Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2017

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Instantly smitten with a picturesque Napa Valley property she spied in 1900, Fernande de Latour convinced her husband Georges to purchase a four-acre ranch she'd dubbed "beau lieu", or "beautiful place." In short order, Georges sold his successful cream of tartar business, acquired the land, and founded Beaulieu Vineyard with the intent of making fine wines to rival those of his native France. Today, the property encompasses more than 1,100 acres of estate vineyards. To realize his goal, Georges started out by importing p h y l l oxe r a - re s i s t a n t ro o t s t o c k f ro m Eu ro p e t o re v i ve a fledging California wine industry that had been ravaged by the disease. During prohibition, when many wineries were shuttered, Beaulieu actually increased its business fourfold by selling sacramental wine to the Catholic Church. After the repeal, Georges refocused his efforts on crafting world-class wines, traveling to France in 1938 to meet and subsequently hire the famed Russian-born viticulturist and enologist André Tchelistcheff, who instituted a culture of continuous innovation that continues today. A memorable growing season in 1936 produced the inaugural vintage of the Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which was released in 1940 and went on to become Napa Valley's first "cult" Cabernet. In 1989, current winemaker Jeffrey Stambor was hired to succeed Tchelistcheff, who'd come to be known as "The Maestro" in Napa during his forty-year career at Beaulieu. Legendary winemaker Michel Rolland joined Beaulieu as a blending consultant on their reserve wines in 2010. Beaulieu recently made waves in the wine world when it announced the release of Rarity 2013, the fifth-ever vintage bottling of its Rarities Collection. Produced only in remarkable vintage years, Rarity was first crafted by Tchelistcheff in 1968 to showcase the distinctive, opulent expression of an extraordinarily high-quality vintage; prior to 2013, the most recent vintage to produce a Rarity bottling was 1990. The decision to declare 2013 a vintage worthy of the Rarities Collection was made by Stambor, who selected the finest barrel- lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot to lend Rarity 2013 a powerful, complex character. For the blend, Stambor selected grapes from some of Beaulieu's oldest vineyards, sourcing from heritage sites on BV Ranches No. 1 and 2 as well as their Hewitt Estate Vineyard and a neighboring small vineyard at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains. e vines, with the majority planted in the 1980s, were grafted to clones that yield small, intensely flavored grapes. All four vineyards are deeply rooted in well- draining, alluvial fan soils on the western bench-lands of Napa Valley's Rutherford AVA, often recognized as the most coveted California terroir. Wine Worth the Wait Written by Caylee Matthews 42 slmag.net

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