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!

Back To Barrel Oak

Last weekend when we were out visiting wineries, and Barrel Oak was on our list to visit. To be honest, Brian did send us an invitation to stop by; however, holiday events precluded us from accepting his generous offer. So what to do on a very cold winters’ week and after the barrage of holiday festivities? We visited Barrel Oak for a tasting!

Unfortunately, when we arrived we learned that Brian was on vacation. While we didn’t get to chat with him, we did get to taste all of the new wines. Our tasting associate informed us that they were now starting their tastings with some bubbly from Iberia. What did we sample? The Dibon Cava Brut Reserve. It was a great way to start our tasting at Barrel Oak.

The white wines we tasted consisted of the 2008 Seyval Blanc, the 2008 Chardonnay Reserve, the 2008 Reserve Viognier and the 2008 Barrel Chardonnay. Our gold star went to the 2008 Seyval Blanc. It was crisp and light with citrusy lemon flavors. We liked this one so much we had a bottle of it with our lunch!

There were three reds to taste with the anticipation of more to be released soon. We tasted the 2007 BOWHaus Red, the 2008 Merlot, and the 2007 Petite Verdot Reserve. Our gold star went to the 2007 BOWHaus Red, and guest critic Michael Tyler would agree. You can not go wrong with this one. It appeals to to white wine drinkers who would not sip red wine. It’s versatile enough to have with pizza or sandwiches. It has a hint of sweetness but not too much to offend the hard core red wine drinker.

Before leaving we secured another bottle of 2008 Seyval Blanc for the wine rack, because we did not think that it would last long on the racks at Barrel Oak. The 2008 Seyval Blanc is Sharon Roeder’s favorite white wine, and we do concur.

If you find yourself in Delaplane, be sure to stop by Barrel Oak and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!