Perched at 1400 feet in elevation in the Cochagua Valley, the 40 acres Joullian estate vineyard is planted with high density-spaced vines on a rocky loam soil. The most planted variety is Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Zinfandel — Dick Sias, cofounder of Joullian Vineyards, is considered the father of Zinfandel in Carmel Valley —, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Sémillon, Syrah, Primitivo, and a patch of Italian field blend made of Aleatico, Alicante Bouchet, Carignane, and Grenache.
The winery is too remote to be visited but Joullian has a tasting room conveniently located in Carmel Valley Village, not very far from the Bernardus tasting room.
2004 Joullian Chardonnay Monterey County: sourced from Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco vineyards. Ripe fruit aromas on the nose, buttery on the palate.
2004 Joullian Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow Vineyard: sourced from Talbott Vineyards' great Sleepy Hollow vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. Straw color, intense nose, complex and well-balanced on the palate, long finish, the best wine of the tasting.
2004 Joullian Chardonnay RogerRose Vineyard: from the Arroyo Seco appellation. Citrus aromas on the nose, crisp on the palate, finish not as lengthy.
Joullian Cépage Retro Rouge Carmel Valley: Non vintage. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah from the Carmel Valley appellation, Sweet candy nose, spicy Zin flavors on the palate, simple and easy.
2003 Joullian Family Reserve Merlot Carmel Valley: From the Joullian estate in Carmel Valley. Spicy nose, dry and somewhat tannic on the palate but lacks mid-palate concentration.
2002 Joullian Cabernet Sauvignon Carmel Valley: From the Joullian estate in Carmel Valley. Similar style as the Merlot. Also a bit hollow on mid-palate.
2003 Joullian Sias Cuvee Zinfandel Carmel Valley: From the Joullian estate in Carmel Valley, blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Aleatico, Alicante Bouchet, Carignane & Grenache. Intense fruity nose, a bit sweet with a lot of flavors on the palate, best red wine of the tasting.
2004 Joullian Zinfandel Rosé Carmel Valley: From the Joullian estate in Carmel Valley, blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Aleatico, Alicante Bouchet, Carignane & Grenache. Nice salmon color but really too sweet for my taste.
Well, after all these wines, we enjoyed a delicious and hearty meal at the nearby Café Rustica, before hitting the road and going back to the bay area.
Previous wines tasted in Carmel Valley:
• Talbott Vineyards
• Pelerin Wines
• Bernardus Winery
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