2019 Beaulieu Georges De Latour Private Reserve
The Collective Review
It is not often we reference the complete words of others to help paint the picture of why a specific wine has been chosen to be sold at The Wine Collective. But when these words were written in late 2022 by the highly influential wine critic (and now the world's most prolific taster) James Suckling, we just had to reprint it in all its glory.
James had just given the Beaulieu Georges De Latour Private Reserve 2019 his coveted 'Wine of the Year' award, topping over 30,000 other contenders to take the top spot. This is exactly how he described it in his 100pt review:
The Wine of the Year 2022 is a reference point in so many ways. It comes from a long line of great wines from California, and it was first made in 1936 in Napa Valley. Personally, I started drinking this great wine when I was a teenager, receiving an occasional sip from my late father, John Suckling, who collected the wine from the 1960s to 1990s. He even gave me a bottle of the 1962 when I started working at The Wine Spectator in December 1981 and told me to taste and understand it so I “would know about great wine.” The Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2019 is our Wine of the Year 2022. And not only it is a perfect wine, but it is also a wine that highlights the greatness of so many wines from Napa Valley and the United States from the 2019 vintage. The wine is so filigree in nature, with layers of fine tannins and complex aromas and flavors of currants, tobacco and mahogany. Plus, it has the structure to age beautifully for decades ahead. I love the way this BV private reserve shows more complexity and finesse even though the pure and bold character is still there. I spoke to BV Chief Winemaker Trevor Durling about it in May in Napa Valley and he said that he had been working toward a more “refined” and “drinkable” BV Private Reserve in recent years to honor the great bottlings of the 1960s and 1970s. He has achieved that with the 2019 and more. I even drank a pretty bottle of 1970 BV Private Reserve this week in Hong Kong, and it gave me the feeling the 2019 will be even better. We will see. James Suckling - 100 Points
Only 36 bottles of this tightly allocated wine have arrived in Australia. Do not hesitate to take home this timeless masterpiece. It's value, over time, will surely rise to even loftier heights.
Wow! The aromas to this are really exceptional, with a tangerine edge to the blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, flowers and wet earth. It changes all the time. So expressive and refined. Full-bodied with great intensity and depth of fruit. The ultra-fine tannins display millions of layers. The texture on the palate is superb and lasts for minutes. This is the new 1974 George de Latour, which was a legend. Real Napa Valley red here. Drinkable now, to understand it, but truly great in five to six years and onwards. Benchmark. #1 Top 100 Wines of the World 2022. Wine of the Year 2022. Read more
Wow! The aromas to this are really exceptional, with a tangerine edge to the blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, flowers and wet earth. It changes all the time. So expressive and refined. Full-bodied with great intensity and depth of fruit. The ultra-fine tannins display millions of layers. The texture on the palate is superb and lasts for minutes. This is the new 1974 George de Latour, which was a legend. Real Napa Valley red here. Drinkable now, to understand it, but truly great in five to six years and onwards. Benchmark. #1 Top 100 Wines of the World 2022. Wine of the Year 2022.
Bright full ruby. Truly mesmerizing, knockout aromas and flavours of dark fruits (blackberry, plum, blueberry), licorice, thyme, lavender of uncommon subtlety and elegance, not to mention an incredibly pure and lifted violet topnote. Then plush, dense and multilayered, but with outstanding energy and focus to the broad, fine-grained supple tannins. Absolutely weightless, this boasts an amazingly light touch on the spectacular, rising, suave, and extremely long finish that features hints of graphite and cocoa plus truly enchanting, repeating, notes of violet. The 2019 Georges de Latour Private Reserve is a mostly Cabernet Sauvignon wine with a small dollop of Petit Verdot that was aged in 95% new French oak for twenty months. It is one of the best California wines I have tasted in some time.
Lastly, the Grand Vin 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges De Latour Private Reserve is just about pure perfection. Classis darker fruits (cassis, currants) as well as chocolate, leafy tobacco, and loamy earth all define the bouquet, and this full-bodied, concentrated, powerful, yet also elegant 2019 has the balance and structure to evolve for decades. It should be relatively easy to find this in the market, and you won't be disappointed.
Another stunning vintage of this classic wine, blended with 9% Petit Verdot, this wine is dark and brooding in black cherry, cassis and currant, with a rich nose of baking spice. Lengthy and generous in tannin, it shows a backbone of ageworthy structure and complexity, with a lasting thread of dark chocolate.
