What can one say about Beychevelle? That the wine is quite variable, from year to year? That it was classified as Quatrième Grand Cru Classé in the 1855 classification? That it is a favorite wine of the Chinese (based on the dragon in the label)? That it's a beautiful vineyard very close to the Gironde?
Suffice it to say, really, that it's my favorite Bordeaux. Not necessarily because of the quality, more because of my attachment to the wine and the estate. Château Beychevelle was the first Bordeaux - bought at the estate, - that I once put in the cellar. So to say, the birth of my wine collection and my Bordeaux passion. It was a long time ago: it was a (single) bottle of the 1986 vintage. Since then, I have bought and stored a few bottles every year. Not many, but so that I can compare the vintages until today. There were worse vintages, like the 1990 (actually a good Bordeaux year) and also some quite good ones: 2005. 2010 and 2000. I don't like to add up in points, but they are all wines that Parker gave more than 90 points. For me, what is more important is that the wine lives up to what I have stored in my wine memory and wine sensibilities as Beychevelle. It is a wine that has a wonderful bouquet, of dried fruit, blueberry, tobacco, licorice and caramel. But many - even other - Bordeaux have that. Rather, it is the blend of these flavors and many more that makes the wine so unique (to me). It is the pressure, the power, the meatiness, combined with a graceful harmony and a playful, light sweetness. In short, for me, the Beychevelle typicity. A word that is so often abused, but for me it is true in this case.
So now I have opened the first 2000, out of double curiosity: I wanted to experience what has become of this, already then well rated vintage and I wanted to know, in general, how the cult wine 2000 has developed. One remembers: unbelievable price increase, a dance around the vintage (turn of the century), shortage on the market, male only bought and stored. I, too, have put an above-average amount of this Bordeaux vintage into the cellar and - until today - have hardly drunk a bottle. But now I wanted to know: my favorite wine should give me hints how the vintage has developed. Contrary to what one reads again and again in judgements, I am satisfied, if not even enthusiastic. Not a power wine like the supposedly better vintages (2005, 209, 2010), no, this 2000 vintage - or just this bottle??? - s kept the former promise. The wine still has a lot of the initial floral notes; however, minerals and above all spices have been added, it is delicate and powerful, graceful and full of character at the same time. A really beautiful wine, this 2000.