Friday, November 3, 2023

BV Tapestry with Beef bourguignon

Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve Bordeaux Blend, fabulous pairing with Beef bourguignon

Friday night dinner, Linda prepared a beef bourguignon with - sirloin steak with carrots, onions, rosemary and hot-house tomatoes, with sherry port wine, over linguini noodles. It was delicious, enhanced mightily by an aged vintage Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend. 

Beef bourguignon or bœuf bourguignon, also called beef Burgundy, and bœuf à la Bourguignonne, is a French beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef stock, typically flavored with carrots, onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon. 

I love selecting a Blend over a single varietal wine as it adds breadth and complexity to complement the beef and savory vegetable and spice flavors. Indeed, the French have been perfecting their blending to produce complex elegant sophisticated wines to pair with and complement foods for over five hundred years!

Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve Bordeaux Blend 2002

We hold a vertical collection of nearly two dozen vintages of this label dating back two and a half decades. It represents good value - QPR (Quality Price Ratio) in a Napa Valley sourced Bordeaux varietal blend. This is especially true when comparing this label to their Georges de Latour Reserve Cabernet which sells for twice the price, often with similar ratings and rankings. 

Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) ("Quelle beau lieu!" or "What a beautiful place.”) is one of the oldest, most storied estates and producers in Napa Valley, Its founding dates back to 1900 when Georges de Latour and his wife Fernande initially purchased a four-acre ranch with the vision of making Napa Valley wines that would rival those of their native France.

They expanded their land holdings over the next several decades, many of which are still part of the BV portfolio today. In 1903 they purchased 127 acres in Rutherford, which they named "BV Ranch No. 1." In 1910 another land purchase was made, known as "BV Ranch No. 2."

In 1923, Georges de Latour purchased the Fred Ewer Winery, a building that dates back to 1885. Its four original stone walls remain the core of today’s Beaulieu Vineyard winery in Rutherford sited along St Helena Highway 29, mainstreet of Napa Valley. This purchase increased Beaulieu’s production dramatically allowing Beaulieu Vineyard’s business to thrive and increase fourfold in the 1920s,

Since its first release in 1990, BV have produced Tapestry Reserve as a tribute to their French heritage and homage to the classic Bordeaux blends and Clarets. It is sourced from a selection of specific vineyard blocks of top-quality grapes that give Tapestry the combined attributes of terroir expression and a round, approachable tannin structure. Roughly half of the Cabernet Sauvignon was grown on the famous western benchland of the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA) and the balance from the Calistoga, Oakville, and St Helena AVAs. The Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec are sourced exclusively from BV estate vineyards in Rutherford. Two styles of Cabernet Franc lend complexity and intrigue: one from cooler Sonoma Valley providing fresh acidity and a slight herbal character; the other from warmer Calistoga adding ripe and expressive red fruit notes. 

In 2010, legendary winemaker Michel Rolland joined Beaulieu Vineyard as a blending consultant on their reserve wines. 

I pulled a twenty-one year old 2002 vintage release from the cellar, 'Goldilocks' age, not too old, but not too young. It proved to be an ideal pairing with the hearty beef bourgogne dish, accentuating the enjoyment of both! 

My wine tasting notes index shows fourteen vintages of tasting notes of this label. It shows we tasted and I reported on this wine back in February 2006 when I wrote:

"Feb 2006 - Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve 2002 - RM 92 WE 90 - Dark medium bodied, smooth easy drinking, Bordeaux blend showing loads of plum, cherry and currant fruit as well as vanilla spice notes from oak aging. Tasted at Indigo Restaurant in SPG.

At twenty-one years, the fill level, label (slightly stained and soiled), foil, and most importantly the cork were all still in ideal condition. 

While still very much in its drinking window, this was showing some diminution from age with the vibrant fruits just starting to give way to non-fruit flavors of earth and wood. Still, it was consistent with that earlier tasting. 

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, full round plum, black cherry and black currant fruits with notes of cassis, cedar, spice and toasted oak with a hint of dark mocha chocolate, on a moderate firm tannins finish. 

RM 90 points. 

This release was awarded 92 points by Wine & Spirits, 90 points by Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast.

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