'The 2012 exhibits a black/purple color along with a striking nose of incense, spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries and hints of mulberries and crushed chalk. The sumptuous aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, super-concentrated, rich, layered wine that builds incrementally across the palate, finishing with an explosion of fruit, spice, tannin, glycerin and minerality. While neither as backward nor impenetrable as the 2009 and 2010, the 2012 should be approachable in 4-5 years and keep for 2-3 decades. A massive, concentrated effort from this great terroir, the 2012 Beausejour Duffau comes from a 16+-acre vineyard located on the clay and limestone southern slopes of St.-Emilion. It was cropped at 23 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend was 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. Only 66% of the production went into the top wine, which boasts 14.3% natural alcohol. Readers can usually count on this cuvee being one of the finest wines of the vintage given the talented team behind it, Nicolas Thienpont, Stephane Derenoncourt, David Suire and Julien Lavenu. 93-95+/100'. - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #206
Chateau Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse was consigned to the same basket as Aqua, Eddy Grant, Los del Río, Vanilla Ice, Deee-Lite, Sinéad O'Connor, The Proclaimers, and Nena as one of the ultimate one hit wonders. Well okay, The Proclaimers had a couple of good songs. Nevertheless, the spectacular 1990 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse stood aloft as a towering beacon of what this terroir could achieve. With the magical 100 points from Robert Parker and described as one of his ‘desert island wines’, it became the stuff of legend. Wind on two decades (of mediocrity) and this overlooked Chateau got a much needed shot in the arm with the introduction of superstar consultants Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt. The old adage that too many cooks spoil the broth doesn’t apply here - Michel Rolland completes the dream team. Sustainable farming techniques, picking at optimal ripeness, draconian selection and ultra-modern wine-making has resulted in not one, but two more 100 point scores (2009 and 2010).
Located just to the west of St Emilion town, the 6.5 hectares of vines occupy a portion of the plateau and the slopes beneath. Clay and limestone dominate here; the terroir is ideally suited to Merlot (which accounts for upwards of 80% of the plantings). Modern examples are exotic, lavish and deeply complex – the combination of world class terroir and modern wine-making. It is safe to say that Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse is well and truly back in business.
St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.