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Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Reserve Chardonnay 1997

Chardonnay from Carneros, California
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • WS90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Fine yellow-green gold color. The opulent, forward fruit typical of the 1997 vintage strongly manifests itself with rich, pear-honey and vanilla extract aromas, with overtones of fresh herbs and marzipan. Very full, lush flavors reveal integrated, typically Carneros, ripe apple and peachy fruit combined with the spicy vanilla-cinnamon elements of oak. The finish is creamy, round, and toasty, neither "charry" nor resiny, the oak finely balanced the powerful fruit. This is a luxuriously textured, high extract wine; a great foil for rich fish dishes, savory chicken, or a veal roast.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
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Beaulieu Vineyard

Beaulieu Vineyard

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Beaulieu Vineyard, Carneros, California
Video of winery

In 1900, when Georges de Latour's wife, Fernande, first laid eyes on the land that would become their original Rutherford vineyard, she named it "beau lieu," or "beautiful place." Shortly thereafter, de Latour sold his thriving cream of tartar business, bought the four-acre ranch and founded Beaulieu Vineyard with the vision of making Napa Valley wines that would rival those of his native France.

De Latour quickly made a name for himself by importing Phylloxera-resistant rootstock from Europe to the recently-ravaged fledgling California wine industry. When prohibition hit and most wineries shuttered, Beaulieu Vineyard increased its business by fourfold by selling sacramental wine to the Catholic Church. After the repeal in 1933, Georges de Latour became dedicated to the research and innovation that would bring about his Rutherford Estate’s finest expression. In 1938, he traveled to France and met André Tchelistcheff, famed viticulturist and enologist who instituted the philosophy of continuous innovation in vineyard and winery to which we remain dedicated today. When he joined Beaulieu and tasted the de Latour family’s private wine – what they called “Private Reserve” – from the 1936 vintage, he insisted it be bottled and sold as the winery’s flagship offering. In 1940, Beaulieu Vineyard released the first vintage of Private Reserve and named it in the 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.

Today, the winery continues with that spirit of innovation to produce exceptional wines that stand among the world's finest. They have become a leader in clonal research, and the BV Clone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wines are highly acclaimed. In 2008, a new state-of-the-art winery was completed within one of the original buildings. The Georges de Latour Private Reserve Winery utilizes the latest technology in combination with time-honored traditions for the production of this exceptional wine that has been widely recognized as the benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford since its inaugural vintage.

WWB78433_1997 Item# 288