1979 Beaulieu Vineyard "Georges de Latour Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900325 92 points Vinous

 Good full deep red. Complex if rather subdued aromas of cassis, cherry, spices, flowers and loam, plus a freshening eucalyptus note that was probably due to a row of eucalyptus trees planted next to the BV #3 vineyard (now Andy Beckstoffer's Georges III vineyard), which at the time was part of the Georges de Latour blend. Vibrant red berry and spice flavors convey noteworthy energy for a 40-year-old bottle. The wine's intriguing spicy complexity carries through on the finish, which features distinctly firm tannins that turned a bit dusty in the glass. This wine gives the impression of being in a state of suspended animation. (ST)  (4/2019)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 My ratings on the 1979 Private Reserve have inched up as it begins to justify some of the lavish hype the wine received after its release. It remains a youthful, backward Cabernet Sauvignon that should prove to be one of the longest-lived 1979s. The wine exhibits a dark ruby color with no lightening at the edge. No aged bouquet has yet developed, but an attractive perfume of sweet red and black fruits, vanilla, herbs, and earth is pleasing. In the mouth, there is outstanding richness, full body, crisp, underlying acidity, and moderate tannin in the finish. This wine appears to have broadened, gained weight, and expanded on the palate without losing any of its youthful quality. (RP)  (6/1995)

K&L Notes

Collector's note currently published by BV: "Medium dark ruby-garnet color similar to 1978. This is a denser and more focused wine than 1978, with fuller fruit, less earthiness, and fine bright cassis flavors. The acidity is still quite good, which emphasizes the berryish fruit. Doesn't have quite the richness of the 1978 but is more stylish and better balanced."

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Price: $129.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 13