Barrel Oak Surprise

In certain circles Barrel Oak is known as the place to go for the experience. And that’s true. You can have a great time there with all the music, the dog policy, and the people. But what may not be known is that they also make some great wines. I think most people know that we prefer to concentrate on the wines and not necessarily the experience. Well, we actually had a nice experience with Barrel Oak wines last night.

For our sipping wine we selected the 2009 Viognier Reserve from Barrel Oak. We enjoyed it with a creamy cheese and crackers while watching the sunset on the balcony. Right away we noticed honeysuckle on the nose. In the mouth we noted tropical fruit, a subtle minerality on the finish; it suggests a full mouth feel. It paired very well with our creamy cheese.

The big surprise for me came with our dinner selection. We selected the 2008 Petit Verdot from Barrel Oak. We’ve tasted their reds many times before and while they are very solid, we don’t always opt for them with a meal. However, this time the selection was correct. I have been enjoying petit verdots lately (notice Friday evenings selection) and have really been enjoying petit verdots from 2008. I mentioned this before but 2008 reds appeal to me for the fruit notes and smoother tannins. I wondered if this petit verdot would live up to what I had in mind for a 2008 petit verdot. We paired it with pasta and red sauce with meat. As I expected this one had a nice fruity nose like many 2008s. We noticed the beautiful amethyst color. On the nose we also picked up violet notes. On the tongue we noted similar full fruit notes, dark cherry, plum, and cocoa, with a spicy edge. It paired well with our pasta dish. I was surprised and pleased to find the 2008 Petit Verdot fulfilled my expectations. Barrel Oak does indeed make some nice wines!

Even though Barrel Oak has the “experience” reputation, they also make some nice wines. Brain Roeder tells me the 2009 Petit Verdot is even better. I’ll definitely be checking it out at some point. If you are one who has fallen for the “Barrel Oak is known for the experience and not the wines” line then its time to do another tasting. You might be as surprised as I was. We plan to return to Barrel Oak soon for both the experience AND the wines. Plan to visit Barrel Oak soon and be in for a surprise and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!