2023 Château Beauséjour, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2023 Château Beauséjour, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20238012270
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2023 Château Beauséjour, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Blend: 70% Merlot; 30% Cabernet Franc.

This is a really elegant showing; Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse has gone from strength to strength in her three-year tenure. The nose is incredibly perfumed, brimming with crushed violets, sweet spices and fresh red and black fruit. The tannins are incredibly fine grained. The texture is particularly refined, showing the impeccable craftsmanship that has gone into this wine. There is a lot of balance here, with bright fruit peppered with flashes of aniseed, myrrh and vegetal spice, seamlessly woven together to make a really excellent wine.

Drink 2030 - 2047

Our score: 18.5/20

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson98/100

Somehow manages to feel understated and yet hard to ignore, with its vivid aromatic spirals of peonies and crushed rose petals, set against raspberry and brambled autumnal fruits. The mid palate is what really grips you here, with a flashy but extremely pure shot of liquorice root, liquorice bud, aniseed and fennel. Slows things down through the palate with pumice stone grainy tannins, and contrasts the concentration of 2022 at this estate with balance and finisse. Harvest September 13 to October 3, Axel Marchal and Julien Viaud consultants. There will be a new wine cellar ready for the harvest of 2024, more concrete vats (from 9 currently up tp 15). Camille de Vigneau the technical director with Josephine Duffau Lagarrosse. Brilliant winemaking, one of the wines of the vintage. 60% new oak.

Drink 2030 - 2045

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous94-96/100

The 2023 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse was picked from September 13 to 29 for the Merlot and October 2 and 3 for the Cabernet Franc at 46h:/ha. It matured in 61% new oak. This is the last vintage to be made in the old vat room, the new one due to be completed in July. Allowing the barrel sample five minutes to open, it has a very succinct bouquet, predominantly red fruit with light loamy and crushed stone aromas, a touch of wilted rose petal in the background. The palate is very fresh on the entry with finely chiseled tannins. There is a lot of mineralité here deriving from the vineyard's limestone terroir, and the tongue tingles in the mouth (not unlike actually licking limestone!) Quite linear, chalky and tensile toward the finish, this is a finely tuned and complex wine that is in the similar style of, say, Canon. It's not as audacious as the previous vintage, but potentially more cerebral.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous92-95/100

The 2023 Beauséjour-Duffau is a powerful, resonant wine. In this early tasting, it does not feel totally put-together, but this sample shows good depth and plenty of potential. The 2023 is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, more Franc than in the past. That choice lends gorgeous aromatic presence, but also more structure. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow.

Drink 2030 - 2053

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW96-98/100

The 2023 Beausejour (formerly Beausejour Duffau-Lagarrosse but since 2021 simply named Beausejour) is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. It is ageing in 60 % new oak barrels and it has a pH of 3.41. The color is a deep garnet-purple and after a swirl or two, it rockets out of the glass with intense scents of redcurrants, Bing cherries, and fresh blackberries, giving way to an undercurrent of candied violets, fragrant soil, and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is a very tightly wound coil of red berry, mineral, and earthy flavors, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and great tension, finishing long and perfumed. Gorgeous!

Drink 2029 - 2050

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2024)

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Wine Advocate96-98/100

Joséphine Duffau Lagarrosse's third vintage at this terrific hillside terroir is her most impressive to date. The 2023 Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse) offers up aromas of black raspberries, mulberries, violets, spices and incense, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate that's seamless, suave and concentrated, with lively acids, beautiful purity of fruit and a long, mineral, gently balsamic finish. It's a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, picked on nine days between September 13 and October 3. Duffau Lagarrosse's work on oak selection (she favors Burgundy's cooperage Cadus, among others) has delivered much more seamless integration at this early stage, and her attentive approach to extraction is already bearing fruit in the form of tannins that are more polished and refined than was formerly the case at this address. It's a brilliant effort from a property with almost limitless potential.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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Wine Spectator95-96/100

The purity of fruit is impressive here, with raspberry, blueberry and mineral character. It’s so precise and focused with medium body and lovely length.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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A stellar wine from this newly-named Château Beauséjour estate (removing the Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse). Herbal and dark fruit on the nose, blackcurrant with cocoa powder, liquorice, some exotic spices as well as purple floral notes, peonies and roses. Juicy supple and alive in the glass, this has lift and get-go from the start, super clean and precise with a lovely bite and grip to the tannins. Fine and chalky, mouthfilling, so you get the ample structure but keeps its direction and flow. Power is there for sure, which some 2023s don’t have, but this is also elegant and so precise. The flavour also really lingers. This has a vertical aspect, layered with muscle and fine sinew. Juicy and succulent, pure and moreish - really makes you want another sip and somehow feels approachable already. Balanced and delicious. Consultants Julien Viaud and Axel Marchal. 46hl/ha yield. 3.4pH. Ageing 14-16 months, 60% new oak. 70% grand vin.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck93-95/100

The Grand Vin 2023 Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) is based on 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc that was harvested from the 13th of September to the 3rd of October. Vinified all in concrete, the élevage here will span 14-16 months in 60% new French oak. It brings a richer, slightly darker style with ripe currants, leafy herbs, tobacco, and smoky nuances. These carry to a medium-bodied Saint-Emilion with beautiful overall balance, a juicy, vibrant, layered style, ripe tannins, and terrific yet integrated acidity (pH 3.4). It reminds me of the 2001 from this château and will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and evolve gracefully.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Château Beauséjour

Château Beauséjour

Château Beauséjour 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 Émilion 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.

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St Émilion

St Émilion

St Émilion 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 Émilion 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 Émilion, 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 Émilion 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

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Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Merlot/Cabernet Franc

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.

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