Posts Tagged ‘cabernet sauvignon’

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

Castle Rock – 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

February 18th, 2009

Castle RockOne of my favorite restraunts in San Diego, the world for that matter is Cafe Luna in Carmel Mountain Ranch.  On a recent trip there, Lisa and I ordered the 2006 Castle Rock Cabernet Reserve .  The bottle sells for $42 but you can purchase it retail for $16.

I have eaten at Cafe Luna many times, and this has turned into the wine I order every time.  It is very smooth to drink.  As usual, I smell mostly pepper and spice.  You can really taste the pepper too.  it is a rich and easy wine.  Lisa gave the wine a 8.5 saying “I like this wine.”  I gave it a 7.5 and we obviously would order it again.

Winery thoughts:
For sale by the case. We carefully handcrafted only 2,800 cases of the 2006 Castle Rock Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were harvested from vines grown in the Napa Valley, one of California’s most prestigious grape growing appellations. The wine was fermented and then aged for eighteen months in mainly new French oak barrels which were coopered by Transaud, Vicard and Demptos. Our Castle RockReserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a deliciously full wine loaded with nuance and flavor. It is a deep garnet in color, and has aromas of dark cherry and molasses. On the palate it gives dark fruit flavors with a hint of cedar. The tannins are mellow, and it finishes harmoniously with long-lasting fruit flavors. It is perfect for drinking now, or it can be allowed to age and improve through 2011.

Layer Cake Cabernet

January 21st, 2009

logoI attended with Lisa the 2 year anniversary of the Barrell Room this week.  Can you believe that place has been around for 2 years already?  If I had to wager a guess, I would have said barely over 1 year.  I’m really happy that place is doing well.  They could make some improvements (desert, main dishes), but their variety is great.  They offer the always safe cheese and meat plate, great wine selection, and you can never go wrong with a build your own <panini>.  I am either on a brie kick, or I love their brie there as well.

On to the wine.  We had a bottle of the 2007 Layer Cake wich is a Cabernet Savignon from the True Vine winery in Napa.  We paid $36 for the bottle.  It retails for $24.99  The wine bottle had an endearing story behind its name.  It said:

“My old grandfather made and enjoyed wine for 80 years. He told me the soils in which the vines lived were a layer cake. If properly made, the wine from these vines was like a delicious cake layerd with fruit, mocha, chocolate and hints of spice …and rich, always rich. ‘Never pass up a good Layer Cake’, he would say. I have always loved those words.” -A. Orlando Tribute, Jayson Woodbridge

Lisa enjoyed this wine more than I did.  I was first set off by the coloring.  I wasn’t sure if it was due to the brown marble bar that we sat at, but the wine gave off a brownish tint–similar to how wine looks when it is going bad. 
We tried to ascertain what smells the wine had, but surprisingly we couldn’t pick up a scent. Lisa stated “I couldn’t figure the scent out.” To which I replied, “Me neither, usually i just guess either peppery, oaky, or fruity.”
It wasn’t a super dry wine.  It had a light finish.  Lisa thought it was easy to drink and held a medium complex finish.  I felt that the finish was weak.  It kind of drained off and had a watery finish.
Lisa gave it a solid 6 while I gave it a weak 6 out of 10.  She would order it again, but I would not choose to. Though, I would drink it if I had to.

The winery is currently facing charges of making wine without a license.

The wine maker recently spoke at the Culinary Institute Of America (C.I.A) for its recent graduation.  If you are ever in Napa Valley, I reccomend that you visit the C.I.A.  It’s really a beautiful campus and offers cooking demonstrations practically daily.

Winery Thoughts:

Vintage: 2007
Wine Type: Bold Red Wine
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Bottling Date: July 2007
Alcohol %: 14.2

Tasting Notes:
Beautiful deep garnet color. Aromas of blackberry, cassis, violets, cedar, tobacco, and hints of minerals and graphite. Sweet, densely packed and creamy in the mouth, but with firm, underlying structure that gives lift to the dark berry, chocolate, and coffee flavors. This is a very lush, soft, complex wine that coats the palate and spreads out on the long, lingering finish.

Winemaker Notes:
We fermented this Napa Valley Cabernet using hand punch downs and gentle pumpovers; then transferring some to French oak for aging. The most structured, most powerful lots were put into new French oak for aging to balance the tannins and extract the rich flavors from the barrique. Some lots that would benefit from the softening effect of time in oak were put into French barrels that were used to age Hunderd Acre. By carefully blending the differnet lots – varying oak types and different vineyard lots – we created a balanced and compklex wine.

Alexander Valley Cabernet

January 21st, 2009

alexandervalley1I ate dinner at Vincent’s in Escondido recently, and ordered a bottle of Alexander Valley Cabernet ’06.  It was an ok wine.  It was dry and had a oaky and peppery smell.  It was a pinkish purple color.  It was tasty and drinkable, but scored low scores.  Around the table it was given a 6, a 6.5 and a 7.  I would order it again, but it would not be at the top of my list.

The bottle retails for $12.99 at bevmo.

Others’ Thoughts:
90 PTS WILFRED WONG. Unusually fragrant and quite fine, the well-balanced ’06 Alexander Valley Vyds serves up pretty, red fruit flavors; firm and lasting on the palate; smooth in the finish.

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.


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