Château Joanin Bécot is in the Côtes de Castillon, on the northeast edge of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. The appellation is notable for its small, family-owned estates making Merlot-based blends that attract attention for style and value. Joanin Bécot is owned by Juliette Bécot and her adult children, and together they operate the 27-acre estate. Bécot comes from a vigneron tradition. She is a member of the Bécot family that acquired Château Beau-Sejour Bécot in 1969. Château Joanin Bécot, the flagship wine, is typically 80 percent Merlot and 20 percent Cabernet Franc. Wine Advocate has often rated the wines in the low 90s, and Robert M. Parker Jr. has noted that “this is an excellent as well as fashionable estate…where a lot of over-achievers perform at impressive levels. These are rich, concentrated wines that are modern in style but loaded with flavor.”
Bordeaux is the world’s most famous fine-wine producing region. Even non-wine drinkers recognize the names of Bordeaux’s celebrated wines, such as Margaux and Lafite-Rothschild. Located near the Atlantic coast in southwest France, the region takes its name from the seaport city of Bordeaux, a wine trading center with an outstanding site on the Garonne River and easy access to the Atlantic. Like most French wine regions, Bordeaux’s first vineyards were planted by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, then tended by medieval monks. Aristocrats and nobility later owned the region’s best estates and today estates are owned by everyone from non-French business conglomerates to families who have been proprietors for generations. Bordeaux has nearly 280,000 acres of vineyards, 57 appellations and 10,000 wine-producing châteaux. Bordeaux is bifurcated by the Gironde Estuary into so-called “right bank” and “left bank” appellations. Bordeaux’s red wines are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. It also makes white wines of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. There are several classification systems in Bordeaux. All are attempts to rank the estates based on the historic quality of the wines.