92 Points- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

REVIEWS

""Bealieu's 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve is going to need at least a few years to come together. Today the aromatics are incisive, as are the tannins, both hallmarks of a long, cool growing season. The 2011 stands out for its energy, tension and persistence. There is plenty of potential here, but readers will have to be patient." -  Antonio Galloni, Vinous

WHY WE'RE DRINKING IT
  • VARIETAL
    Cabernet Sauvignon
  • APPELLATION
    Napa Valley
  • ALCOHOL
    14.70%
  • SIZE
    1.5L (Magnum)
  • BLEND
    Blend: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot

Showing the brilliance of winemaker Jeffrey Stambor’s craft, this superb, cellar-worthy large format bottle is a 92AG rated gem that true lovers of blue-chip Napa Cabernet will not want to miss.

Antonio Galloni calls the 2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Georges de Latour, Napa Valley a stand-out for its “energy, tension and persistence”. It’s the type of wine that collectors dream about opening over dinner with a group of like-minded connoisseurs and blowing their mind with its classic, old-school Napa power--a length, structure and finesse rarely found!

Magnums with perfect provenance like this don’t come along every day, and if you are lucky enough to add this to your cellar we’d suggest letting it sleep peacefully for a few years, and up to 20 more.


Things to Know:

Beaulieu Vineyard’s world class Private Reserve Cabernet, known as Georges de Latour, was named for the winery’s visionary founder, who planted the estate here in Rutherford in 1900. Legendary winemaker André Tchelistcheff (known as the “dean of American winemakers” and inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintner’s Hall of Fame in 2007) made the first release in 1936.

The philosophy of winemaking is based on the rich legacy of making wine in the exceptional terroir of Rutherford. In 1991, Tchelistcheff and Joel Aiken, Beaulieu’s winemaker, tasted and retasted 50 vintages of Georges de Latour in order to examine how winemaking and vintage developed over the years. This incredible insight, alongside in-depth small lot experiments, and deep knowledge of the Rutherford terroir, make this wine a benchmark Napa Valley Cabernet, as well as one of the most collected American wines.

Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor started at Beaulieu in 1989 and credits his early years working alongside master winemaker Tchelischeff as his unique opportunity to learn from a legend.

TASTING NOTES 

This wines marries refined elegance with opulent intensity and robust character. The wine opens with layered aromas of crushed blackberries, dark cherries, bittersweet chocolate and violet. The elegant dark-fruit flavors, supported by firm, supple tannins, pick up distinctive minerality on the palate. Nuances of toffee and toasted oak spices, from aging in 94 percent new French oak barrels, add even more complexity.

THE STORY TO KNOW

In 1900, when Georges de Latour's wife, Fernande, first laid eyes on the land that would become their original Rutherford vineyard, she named it "beau lieu," or "beautiful place." Shortly thereafter, de Latour sold his thriving cream of tartar business, bought the four-acre ranch and founded Beaulieu Vineyard with the vision of making Napa Valley wines that would rival those of his native France.

De Latour quickly made a name for himself by importing Phylloxera-resistant rootstock from Europe to the recently-ravaged fledgling California wine industry. He also began selling wine to the Catholic Church, establishing a strong relationship that would allow Beaulieu Vineyard to become the only Napa Valley winery to remain in business during Prohibition.

In fact, during Prohibition the winery increased its business. After the repeal in 1933, de Latour began searching for someone who could contribute European winemaking expertise. In 1938, he traveled to France and returned with André Tchelistcheff, famed viticulturist and enologist who instituted the philosophy of continuous innovation in vineyard and winery to which we remain dedicated today. Tchelistcheff introduced cold fermentation for white wines, malolactic fermentation for reds and aging red wines in small, French oak barrels. He also tasted the de Latour family's private wine-what they called "Private Reserve"-from the 1936 vintage. This Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine was so distinctive that Tchelistcheff insisted it be bottled and sold as the winery's flagship offering. The result was the inaugural release of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that was destined to become Napa Valley's first "cult" Cabernet.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Pair with filet mignon and other hearty red meats or point reyes blue cheese crostini, smoked onion and gruyere cheese tarts or southwest blackened beef rib eye.