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Wine Profile: Château Beauséjour

 

I think the only way to begin this profile of Château Beauséjour is with a little clarification. There are, perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of domaines in Bordeaux, and further afield, that go by the name of Château Beauséjour. There is only one that carries the permanent suffix of Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse, however, and it is this particular Beauséjour that is the subject of this profile.

The domaine with its suffix was born in the 19th century when the original Château Beauséjour was divided between a brother and sister. The brother’s half was the origin of what we know today as Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, while the sister’s half retained the original name of Château Beauséjour. It has been to avoid confusion between the two halves of the estate (which was surely a problem early on, before the Bécot family arrived, when both châteaux were known simply as Beauséjour) and of course with all the other châteaux of the same name, that the héritiers suffix entered common usage.

This profile explores the history and modern story of Château Beauséjour, and because of the shared origins it has much in common, to begin with at least, with my profile of Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, so if you have read that profile in the last five minutes the next few paragraphs are going to feel very familiar. I begin first with the origins of the estate, which lie with a religious order tending vines in the shadow of theÉglise St Martin on the edge of St Emilion.

Origins

The estate we know today as Château Beauséjour was once part of the much grander (and larger) Beauséjour estate, long since divided, which had a history that spanned many centuries. Its origins lay in the Middle Ages, when the land was in the ownership of the monks of St Martin, monks who also tended the vines in what would one day be the vineyard of Château Canon, the two domaines neighbouring one another, right next to the church of St Martin de Mazerat. During the 17th century, however, the ascetics relinquished control of their vineyards, and one particular lieu-dit named Peycoucou, a name rather romantically thought to be derived from the singing of the cuckoos (coucou) on the hill (puy), was acquired by the aristocratic Gères family. It is therefore with the Gères family that the story of Château Beauséjour begins.

 

The Gères family have an enviable history; I have documented the ancestry of many noble families in my Bordeaux and Loire profiles, but I recall none that can directly trace their bloodline back as far as the 11th century. The line began, as far as records tell us at least, with Jean de Gère (1021 – 1100), seigneur of Saint-Gemme, who was an impressive 79 years old at the time of his death. It was Arnaud Guillaume de Gère(born 1397) who settled in Camarsac, and his son Bertrand married Catherine de Canteloup, dame of Camarsac, in 1450. Thus the family held the seigneurie of Camarsac, in the Entre-Deux-Mers, for many years afterwards. With the arrival of subsequent generations other seigneuries, including Sayes, Tauzia, Maurion and Maubousquet came into the fold.

André de Carle-Trajet

Thus it was that on June 10th 1684 Jean Jacques de Gères (born 1648) was married to Jeanne David, the union producing three children. The youngest of this trio wasJeanne de Gères (1700 – c.1767), dame of Camarsac, and the eighteenth generation of the family since Jean de Gère, mentioned above. On November 24th 1722 in St Emilion she was married to François V de Carles (c.1680 – c.1767), an ecuyer andseigneur of Petit Val. The de Carles family were clearly no less ennobled that the de Gères clan; Jeanne’s new father-in-law, François IV de Carles, was not only seigneurof Figeac but also Maire Perpétuel of St Emilion, an office bestowed upon him by King Louis XIV in 1694.

François V and Jeanne had seven children, mostly sons, and it was the eldest Jacques de Carles (1724 – 1803) who appears to have inherited the estate in St Emilion. And it was Jacques, a military officer who held first the rank of maréchal de camp, and thengénéral, who renamed the property Beauséjour in 1787. Despite the family’s noble standing, the Revolution seems to have passed without any challenge to their ownership of the estate. Nevertheless, the route of subsequent inheritance was a problem. Jacques had married Marie Rosaline Vacher (1773 – 1868) but the union had not produced any children, perhaps not surprising as it appears that his wife was nearly fifty years his junior, and so there was no obvious heir. Upon Jacques’ death the estate was therefore passed to Guillaume Arnaud André de Carle-Trajet (died 1825),seigneur of Peyrat. It is often written that André, as he is referred to, was a cousin of Jacques, although in truth the relationship was rather more distant than that. The two did share an ancestor, but it was at least four generations previous (five in the case of André), the great great grandfather of Jacques de Carles, François II de Carles(c.1571 – c.1654).

