About BV Georges de Latour Reserve 2018 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 a high skin-to-juice ratio, to make intense, long-lived wines. The fruit was handpicked and optically sorted once it arrived at 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 and Malbec were blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon to further enhance the wine’s aroma and flavor profile.
For this 2018 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 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec aged 22 months in 95% new French oak.
Vinous scored this 98 points saying "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 is a fine addition to the lineage of one of Napa Valley's most historic wines. Inky red fruit, chocolate, leather and licorice all open in the glass. Aeration brings out floral top notes, raspberry and a hint of blood orange. There is plenty of depth, but the tannins are finer than they were a few years ago. Shorter time on the skins and a reduction in barrel fermentations really allow the pedigree of these Rutherford sites to come through. The 2018 is sensational."
James Suckling scored this 98 points saying "Blackberry, blackcurrant and mint with some sage and crushed-stone undertones. Full-bodied with chewy tannins that are in-check and nicely polished. Smoke, toasted oak and bark at the end, complementing the fresh yet ripe fruit. Drink after 2024."
Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded this a Cellar Selection and scored it 97 points saying "The famous wine lives up to its historic promise in this wonderfully complex and structured vintage, the wine showing an abundance of tension and youthful grip. Earthy in dried herb, cedar and sage, it shares notes of black currant, cassis and forest within a textured and brightly layered foundation of elegant ageablity. Enjoy best from 2028–2038."
The Wine Advocate scored this 96+ saying "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple in color, it prances out of the glass with flamboyant scents of blackberry preserves, wild blueberries and crème de cassis, followed by hints of cigar box, Chinese five spice and pencil shavings with a waft of menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a solid structure of firm grainy tannins and seamless freshness supporting the muscular black fruit, finishing long and earthy."