Inspiration for our Beaulieu Vineyard Rarities collection comes from the legacy of a special wine that legendary winemaker, André Tchelistcheff, first crafted in 1968, to show the distinctive, opulent expression of an extraordinarily high-quality vintage. Only four times since the inaugural release has a wine received such an honor at Beaulieu Vineyard, and the 2016 vintage revealed that time has come again.
A perfect example of “an iron fist in a velvet glove”, the Beaulieu Vineyard 2016 Rarity delivers incredible power and weight, combining finesse, elegance and rich supple texture into one extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon. Bursting with dark blackberry and cassis on the nose, elements of roast coffee come through on the palate with dense flavors of blackcurrant and cassis, alongside notes of anise, dark chocolate and crushed violets. Fully integrated “Rutherford Dust” tannins go on infinitely, while bright acidity keeps purity of fruit the focus. Seamlessly integrated vanilla and oak spice nuances, from barrel fermentation and aging in entirely new barrels, add even more complexity to the layered Cabernet Sauvignon expression. Thisshowstopper finishes with grace and complexity, leaving everlasting flavors of blackberry and sarsaparilla on the finish. A timeless wine, cellar-worthy for decades.
Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were optimal for producing a Cabernet Sauvignon with beautiful fruit, tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February and ideal conditions prevailed through bud break. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, 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.
The powerful, complex character of 2016 Rarity comes from our finest barrel-lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, selected from our oldest vines predominantly from two iconic vineyard locations: BV Ranches No. 1 and 2. A small amount of the blend also comes from our Hewitt Estate Vineyard, a component to our finest Cabernet Sauvignons for more than 50 years. All the vineyards are deeply rooted in well-draining, alluvial fan soils on the western bench-lands of Napa Valley’s Rutherford AVA, which provides excellent drainage, while long daily sun exposure, tempered by cool nights, fosters perfect grape maturity
At our state-of-the-art winery, dedicated exclusively to crafting of our reserve wines, we optically sorted the gently destemmed grape berries to retain only the highest quality fruit. For early integration of oak character and to enhance the supple mouthfeel, over half of the Rarity components were barrel-fermented, with the balance in stainless steel and concrete tanks. During fermentation, our winemaking team rotated the barrels four times per day to build complexity. After maceration followed by gentle pressing, we returned the wine to barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. To balance the tremendous intensity of dark fruit character, we chose to age this wine in 100 percent new French oak barrels. We complemented the blend with five percent Petit Verdot from BV Ranch No.1 to add more structure and layers of flavor. Winemaker Trevor Durling and Assistant Winemaker Megan Twitchell blended the wine components in January 2018, giving the wine plenty of time to marry before bottling in late summer of that year.
Beaulieu Vineyard Winemaker Trevor Durling, presides as only the fifth winemaker in the winery’s 119-year history. A native Californian, Trevor was raised in Sonoma County, the heart of Northern California’s wine country. With a love of agriculture, science and cuisine, Trevor pursued his studies at the University of California Davis in the Viticulture and Enology program. As winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, Trevor incorporates his passion for creating fine wines, while preserving the heritage and legacy of Beaulieu Vineyard.
|Oak Treatment||100% new French oak for 22 months|
|Blend||95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot|
|Case Production||188 cases|