So André was a very distant ‘cousin’ indeed, but perhaps he was simply the most suitable candidate to take on the running of the estate. He is, of course, probably best remembered best for his long but not wholly successful tenure of Château Figeac. Even so, he was also proprietor of the Beauséjour estate for more than two decades, and so he made his mark here too. But in 1823 he was forced to sell Beauséjour, in order to pay off the debts he had accrued, and thus after more than two centuries in the hands of this noble family, the de Carles era came to an end.

Pierre-Paulin Ducarpe

The estate was purchased for the sum of 32,000 francs by a local pharmacist,Monsieur Troquart (possibly Charles Troquart), and this gentleman was still apparently at the helm when the property was listed in the 1850 edition of Cocks et Féret. It was classed as a premier cru, and was placed very near the top of the listing behindChâteau Bel-Air de Marignan, Château Mondot (in the possession of the Troplong family but yet to be so named) and Château Franc-Mayne. Viticulture at this time was clearly long established, as there were already 14 hectares of vines planted, and said vineyard was turning out 30 tonneaux (about 120 modern-day barriques) per annum. Troquart ensured production would remain at a good level when he augmented the vineyard with the purchase of the nearby Domaine de Saint Martin.

In truth, however, by the time the 1850 edition was published it was already out of date. The estate had been sold by Troquart in 1848 to Pierre-Paulin du Carpe (born 1811), not infrequently written as Ducarpe, a notaire who lived in St-Pey-de-Castets who is often described as a cousin of Troquart. By the time the 1868 Cocks et Féret was published the property was listed fifth among the premiers crus, behind four illustrious names, Château Bel-Air, Château Troplong-Mondot, Château Canon and Château Ausone. The estate was still in the hands of Pierre-Paulin Ducarpe at this time, and it was noted that he had worked hard to improve the vineyard, which was clearly still enjoying a good reputation. It had also grown in size just a little, as it was now up to 15 hectares of vines.

 

Pierre-Paulin Ducarpe is a very significant figure in the history of Château Beauséjour, because it was he that divided the estate into the two halves that exist today, having taken the carving knife to the Beauséjour vineyards in 1869. This seems to have been prompted by the marriage of his son, on June 8th that year. Even so his daughter seems to have taken on the more impressive part of the domaine; Louise Caroline Ducarpe (some sources say she was named Madeleine Ducarpe) received half of the vineyard plus the château and associated buildings. Caroline (as it seems she was known) had taken the name Duffau-Lagarrosse, having married Doctor Calixte Duffau-Lagarosse, and thus Château Beauséjour-Duffau-Lagarosse was born. Pierre-Paulin’s son, Léopold Ducarpe (born 1839), took the other half, and it was this vineyard that was the nascent Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, although at the time it was known as Château Beauséjour-Ducarpe.

In the ensuing years both halves of the Ducarpe family established independent reputations for their two new estates. Looking specifically at the half that remained withLouise Caroline, the 1883 Cocks et Féret lists this fourth among the premiers crus, directly behind Château Bel-Air, Château Ausone and her brother’s portion of the vineyard, which were listed first, second and third respectively. Both estates were, at this time, turning out 18 tonneaux of wine per annum; presumably each were still working with half the original estate, somewhere between 7 and 8 hectares apiece. Perhaps only naturally, this declined in the ensuing years as phylloxera took hold, production falling to 15 tonneaux on both estates in 1886, but by 1908 this had recovered, and was now up to 20 tonneaux per annum. Despite the two estates seemingly being on an equal footing, however, it is clear that the authors held a preference for Léopold’s section (that which would be Château Beau-Séjour Bécot), as it was the subject of a half-page missive including a note on all the medals the wines had won, rather than Louise Caroline’s section, which did not receive such handsome treatment. This preference was carried right through to the 1920s, when in 1922 the authors of Cocks et Féret once again rank Louise Caroline’s portion lower that Léopold’s.

Les Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse

Leaving the vines of Léopold now, about which I give much more detail in my profile of Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, I will follow exclusively the section of the estate that came into the hands of the Duffau-Lagarrosse family. The subsequent line of inheritance is now quite straightforward, superficially at least, because the estate has remained in the hands of this family right through to modern times. And although the estate remains, officially at any rate, Château Beauséjour, it is often described as Beauséjour (héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse) or even just Beauséjour (hDL)

Doctor Calixte Duffau-Lagarrosse and Louise Caroline Ducarpe had a son, who like his father was also a doctor. This was Louis Duffau-Lagarrosse (1866 – 1909), who married Edith Marchadier (1872 – 1947) in December 1896. Louis and Edith had three children; there was the eldest Pierre (1897 – 1980), the second-born Marie-Louise(1901 – 1967) and the youngest Valentine (born 1904). Valentine married and had two daughters but she did not match the activities of her siblings in this respect, both of whom ended up with many children and grandchildren. It would seem to be brother and sister Pierre and Marie-Louise who played the largest roles in the running of the domaine.

