The Grapes for this wine are sourced from Beaulieu Vineyard Ranch No. 1 on the Rutherford Bench. This is our original vineyard, acquired in 1900. Selective blending of superior blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot produces a supple and approachable wine that boasts bold aromas and flavors of ripe berries. A generous dose of French oak provides roundness, integrating the rich and fruit flavors with opulent, mouth filling texture.
The 2016 Maestro Collection Ranch No. 1 is a classic Bordeaux-style blend from our historic vineyard in Rutherford. Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant varietal but Merlot (22%) and Petit Verdot (11%) round out the final blend. The Cabernet Sauvignon offers lifted aromas of fresh black currant and blackberry with hints of anise seed and green coffee bean, alongside delicate spice notes from the well-integrated oak aging. The Merlot contributes juicy dark plum fruit notes and a plush, round texture on the palate. The smaller amount of Petit Verdot adds a richness and full tannin structure, deep color and exotic aromas and flavors of black licorice, black pepper and wild violet, leading to a long persistent finish.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
Encompassing the original Georges de Latour Estate, which was first planted in the early 1900’s, Ranch No. 1 is an 80-acre property in the heart of Rutherford. On the Rutherford bench with a variety of alluvial fan soils that foster exceptional quality in Bordeaux-style varietals, the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The well-draining gravel loam soils allow deep rooting and the development of grapes with complex flavors.
After hand harvesting, the grapes were immediately brought across the street into the winery. The grapes were destemmed and crushed and cold soaked for 2 to 4 days to gently ease color and flavor. During the 10 to 12-day fermentation, timely pump overs kept the skins in contact with the juice for excellent flavor and tannin extraction. The wine spent 20 months in 75% new French oak barrels giving the final wine softened tannins and beautiful toasty barrel notes.
Jeffrey Stambor joined the Beaulieu Vineyard winemaking team in 1989 as a viticulturist/enologist. As the current director of winemaking, he leads production of the winery’s world-renowned Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon, and presided over the harvest and vinification of 2013 Rarity – the extremely limited release Cabernet Sauvignon blend. He is only the fourth director of winemaking in Beaulieu Vineyard’s history, and the third to craft Georges de Latour Private Reserve over the 77-year history of that iconic wine following Andre Tchelistcheff, the original winemaker, and his immediate predecessor, Joel Aiken.
|Oak Treatment||Aged 20 months in French oak (80% new) and American oak (20% new)|
|Blend||78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot|
|Case Production||675 cases|