RUTHERFORD, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) conducted a historic tasting of the Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, at the opening of Vinopolis, City of Wine, London's newest tourist destination, on July 20. This unique never-to-be-repeated tasting was the premier event to be staged at Vinopolis -- a remarkable achievement for an American wine. The choice of Beaulieu for Vinopolis' inaugural events also attests to the increasing importance and visibility of California wine in the UK market. BV's tasting included all of the vintages of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from its inception in 1936 to barrel samples of the 1997 and 1998. Respected wine critics included Michael Broadbent MW, Oz Clarke, Steven Spurrier and Hugh Johnson. Almost sixty vintages were tasted, with commentary provided by the complete BV winemaking team of Joel Aiken, Director of Winemaking, and winemakers Jeffrey Stambor and Bob Masyczek. Joel Butler, MW, acted as coordinator and moderator for the event, which took place in the Academia Room of Vinopolis. "BV celebrates its Centennial Year in 2000," commented Joel Aiken. "All of us felt that a record of the vintages produced to date was mandatory. These notes will be a key component of the history of BV that will be published next year, written by Rod Smith. As we have so few of the older bottles remaining, and in light of our renewed commitment to expanding our image globally, we decided that Vinopolis would be an appropriately superb venue to do this tasting." BV's historic legacy as a critical pioneer of Napa Valley winegrowing, and the colorful people associated with its illustrious wine, including Andre Tchelistcheff, was duly noted by the participation of Dorothy Tchelistcheff, Andre's widow. The wines were served in decennial flights, beginning with the 1936 and 1939, along with vintages from the 40's. The last flight of wines focused on the wonderful wines made in the decade of the 90's, including specially drawn barrel samples of the 1997 (BV's Centennial Vintage) and the 1998. Throughout the event, the winemakers stressed the continued adherence to the classic vineyards that have always contributed to the Private Reserve wines on the Rutherford Bench. Yet there was clear evidence that the wines of the 90's indicated a more mature, modern view of winemaking that emphasizes the beneficial effects of superior clones and later harvesting to more accurately reflect the true potential of the vineyards. At the same time, as well-known writer Michael Shuster commented, "Quite apart from a range of impressively consistent Cabernets, this was a fascinating view of six decades of California winemaking -- from the vantage point of the present." His view was shared by several others at the tasting, including Michael Broadbent MW of Christies, who called this Centennial tasting "totally fascinating." Beaulieu Vineyard is a key component of UDV's global wine family, which also includes Glen Ellen, Blossom Hill and M.G. Vallejo in California, Le Piat d'Or in France, Navarro Correas of Argentina as well as Croft and Delaforce of Oporto, Portugal.
SOURCE Beaulieu Vineyard