 

Pierre and Marie-Louise Duffau-Lagarrosse

Both of the siblings married, Pierre to Marie de Masgontier in 1922, and they had three sons, these being Louis (born 1924), Jean (born 1925) and Bernard (born 1927). All three sons married, producing children of their own, making for a complicated family tree, but it seems to be the middle son, Jean Duffau-Lagarrosse, who is most relevant in tracing a line down to those who currently run the estate. Like his father and grandfather he too was a doctor, and in 1953 he married Thérèse Redaud, a cousin. Together they had five children, Hélène (born 1955), Bruno (1956 – 1981), Vincent(born 1957), Denis (born 1958) and Véronique (born 1960). Of these, it is Vincent who is involved in the running of the domaine today.

The cousin Thérèse Redaud was a daughter of Pierre’s sister Marie-Louise Duffau-Lagarrosse, who in 1923 had married Fortuné Redaud (1892 – 1966), the director of the Banque de France. They had six children, namely Louis (1924 – 1947), Michel(1926 – 1983), the aforementioned Thérèse (born 1927), Anne Marie (born 1932),Jacques (born 1934) and finally Bernadette (born 1940). Many of these offspring produced children of their own, but perhaps the most significant in this respect wasJacques, who married Jeanne Aline Boulot in 1956. They subsequently had five children, of which the youngest Christophe Redaud (born 1966) is actively involved in running the domaine alongside the aforementioned Vincent Duffau-Lagarrosse.

It was when the estate was under the direction of the siblings Pierre and Marie-Louise that the first St Emilion classification was drawn up, in 1955, and Château Beauséjourwas ranked as a premier grand cru classé (level B), a position from which it has never shifted since. Fortunately for the Duffau-Lagarrosse family this ranking came just before the great frost of 1956, during which most of the vines were wiped out, and almost the entire vineyard was replanted. Shortly afterwards, in order to facilitate the trouble-free inheritance of the estate (very likely to be a problem with such a large family), the Société Civile du Château Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse was created by Pierre and Marie-Louise, thereby prevented the domaine being divided between too many owners, and of course avoiding the very punitive inheritance taxes as well.

Modern Times

In 1983 a new régisseur Jean-Michel Dubos was appointed, and it was about this time that Bernard Ginestet visited the estate, as he describes in St Emilion (Jacques Legrand SA, 1988). At this time the vineyard was 6.8 hectares, a figure that does not really seem to have changed since the division of the property during the 19th century. The vineyard was half Merlot, with one-quarter each Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and the consultant was none other than Michel Rolland.

Time has moved on, however, and the domaine today remains a family-owned company, headed up by the cousins Vincent Duffau-Lagarrosse and Christophe Redaud, who took on responsibility for the running of Château Beauséjour in 2006. At this time the old régisseur departed, and it was the perfect opportunity for them to begin a revitalisation of the domaine. Perhaps the most significant act in achieving this came in 2009, when they engaged the services of Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt in the running of the estate and to advise on the making of the wine.

 

Château Beauséjour: Vineyards

The domaine is to be found directly west of the town of St Emilion, on the road out towards Château Angélus. It is overlooked somewhat by the adjacent Église St Martin, with its rather imposing graveyard (indeed, some of the cellars of Château Beauséjour are tunnelled through the limestone that likes beneath the graveyard). Château Canonalso sits just above the estate. The associated Château Beau-Séjour Bécot lies a few hundred metres to the north, set back from the road a little. The lie of the land makes this latter estate difficult to spot, but this is certainly not the case for Château Beauséjour, which sits directly on the side of the road.

The 6.8 hectares of vines are largely located on the slopes around the château, whereas those on the plateau above tend to belong to Château Beau-Séjour Bécot. Most are on the same side of the road as the château, although there are a couple of parcels in the Mazerat sector on the opposite side of the road. They largely have a south- and southwest-facing aspect which is beneficial, in that the ground is naturally well-drained and the vines are nicely shielded from winds coming from the north. At the top of the slope the soils rest on the very desirable Calcaire à Astéries, lower down the Molasses du Fronsadais, with colluvial slip at the foot of the slope. The superficial soils are a mix of both alluvial and wind-blown sands, degraded limestone and clay. This detailed understanding of the vineyard and terroir comes from a land survey carried out after Nicolas Thienpont’s appointment in 2009.

