- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Beaulieu Vineyard, Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2001, $25

Beaulieu Vineyard long has excelled with Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. Although the winery has experienced a few ups and downs of late, the current releases are first rate, none more so than the latest rendition of Rutherford cab — an archetypal Napa red.

Marked by deep fruit flavors, the wine has plenty of stuffing but also tastes deliciously accessible. It’s the perfect companion for Christmas roast beef.

The vintners at BV have been making cabernet from vineyards in Rutherford since 1900. This is in the heart of the Napa Valley, prime red wine territory where the grapes yield wines that taste of ripe, opulent fruit. The best examples display an underlying minerality that sets them apart from those made from grapes grown down the road, let alone far away.

In the past, BV’s Rutherford cabernet sometimes has seemed a pale imitation of the top Rutherford wines. Not this 2001. It exhibits evocative, multilayered flavors; a complex bouquet; and a long, nuanced finish. Many wines costing twice as much prove considerably less exciting. That’s why it should delight family and friends at the holiday table.

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