Vinopolis Grand Opening Commences with Beaulieu Vineyard Centennial Tasting

Aug 02, 1999, 01:00 ET from Beaulieu Vineyard

    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