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2018 Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

98 VM

Critic Reviews

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 is a fine addition to the lineage of one of Napa Valley’s most historic wines. Inky red fruit, chocolate, leather and licorice all open in the glass. Aeration brings out floral top notes, raspberry and a hint of blood orange. There is plenty of depth, but the tannins are finer than they were a few years ago. Shorter time on the skins and a reduction in barrel fermentations really allow the pedigree of these Rutherford sites to come through. The 2018 is sensational.

Antonio Galloni | 98 AG
Blackberry, blackcurrant and mint with some sage and crushed-stone undertones. Full-bodied with chewy tannins that are in-check and nicely polished. Smoke, toasted oak and bark at the end, complementing the fresh yet ripe fruit. Drink after 2024.

James Suckling | 98 JS
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges De Latour Private Reserve is a gorgeous wine from this team that’s reminiscent of the 2016, if not slightly more tannic. Blackcurrants, cassis, tobacco leaf, and nicely integrated oak all make an appearance, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a beautiful sense of purity and freshness, flawless balance, and a great finish. It has plenty of structure and, like a lot of 2018s, not a huge amount of baby fat, which gives it a firmer, more age-worthy vibe. While it’s unquestionably approachable today, do your best to hide bottles for 4-5 years, and it should have a gradual evolution over the coming 20-25 years. I followed this bottle for multiple days and it only improved. It’s brilliant, seamless wine in the making.

Jeb Dunnuck | 97+ JD
The famous wine lives up to its historic promise in this wonderfully complex and structured vintage, the wine showing an abundance of tension and youthful grip. Earthy in dried herb, cedar and sage, it shares notes of black currant, cassis and forest within a textured and brightly layered foundation of elegant ageablity. Enjoy best from 2028–2038.

Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple in color, it prances out of the glass with flamboyant scents of blackberry preserves, wild blueberries and crème de cassis, followed by hints of cigar box, Chinese five spice and pencil shavings with a waft of menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a solid structure of firm grainy tannins and seamless freshness supporting the muscular black fruit, finishing long and earthy.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RP
An excellent 2018 from one of the oldest and most historic estates in Napa filled with just the right amount of density, power and structure. The nose is rich and fruit-filled, bursting with blackcurrants, raspberries and black cherries alongside perfumed aromatics and touches of dried herbs. The first sip shows the wine’s depth and concentration, full-bodied with layers of cherry, liquorice and tobacco leaf with an unlying suppleness and freshness that gives bounce and chewiness to the fruit. Lovely density and juice throughout with velvet-like tannins and sustaining acidity. Vibrant and youthful with plenty of potential for ageing. A blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. Wines are aged for 22 months in French oak, 95% new barrels. Made by winemaker Trevor Durling, also general manager of Beaulieu owner Treasury Wine Estates. (Drink between 2024-2035)

Decanter | 96 DEC
Juicy, ripe and inviting, featuring racy cassis, plum and boysenberry compote notes that stretch out over the anise- and applewood-tinged spine. A bit taut in the end, with a cedary edge, but there’s ample fruit here to give this some cellaring. Drink now through 2031. 12,871 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 92 WS

Wine Details for 2018 Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Type of Wine California Red : Whether it's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Zinfandel, Californian red wine producers have a lovely habit of taking a varietal and expressing its essence in a unique, never before seen way. From Napa Valley to the regions south of Los Angeles, there's a red for everyone - and it's never too late to start exploring.
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon : It is recognized worldwide, referred to as “king of grapes” and has easily become the most popular grape variety in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon has seemingly taken the world by storm. It has seen exponential growth and popularity in American and around the world over the past thirty years. The phrase “Cabernet is king,” is a common maxim in the world of wine. Cabernet Sauvignon wine has become so popular that when being referred to can be recognized by simple slang, such as “Cab” or “Cabernet. It might appear simple, straightforward and easily understood; yet, interestingly remains an enigma, which has both baffled and excited oenologists since its discovery.

The exact origin and circumstances of this world-altering event are still enigmatic; however, at the end of the 20th century, UC Davis Scientists (John Bowers and Carole Meredith) were able to solve part of the mystery using DNA fingerprinting technology that proved Cabernet Sauvignon to be the offspring of a surprising spontaneous crossing of Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. By the 18th century there were already records of Cabernet Sauvignon being well-established on the west side of the Gironde Estuary (Left Bank) in the Medoc and Graves.

Although tremendously popular in California and what seems to have become the identity of Napa Valley winemaking, Cabernet Sauvignon’s birth took place in the Bordeaux region of southwest France by fortuitous unification. Whereas Napa Valley experienced a winemaking renaissance during the 1970’s and 1980s (greatly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris) quality wine from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been produced in the Medoc, on the Left Bank of Bordeaux for over 400 years.

Cabernet Sauvignon’s first recorded plantings in California can be traced back to the 1850’s when Antoine Delmas, a French nurseryman, brought French vines (including one called ‘Cabrunet’) to the Santa Clara Valley. Early cultivation suffered due to obscurity of the varietal and improper planting in inhospitable soil. It wasn’t until pioneers such as Robert Mondavi, Randy Dunn and Warren Winiarski with their amazing foresight and understanding of terroir, would the grape variety finally find its niche in California winemaking.

Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in warm climates moderated by a cooling marine influence. It is perfectly attuned to gravel-based soils with good drainage. Whether on flat land or a hillside, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape flourishes in proper climates and terroir, producing incredible yields. The thick grapevine is extremely vigorous allowing it to exploit its natural host. Its distinctive small, black berries (reminiscent of blueberries) adhere firmly to the stalk and are capable of a very long “hang time.” These berries are extremely concentrated, producing intensely flavored fruit. The thick skins of the grape are characterized as having highly astringent flavor, high tannin, acidity and dark color. Coincidentally, the variety has a special affinity for oak, which helps soften the bitterness.