 

Although during the 1980s the varieties were 50% Merlot and 25% each of the two Cabernets, this is set to change following the aforementioned survey. Some Merlot has been pulled up and the land replanted with Cabernet Franc, and the Cabernet Sauvignon – which reportedly never gave satisfactory results – has similarly been replaced. As a consequence the plantings of Cabernet Franc, which had shrunk to perhaps 20% of the vineyard, now account for more like 30%. The Cabernet Sauvignon has all gone, and so what remains – the other 70% – is all Merlot. The propagation of Cabernet Franc has been achieved using sélection massale, and I think we can expect to see plantings creep up a little more in the immediate future.

The vines are pruned in the double Guyot fashion, the yields controlled by bud-rubbing and green harvesting, sometimes making several passes through the vines not only during the summer when the fruit really is ‘green’, but also later, as harvest approaches, removing any less than perfect berries. As for the vigour of the vine this is directed into the fruit during the summer months by the removal of side shoots. The work in the vines is not officially organic, although the majority of methods employed by Nicolas are in fact organic.

Château Beauséjour: Wines

The vineyard only requires three days to complete the harvest, nevertheless picking is spread out firstly because the different terroirs may result in some parcels ripening before others, and secondly because of the two different varieties planted. Thus the harvest may be spread out over several weeks in the search for the most precise level of ripeness.

The freshly harvested berries are sorted twice and destemmed, before being lifted by forklift so that they may be emptied into the concrete vats by gravity rather than by pump. The fermentation is the result of naturally present yeasts, is controlled to 28-30ºC, and the maceration lasts for up to two weeks, with some remontage and pigeageto aid extraction along the way. The malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel, racked for the first time a few months later, before being transferred down to the barrel cellar, excavated from the limestone, to rest. The élevage last 18 months in total.

The grand vin is Château Beauséjour, the second wine Croix de Beauséjour. The total production in the order of 25-30,000 bottles per annum.

 

 

