DOUBLE TASTING: Joullian Vineyards | Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc | Monterey County | California

Joullian BrandWe recently introduced you to Joullian Vineyards, located in Monterey County’s Carmel Valley.  We featured their 2011  Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, which we found to be complex and delicious.  Click here for that review.  We have since tasted two other Joullian whites that we thoroughly enjoyed and want to recommend to you.  Here are the wines and our tasting notes:

Joullian Mont ChardJoullian Vineyards | Chardonnay | Monterey County | California | 2011 | $25 | 88 pts

This wine marks the 25th vintage of Joullian Chardonnay, and it was sourced from several vineyards across Monterey County that are among the oldest plantings of the variety in California.  The 2011 growing season was cool and long, conditions reflected in the wine’s lean, elegant character.  Notes of green apple, pear, and lime peel are primary on the nose and palate, vivid and clean, finessed by warming undertones of toasted almond, spice, and mineral.  Winemaker Ridge Watson took a Burgundian approach to this wine, fermenting it in barrel, ushering it through malolactic fermentation, and aging it for 9 months sur lie in French oak barrels (15% new).  (2,031 cases produced.)

Joullian Sauv BlancJoullian Vineyards | Sauvignon Blanc | Estate | Carmel Valley | California | 2012 | $26 | 88 pts

Ridge sources his Sauvignon Blanc from Joullian’s own estate vineyards, comprising several clones of Bordeaux ancestry.  The 2012 vintage is 80% Sauvignon Blanc, blended with a generous dollop of Semillon (19.4%) and just a splash of Viognier (0.6%).  It’s a savory Sauvignon Blanc, with aromas and flavors of ripe tropical fruit, honeydew melon, and lemongrass, accented by delicate floral hints wafting throughout.  The wine was fermented in barrel, underwent 5% malolactic fermentation, and aged 5 months sur lie in French oak barrels.  The resulting character is that of Fumé Blanc, with an underlying nectarous quality that’s rich and round.  (The 2012 crop was short for Joullian, yielding only 303 cases of Sauvignon Blanc for that vintage.)

Joullian 2

Joullian’s Tasting Room

Availability: Joullian’s distribution outside of California is limited, so for more information on where you might find the wine in your area or to order it directly from the winery visit them virtually at  And the next time you find yourself in Monterey County, we encourage you to visit Joullian’s quaint tasting room in Carmel Valley Village or make an appointment to visit Ridge and his staff at the winery.

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