Today, the Noble Bordeaux varietal of Cabernet Sauvignon is planted on 340,000 hectares (741,300 acres) of vineyards across the earth’s surface. From Sicily to Sonoma, Chile to Bordeaux, South Africa to Napa. It has found symbiosis in terroir hotspots that mimic that of the Medoc and Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon’s globetrotting has allowed the grape variety to take root all over the world, captivating its inhabitants and influencing winemaking. This serendipitous marriage between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc centuries ago, which offered to the world its progeny, has changed the landscape of winegrowing, winemaking and the face of the entire wine market forever. It has influenced blending, changed civilization and has cultivated a place for itself in today’s world… the very pinnacle.

Country US : As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Region California : With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Subregion Napa Valley
Appellation Rutherford
Cru Private Reserve


Producer Beaulieu Vineyard : In the year 1900, when Georges de Latour's wife, Fernande, first laid eyes on the land that would become their original Rutherford vineyard, she said "Quelle beau lieu!" meaning, "What a beautiful place.” Shortly thereafter, he procured the four-acre ranch with the vision of making Napa Valley wines that would rival his native France. Now, with over 120 years of winemaking history, Beaulieu Vineyard (often referred to as BV) has become a California icon, introducing America’s first cult wine, etching its name in the upper echelon of California producers and becoming a globally recognized label.

Beaulieu Vineyard was poised to succeed from the beginning, expanding its holdings by 1903 with the purchase of a 127-acre property, which they named BV Ranch No. 1, and again in 1910 with the purchase of another property, named BV Ranch No. 2. De Latour began importing pest-resistant vines and offered European vitis vinifera varieties that were grown, grafted, and shipped from Europe to his fellow wine industry colleagues in California. He established his own nursery in Paris to produce these grafted vines. The St. Helena Star (weekly newspaper founded in 1874) noted in October 1911, “When it comes to quality, California is greatly indebted to Mr. G. de Latour, of Rutherford, who for some years has imported hundreds of thousands of the choicest French grafted vines, which have been planted in all the important vineyards of the State.”

During the 1920s, when Prohibition brought a screeching halt to US winemaking, Beaulieu was continuing to flourish; greatly due to de Latour’s prudence and incessant efforts at expanding Beaulieu Vineyard. As luck would have it, years before Prohibition began, de Latour had the foresight to obtain a warrant to produce altar wine for the Church and was thus positioned to become the first nationwide supplier of altar wine to Catholic churches across America. He established offices in New York as the Beaulieu Vineyard Distributing Company, explicitly for the altar wine trade. While other producers were closing their doors, de Latour was purchasing vineyards and implementing new equipment. His actions allowed Beaulieu Vineyard’s business to thrive and increase fourfold in the 1920s

In 1938, post-Prohibition, de Latour traveled to France and met Andre Tchelistcheff, “The Maestro” winemaker. De Latour hired Tchelistcheff, a Russian-born enologist with European winemaking expertise and a spirit of innovation, as winemaker. When Tchelistcheff joined Beaulieu Vineyard and tasted the de Latour family’s private wine, what they called “Private Reserve” from the 1936 vintage, he insisted it be bottled and sold as the winery’s flagship offering. In 1941, Beaulieu Vineyard released the first vintage of Private Reserve and named it Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, in honor of founder, Georges de Latour who passed away the previous year (1940). This was the first release of a wine that became Napa Valley’s first “cult” Cabernet.

Tchelistcheff devoted 35 years to BV, eventually relinquishing his position as winemaker in 1973. To continue Tchelistcheff's legacy of innovation, Beaulieu Vineyard made several investments in the early 2000s. First, a new state-of-the-art winemaking facility was completed in 2008, which is dedicated to the production of the flagship wine, Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This facility utilizes the latest technology in combination with time-honored traditions to produce this exceptional wine that has been widely recognized as the benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford since its inaugural vintage. In 2010, legendary winemaker Michel Rolland joined Beaulieu Vineyard as a blending consultant for reserve wines.

As evidence of these investments’ successes, the 2013 vintage of Georges de Latour produced wine of a particularly excellent quality and the very best of the barrels were bottled as "BV Rarity." It received 99 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Subsequent vintages of the Georges de Latour Private Reserve went on to earn 98 points. BV has a sense of pride for their high-quality wine reputation and work hard on continuous adjustments as technology advances. This legacy of innovation continues today with Trevor Durling as chief winemaker. Trevor joined Beaulieu Vineyard as only the fifth winemaker in 120 years.

Today, the phrase “Rutherford dust” reflects an enduring commitment to quality, a spirit of achievement, and a deep connection to Rutherford’s soil. This “sense of place” has allowed the development of terroir-inspired wines from their many vineyard sites throughout Napa. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel thrive in Rutherford’s long growing season; Carneros offers the perfect conditions for cool-climate varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. South of Calistoga, Zinfandel reigns supreme on half-century old vines. Each BV Ranch (1-11) are perfectly cultivated according to climate, terroir and varietal. BV’s massive portfolio includes single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, red and white blends and their world-famous, flagship Georges de Latour Private Reserve.

Since 1900, BV has been producing wines of world-renown, overcoming industry hardships, economic decline and vineyard hazards (phylloxera). Their wines have become the benchmark for Napa Valley. Not even the passing of the ambitious, fearless founder has slackened the company’s resolve. BV continues to prosper, offering to the world a plethora of quality California wines, continuing the vision and legacy of Georges de Latour.

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