Thanks to a friend of mine whose husband sells wine, we had the opportunity to taste a couple of well regarded highly rated iconic Napa Valley Cabs, including the 2006 Beaulieu Vineyards (“BV”) Georges de Latour Private Reserve (“GLT”) which sells for $115/bottle on the BV website. That’s too rich for my blood, so I was feeling excited and lucky to get such a bottle of wine gratis!
What did I expect? Deep down, I was expecting to be blown away I suppose. Everything about the wine says it is an iconic Cali Cab. For crying out loud, the winery was started in 1900, and BV has been making this same wine since 1936! Even the bottle is iconic and part of the “experience” of this wine for me! Have a look at the picture below. The bottle on the far left is the BV GLT. It’s reminds me of an older more successful sibling lording over a wannbe sibling. At first I didn’t even think it was the standard 750 ml bottle. Then I looked at the “punt” on the bottom and it’s about 2 inches deep! That explains why the bottle was taller but holds the same volume of wine. Compare that to the much more prevalent 1/2 to 1 inch punt on a 750 ml bottle. By the way the “punt” a.k.a “kick-up” is the dimple in the bottom of the wine bottle. In addition, the bottle seemed thicker and heavier too.
I rated the wine 92 pts. Follow the link for my full review on CellarTracker (http://www.cellartracker.com//wine.asp?iWine=627824).
One of the interesting things about wine for me is that it can transport you back to a time and place. For example, to this day I can remember the first bottle of red wine I fell hard for. It was a Lolonis Zinfandel, and I had it at tiny restaurant in Fremont when I was working at a high-tech company 10 years ago! I had a glass with dinner and the next day I went out a bought a bottle. Tasting the BV GLT wasn’t quite the transcendent experience that first Zinfandel was, but ironically it brought to mind another Cab, that I rated 91 points and had with dinner on V-Day this past February. My first thought was the BV GLT blew that wine away in terms of smoothness, and the finish. My next thought was given the context the BV GLT provided, I over-rated the V-Day wine. Of course, hindsight is 20-20. But it’s a good illustration of my why I enjoying my wine journey so much. For me there’s always something new, and interesting to experience and/or learn. And even though I’ve learned a fair amount in a short time, for me there’s so much more to learn and to look forward to!
BTW…I rated the other Cab – a 2006 Chimney Rock Stag’s Leap District 88 pts. It retails for $62. The primary difference between the two was that the BV GLT had a bit longer finish, the mouthfeel was “silky” compared to a “velvety” mouthfeel for the Chimney Rock. For the $ – I’d take the Chimney Rock, and for a special occassion with a nice steak dinner either would be a sublime choice.