Beaulieu Vineyards Georges De Latour Vertical Tasting back to 1975

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 07:30 PM

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“No thing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God.”Plato c. 429-347 B.C. Greek Philosopher




We have an incredible line-up of wine tasting events on the calendar for the first few months of the year and when I received a collection of older vintage Beaulieu Vineyards George De Latour a few months I immediately set these wines aside for the scientific research that we are conducting here at Wine Watch and put a date on the calendar to drink them… or I mean study them.

Beaulieu Vineyards is one of the original four wineries of the Napa Valley and their Georges De Latour Cabernet Sauvignon reserve was once the most iconic wine coming from the Napa Valley.  Some feel that under the late great Andre Tcheltistcheff’s tenure at Beaulieu Vineyards some of the best wines of Napa Valleys’ history were produced in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Just for fun I have thrown in a Magnum of 1978 Chateau Margaux into the mix to see if out tasters can tell the difference between one of Bordeaux's first growths and one of Napa Valley's finest.  I have also a ringer from Sonoma in the mix for this experiment and of course there may be a few others as you know you always get extra’s at Wine Watch.

There are only 14 spaces available for this event and his tasting which includes dinner is only $195 + tax.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail



Beaulieu Vineyards Georges De Latour Vertical Tasting
Thursday, January 17th


1962 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (label faded)

1975 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon George de Latour Reserve Napa

1976 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon George de Latour Reserve Napa

1978 Chateau Margaux Margaux Magnum

1979 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon George de Latour Reserve Napa

1982 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon George de Latour Reserve Napa

1985 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon George de Latour Reserve Napa

1985 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander's Crown Sonoma



Charcuterie and Cheese Selection

Wild Mushroom tartar with Elderflower Aioli and fresh herbs

Sous Vide Duck Breast with Currant Cabernet natural Sauce Whipped creme fraiche mash and roasted baby carrots

Chocolate Peanut Butter Date Fudge


This tasting is limited to 14 tasters and is $195.00 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail or e-mail  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you don’t do Duck and we will be happy to serve you a vegan dish.



A bit about Beaulieu Vineyards:

Image result for Beaulieu Vineyards

He was a Russian immigrant with a name that still confounds connoisseurs.  He had studied enology in Paris and was summoned to America in the late thirties to make wine for the family of Georges de Latour in Rutherford, California.  Nobody could know then the profound impact that this man, Andre Tchelistcheff, would have on the future course of the California wine industry. 

Four decades earlier in 1900 the de Latours founded the winery they named Beaulieu (beautiful place), and it flourished during the early part of the century.  In order to prevent the complete collapse of the winery during Prohibition, Monsieur de Latour made sacramental wines at BV. (Sometime in the early history of Beaulieu the name as additionally abbreviated "BV" to accommodate an American public which had difficulty pronouncing French words.)  After repeal de Latour concentrated on returning the winery to its former status; and before he died in 1940, he committed the land directly across from the winery to producing the finest Cabernet possible.  In his honor the wine made there was called Georges de Latour Private Reserve.

Winemaker Tcheltistcheff knew what great wine this small vineyard was capable of producing.  Immediately after Prohibition, the Cabernets from this select plot were sold to Californians as simple jug "Burgundy"; at that time no sophisticated audience of wine lovers existed.  However, Andre set out to create one.  Although practically nobody else in California was doing so, he insisted on aging red wines in small oak barrels.  This is viewed by many historical observers of the scene as one of his greatest contributions to California wine. (It was American oak, however, and it is still preferred to this day at BV over the more subtle, less aggressive French oak.)  Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon first appeared on the American market with the 1936 vintage.  It was a benchmark occasion for California wine, for it was the first post-Prohibition attempt at producing a premium varietal at what was in those days a very premium price.  It is interesting to note that the 1936 BV Reserve sold for $8.50 a case when it was released in 1939 and could still be purchased in 1955 for $1 per bottle!! Tchelistcheff went on to make many more innovative technological contributions to the California wine industry; he officially retired in 1972.  Since Tchelistcheff's "retirement" he has consulted to dozens of wineries.  Today, in his eighties, Andre Tchelistcheff is revered as the "father of the modern California wine industry."

As the wine from the Georges de Latour Vineyard grew famous, Beaulieu became known as the "royal house of Napa" - crosstown rival Inglenook notwithstanding.  American Presidents always served BV Private Reserves to visiting dignitaries in the fifties and the sixties.  Some older vintages of the Private Reserve have  become legendary and demand prices in auctions approaching those of the Grand Crus of Bordeaux (the great 1936 BV Reserve now commands over $2000/bottle).  With the proliferation of a number of great Cabernet producers in the 1970's, BV lost its unquestioned leadership.  Some maintain that BV continued to make great wines and that the winery was simply overlooked as trendy connoisseurs sought out the hottest new boutiques. 

BV has a strong history of growing grapes on some of the best sites in Napa Valley. Beginning in 1904, Georges de Latour propelled this wine growing region onto the world stage with his first vineyard purchase in Rutherford - known as BV Ranch #1. Today, with more than 1,100 acres of estate vineyards and long-term relationships with our grower partners, Beaulieu Vineyard is the largest producer of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. We focus on combining our long term knowledge of each vineyard with extensive research on clones, trellising styles, and viticultural techniques. The results are finely tuned growing practices for each location that produce the absolute highest quality grapes.

Today the legacy of Andre Tchelistcheff lives on at Beaulieu Vineyard but the current winemaker is Trevor Durling.  Trevor presides as only the fifth winemaker in the winery’s 117-year history.  A native Californian, Trevor was raised in Sonoma County, the heart of Northern California’s wine country.  With a love of agriculture, science and cuisine, Trevor pursued his studies at the University of California Davis in the Viticulture and Enology program.  As winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, Trevor incorporates his passion for creating fine wines, while preserving the heritage and legacy of Beaulieu Vineyard.


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