About BV Georges de Latour Reserve 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
A legendary wine, the Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet has been a standard bearer for Napa Valley Cabernets for over 60 years, going back to the legendary André Tchelistcheff who produced the first bottling in 1936 and every subsequent bottling until he died in 1994. Now Beaulieu Vineyards has built an all-new modern winery just to produce Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet.
Grapes were hand selected grapes from the finest Cabernet Sauvignon vines from the western bench of the Rutherford AVA in BV's iconic BV Ranches No. 1 and No. 2, originally planted by Georges de Latour in the early 1900s. Focused on clonal selections (6, 4, 169, 5197, 7 and 8), which yield small berries with the high skin-to-juice ratio, to make intense, long-lived wines. The fruit was handpicked and optically sorted once it arrived to the winery in order to ensure the highest quality selection. These chosen vines are deeply rooted in the well-draining alluvial fan soils of Rutherford, considered one of the finest regions of Napa Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wine is fermented in roughly 50% new French oak barrels which provides early integration and enhances the dense, rich texture. The balance of the must was fermented in stainless steel and concrete fermenters which preserves the freshness of the fruit. Following judicious extended skin contact and in-barrel malolactic fermentation, the wine was pressed and returned to barrels for aging. A small amount of Petit Verdot was blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon to further enhance the wine’s aroma and flavor profile.
For this 2017 vintage, they took more care in selecting the barrels chosen specifically for crafting Georges de Latour. They narrowed down their barrel coopers to the top 10 premium barrels to craft a Cabernet with incredible structure without any of the harsh grippy, astringent tannins that are sometimes associated with Napa Cabernet. This barrel regime is very important to the elevated quality of Georges de Latour Private Reserve. The final blend is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 95% new French oak.
James Suckling scored this 97 points saying "This is one of the most balanced Georges de Latour, offering currants, minerals, fresh herbs and spices. It’s full-bodied with very fine tannins. Long and focused. Subtle and complex. Very elegant and refined in the end. Reminds me of classic, old vintages from the 1960s and 1970s."
Decanter Magazine scored this 96 points saying "Showcasing the deep slashes of liquorice that you find in Cabernet from Napa, this is layered with concentrated cassis. A more generously spiced, ripe, juicy and pure version than you often find in the savoury, menthol-laced Cabernet of Bordeaux. This is confident and has years of pleasure ahead of it for anyone who owns it."
The Wine Advocate scored this 94 points saying "Composed of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour was aged for 22 months in French oak, 95% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is open and ready for business, featuring notions of redcurrant jelly, black raspberries, boysenberries and spice cake with touches of red roses, camphor, dark chocolate and new leather. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers bags of fragrant red and black fruit preserves, framed by plush tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and perfumed. This is a very pretty expression of this vintage, which is drinking beautifully now and yet should cellar for a good 20 years or more."