Drinking: Beau-Séjour Bécot 1981

France, Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion

Drinking: Beau-Séjour Bécot 1981

Don’t you love it when “off” vintages surprise you?

1981 wasn’t a critically acclaimed vintage for Bordeaux. Overshadowed by 1982, it seems a somewhat forgotten year by all but those around at the time. But it was generally a warm, dry, fabulous vintage hampered only by heavy rains that fell in early October. Therefore, warmer sites on the right bank that harvested Merlots before or early on into the rains produced some very impressive wines.

Beautifully preserved, elegant yet ripe, intense, and expressive.

Recently, managers of the estate Juliette Bécot and husband Julien Barthe stumbled across some bottles of 1981 Beau-Séjour Bécot in their cellar. Having brought one up from the cellar to test, they were pretty much set to dump it down the sink when Julien’s father spotted the bottle and insisted it was a great year. The wine was beautifully preserved, elegant yet ripe, intense, and expressive. They were kind enough to crack open another bottle for me to taste on my most recent visit to the Château during primeurs. And so now I’m on the prowl for well-priced right bank 1981s and, if you can find any, you may want to snap them up. Salut!   

Article & Reviews by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW