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Wine of the Week: 1994 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone, I only managed to aggravate one member of my family this year. But after the bubbly was poured and a few sips and long slurps, all was forgiven. See how wine can bring us all together? 
Even if we come from completely different backgrounds, widely different personalities, and even diametrically opposed political point of view, wine can bring us together. I have many folks who I follow with my twitter account, which ordinarily would not be interested in giving me the time of day, let alone converse with me on a subject such as this. Again wine can bring us all together, but not just any wine.

No, I'm not talking about the cheap commodity wines which fill a majority of lower shelves in the garden variety grocery store. Wines, which honestly have more in common with a loaf a generic bread than they do with a wine that has soul. Oh, a wine with soul, huh, so what is that?

It's the kind of wine I want to introduce to you today; it is my wine of the week. I don't normally talk about wines that are not readily available in the market place, but this wine came back to life just the other day, it really demands your attention. It happened when I discovered this bottle sitting there at my fathers place, covered with dust and dead spiders, out on his enclosed patio, exposed to wide temperature variations year after year, since 1994.
As I attempted to pull the cork on this wine, it just crumbled under the weight of time and improper storage conditions. I did all I could possibly do, to not let the cork make a splash down into the wine below, but alas it was no use and I had to screen the wine from what was now a cork explosion floating upon the still dark garnet colored waves below, just now starting to turn a brick-ish orange color on the rim. The aromas of cedar, dark cherry and ripe plum billowed up at me, forcing an immediate change in my opinion about what lay in this bottle
[I was thinking vinegar].

Sensing what I whiffed from the aromas, I became excited just to get it in my glass from the decanter which I covered with a small plate. Oh man was I rewarded with a bounty of finesse, I could taste the Rutherford vineyard dust from 1994, solid structure, smooth tannins, pure dark and red fruit and a long lingering finish. I sat in stunned silence for a moment and then said to Mrs. Cuvee, "now this is how you do it, this is a wine with a soul".

See folks this won't be the experience if you come across a two-buck upchuck years from now, no the caliber of juice being put into to BV Rutherford is cut from a different cloth, one you can taste and experience, down to the last drop falling from the bottle. It's funny that this wine still sells for a medium ranged price of $20 most places, but some Costco locations still have the 2007 sitting around selling for $15, quite a steal in my opinion. I'm going to grab a few put them away for a decade or two, just to see the magic unfold again. For the score keepers in the audience, I gave this wine a solid 90 points. The 17 years in the bottle have barely even began to touch this wines solid structure. Great job BV!

But if you want the 1994 BV Rutherford, I found KL Wines has a stash of it, so you can still grab your own splash of 1994 and experience a wine that I know will just wow you, as it did me. To confirm my impressions; I found the Wine Speculator's score on this same wine from one they uncorked in 1997. They listed it as "very impressive" with a score of 90 points on a wine weighing in at only 12% abv [providing food for thought]. Okay folks that is all I got for you today, until next time sip long and prosper!


Wandering WIno said…
Cheers to dusty, dirty, poorly stored wines that turn out! Wines with soul is what it's all about!
Jason Phelps said…
Pretty wild that you found it uncared for and it turned out to be a winner!

Now all I need to do is go back in time and pop in with an empty glass at the right time...

Bill Eyer said…
Hey Jason,

Yeah pretty crazy indeed, it caught me flat-footed, between you and me I so glad it turned out to be a winner as well. Btw, you can still go back in time, K & L wines has this beauty for $19.99, hurry before they mark it up.

Bill Eyer said…
Hey Shawn,

Thanks for the inspiration. "Wines with a soul", boy looking back I would have had no idea what that even meant, but now that premise is crystal clear.

David Cole said…

The Rutherford is often a diamond in the rough! I usually buy one case a year and don't even start drinking for a year. It can be found at great prices, then stored for years as you found out. I usually decant e for an hour or more, but friends always ask where they can get the wine. They don't like it when I tell them they can't get that vintage anymore...:-)

Keep up the great work.
Bill Eyer said…
Hey David,

Buying one case a year, sounds like a smart plan and from my experience one that will pay-off in spades for the patient.

When this wine was in the decanter, I was a bit afraid of it falling apart too quickly and thus covered it. On the down side of the equation, it's always a bummer when ya have tell folks, "umm, sorry charlie, that vintage is long gone".

Thanks for stopping by the blog and your kind words. I'm a bit like wine in the bottle, "a work in progress", still evolving and developing my writing style.



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