Complete list

1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2014
Villa di Vetrice Chianti Rufina Riserva 2011
Fausse Piste Garde Manger Columbia Valley Syrah 2014
Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Bodegas Maurodos Prima Toro 2013
Francis Ford Coppola Votre Santé Pinot Noir 2014
Bread & Butter Pinot Noir 2013
Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
Evolucio Furmint 2015
Le Bio Balthazar Minervois Syrah Grenache Noir 2014
Contour Pinot Noir 2013
Clos du Mont-Olivet La Sabonite
Hai Moshe Galilee Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Joseph Phelps Insignia 2003
Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2003
Brothers In Arms No. 6 Shiraz Cabernet 2004
Trimbach Pinot Blanc Alsace 2008
Finca Flichman Paisaje de Tupungato Red Blend 2008
Renacer Punto Final Malbec 2009
Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2008
Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Mercer Dead Canyon Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Nugan Vision Shiraz 2008
Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio Trentino 2011
Tait The Ball Buster 2008
La Playa Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Series 2010
Marchesi Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana Bianco 2009
Il Borro Sangiovese Toscana Pian di Nova 2008
Château La Pointe Pomerol 2000
Castelvecchio Il Brecciolino 2005
Luce della Vite Lucente 2009
Casillero del Diablo Reserva Chardonnay 2010
Krohn Late Bottled Vintage Port 2004
Trivento Amado Sur Malbec 2011
Ferreira Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2007
Arganza Premium Lagar de Robla 2008
Château Pipeau Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2011
Masi Modello delle Venezie Rosso 2011
La Piazza Sicilia Nero d’Avola Merlot 2008
Ménage à Trois Red 2012
Nine Stones Hilltops Shiraz 2009
Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Las Pizarras Calatayud Garnacha 2008
Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Domaine Antonin Guyon Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes De Nuits Les Dames De Vergy 2011
Quinta de La Rosa Port Vintage 2009
Boutari Elios Mediterranean White 2010
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinot Grigio
Aquitania Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2005
Château Villa Bel Air Graves 2006
Domaine de Vaufuget Vouvray 2010
Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Quinta do Crasto Crasto Red 2012
Marilyn Merlot 2003
Castello di Nipozzano Chianti Rùfina Riserva 2011
Château Sérilhan Saint-Estéphe 2009
Beronia Rioja Crianza 2010
The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay 2010
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2008
Da Vinci Pinot Grigio 2011
Marilyn Merlot 2004
Croft Vintage Port 2006
Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2011
Bodega del Fin del Mundo Postales Cabernet Sauvignon – Malbec 2012
Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Yalumba The Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2011
The Girls In The Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Frontera Shiraz
Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot
Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Zinfandel
Sutter Home Chardonnay
Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon
Yellow Tail Shiraz
Barefoot Merlot
Dominio de Eguren Códice
Yellow Tail Cabernet – Merlot
Manischewitz American Concord Grape
Riunite Lambrusco Emilia
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir
Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon
Frontera Chardonnay
Oxford Landing Shiraz 2010
Yellow Tail Moscato
Block Nine Caiden’s Vineyards Pinot Noir
René Barbier Mediterranean Tinto
Sutter Home White Zinfandel
Yellow Tail Chardonnay
Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato
Frey Organic Natural White
Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc
Marchigüe Alto Tierruca Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Yellow Tail Riesling
Yellow Tail Merlot
Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay
Barefoot Riesling
Greg Norman Limestone Coast Shiraz
Beringer Vineyards White Zinfandel
Santa Cristina Toscana 2012
Barefoot Chardonnay
Florio Fine Marsala Dry Ambra Secco
Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti Superiore Le Orme 2012
Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
Fetzer Chardonnay
Callia Alta Malbec
Valle Reale Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2010
Yellow Tail Sweet Red Roo
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Parducci Wine Cellars Small Lot Blend Pinot Noir
Flaco Tempranillo 2011
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet – Merlot
Barefoot Pinot Grigio
Marchesi di Barolo Cannubi Barolo 2011
Tierra Divina Old Vine Malbec 2008
Barefoot Moscato
Clos du Bois Chardonnay
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Quinta do Vesuvio Single Quinta Vintage Port 2004
Seresin Momo Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Sutter Home Pink Moscato
Delhaize Picpoul de Pinet Languedoc Blanc Sec 2011
Morgenhof Estate Morgenhof Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Pepperwood Grove Pinot Grigio
Yellow Tail Shiraz – Cabernet
Florio Fine Marsala Ambra Dolce Sweet
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel
Eric Bordelet Poiré Authentique
Piazzo Barbera d’Alba
Bota Box Merlot
Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Frey Organic Natural Red
Burmester Tawny Porto 2012
Chakana Wines Malbec Maipe 2012
Feudi di San Gregorio Primitivo 2012
Arbor Mist Sangria Zinfandel
Black Box Merlot
Joseph Cattin Alsace Riesling 2012
McManis Jack Tone Vineyards Red
Sutter Home Pinot Grigio
Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
Alma Negra M Blend 2012
Pierre Amadieu Côtes Du Rhône Grande Réserve 2011
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Combinatul de Vinuri Cricova Muscat
Mionetto Il Moscato
Bonterra Chardonnay
Brazin ‘B’ Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2012
Union de Producteurs de Saint-Émilion Château Francs-Bories Saint-Émilion 2011
Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2011
Don Sebastiani & Sons Used Automobile Parts
Yellow Tail Pinot Noir
Château de la Cour d’Argent Bordeaux 2009
Sutter Home White Merlot
Sutter Home Merlot
Taylor Family Marsala
Franzia Vintner Select Cabernet Sauvignon
Arbor Mist Tropical Fruits Chardonnay
André Cold Duck
Oyster Bay Pinot Noir
Julien Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Medici Ermete Quercioli Reggiano Lambrusco Secco
Arbor Mist Island Fruits Pinot Grigio
Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio Trentino
Bully Hill Love My Goat Red
Bodega del Fin del Mundo Postales Sauvignon Blanc – Semillón 2012
Franzia House Wine Favorites Sunset Blush
Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Castillo de Monseran Garnacha 2012
Borsao Garnacha 2012
Giulio Cocchi Cocchi Barolo Chinato
Noble Vines 181 Merlot 2012
Marchesi Toscana 2009
Christian Hollevoet De La Chanade Les Rials 2011
Trapiche Broquel Pinot Noir 2011
Charles Thomas Côtes du Rhône 2012
Château Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer 2013
Combinatul de Vinuri Cricova Codru 2011
Broadbent Madeira Fine Rich Sweet
Palacios Remondo Rioja la Montesa 2011
Château Tour Sieujean Pauillac 2008
Hangtime California Grown Chardonnay 2009
Marchesi Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana Bianco 2012
Apothic Red 2013
Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Viognier 2013
Viu Manent Secreto Carmenère 2012
Canoe Ridge Vineyard The Expedition Merlot 2011
Cribari California Marsala
Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve
Harveys Bristol Cream
Moët & Chandon Champagne Impérial Brut Rosé
Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut Champagne
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2012
Croft Fine Ruby Port
Lanciola Le Masse di Greve Chianti Classico Riserva 2007
Dow’s Fine Tawny Port
Ménage à Trois White 2013
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne
Fonseca Bin 27 Finest Reserve
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2013
Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brut (Carte Jaune)
Casa Ferreirinha Esteva Douro 2013
Château Bois Pertuis Bordeaux 2012
Henriot Champagne Brut Souverain
Korbel Brut
Martini Asti
Faustino Rioja Crianza VII 2012
Gruet Brut
Gruet Blanc de Noirs
Marilyn The Velvet Collection 2002
Les Caves de Landiras Veuve Elise Brut Blanc de Blancs
Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma Zinfandel 2013
Clean Slate Riesling 2013
Ferreira Ruby Porto
Freixenet Cava Cordón Negro Brut
Raats Red Jasper 2012
Robert Oatley Wild Oats Shiraz 2011
Cain Cuvée
A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris 2012
Dow’s 10 Years Old Tawny Port
Altovinum Evodia Old Vines Garnacha 2012
Ferreira Tawny Porto
De Martino Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Oyster Bay Merlot
Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée 2010
Krohn Porto Tawny
Brancaia Tre 2011
Ferrari Brut
André Extra Dry
Conte Estate McLaren Vale Grenache 2006
Spellbound Petite Sirah 2013
Barefoot Pinot Noir
Franzia Vintner Select Chardonnay
Pennywise Chardonnay 2011
Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012
Graham’s Reserve Port Six Grapes
Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2012
Sophie Brusset Gigondas 2013
Groth Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Taylor Family Cream Sherry
Ricossa Casorzo 2011
Beringer Vineyards Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Catena Zapata Catena Chardonnay 2012
Château Les Feuries Bordeaux Supérieur 2009
Villa Jolanda Prosecco
Ramos Pinto Ruby Porto
Valle dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2011
Monte Faliesi Falanghina 2011
Garcia + Schwaderer Facundo Red Blend 2010
Smith Woodhouse 10 Year Old Tawny Porto
Amastuola Primitivo 2011
Offley Porto White
Cantina del Pino Barbaresco 2011
Novy Family North Coast Four Mile Creek White 2012
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva 2009
Umani Ronchi Podere Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012
Warre’s Otima 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Fonseca Vintage Port 2011
Croft Vintage Port 2011
Taylor’s Vintage Port 2011
Gonzalez-Byass Del Duque Amontillado Jerez
Bogle Phantom 2013
Château Ste. Michelle Riesling 2013
Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley
Trimbach Gewürztraminer Alsace 2012
Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut Champagne
Savory James Amontillado Deluxe Medium Sherry Jerez
Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay 2013
Castellani Toscana La Cattura Poggio Al Casone 2011
Almaden Mountain Rhine
Black Box Chardonnay

