2023 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2023 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20238109815
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2023 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Blend: 77% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2023 season was the second warmest at the property in 100 years. The blend has the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc, thanks to replanting efforts at the property. Julien alluded that 2023 was a heterogenous vintage, with each wine telling a slightly different story. However, the story at Beausejour Bécot was triumphant. The vibrant bouquet is expressive with sour cherry, crushed strawberry and rose petal notes. The limestone terroir is palpable on the palate with superb tension, well-defined fruit and fine, chalky tannins. Juliette and Julien Bécot have delivered another superb expression.

Drink 2028 - 2045

Our score: 17.5/20 

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson95/100

Ruby red, glass staining, peony and violet flowers on the aromatics, plush velvety tannins that cushion plump damson and pomegranate fruits through to a juicy salinity on the finish. Estate identity in full effect here, shot through with the sheer pleasure of limestone, harvest September 7 to 28 for the Merlot, with Cabernet Franc through to October 4. 39hl/h yield. 55% new oak for ageing. First year in the new cellar, Jean de Cournuaud technical director.

Drink 2030 - 2045

Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2024)

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Neal Martin, Vinous92-94/100

The 2023 Beau-Séjour Bécot has the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc to date after the introduction of vines planted with a north-south orientation eight years ago, from a massal selection. The Merlot was picked from September 7 until October 4, a long harvest. It underwent a ten-day cold pre-fermentation to fix the aromatics and enhance volume, then it was matured in 55% new oak—25% one-year old and 20% foudres. It has a crisp, well-defined bouquet with lifted red cherry, wild strawberry and crushed limestone aromas. This is classy and complex. The palate is medium-bodied with sapid red fruit, fine acidity and moderate grip. The texture is slightly chalky and reminds me of Troplong Mondot, which is no surprise given the similarities in their respective terroirs. Just a touch of salinity surfaces on the finish. This is a sophisticated and quite cerebral Saint-Émilion that should age with style.

Drink 2028 - 2050

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-98/100

The 2023 Beau-Séjour Bécot is fabulous. Rich, opulent and explosive to the core, the 2023 offers up a heady mélange of dark red/purplish fruit, spice, lavender, rose petal, blood orange and bright saline notes. As always, Cabernet Franc plays an important role in shaping the aromatic and flavor profile. The 2023 is an absolute stunner. It’s the first vintage made in the new cellar. That's of course not enough of a track record to make any definitive assessments, but in the 2023, I see a wine with more aromatic presence, greater precision and more refined tannins than any recent vintage I can recall. In a word: magnificent. Tasted two times.

Drink 2031 - 2053

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (April 2024)

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW95-97+/100

A blend of 77% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2023 Beau-Sejour Becot has a pH of 3.5. It is ageing in 55% new oak barriques, 20% one-year-old barrels, and 25% in a mix of amphorae and 20 hl oak casks. It has a deep garnet-purple color and comes galloping out of the glass with notes of crushed plums, black raspberries, and Morello cherries, opening out to a delicate undercurrent of garrigue, crushed rocks, violets, cranberry sauce, and pencil shavings. The medium-bodied palate is breathtakingly elegant and racy, with intense red and black berry layers and a fine-grained texture, finishing with energetic mineral sparks.

Drink 2029 - 2050

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

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Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20

77% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cask sample.

A clear-cut expression of the limestone terroir. Red fruit with a stony-mineral edge. Smooth and fresh on the palate with a certain tension. Fine tannins that leave a chalky note on the finish.

Drink 2030 - 2043

James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com (April 2024)

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Wine Advocate96-98/100

The first vintage produced in the estate's highly functional new winery, the 2023 Beau-Séjour Bécot has turned out beautifully and looks likely to rival or surpass the brilliant 2022. Unfurling in the glass with notes of raspberries, dark berries and minty cherries mingled with notions of iris, wisteria and lilac, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and velvety, with a suave attack that prefaces a cool, complete core of fruit that's pure, perfumed and mineral, concluding with a long, saline finish. It's a blend of 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc that was harvested from September 7 to October 4, sub-block by sub-block.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2024)

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James Suckling96-97/100

A wine with very bright and al-dente fruit. Aromas and flavors of redcurrants and minerals with lavender and chalk. Medium to full body and a solid core of tannins integrated with the dark fruit. Toned-muscle quality to the tannins. Fresh and vibrant at the end. Pure fruit. Energy. 77% merlot and 23% cabernet franc.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2024)

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A brilliant wine from this estate in 2023. Gorgeous bright purple rim. Fresh blueberries and black cherries on the nose with crayon, pencil lead, tapenade, olive and liquorice. Tangy and so alive on the palate, crystalline and pure, really clean and clear. The limestone comes through strongly in the wet stone aspects, a metallic coating of the mouth. This has a touch of tension, with mouthwatering acidity, as well as some subtle fleshiness that really expands towards the finish, where the wine settles and grows. A lovely, very singular style. Great juiciness, almost salty strawberry juice with cranberry and raspberry that really lingers. This will grow into a beauty. Tannins are flawless, there’s density but no heaviness. One of the best! The second year with a significant part of massale selection Cabernet Franc in the blend. 39hl/ha yield. 3.5pH, 68 IPT.

Drink 2033 - 2048

Georgina Hindle, Decanter (April 2024)

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Jeb Dunnuck92-94/100

The 2023 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot checks in as 77% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Franc, made all in the new facility and brought up in 54% new French oak, with the rest mostly in oak casks and a kiss in amphora. It has the vintage's bright, almost racy style in its notes of black raspberry, chalky minerality, and tobacco and floral aromatics, and it's medium-bodied on the palate, with juicy acidity, fine yet building tannins, and outstanding length. It's a beautiful, elegant yet structured wine that will age gracefully. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2024)

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About this WINE

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot has experienced some dramatic ups and downs in recent decades: it was classified a Premier Grand Cru Classé B in 1955, demoted in 1986 and promoted once again, as a Premier Grand Cru Classé B, in 1996.

The terroir is outstanding, most of it atop the limestone plateau. Juliette Bécot and husband Julien Barthe represent the third generation of Juliette’s family here, along with her cousins Pierre and Caroline Bécot. Not so long ago, the wines were turbo-charged and Parker-friendly, ripe with lots of new oak and extraction. Under Juliette and Julien’s guidance, there has been a major turnaround stylistically. Thomas Duclos consults here, having taken over from Michel Rolland.

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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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