Chateau Julien Wine Estate2005 Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon
Bob and Patty Brower founded Chateau Julien in 1982. Although the impressive winery and tasting room are in Carmel Valley, most of the estate vineyards are in the San Antonio Valley AVA in southern Monterey County. (As is the case with most wines made from San Antonio Valley grapes, Chateau Julien’s wines are labeled with the broader – and better known – Monterey County designation.)
Although San Antonio Valley still experiences some coastal influences, its southern location – far from Monterey Bay – is considerably warmer than most other parts of the county, so it’s suitable for wines like this Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine displays bright black cherry and cassis flavors with a slight herbal note. The balance is excellent, and there’s sufficient structure to stand up to hearty foods, yet the wine isn’t too heavy. As the name suggests, this Cabernet is aged in French and American oak for 18 months, but the barrels are 1 and 2 years old, so there’s no overt oaky flavor. And at just $10, this wine is a great value.
Reviewed October 23, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.