Posts Tagged ‘barrel room’

Jocelyn Lonen – 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

February 28th, 2009

Tom, Dan, and Birthday GirlWe recently celebrated Lisa‘s 35th birthday at the Barrel RoomArlene had them prepare a special menu listing and wine flight.  Tom, Sue, Dan, Adam and Joey were all in attendance.  We had a great time celebrating.  We also drank some wine. 

As you can tell if you have read any of my wine “reviews,” they are not very professional or have much personal opinion.  Although I have taken a trip to Napa Valley, and have sampled many outstanding wines in my life, I often have no idea what I am drinking other than wine.  I am still developing tastes and likes etc.  I think documentation is a great place to start learning what you like and what you don’t like.  Anyway, on this night, we drank a 2005 bottle of Jocelyn Lonen Cabernet.  We paid $41 for the bottle but it retails for about $37.

It was a night of celebration, so I didnt take out my notepad to jot down thoughts.  But we all agreed, that we liked this wine.  Thats the review I have for you:  we liked it.

Jocelyn Lonen 2005 CabHere is what the winery thinks:

Two stellar new grape sources round out our 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon nicely.  Bennett Ranch Vineyard in Coombsville provides dense, intense fruit and vivid coloring.  Temple from north Napa is an organic, sustainable vineyard producing pristine, well balanced fruit.  Blended together with our Stagecoach/Krupp fruit, the result is a lush, highly concentrated wine with vibrant flavors of mocha, current, wild berry, and plum. 

Production: 2700 cases
Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec
Grape Source: Stagecoach, Krupp, Bennett Ranch, Temple Vineyards
Price: $35 per 750ml bottle

Barrel Monkeys – 2005 Shiraz

February 18th, 2009

Another wine from the barrel room.  This time we ordered Barrel Monkeys, which is a 2005 Austrailian Shiraz.  The wine comes from Redheads Studio, a Mclaren Vale Studio Winery.  We purchased this wine for $35 and it retails online for $16.

Barrel MonkeysAs you have noticed, my wine reviews are really elementary.  I am a novice.  I figure that the best way to learn tho, is to try and to document.  I one time took a trip to Napa, and learned a couple things that are my “go to” commentary.  Who knows how accurate I am.

So with this wine, we thought it tasted light and fruity.  I thought it had a spicy/peppery smell.  When I mentioned that to LAL, she said “it always just smells like alcohol to me.”

Another item of note, this bottle had a twist off cap.

We would order this again, but we did not give it a rating (out of forgetfulness, not out of “off the charts”)

The winery’s website was underconstruction when I went there, but here is a collection of tidbits found out there on the internet:

From The Wine Buyer:
Englishman Tony Laithwaite (you could call him the British equivalent of Dan Philips) bought an old bar called Red Heads in McLaren Vale, Australia and renamed it Red Heads Studio. He outfitted it with winemaking equipment and invited young, fresh out of college winemakers to try their hand at making small batches of wine with grapes that are usually very ripe from various sources in the region. The attraction is that these new winemakers usual starting jobs are working in wineries as “Barrel Monkeys” whose job is to move hoses and barrels around in a winery. The Studio gives them the opportunity to make wine which is what they really went to school for! This is one of those wines, which also has a completely irreverent label sort of explaining the whole Barrel Monkey job. We can only say that these Barrel Monkeys produced a wine that fans of in your face fruit bombs will enjoy!

This dark, almost opaque colored wine has nice aromas of blackberry and licorice. The juicy, full-throttle flavors hold true to the nose with blackberry, espresso, licorice and a hint of alcohol heat and pepper on the medium length finish. Wine Buyer 90 Points

Sub-Region: FLEURIEU
Appellation: MCLAREN VALE
Grape Varietal: SYRAH
Type: Still wine

From The Wine Spectator:
Raw-edged, with grippy tannins against ripe, red berry and plum flavors, lingering on the firm finish. Needs time to flesh out. Best after 2009. 5,000 cases made. 87 points

Educated Guess – Cabernet

November 25th, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, Lisa and I enjoyed an early dinner at the Barrel Room.  We ordered a bottle of a 2005 cabernet called Educated Guess from the Roots Run Deep Winery in Napa Valley.  The restaurant charges $26 for this bottle, but you can purchase it online for about $17.

Our Thoughts:

It had a pretty label/bottle.  It was a dark cherry red in color and had a strong oaky bouquet.  It was a very strong and complex finish.  The wine had long legs.  It wasn’t the best of wines and we were not very pleased.  However, it was a drinkable wine–if we had to.  We ranked it 4 out of 10, and we would not order it again if given a choice.

