2019 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Georges de Latour Private Reserve, Rutherford, Napa Valley – JS100, DE97, WE97 – 3+/$147.95

2019 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Georges de Latour Private Reserve, Rutherford, Napa Valley – JS100, DE97, WE97 – 3+/$147.95



Beaulieu Vineyards was once considered Napa Valley’s most famous and benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon producer.  Beginning in 1938, the Rutherford based winery was led by the French trained, and soon to be legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff  (“dean of American winemakers”) until the Russian born “Maestro” retired as vice president in 1973.

I still can vividly remember when I visited the historic BV tasting room back in 1972.   Even more thrilling was purchasing a bottle of the 1968 Beaulieu Vineyards George de Latour Private Reserve for $5.75 a year later.  At that time the wine was aged and rested in the bottle for five years before its release.

Beginning in the 1980s, and with the emergence of a new generation of boutique Napa Valley wineries, “BV” began to lose its luster, and soon fell off everyone’s radar.  The winery’s reputation was further damaged, when reports surfaced in 2002 that a new humidifier installed in its cellar had infected aging barrels of the 1997 thru 1999 vintages with TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), known as “cork taint”.  What a nightmare!

SUDDENLY!  Coming full circle, BV has everyone talking again…..and drinking!  Beginning with excellent ratings for the 2018 vintage, Beaulieu Vineyard’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is everyone’s darling again!  AND NOW – James Suckling (former editor for Wine Spectator) has declared the 2019 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve his NUMBER 1 WINE OF THE WORLD IN HIS TOP 100 WINES FOR 2022.  In fact,  Suckling has bestowed this wine with a A PERFECT 100 POINT RATING!

And other critics have fallen in line with sterling ratings of their own.  See below!

“Wow! The aromas to this are really exceptional, with a tangerine edge to the blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, flowers and wet earth. It changes all the time. So expressive and refined. Full-bodied with great intensity and depth of fruit. The ultra-fine tannins display millions of layers. The texture on the palate is superb and lasts for minutes. This is the new 1974 George de Latour, which was a legend. Real Napa Valley red here. Drinkable now, to understand it, but truly great in five to six years and onwards. Benchmark. – 100 points, James Suckling – AND #1 World Wine of the Year 2022

“Fragranced and richly fruited on the nose, vivid and vibrant. Smooth yet with crunchy fruit, this makes an immediate impression. Exuberant, racy and fruit forward with a sense of detail and character. I like the soft floral touches, the sweet blackcurrants and red berry elements, the chalky, minty fresh edges as well as some wild thyme and bay leaf herbal notes and a soft dusting of coffee and cocoa powder. Lots of tension still but also richness and concentration. The powdery yet also fleshy texture is so captivating and together with a mouthwatering capacity gives this wine such star power. Elegant and refined with supreme freshness and a real sense of vibrancy. That said, it’s more serious than the stunning 2018, less immediately approachable – it feels cooler but with more precision. One to wait for. Amazing styling going on by winemaker Trevor Durling. This has to be one of the best value Napa Valley wines going. Ageing 20 months in French oak (95% new). More Petit Verdot in the blend than usual at 9%.” – 97 points, Decanter (GH)  (7/2022)

“Another stunning vintage of this classic wine, blended with 9% Petit Verdot, this wine is dark and brooding in black cherry, cassis and currant, with a rich nose of baking spice. Lengthy and generous in tannin, it shows a backbone of age worthy structure and complexity, with a lasting thread of dark chocolate. 97 points, Wine Enthusiast (VB)  (10/2022)

“While the quality of the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is indeed excellent, what may be even more impressive is that there are more than 12,000 cases of the stuff. Marked by scents of cherries, dusty earth, dried herbs and hints of cedar, it’s full-bodied, silky and complex, with a lingering finish. It doesn’t require much cellaring, but it should drink well for close to two decades. Nicely done. – 94 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (JC)  (9/2022)

“A dark, winey style, with a core of gently steeped black currant and blackberry fruit flavors that tumble around with warm earth, dark licorice and roasted alder. Gaining nice contrast from a flash of violet, this is tightly focused and bears a dust-tinged structure, signaling the need for a touch of cellaring to stretch out fully. Best from 2024 through 2036. 12,087 cases made.” – 93 points, Wine Spectator

First, after decanting the 2019 Reserve, we waited to taste this dark ruby-purple potion for about two hours while Renee prepared dinner (rack of lamb). During that period I was utterly compelled to deeply inhale from the decanter at least twenty times. I can’t recall the last time I was so captivated by the rapturous, deep and complex aromas of a wine.

The 2019 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon George de Latour Private Reserve is an epiphany wine! I know this wine! No exaggeration! It seriously reminds me of the glorious 1968 I mentioned earlier, which launched my love for Cabernet Sauvignon and Napa Valley.

The wine is a pure joy to taste! A symphony in a glass. A harmonious balance of deep, ripe cassis and dark berry fruits. I don’t want to overstate, but the silky opulent texture on the palate makes this Cabernet irresistible to drink. However, there is still plenty of supporting structure, and finely integrated tannins buried in the core of fruit to assure long term cellaring. The long finish is tapered and elegant.

I need to give kudos to James Suckling for identifying and singing this wine’s greatness.  Likewise to the declarations by Decanter and Wine Enthusiast. Within those 100 to 97 point ratings and descriptions lie the truth (scroll down)! Frankly, I am puzzled know how the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator “missed it”? The 2019 will become a classic. And given its price relative to all the contemporary Napa Valley “big guns” of today, this wine is a deal. Fashion has come full circle! Get yours while you can!

Honestly, there is no excuse NOT to purchase at least a bottle or two of this wine simply for the drinking experience and revelation. It’s never too late for another wine epiphany, or to gift such enlightenment to another. One does not need to be an aficionado to recognize and appreciate its beauty.

Price is $154.95 a bottle or 3+/$147.95


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