Amiral de Beychevelle 2006 St Julien
The famous Chateau Beychevelle is one of the pioneers of Sustainable Viticulture, which will be reviewed later in the Viticulture section.
Amiral de Beychevelle, the second wine, is made from a traditional Bordeaux blend of grapes - 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine is matured for 18 months mainly in one year old barrels, with 15% in new oak.
Second wines are made normally to be drunk younger than the main chateau wines. This 2006 is drinking superbly now (February 2013) at just over 6 years after the vintage (September) and will be drinking well for at least another 6 years. Chateau Beychevelle 2006 itself needs keeping until 2016 to reach its peak, but will then keep and drink well for several years after.
Tasting note (February 2013): Beautiful deep, ruby colour; tones of cherry and blackberry on the nose, with good fruit; full bodied and elegant on the palate with soft but full tanins, some oak and good ripe fruit.