1985 Beychevelle and 1990 La Louviere

Beychevelle is in a beautiful place—amazing core of pure blue fruit accompanied by notes of coffee, cedar; tannins all resolved, long finish…such nice balance, could drink all day. Can’t believe over 30 years old.
La Louviere less attractive in this company—intriguing plum in the nose, but finish slightly metallic (maybe a touch of brett); doesn’t have the combination of lightness and tensile strength of the Beychevelle, at least not right now. Might have been more enjoyable on its own, and could probably use more time.

I need more aged Beychevelle…

Thanks for solid notes. [cheers.gif]


I have 2 bottles of the 1990 La Louviere left. No Brett in my bottles and no metallic aftertaste but the wine has lost a lot of it´s former intensity. While still a good wine I liked it more at age 15 than now.

Well, somewhere - even across the vintages - the classification should show itself …
La Louviere is a very good Graves on Bourgeois-level, Beychevelle is a Medoc 4th growth (and sometimes even better, e.g. in the mid-80ies - the 1986 is especially strong).

I still have a couple bottles each of the 1988 and 1990. These are beauties, but yes, fading a touch, but showing the grace of age.

Love both of these wines. Wish I had more. Thanks for the notes

Thanks everyone!
Gerard, I am aware of the difference in ranking of course; but, as you also acknowledge, the La Louviere is reputed to “punch beyond its weight.” That is why I was somewhat surprised the difference was so marked. I don’t recall it being so with the 1982’s, for example, but I have not tasted these wines that much together, so perhaps others, with more experience, including yourself, can better speak to how they usually compare.


Josh, great note on the Beychevelle. I had a bottle a year ago and loved it. I am trying to keep my hands off my one remaining bottle, but your note is making that hard. I’m planning on pulling a Bordeaux today, but I want to work my way through 1983s before opening this one. Doesn’t mean I will [cheers.gif]

I know several vintages of La Louviere from 1992 - 1996 … as good as it is (I like it vm), it´s simply less complex/less fine than certain better classified growths - the terroir simply doesn´t allow more complexity …
BUT I´d always prefer it to (for instance) older Olivier or Bouscaut … (usual underperformers)

Love both of these wines. Beychevelle had a magical run in the 80s, but so did most of Bordeaux.


I also thought Beychevelle continued the solid run in the mid-90s.

I too thought the 86 Beychevelle was their freakish glorious best year, at least among that broad era.

Maybe had the 90 La Louviere rouge 4-5 times over the years, and like some earlier posters thought it was best as a teen ager. Finished mine probably by 2005ish. I don’t think I’ve hardly bought it after 2000 though.

Nice to see BDX getting some love here!

Yes, 86 Beychevelle was and is a superb wine. It was fantastic during it first years but shut down hard. Today it´s a mature Bordeaux with class.

I’m quite high on the 82, 83, 85, 86, and 88 Beychevelle.

I had an underwhelming bottle of the 89 once, but others like it more. Never had the 1990, so I am not sure if the run continued that year…

Our family drank a bottle of the 1985 Beychevelle out of plastic wine glasses in our van while eating sandwiches in the Pontet Canet parking lot waiting for our tasting appointment. That was our lunch, and it was one of the best wine experiences I can remember! We bought it at a local wine shop for $90.

We drank a bottle of 1990 La Louviere for Christmas, and it was good…but not even in the same category as the 1985 Beychevelle. The La Louviere was much better after a two hour decant. We still have one bottle left, and plan to drink it soon.

thanks for the notes. have 2 bottles of 90 La Louviere, and it sounds like I should pop them soon.

That seems to be Robert’s advice; for me it was a little difficult to tell in this context, might even need more time? If you pop one, I would at least give it some good hour, maybe an hour in a decanter to bring itself together and open up.

Good luck with it,