruity. Wonderful finish that lasts for minutes. It grows in stature at the end.'
This is the first vintage to be entirely overseen by Juliet Bécot, as her uncle and father have begun their retirement. New technical director Jean de Cournuaud joined the team, and it's the second year working with consultant Thomas Duclos. The changes that this team are bringing in are clear. There's a beautiful delicacy here that balances the creaminess and fleshy texture of the fruit. The aromatics gather pace in the glass while the tannins are plentiful but not heavy, serving to emphasise the minerality, slate and stunning rosemary and white pepper edge. Like some other estates in 2018, this was the longest harvest ever here, beginning on 12 September and continuing for one month, yielding 50hl/ha. There were no whole-bunch fermentation trials this time (as in 2017), as they didn't want to risk the stalks not being ripe enough. They used infusion rather than pumping over, yet the tannin count is 75IPT, showing the natural power of the vintage. It's a wine that seems to be ready to age with real grace. A mix of amphorae, 20hl Stockinger casks and 225l barrels will be used.'