Barlow Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

California: Napa Valley

Offer Expired:Oct 23, 2008 at 11:59 pm
$45.00
Avg. Price
$38.25
(15% off)

What we say

EXTRA SAVINGS ALERT!:

Today’s wine is offered at over 15% off, but order six or more bottles and we’ll throw in Included Ground Shipping! Just enter coupon code: NAPASPY and your savings will be applied at checkout

Mission Codename: Raise the Barr

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Acquire the 2005 vintage of Barlow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Barlow Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Barr Smith

Backgrounder:

If 2004 was a good year in Napa Valley, then 2005 is turning out to be stellar. Recently rated 95 points by Wine Enthusiast (recommending a hold, but this wine is ready to drink now), this exceptional example from Barlow Vineyards demonstrates the point.

Barlow Vineyards is based on the Silverado Trail, right between St. Helena and Calistoga in the upper part of the Napa Valley, a area revered for producing some of the finest and most well-structured cabs in the world. If you are not familiar with Barlow, then this is an excellent opportunity to taste a wine that people will be raving about for years to come.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark ruby red with an inky core that lightens to deep garnet edges. Long slow thin legs run slowly down the side of the glass when swirled

Smell – Immediately upon opening the bottle you are hit by a beautiful suave aromas of ripe black and red fruit complemented by earthy notes and hints of floral violet and a little toast.

Feel – A beautiful mouth feel, wet and light at the front of the palate, smooth and then big and mouth coating with medium tannins and an easy & bright acidity

Taste – Extremely well integrated flavors of blackberry and black cherry and bright cassis layered over a fine earthy component and hints of vanilla, mocha coffee, mildest spice and soft toasted oak.

Finish – This wine finishes elegantly with warm and sweet-dark smooth flavors of fruit and mocha

Conclusion – A fantastic wine, and its no wonder; Combining two generations of growing and winemaking experience, with some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, grown in what is recognized by many as the best growing area in Napa Valley, Barlow has all of the right components for success. Today’s wine is a delicious and very balanced wine, not at all overly extracted or over-oaked. Rather, what you find in this wine is harmonious balance, great flavors, a great feel, and good acid – making it a wonderful food wine

Mission Report:

Barr Smith has been growing grapes along the Silverado Trail since the early 1990’s. His famous winery customers include Bennet Lane, The Terraces, Rob Hunter, Zahtila Vineyards and others.

When, in 1997 Barr and his partner-father crafted 25 cases for their own personal enjoyment, their consulting winemaker suggested that they create wines for sale as well. Thus, Barlow Vineyards wines were born.

Today, Barr continues to evolve and improve his wines, crafting refined and balanced beauties that make our Spy palates very happy.

As 2008 harvest nears its conclusion, I caught up with Barr. What follows is a transcript of our brief discussion:

AGENT RED: Greeting, Barr!

BARLOW SMITH: Hey, Secret Agent Man. Nice to speak with you. Does anyone know what you actually look like?

RED: You’ve seen me. I’m the agent in the Wine Spies logo with the red tie. The handsome one.

BARR: I see…

RED: So, how are things, post-harvest?

BARR: Calming down, thankfully.

RED: You make great wine, Barr, but as a guy that is primarily a grower, you must have been effected by the crazy weather of 2007-2008. How did you do?

BARR: Thankfully, our Cabernet Sauvignon was largely unaffected. We did lose some of our Merlot, though.

RED: Mother Nature can be unpredictable. Do you mentally prepare for crop loss?

BARR: You can’t, really. You just deal with it as best you can. And, you always take careful care of your grapes.

RED: So, how is the 2008 vintage looking, so far?

BARR: The ’08 fruit looks great!

RED: So we’ve been told by other winemaker friends. We now have high expectations! Tell me about your 2005 Cab.

BARR: A great wine that is very well balanced. Great flavors, great aromas and very approachable. Lot’s of fruit. A little subtle at first, then it really opens up. Its soft, supple and balanced.

RED: Your favorite food pairing with the wine is…

BARR: Everything! Actually, lately I am enjoying the wine with a grilled steak! With garlic mashed potatoes and a nice Caesar salad. Simple but delicious!

RED: Yum, that sounds great.

BARR: Am I making you hungry?

RED: And thirsty. Its a good thing I have a few more bottles of your 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon left from our first tasting! I know what I’ll be enjoying tonight!

BARR: Cheers to that!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Barlow Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the winery says

Barlow Vineyards, Member, Napa Valley Vintners

About This Wine:

In 1995 our two generation enterprise, Warren and Jeanne and Barr and Ann Smith, replanted the original Cabernet Sauvignon block with phylloxera resistant rootstock and clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon. The same year we added another parcel (4+ acres) of Merlot. Since that time we have planted a block of Zinfandel and a block of clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our entry as a wine producer came about as the result of making a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was originally meant for family consumption. The winemaker informed us that the 100% single vineyard fruit had produced an outstanding big bodied, high glycerol wine with marvelous flavors and finish and a great mouth feel. He suggested that we sell the wine instead of using it for family and friends’ consumption, which we did. All 25 cases! It was an instant success.

Since 1997 we have made larger quantities of wine exclusively from these lyre-trellised, down-slope vineyards fruit and are approaching our goal of 2000 cases per year. The vineyard has it’s own Napa Valley microclimate, with characteristics of warm days and cool nights plus good wind protection. As the vineyard reaches maturity, so do the wines it produces.

Barlow produces 1500 cases of wine a year. A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, a 100% Merlot, a red wine named Barrouge that is a Bordeaux style blend and a Zinfandel. All of the fruit that we use is from our vineyard in Calistoga so we are able to keep the wines very consistent year to year. The Zinfandel is only available from the winery as we produce about 70 cases a year.

About The Winery:

Barlow Vineyards is a 50 acre estate founded in 1994, located between Calistoga and St. Helena at the upper end of the Napa Valley in an area well known for producing intense red wines. The first year the existing 25 year old Cabernet Sauvignon block was found to be badly diseased and was eliminated, leaving only one smaller block of disease resistant Cabernet Sauvignon which was planted in 1992. An eleven-acre block of Merlot was planted that year in a parcel that had been fallow for many years.

In 1995 our two generation enterprise, Warren and Jeanne and Barr and Ann Smith, replanted the original Cabernet Sauvignon block with phylloxera resistant rootstock and clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon. The same year we added another parcel (4+ acres) of Merlot. Since that time we have planted a block of Zinfandel and a block of clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our entry as a wine producer came about as the result of making a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was originally meant for family consumption. The winemaker informed us that the 100% single vineyard fruit had produced an outstanding big bodied, high glycerol wine with marvelous flavors and finish and a great mouth feel. He suggested that we sell the wine instead of using it for family and friends’ consumption, which we did. All 25 cases! It was an instant success.

Since 1997 we have made larger quantities of wine exclusively from these lyre-trellised, down-slope vineyards fruit and are approaching our goal of 2000 cases per year. The vineyard has it’s own Napa Valley microclimate, with characteristics of warm days and cool nights plus good wind protection. As the vineyard reaches maturity, so do the wines it produces. Our fine wine maker, Corey Beck, is a graduate of the enology program at UC Davis and has hands on experience with many of the finer wineries in the Napa Valley.