Beaulieu Vineyard2003 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
BV is about to release its top wine, and despite some grousing from the Wine Spectator’s Jim Laube, I say this is the best Georges since the mid-1990s.
The wine is lovely and perfumed with classic blackberry aromas. On the palate, it’s tight and substantial – as a Georges should be when young. But it’s excellently balanced with beautiful fruit. A classic Georges. Hold it for at least a couple of years as I think it has enough tannins and acidity to see it age for up to 25.
As for my colleague, well, he’s written that the Georges is one of the wines he thinks is “underperforming”; and cites BV’s past problems with TCA (corked wines). I’ve tasted many of BV’s wines since the 2001 vintage (when TCA was purportedly found) and I’ve seen no evidence of the bacteria. Additionally, the winery has taken out much of the wood beams – the suspected source of the 2,4,6 trichloranisole – in its old cellar.
The 2003 was aged for 20 months in 60 percent French barrels and the remainder in American wood with 52 percent of the whole being new. The listed alcohol is 14.2 percent. The production – 14,000 cases – is enormous for such a storied and improved reserve wine.
Reviewed August 24, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.