The 2022 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse was picked on 6-9 September for the Merlot and 23 for the Cabernet Franc, representing the highest percentage to date. It was cropped at 42hL/ha with 14.9% alcohol and a pH of 3.5.
Aged in 68% new oak, it has a delicate nose that completely disguises summer’s warmth. Precise redcurrant and raspberry fruit aromas are laced with minerals. The limestone soils percolate and evince the estate’s style under Joséphine Duffau Lagarrosse. It seems to deepen, to “stretch out” with aeration, manifesting more darker fruit.
The palate is medium-bodied, mineral-driven and almost pastille-like in terms of purity with its mélange of red and blue fruit and granular texture. Background notes of tobacco and black truffle begin to surface with time. There’s just a trace of white pepper on the finish.
Precise, focused and with plenty of substance, this is a characterful and intellectually satisfying Duffau. Most importantly, not only will it be flippin’ delicious, but you will get the sense that Joséphine is only just getting started.
Drink 2030 - 2065
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse is an elegant, supremely polished wine. It is also an infant, yet the pedigree is easy to see. Bright red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint, chalk, and white pepper lend aromatic brilliance to this understated, classy Saint-Émilion. Clean saline notes extend the finish effortlessly. I can’t wait to taste this from bottle.
Drink 2030 - 2052
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2023)
Just so good, with so much uplift, direction and power, with vivid violet reflections to the ruby-coloured fruit. Intense and concentrated on the opening, then a soaring limestone juice comes in through the mid-palate, with the whole thing showing precision and character. A jumbled, joyful mix of blueberry, cassis, peony, roses, pumice stone and slate limestone, cocoa bean and coffee, showing real depth and seduction.
This is always one of the wines that lean into the limestone character, and you feel the full impact in this hot year. Old vines are 45 years old on average. Stopped all punch down during fermentation; now, only soft pump-overs and infusion. Axel Marchal and Julien Viaud consultants. The highest Cabernet Franc percentage in the estate's history and a full 40hl/h yield of 3.5ph. Potential 100.
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com (May 2023)
The 2022 Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse) promises to be the finest wine this superb limestone terroir has produced in at least several decades. In recent years, the site's quality always shone through, but it was sometimes obscured by an impactful vinification and élevage (plenty of creamy new oak and malolactic fermentation in barrel).
Much of the estate's Cabernet Franc was frequently eliminated from the blend. Joséphine Duffau Lagarrosse has changed that, incorporating fully 31% Cabernet Franc in the blend to deliver a complex and compelling wine evocative of wild berries, plums, rose petals and violets.
Medium to full-bodied, pure and vibrant, it's supple and layered, with beautifully refined tannins, terrific depth at the core and a long, chalky finish.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
A beautiful and enticing red with blackberry, hazelnut, dried flower, spice and berry character. It’s full yet poised with finesse and richness while also being bright and energetic. Precise.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2023)
One of the clear standouts of the vintage! A sensual, fun, salivating and sublime wine from winemaker Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse that gives such generosity, power, terroir markers and overall drinkability. Aromatic, scented, open and expressive with cherries, blackcurrants, purple flowers and crushed stones.
Sleek and supple, sharp, tangy acidity and concentrated ripe fruit - it’s forward and intense, direct but defined and detailed. Fine and supportive tannins have a bite and a mineral tang, putting you squarely in St-Emilion on limestone.
Raw and wild in a way, but so expressive and open - honest and just such a captivating wine that belies the heat of the vintage with its cool menthol, blue fruits and lifted finish. Streamlined and focussed, sustained, determined and characterful - sleek in the best way, this is confident but not showy. Succulent, classy, polished. A brilliant wine.
3.5pH. A yield of 42hl/ha. Harvest 6 - 9 September for Merlot and 23 September for Cabernet Franc.
Drink 2026 - 2048
Georgina Hindle, Decanter.com (April 2023)
The 2022 Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) looks to be another brilliant wine from this incredible terroir located just outside the village of Saint-Emilion.
Based on 69% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Franc resting in 68% new oak, it sports a dense purple hue as well as a floral, intense bouquet of cassis, liquid violets, black cherries, truffly earth, and graphite. Hitting 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.5, it’s full-bodied and has a pure, layered, opulent mouthfeel and just about perfect tannins.
There’s a little bit more clay in the soils at this estate (there’s still plenty of limestone) which gives the wines plenty of power and richness, and the 2022 holds onto a beautiful sense of elegance.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)
About this WINE
Ch. Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse
Château Beauséjour héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is a 6.8-hectare jewel long recognised for the quality of its terroir; it has been a Premier Grand Cru Classé B since the first St Emilion classification. Almost half the vineyard sits atop the appellation’s limestone plateau, another half extends down onto the côtes. This was once part of a larger estate along with what is now Château Beau-Séjour Bécot.
In 2020, the estate was put up for sale. There were many bidders; the French authorities were called upon to oversee the final decision. Ultimately, members of the Duffau-Lagarrosse family bid successfully, in tandem with the owners of the Clarins beauty group.
The estate is today led by Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse and Prisca Courtin-Clarins, both of whom are in their early 30s. They took the reins with the 2021 vintage, following the acclaimed stewardship of Nicolas Thienpont and his team.
St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank.
St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel.
Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol. Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.
In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices. The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.
St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012
Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grape varieties commonly used in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in the Bordeaux region of France. When these two grapes are blended, they can create a wine that combines the best characteristics of each variety.
Merlot is known for its smoothness, soft tannins, and ripe fruit flavours. It often contributes black cherry, plum, and chocolate flavours to the blend. The grapes are relatively easy to grow and ripen earlier than other Bordeaux varieties, making them versatile for blending.
Cabernet Franc, on the other hand, adds structure, depth, and complexity to the blend. It typically brings aromas of red fruits such as raspberry and strawberry, along with herbal notes like bell pepper and tobacco. These grapes have thinner skins and can be more challenging to cultivate, requiring specific growing conditions to reach their full potential.
When Merlot and Cabernet Franc are combined, the result is a well-balanced wine with various flavours and aromas. The blend often exhibits a Bordeaux wine's medium to full body, along with a smooth texture and moderate tannins. The specific flavour profile can vary depending on the proportions of each grape in the blend and the terroir and winemaking techniques employed.