Winery Details:

Oh, and everyone wants to know about our unique label. Our label was designed to tell the story of how you can make an educated guess in winemaking, not to give you nightmares about your high school chemistry class. It shows you actual winemaking formulas that are either induced or naturally occur during a specific winemaking process. For those of you who aren’t chemists and want to know more about what the 5 formula strings on the label mean, please email us and we will happily send you more information. For the rest of you, drink up and enjoy!!!

2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Napa Valley
85% Rutherford, 15% Yountville/Oakville
Cases Produced
Napa Valley Varietals

85% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Merlot
2% Petite Verdot 1% Malbec
Rich, ripe and focused with juicy blackberry and
boysenberry fruit, all tied together with a creamy
french vanilla middle and a lingering finish.
12 months in French and American Oak
Suggested Retail Price

2480 Cabernet Sauvignon

November 19th, 2008

Last night I went to the Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo with Lisa and enjoyed a bottle of wine.  We had a 2005 Cab from the Hollywood and Vine Cellars of Napa Valley.  The BR price was $94, though it retails for $75.  We had the bottle decanted.  The wine is made by 2008 wine maker of the year, Celia Masyczek.

Our thoughts on this wine:

The color was a deep, opaque red.  The wine was very easy to drink and held a very smooth finish.  Our waitress put it well when she said that it was one of her favorites because “It is very fruity tasting for a cabernet.  And depsite its fruity jam like tastes, it is complex and really holds its cabernet muscles that you would expect from a cab.”

We ranked this wine as an 8 out of 10, yet the best review something can get, is that yes, we would order this wine again.

The Wine Spectator gave this vintage of wine a 92 point score and wrote:  “A big, rich, hearty mouthful of Cabernet, but not without its measure of elegance and refinement, offering ripe, plump, sumptuous layers of blackberry, black cherry, currant, sage and spice. Keeps a tight focus through the long, persistent finish.”

Below is the makers review of this wine:

We are privileged, once again, to be harvesting fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley; both hillside and mid-valley benchland fruit. Our winemaker, Celia Masyczek, has performed magic in blending this powerhouse of a wine.

2480 – 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes
             100% Cabernet Sauvignon

VINEYARDS: The Hollywood & Vine 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from five very unique growing regions, all within Napa Valley. The fruit comes from the highest reaches of Mount Veeder, the exceptional terroirs of the Oakville and Rutherford Bench, and from the steepest Spring Mountain slopes.  Harvested in separate small lots between October 3 and October 31, 2005, the vineyards were kept entirely separate in barrels for the first 6 months, then judiciously blended and allowed to “marry” for several additional months of aging before being lightly filtered for clarity, previous to bottling in May of 2007.

BARREL AGING: Fermented on skins for approximately three weeks, then transferred to barrels (60% new French oak). The wine was aged in small oak for approximately 20 months.

ANALYSIS: Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

CASES PRODUCED: 1380 – 12 x.750ml cases, 119 cases – 12 x 375 ml , 50 cases – 6 x 1.5lt., 24 – 3lt.

RELEASE DATE: April 2008

WINEMAKER: Celia Masyczek

WINEMAKER NOTES: This ultra-ripe Cabernet shows the complexity of its multi-faceted origins.  Juicy black cherry and raspberry notes from Oakville and Rutherford dominate the aromas, as Spring Mountain’s trademark purple plum, mocha, and sweet black olive notes add complexity.  Structurally, while the wine shows the density of hillside fruit from Mt. Veeder and Spring Mountain, part of the identity of the 2005 vintage seems to be a slightly more elegant and approachable tannin profile, supplemented by the silky qualities of the Rutherford and Oakville benchland vineyards.


A General Website of Wine Terms


October 27th, 2008


Last night I ate dinner at The Barrel Room, and at one point our discussion turned to the current presidential race.  Sue mentioned at one point, that she remembered back in school, a teacher talking about a united America.  The teacher said something along the lines of:  whomever is in office, whether its a democrat or a republican, he is OUR president and we must stand behind him, and support him.  Tom also mentioned along the lines of:  If Obama becomes president, I hope we all want to vote for him for a second term.

One of my biggest frustrations with politics, is that people tie themselves so strongly to party lines, rather then actually looking closely at issues.  Whether we truly agree with a policy or not, we will fight it to the end if it is a policy of the other party.  We have been a country divided for the last few presidencies.   There has been a large amount of hatred towards the G.W.Bush terms.  Before that, there was a lot of disdain during the Clinton years.

I like the thoughts that were mentioned in that we need to be unified as a country, working towards the greater good of the country.  No matter who is in the office, they are still our chief officer.  We live in a great country, and part of that greatness comes from standing together-despite our differences.  If Obama is president, I hope America’s problems are addressed well enough that we all want him for 4 more years.  Same with McCain.  Whomever is President, has a big, stressful job, and deserves our support.

This Week I'm Thinking About: Greg Crisci