There are few regions in the world with stricter regulations in regards to wine production and grape varietals than those found in Bordeaux, France. Here, in the home of the world's finest wines, the type and quality of grapes used is of utmost importance, and the legendary wineries which work on the banks of the Gironde river have mastered the careful art of juice blending to find the perfect balance for their produce. Whilst there are six 'official' Bordeaux grapes, the two key varietals for almost every fine Bordeaux wine are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and with good reason. Whilst Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are renowned for their acidity and astringency, strong fruit and spice flavors and full body, Merlot grapes are notably rounded, soft, fleshy and lighter on tannin. The combination of these two varietals, along with a small percentage of (commonly) Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc, is the perfect balancing act – the two grape varietals cancel out each others weaker points, and accentuate all that is good about the other.
Saint-Julien-Beychevelle is a commune on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in south-western France, that produces red wine.
The village lies 15 km (9.3 mi) northwest of Bordeaux and is considered by some to be the most underrated of the four major wine growing appellations of the Medoc.
The 9 km2 (3.5 sq mi) of vineyards around the villages of St-Julien and Beychevelle produce wine of relative lightness and balance. Its strength stems from the quality of its soil Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the characteristic layer of gravel forcing the roots of the vine to go to extra depth to reach its nutrients, as well as retaining additional heat to see it through the cooling winds from the Atlantic away to the west.
St-Julien contains no First Growths but it does have estates ranked as Second, Third and Fourth Growths in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.