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Beaulieu Vineyard Merlot Napa Valley 2011

External Review by We Speak Wine:

Wine: The elegant structure and red-fruit expression of our Napa Valley Merlot reflects both the cool growing season and small crop of the 2011 vintage. Bing cherry, plum and raspberry mingle with chocolate-cherry truffle and red rose petal in this wine’s sensual aromas and flavors. Silky tannins and beautifully balanced acidity gently support the expansive flavors through the delicious, lingering finish. Vineyard: We sourced the majority of grapes for this wine from Calistoga, St. Helena and the Los Carneros American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) of Napa Valley. The diversity of soils and mesoclimates in these regions, as well as of clones and cultivation techniques, contributes to this wine’s layers of flavors. Grapes from our estate vineyards in warmer Calistoga contribute juicy, dark-fruit and chocolate expression, while our vineyards in the cooler Los Carneros give bright berry and floral notes. St. Helena vineyards, in the center of the valley, added raspberry and plum while enhancing the wine’s silky tannin structure and texture. Winemaking: After the grapes were crushed, we fermented the must in stainless steel tanks until dry. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation extracted flavor, deep color and tannins from the skins. We then pressed and transferred the vineyard-lot wines to small oak barrels coopered with French, American, and Hungarian oak to develop flavors and add nuances of vanilla and espresso. Following barrel aging, we blended the Merlot with small amounts of Syrah for intriguing spices, Cabernet Sauvignon for structure, and Petite Sirah to deepen the lovely purple-red hue. Vintage: With meticulous care to the vines during the 2011 vintage, we achieved a small crop of vibrantly flavored grapes. The small yields resulted from an unusually wet winter and spring, which delayed bloom and reduced berry-set. The cooler-than-average growing season made the onset to harvest one of the latest in recent memory. While the cool temperatures presented some challenges, we were rewarded by the opportunity to make truly elegant wines with layers of complex flavors from the long hang-time. Varietal Composition: 88% Merlot 4% Syrah 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Petite Sirah Barrel Aging - 10 month 40% French oak 45% American oak 15% Hungarian oak 20% new barrels Alcohol: 13.2% Acidity: 5.3 g/L pH: 3.6

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Beaulieu Vineyard:
"Beau lieu" - A Beautiful Story about a Beautiful Place 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 Vi... Read more
"Beau lieu" - A Beautiful Story about a Beautiful Place 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. He also began selling wine to the Catholic Church, establishing a strong relationship that would allow Beaulieu Vineyard to become the only Napa Valley winery to remain in business during Prohibition. In fact, during Prohibition the winery increased its business. After the repeal in 1933, de Latour began searching for someone who could contribute European winemaking expertise. In 1938, he traveled to France and returned with André Tchelistcheff, famed viticulturist and enologist who instituted the philosophy of continuous innovation in vineyard and winery to which we remain dedicated today. Tchelistcheff introduced cold fermentation for white wines, malolactic fermentation for reds and aging red wines in small, French oak barrels. He also tasted the de Latour family's private wine-what they called "Private Reserve"-from the 1936 vintage. This Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine was so distinctive that Tchelistcheff insisted it be bottled and sold as the winery's flagship offering. The result was the inaugural release of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that was destined to become Napa Valley's first "cult" Cabernet. Today we continue to turn to innovative practices to craft wines in our bold, classic style. We have become a leader in clonal research, and our BV Clone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wines are highly acclaimed. Most recently we completed a new state-of-the-art winery within one of our 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-the longtime benchmark of Rutherford Cabernet. Read less

External Reviews for Beaulieu Vineyard Merlot Napa Valley

External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
04/02/2015

Wine: The elegant structure and red-fruit expression of our Napa Valley Merlot reflects both the cool growing season and small crop of the 2011 vintage. Bing cherry, plum and raspberry mingle with chocolate-cherry truffle and red rose petal in this wine’s sensual aromas and flavors. Silky tannins and beautifully balanced acidity gently support the expansive flavors through the delicious, lingering finish. Vineyard: We sourced the majority of grapes for this wine from Calistoga, St. Helena and the Los Carneros American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) of Napa Valley. The diversity of soils and mesoclimates in these regions, as well as of clones and cultivation techniques, contributes to this wine’s layers of flavors. Grapes from our estate vineyards in warmer Calistoga contribute juicy, dark-fruit and chocolate expression, while our vineyards in the cooler Los Carneros give bright berry and floral notes. St. Helena vineyards, in the center of the valley, added raspberry and plum while enhancing the wine’s silky tannin structure and texture. Winemaking: After the grapes were crushed, we fermented the must in stainless steel tanks until dry. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation extracted flavor, deep color and tannins from the skins. We then pressed and transferred the vineyard-lot wines to small oak barrels coopered with French, American, and Hungarian oak to develop flavors and add nuances of vanilla and espresso. Following barrel aging, we blended the Merlot with small amounts of Syrah for intriguing spices, Cabernet Sauvignon for structure, and Petite Sirah to deepen the lovely purple-red hue. Vintage: With meticulous care to the vines during the 2011 vintage, we achieved a small crop of vibrantly flavored grapes. The small yields resulted from an unusually wet winter and spring, which delayed bloom and reduced berry-set. The cooler-than-average growing season made the onset to harvest one of the latest in recent memory. While the cool temperatures presented some challenges, we were rewarded by the opportunity to make truly elegant wines with layers of complex flavors from the long hang-time. Varietal Composition: 88% Merlot 4% Syrah 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Petite Sirah Barrel Aging - 10 month 40% French oak 45% American oak 15% Hungarian oak 20% new barrels Alcohol: 13.2% Acidity: 5.3 g/L pH: 3.6



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