Fragranced and richly fruited on the nose, vivid and vibrant. Smooth yet with crunchy fruit, this makes an immediate impression. Exuberant, racy and fruit forward with a sense of detail and character. I like the soft floral touches, the sweet blackcurrants and red berry elements, the chalky, minty fresh edges as well as some wild thyme and bay leaf herbal notes and a soft dusting of coffee and cocoa powder. Lots of tension still but also richness and concentration. The powdery yet also fleshy texture is so captivating and together with a mouthwatering capacity gives this wine such star power. Elegant and refined with supreme freshness and a real sense of vibrancy. That said, it's more serious than the stunning 2018, less immediately approachable - it feels cooler but with more precision. One to wait for. Amazing styling going on by winemaker Trevor Durling. This has to be one of the best value Napa Valley wines going. Ageing 20 months in French oak (95% new). More Petit Verdot in the blend than usual at 9%.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour is an infant, but it is shaping up to be a real gem. The 2019 includes 9% Petit Verdot, the highest ever, an approach that works here in giving the wine tremendous aromatic presence and overall depth. A whole range of savory and earthy notes lends complexity to this powerhouse Georges de Latour. The 2019 is impressive, that much is evident.
This report includes a very special wine – the Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2019. Its pedigree in Napa Valley is legendary. It was first produced in the 1936 vintage and it was arguably the first great wine of the United States. Often simply called the BV Private Reserve, this wine also holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the favorite wines of my late father, John Suckling. I remember my dad drinking the wine often in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He loved the 1958, 1962 and 1964. When I joined the American wine magazine The Wine Spectator in December 1981, my father gave me a bottle of the 1962 BV Private Reserve from his cellar and said: “Jimmy, go home and drink this and think about what you are drinking. You will understand what great wine is about after you do that.” The fact that he was a collector and drinker of top Bordeaux at the time only added credence to his words. And, of course, I followed his instructions and still remember the balance and structure of the ’62 BV. The wine was so filigree in nature with layers of fine tannins and complex aromas and flavors of currants, tobacco and mahogany. I had some of the same sensations tasting the 2019 last week with BV winemaker Trevor Durling. The young wine is structured and racy with fabulous intensity and length, but it’s a clear refitting and upgrade from the slightly big and overdone bottlings of the recent past. Durling said he has been working toward a more “refined” and “drinkable” BV Private Reserve in recent years to honor the great bottlings of the 1960s and 1970s. He certainly achieved this with the incredible, and perfect, 2019. I’m calling it “the new 1974 Georges de Latour,” which was a legend.
- Producer: Beaulieu Vineyards
- Varietal: Red Blend
- Region: California
- Alcohol: 15.0%
- Net volume: 750ml
- Vintage: 2019
- Cellar until 2060
Style GuideLight Intense
The 2019 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is truly exemplary of this iconic wine, with a nuanced, exuberant nose that shows dark, ripe, berry fruit aromas of black raspberry, red currant, and black cherry, alongside delicate chaparral herb notes of wild lavender, rose, fresh mint, sage, and thyme. Exotic spiced notes from the well-integrated new French oak barrel aging adds caramel, cedar, and clove, all accompanying the plush fruit seamlessly, showcasing the depth, elegance, and balance of this world-renowned Cabernet. Full-bodied with tremendous concentration and power, the broad palate is multilayered with enticing flavors of dark black cherry, red currant, cocoa nib, amaretto, espresso, and graphite. Signature “Rutherford Dust” tannins add a fine cocoa-powder texture, with a long lift and persistent finish, while secondary notes of earth, espresso and pencil shavings add to the complexity and nuance. The mouthwatering palate is supple and fresh, with balanced acidity, demonstrating the classically elegant, luscious, and alluring character this wine is known for. Incredibly drinkable upon release in its youth and highly cellarable for many years to come.
When André Tchelistcheff joined Beaulieu Vineyard in 1938, he tasted the de Latour family’s private wine – what they called “Private Reserve” – from the 1936 vintage. In 1940, Beaulieu Vineyard released the first vintage of Private Reserve and named it in our founder’s honor. The resulting wine became the first release of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that was destined to become Napa Valley’s first “cult” Cabernet. In 80+ years since Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has become one of the most collected American wines.
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