Monday, May 13, 2019

Georges de Latour & Andre Tchelischeff

Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon is the premier wine of Beaulieu Vineyards of Napa Valley and one of the great wines of the world.  The wine is named for the Frenchman who in 1900 purchased four acres in the heart of Napa Valley and began planting wine grapes.  His wife is said to have remarked at the time that their new home was a "beautiful place" or beau lieu.

While the Prohibition Era (1920-33) was devastating for the wine industry as a whole, for a select few in the "sacramental wine" business, it was good.  Beaulieu Vineyards was one of those and as the era progressed their business continually improved.  When it ended Latour was in a position to hire the kind of winemaking expertise that would make Beaulieu the best in California.  He went to France and secured the services of the premier viticulturalist/enologist, Andre Tchelischeff, who would become BV's vice president and head of winemaking.

Among Tchelischeff's many accomplishments at Beaulieu were the introduction of recent French winemaking improvements including small barrel fermentation and aging.  Over time at Beaulieu Tchelischeff contributed to other revolutionary winemaking methods like cold fermentation and malolactic fermentation.  By working with various grape types in different places, he delineated microclimates leading to appellation designations, the type of spade work that would pay dividends for future winemakers.  Tchelischeff was a visionary who reached out to other wineries to share his insights understanding that the big picture of wine as a central part of our culture meant all would prosper.

In 1938 Tchelischeff crafted the first Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine would become standard fare at many White House functions through the years.  In 2016 Beaulieu was purchased by Treasury Wine Estates who say the great wine will remain estate-sourced from the same historic Rutherford district Napa vineyards.

This Thursday at 5pm Rob Dye leads us in a tasting of three from the fine Italian wine company, Zenato.  The Lugana white, Alanara red and rose will all be on the table that evening as will the Paso a Paso Spanish Tempranillo.  Please join us!

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