 

 

 

Of all the premier grand cru classé châteaux in St Emilion I think it was Château Beauséjour that I came to last. It was as if the proprietors weren’t really that interested. The wines never appeared at tastings alongside Château Beau-Séjour Bécot and the other premier peers, and so while I got to grips with many of the wines of St Emilion Château Beauséjour wasn’t one of them. Then two things changed. First, I began a decade ago travelling to Bordeaux more regularly, not just during the primeurs but at other times of the year, allowing me to broaden my tasting experience a little. Second,Vincent Duffau-Lagarrosse and Christophe Redaud took the helm in 2006, and in 2009 they engaged the services of Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt. This meant that the wines started turning up at a number of tastings, such as Derenoncourt’s La Grappe tasting, where I have encountered the wines several times, and more recently I have tasted the wine at Château Pavie-Macquin, a reflection of the fact that Nicolas Thienpont consults here.

Having said that I still don’t have a broad experience of these wines, having taken in only a handful of vintages tasted during the last few years, including 2005, 2010 and 2014. The 2010 vintage, tasted at the primeurs, is potentially superior to the 2005, and the 2014 is on a similar level, which suggests to me that perhaps getting Thienpont and Derenoncourt on board has been a good decision. I will, however, endeavour to taste more from this estate in the future, to see for certain whether or not this is really the case.

 

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