2008 Ch. Beychevelle, St Julien

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The enigmatic Philippe Blanc, director of Ch. Beychevelle, was in fine humour when we visited him to taste his 2008 Grand Vin. This estate just gets better and better and Philippe’s sunny disposition was a reflection of the bright fruit shining out of his wine. The round, plump, fleshy feel of 47% Merlot certainly comes across with opulent notes of ripe morello cherries but 48% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc add to its darker side and provide an elegant backbone. This is well balanced and rewarding: a fine achievement.