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1958 George de Latour Reserve  $839.99

1970 George de Latour Reserve  $174.99

1970 George de Latour Rsv  1.5L $349.99

1971 George de Latour Reserve  $ 99.99

1985 George de Latour Reserve  $124.99

1986 George de Latour Reserve  $119.99

1990 George de Latour Reserve  $ 78.99

1994 George de Latour Reserve  $114.99

all prices per bottle

Beaulieu Vineyards, the story

“Quel Beaulieu” or “beautiful place” in French is what Fernande de Latour said when she saw the four-acre wheat farm her husband George bought for her in 1900.   George decided to surprise his wife and the property in the heart of the Napa Valley in a small town called Rutherford, provided the perfect place.  The Napa Valleys vineyards had been in the grips of the root louse phylloxera, but with Georges’ knowledge of phylloxera resistant rootstock, he helped rebuild not only his new operation, but the Napa Valley wine industry as well. 

Soon, he was able to buy the old stone winery across the road, a facility that had been built in 1885 by former California Senator Seneca Ewer. Almost immediately, Georges added a new wing with more vats and barrels to accommodate his increased production. Within the next ten years, he expanded the new BV winery three times, and volume grew to more than one million gallons.  When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Georges de Latour had become a wealthy man, and his facilities were thoroughly up to date. He had never completely ceased making regular table wines, and had been aging them patiently in the cellars, waiting for the laws to change. When the day of repeal finally came, Beaulieu Vineyards was ready to recommence offering wines to the general public. 

The wines received noteworthy praise, even in New York, as de Latour refused to sell mediocre grapes in bulk or poor wine, preferring to sell bottled wine and wine in cask to his top regional distributors. By this time, Georges had planted BV #3 on church-bought land on the east side of Rutherford, adding further depth to the increasing acreage devoted to top grapes. 

By 1936 de Latour realized he needed a new approach if he was going to produce wine as high in quality as French wine. 1936 turned out a small but great vintage and Georges de Latour needed a winemaker, someone who understood European standards and knew how to make world-class wine. No one at Beaulieu Vineyard, no matter how competent, possessed this expertise. 

In 1938, Georges went back to his roots, to the Bordeaux region of France, to find the man who could make his dream of world-class wine a reality. By chance, he found that man working in Paris at the Institut National Agronomique — a Russian-born émigré named André Tchelistcheff. Tchelistcheff listened to de Latour’s request to work for him in California. Tchelistcheff arrived in California in September 1938, and California wine would never be the same again. Tchelistcheff began producing a high quality “reserve” wine, the “George de Latour” private reserve.  This wine would become one of the Napa Valleys longest running most consistent collectable Cabernets.  During the 1940s, BV wines were served at all important White House functions, enjoyed by people like Eleanor Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.  

While at Beaulieu, tchelistcheff served as mentor and teacher to many of today's leading winemakers including winemaking legends Joe Heitz, Robert Mondavi, and Mike Grgich, as well as current head winemaker Joel Aiken.  Tschelistcheff's work at Beaulieu, his influence on the image of Napa Valley wine, has probably not been equaled by any other figure in the wine world to date.  He served as consultant to other wineries, tutored many young enologists, including his nephew Alex Golitzin of Quilceda Creek, and encouraged other wine men to establish themselves in the valley. 

George died in 1940, and his wife succeeded him as head of the winery until her death in 1951, when it came into the possession of their daughter, Marquise de Pins.  Then in 1969 the family tradition came to an end when the historic winery, who's name was synonymous with the finest vintages, was sold to beverage giant Hueblein Inc. 

The 1980’s saw more change. Two vineyards were purchased in Carneros, and two more were bought in St. Helena and Calistoga. Beaulieu Vineyard was engaged in a major, pioneering study of Cabernet Sauvignon clones with U.C. Davis, and Joel Aiken was doing extensive research on oak aging. As the 1980’s progressed, it became clear that Aiken was someone who understood Beaulieu Vineyard. Aiken became Head Winemaker in 1985, and made the most of the excellent 1985-87 vintages. By the early 1990’s, Aiken became the new Director of Winemaking for Beaulieu Vineyard. He reinvigorated the company, bringing a sense of continuity and consistency to Beaulieu Vineyard and its bold vision for making benchmark wines.  Beaulieu Vineyard celebrated its centennial in 2000.

Past Reviews:

"...the 1958...For me, the greatest BV ever produced, this is an incredibly delicious, wonderfully complex, elegant wine that is graced with layers of fruit and subtle nuances. The black cherry, plum and spice flavors linger on and on.--Georges de Latour Private Reserve vertical.."  The Wine Spectator.

 

"One of BV's finest, the '70 is holding up in magnificent condition, although in this tasting it was a bit tired. Still a wonderfully complex, deep, intriquing wine, with layers of spice, currant, plum and cedary-herb flavors that are smooth and supple."  The Wine Spectator.

 

"...the 1985...Superb BV. Dark, with lovely mint, berry, currant and eucalyptus character. Full-bodied and chewy, with a solid tannin structure and a long, minty dark chocolate aftertaste.--Georges de Latour Private Reserve vertical. Best after 2003."  The Wine Spectator.

 

"One of the most prestigious wines in California, the 1994 version shows an impressive core of spicy currant and mineral-laced Cabernet flavors emerging from chewy tannins, picking up cedary oak, coffee and sage notes. Most enjoyable if cellared a bit. Best from 1999 through 2004."  The Wine Spectator.

 

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