As I was unpacking our latest wine club shipment from “A Taste of Monterey,” I am noticing some changes. I think that the extended lockdown is still officially on for a couple of more days, but people are going back to work, as I can see more traffic in my subdivision. The market is still erratic and that is alright, it has been that way for the many years that I have watched it. Years ago, I always determined how business would be, from the market, if it was up, people were more willing to spend and if it was down, they were a bit hesitant, even though deep down they knew it was only on paper, unless they sold it. I called my barber to make an appointment, I am probably one of the few people that have their barber’s personal phone number, but that is another story for another time. We are talking about booking some trips and some reservations; and the morning paper was back to being heavily political.
This is the fourth bottle of wine that we have received from Joullian Vineyards, Ltd. over the years, we have had two different Chardonnay wines and a Syrah. Joullian Vineyards was created by the Joullian and Sias families of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with the goal of producing world class estate crafted wines and early on engage Ridge Watson for his expertise. In 1982 they purchased six-hundred-fifty-five acres of hillside benchland at an elevation of 1400 feet in the heart of the Carmel Valley. After contouring and terracing the land they planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, as well as the first to plant Zinfandel in the valley. Then they planted various clones of Chardonnay and the winery was completed in 1991. In 2015, Joullian Vineyards, Ltd. was acquired by the Hammler Wine Corporation and are committed to maintaining the brand. In 2017, Ridge Watson retired after working at the vineyard for thirty-five years.
The Joullian Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Carmel Valley 2015 was the earliest ripening in two decades, brought on by a three-year drought. The heat was so intense that they actually hand harvested the fruit twice with a ten-day interval to pick the sunny and shaded fruit and they claim the extra labor was required and appreciated. The wine is a blend of eighty-four percent Cabernet Sauvignon, thirteen percent Merlot and three percent Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged for nineteen months in French Oak, of which fifteen percent was new. They made a little over thirteen-hundred cases with an additional seventeen cases of magnums and they claim that there is an aging potential of eight to ten years. The tasting notes supplied promises an inky, dark garnet wine with a nose of blackberry, cassis, anise and cedar. The taste follows those descriptors and has a nice finish of tannins, truffles, terroir and cedar. The Wine Enthusiast awarded this wine with 89 points. I think that this wine will do well with some additional cellaring.