Founded in 1900 by Georges de Latour, Beaulieu was the benchmark for mid-twentieth century Napa, and in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, legendary wines emerged from here. In Michael Broadbent’s seminal work Vintage Wine, theCalifornian section is awash with reviews for past greats, such as a 5-Star 1951 described as “as perfect as any wine can be” and an amalgam of Cheval Blanc and Chateau Latour. After a time in the wilderness, it is now resurgent. The flagship Beaulieu Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon is recreating past glorious.
The Beaulieu Georges de Latour Private Reserve
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, the Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve, to give it its full name, was originally the de Latour family’s private wine. When it was tasted by winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff in 1938 he was so impressed. So impressed that he decided to bottle it and sell it commercially as the family’s flagship offering. A legend was born.
Throughout the mid part of the century is was among the California’s most important and revered wines. It’s something captured by James Suckling. He wrote, “Personally, I started drinking this great wine when I was a teenager, receiving an occasional sip from my late father, John Suckling, who collected the wine from the 1960s to 1990s. He even gave me a bottle of the 1962 when I started working at The Wine Spectator in December 1981 and told me to taste and understand it so I “would know about great wine.”
The 2019 Beaulieu, James Suckling’s 2022 Wine Of The Year
A crowning achievement in the renaissance of Beaulieu was the award of Wine Of The Year 2022 from James Suckling. Beating 32,000 other wines tasted that year, it was praised by Suckling as ““not only it is a perfect wine, but it is also a wine that highlights the greatness of so many wines from Napa Valley and the United States from the 2019 vintage” and “so filigree in nature, with layers of fine tannins and complex aromas and flavors of currants, tobacco and mahogany… I love the way this BV private reserve shows more complexity and finesse even though the pure and bold character is still there.”
The 2019 scored a perfect 100 points, but this rating just tells part of the story. The Wine Of The Year award speaks volumes about the way that Beaulieu has that special something extra. It has a magic that sets it apart from other wines, even those that also have flawless ratings.
Despite the growing quality, prices remain incredible reasonable for a Napa of this quality… for the moment. Our advice is picks up a few recent vintages and experience why this historic Napa winery is generating serious hype.
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