Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Napa Cabernet 2015
By 1900, young French emigre to San Francisco Georges de Latour had already made a fortune. And with his fortune he was keen to explore the finer things in life, if not the finest – like making Cabernet in paradise on earth: Napa Valley.
There, he and his wife Fernande came across the little hamlet of Rutherford and upon seeing it for the first time proclaimed it Beau Lieu, or “beautiful place.” George wasted no time – he planted vines and set out on a quest to make the best possible American wine, better than the French, in Napa Valley.
That’s a true story – BV IS Napa’s Original Napa Cabernet. And those of you who have visited Napa probably know it’s true. While George and Fernande’s Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) winery has seen its ups and downs over the years it now has over a century of continuous fine wine production – the only winery in the U.S. to be able to make this claim.
BV was one of the few wineries to make it through Prohibition, and in fact grew fourfold during Prohibition by making sacramental wine. As such, come 1933, de Latour was perfectly positioned to buy land, plant vineyards and truly set out on his quest to make world-class California wine. He did this in two ways.
First, he went to France to hunt down a French winemaker. What he came away with is the Grandfather of Napa Cabernet – André Tchelistcheff – the most famous vintner ever to have worked in Napa. And André’s story is worth another entire email. More on that another time.
What André noticed was that George had planted remarkable vineyards, some of what were – and continue to be – the absolute crème de la crème sweet spots for growing Cabernet.
As the current winemaker – more than a century after the founding of BV testifies, “it’s an absolute privilege to work in these vineyard sites with their enormous historical and cultural profundity. Yet further, it’s a privilege because the fruit from these sites goes into THIS bottle of wine, some of the absolute best fruit in Napa Valley, proven by tradition and borne out by the vineyards themselves.” And that, my friends, is what lays in store for you with this bottle:
This is, without a doubt, great Rutherford Cabernet – there is a pure and utter saturation of color, aromas and flavors. The ripeness of the fruit comes through right from the first whiff of the glass – loads of blackberry, raspberry and black cherry draw for the violet, vanilla and oak spices. On the palate the classic “Rutherford dust”, the arcenacious cocoa and mocha tannins gives the wine an expansive mouthfeel. The ’15 was a lower-yielding vintage, offering up depth and structure. Don’t hesitate to drink it now after a 30-minute decant, but also feel free to lay it down for 10 years or more. The weather is hot, so get outside and grill your favorite steak to serve it with this treasure of a Cabernet.
And amazingly, we got it at a record low price. Don’t miss it.
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