2020 Beaulieu Vineyards Georges De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Georges de Latour was a chemist from France who relocated to California in 1883. He started with four acres of land in Rutherford and gradually expanded his reach. His business thrived during Prohibition as he sold sacramental wine to the Catholic Church. Beaulieu means “beautiful place” in French. The estate vineyards sprawl over 1,100 acres.
A turning point occurred in 1938 when winemaker André Tchelistcheff joined Beaulieu Vineyards. Tchelistcheff tasted the 1936 de Latour family’s private reserve wine. “It was so distinctive that Tchelistcheff insisted it is bottled and sold as the winery’s flagship offering.” By 1940, under Tchelistcheff guidance, the first vintage of Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was released. Winemaking has been under the direction of Trevor Durling since 2017.
Trevor Durling has turned out another outstanding performance with his winemaking craftsmanship at Beaulieu Vineyards. This bottling is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7%Petite Verdot aged for 24 months in French Oak barrels (95% new) The deep ruby hue and elements of classic Rutherford dust aromas easily identify its pedigree. On the palate the juicy red, macerated fruits take center stage complemented by notes of Asian spice, cedar, dried leather and creamy dark mocha. The tannins are pleasantly ripe and silky leading you on a long harmonious journey. The purity of fruit is impressive, as with all of Durling’s wines, making it immediately appealing, but remember there is more to come in the future.
By W Peter Hoyne