The 2006 George De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon represents a great Rutherford winemaking tradition that dates back to the early 1900’s. Named after the wineries founder, the Georges De Latour is the flagship of BV winery and with one sip it’s easy to see the dedication, innovation, and style that went into producing this amazing specimen.
Beaulieu Vineyard is the longest continually operating winery in Napa Valley. With over 100 years of rich history, the BV story speaks of a “beautiful place” and extraordinary people who shaped winemaking in America. The new Georges de Latour Private Reserve Winery is a winery-within-a-winery, completely housed in one of the buildings on the historic Rutherford estate. The winery is entirely self-contained and the new winery design features hourly automatic pumpovers that last only five minutes each. This winery features three fermentation options—20 2,000 gallon stainless steel tanks, for bright fruit character; five 1,600-gallon French oak tanks; and more than 400 new, 60-gallon French oak barrels. I am amazed at how intricate and complex this system is but more amazed at how much it makes sense. This gives the winemaker Joel Aiken complete control over color, tannins, and flavors. This definitely represents the future of wine making and it will be interesting to see more wineries develop more “total control” wine making techniques as creativity and technology improves.
The 2006 represents the 70th vintage release of the George De Latour and it is easy for me to say that is one of the best cabernets I have ever enjoyed. The color is deep violet, almost inky with ruby edges; Medium to full bodied. The nose was very concise and concentrated delivering notes of wild blackberry, cassis and anise, with a hint of dustiness. The palate was supple, soft and silk on the tongue as well as inviting and warming. I couldn’t believe how balanced this wine was; the tannins somewhat understated with a perfect dryness to coat the mouth. I could taste the care and artistry that went into making this wine. Every sip leading to the next giving me blackberry, cassis, currants, black licorice, with a smooth rich finish with great complexity.
VARIETAL COMPOSITION- 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot
BARREL AGING- 22 Months, 86% French Oak, 14% American Oak, 82% New Oak
AGEABILITY- 5 years or more
The 2006 George De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has stood firmly through time as the first reserve Cabernet from Napa and has redefined itself many times over. This wine will always be an ultimate expression of Cabernet and a perfect merger of old world wine making by way of futuristic techniques. It was a true pleasure to experience a product of this caliber. I recommend to all who are interested to visit www.bvwines.com
The wines that one best remembers are not necessarily the finest that one has ever tasted, and the highest quality may fail to delight so much as some far more humble beverage drunk in more favorable surroundings.
H. Warner Allen
(From the wine list of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, LA courtesy of John McDonald, Dallas, TX)