My third and last winery visit was to another Saint-Émilion Premiers Grands Crus Classés B winery – Château Beau-Séjour Bécot. This time, I booked a private tour which was €25/pax through Wine Tour Booking.
Unlike the other Saint-Émilion winery I visited which was tucked on top of a hill, this winery and vineyard is located near famous neighbours Château Canon (Premiers Grands Crus Classés B, now owned by French luxury brand Chanel) and Château Angélus (Premiers Grands Crus Classés A). Apparently this area is blessed with good soil for the grapes.
Merlot leaf have ears like elephants.
They grow 70% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon here. I was told that Merlot tends to ripen earlier.
The wine making process involves cold maceration for 5 days and fermentation for 10 days at 20 degs C before being stored in these new French oak barrels.
I’ve seen enough barrels for now but the most exciting part was just about to unfold…
A secret entrance led to a natural limestone underground cellar!
Alright not really secret because the entrance was just there, but it just sounds more exciting that way haha. I certainly did not know before I booked my tour that they had an underground cellar. I was thrilled to find out.
This natural environment is the best way to preserve and age good wines. It’s naturally cold and dark in here!
I’ve been in an underground limestone cellar in Burgundy but this one was a lot larger it’s connected to the cellars of their neighours! It’s like a secret underground network. They must maintain a friendly relationship for the sake of their wines.
This whole area is located under the plot of grapes. It feels amazing to be walking under the grapes.
Throughout, I was scanning around for 1989 wines, trying to see through the darkness. The vintages were randomly placed in non consecutive years.
In pursuit for the ideal wine…
And I finally found it! They have it in standard bottles and magnum sized ones, all nice and dusty. Wines stores in this environment ought to be dusty. If your vintage bottle is clean, it might have been kept somewhere else.
If I had to buy a premium bottle, buying it right from the source would be best. This environment ensures proper ageing.
Time for tasting.
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot is family owned. A second wine, Château Joanin Bécot, was blended by granddaugther Juliette Becot. The pink on the bottle gives it a feminine touch. this wine was more for every drinking and parties and not connoisseur standard like their first wine.
The owner Michel Bécot has retired and passed the operations to his two sons Gérard and Dominique Bécot. They acquired an adjacent plot nearby and produced a different wine – La Gomerie which is 100% Merlot. This is very rare for Saint-Émilion. This wine is produced in very small quantities, only 1000 cases per year.
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 2011. Very good indeed.
Walked out with a 1989 vintage! It was an exceptional year, lucky me! Fun fact, Château Beau-Séjour Bécot lost the ranking of Premiers Grands Crus Classés B once, from 1986 – 1996. Perhaps this reason made this bottle still affordable at €160.
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot
La Carte, 33330 Saint-Émilion, France