A blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc, the 2021 Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) is slightly shifted toward Cabernet Franc, and you have to go back quite some time to find a blend with this much Cabernet. It saw a softer maceration than usual and is aging in 56% new French oak. Gorgeous cassis, graphite, chalky minerality, and a Pomerol-like damp earth note all emerge from this wine, and it's medium to full-bodied, has a rounded, supple texture, ripe, present tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It's an undeniable success in the vintage and will drink well right out of the gate yet also evolve for 20 years if well stored. This estate is now managed by Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse, who took over the reins of this brilliant estate from Nicholas Thienpont starting in 2020. Located between Canon and Beauséjour Bécot, the soils here are more on the south-facing slopes and include slightly more clay, so the wines always have slightly more density and power compared to its neighbors.
Jeb Dunnuck (June 2022)Score: 93-95+/100
A complete wine for the vintage, with blackberry, stone, black-licorice and light walnut character. Medium-to full-bodied and linear, with very fine tannins running the length of the wine.
James Suckling (May 2022)Score: 95-96/100
Right off the bat you notice all the crushed rocks and stones from the deep limestone terroir before moving on to the oyster shell, espresso, blackberries, black cherries and plums. There is an intense mineral essence that comes through on the palate accentuating the red fruits in the mid-palate. There is tension, with supple-textures, creamy tannins and a sweetness to the fruits in the finish. This is quite successful for the vintage. The wine blends 73% Merlot with 27% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% ABV. The harvest took place September 30 - October 14. Yields were low at only 28 hectoliters per hectare.
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider (May 2022)Score: 93-95/100Drink 2025-2055
The 2021 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse is impressive. It shows more energy and decidedly linear build relative to the past. It's hard to say how much of that is the vintage and how much is attributable to a stylistic shift under new owner Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. Either way, the 2021 is a notable success. Savory herbs, menthol, mocha and iron are laced throughout a core of red/purplish fruit. There is so much to look forward to.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (May 2022)Score: 92-95/100Drink 2031-2051
The 2021 Beauséjour Héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse was picked from September 13 until October 1–2, the Cabernet Franc later, on October 14, starting around 7:00 am. Mildew reduced the Merlot to 28hL/ha, whereas the Cabernet was cropped around 35hL/ha. This was raised in 58% new oak, Joséphine Duffau being prudent with the level of new wood in order to maintain what she describes as a chalky taste. It has a fragrant bouquet of brambly red fruit, dark cherries and subtle undergrowth scents, all delivered up in that judicious use of new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and good density, equal to if not better than others on the limestone plateau, yet still quite mineral-driven, leading into a silky-smooth, cohesive finish. No, not a powerful Saint-Émilion, yet precise and detailed. This represents a great debut, and it should give 15–20 years of pleasure, possibly more.
Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2022)Score: 92-94/100Drink 2028-2048
The 2021 Beausejour Duffau-Lagarrosse is a blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc, with only 58% new oak this vintage. Deep purple-black colored, it slowly emerges from the glass with profound notes of licorice, eucalyptus, violets, and sandalwood with a core of ripe juicy plums, cherry pie, and raspberry coulis. The medium-bodied palate is graceful and tightly knit with a refreshing backbone and fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral-tinged.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2022)Score: 92-94/100Drink 2027-2045
An exceptional wine from this estate in 2021. So aromatic and beguiling on the nose - pure, lifted, completely captivating in the intensity of fruit and the liveliness of aroma with tiny touches of milk chocolate and perfumed blackcurrants. Supple, agile and sappy on the palate, but also so delicate and elegant in terms of the overall profile. Tannins are fine and gentle, persistent but with the limestone terroir coming through in the mineral, saline, graphite elements which linger at the end. There is definite concentration, you feel they got the maturity of the fruit and didn't push extraction. It's not super opulent, but expands on the palate and changes after a few minutes in the glass and as it warms, gaining in aromatic complexity. Really very juicy and pristine with cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant fruit as well as liquorice and dark chocolate. Excellent quality with freshness and appeal, balanced and harmonious with the slight lift and peak of clove, vanilla, cedar bramble suggesting a bigger frame that will age well. A success and extremely likeable. 58% new oak. First full vintage for Josephine Duffau-Lagarrosse since she took the helm of her family estate. Tasted twice. Julien Viaud consultant.
Georgie Hindle, Decanter (April 2022)Score: 95/100Drink 2026-2047
The 2021 Beauséjour (Duffau Lagarrosse) shows considerable promise. Bursting with aromas of inky berry fruit and plums mingled with notions of violets, rose petals and burning embers, the wine is medium to full-bodied, layered and sensual, with a rich core of fruit, lively acids and beautifully refined tannins, concluding with a long, mineral finish. The first vintage made by Joséphine Duffau Lagarrosse since she took back control of the family estate, the 2021 is a blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet Franc—the highest percentage of Cabernet since the early 2000s (when some Cabernet Sauvignon was included in the blend too).
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2022)Score: 93-95+/100
You're not going to get the same opulence of the past five years, but this is entirely successful in terms of harmony, elegance and finesse. A jolt of limestone salinity, lemongrass, oyster shell, violets, rose petals, and a subtle but moreish wave of cigar box and graphite smoke. Unrolls slowly but surely, with evident ripeness to the red fruits, and salt-cracker salinity on the finish. Harvest September 30 to October 10 (able to do so because they got only 10mm of rain at the end of September), 28hl/h yield, 58% new oak. Camille Devillenaut co-technical director with Josephine Duffau-Lagarrosse, coming over from Château Villemaurine. Tasted twice. First year with Axel Marchal as consultant, working alongside Michel Rolland (Julien Viaud), replacing the Nicolas Thienpont team.
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2022)Score: 94/100Drink 2026-2040
This is the first vintage under Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse, who stepped up to take over the family estate when some of her relatives threatened to sell it. It may not have been the easiest vintage to produce, but the results are effortless. Peppery spice from high-quality new oak integrates beautifully with the fruit and florals here, making for a complex nose. There is plenty of richness and juicy forest fruit on the mid-palate and a good resolution of tannins building structure, yet remaining elegant. At 13.5%, the wine is beautifully smooth building to a long and mouthwatering finish, with a fresh, chalky, mineral bite, partly thanks to the higher proportion of Cabernet Franc. The wine will see a little bit less new oak than normal, around 58%, with a slightly shorter élevage (12-14 months) forecast. Blend: 73% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc
FINE+RARE (April 2022)