Wonderful Wine With a Woman’s Perspective

I discovered Jocelyn Lonen wines almost by accident, but it’s the kind of accident I’d like to repeat over and over again because the wines are so good and reasonably priced.

The winery is an all-women affair. Brandi Jocelyn Pack manages the winery with a lot of help from winemaker Alison Green Duran, who also makes wine for the Hill Family Estate. Brandi’s mom, Susan Curtis, is a partner and Angela Herrera Lockhart is the national sales manager.

I was introduced to the winery at a tasting earlier this week at the Alameda Wine Co., where I found Angela pouring two reds and a white.

Brandi stepped into a leadership role after the death of her father, winery founder Lonen Curtis, who succumbed to brain cancer in 2004.

Brandi Jocelyn Lonen

Brandi Jocelyn Lonen

“This was our  dream… but I had no idea what I was doing,” Brandi said. “But, it’s really been an interesting process. I threw myself into it and tried to learn everything I could.”

The winery produced a terrific 2006 cabernet sauvignon, ($35) with a large portion of the grapes coming from the prestigious Stagecoach vineyard on Atlas Peak.

Here’s how Brandi describes it:

“I like upfront fruit, strawberry/cherry fruit,” she said. “I like the big California cabernets, with their big-bodied style. My parents tried to get me into French wines, but it’s so foreign to my palate. I just love that big, lush California cabernet and that’s what we are going for.”

The  2007 Jocelyn Lonen chardonnay ($26) is another winner. I enjoyed this wine for its butterscotch undertone and tropical fruit flavors plus a long, creamy finish. The reserve cabernet franc ($60) is delicious, but less than 100 cases were made and you’ll  have to join the Jocelyn Lonen wine club to get a bottle.

The wines are made at a custom crush facility. While there is no physical winery to visit, there are plans for a Napa tasting room to open next spring.

Warning: Wine Holidays Ahead

Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda is holding its annual holiday open house on Saturday (Nov. 7) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets   are available online for $35 or $60 at the door. In addition to the wide array of Rosenblum wines open for tasting, there will be music and appetizers, including zinfandel ice cream. Rosenblum’s reputation was built on top-grade zinfandels (their 2007 Rockpile zin won a 90-point score from Wine Spectator), but they also make some highly rated syrah and petite sirah wines.

Just a hop, skip and a ferry ride away from Rosenblum, at Dashe Cellars in Oakland, they will be celebrating the holidays on Saturday with a different twist — a paella party.

Dashe, located just off Jack London Square, will be showcasing some of the winery’s award-winning zinfandels alongside giant servings of paella prepared by well-known chef Gerard Nebesky.

The event runs 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. On tap for tasting will be barrel samples of the 2008 vintage along with some very special zins from the 2007 vintage, including wines made from the Florence and Louvau vineyards.

Ask for a taste of the late harvest zinfandel from Dashe, which won high praise in a recent review by the Wall Street Journal.

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One Response to “Wonderful Wine With a Woman’s Perspective”

  1. 2009: A Good Time for Wine « Wine Country Insider Says:

    […] I stumbled by accident on Jocelyn Lonen’s wines at my local wine store, where the wines were featured at a tasting. Lonen produced a terrific 2006 cabernet sauvignon, ($35) with a large portion of the grapes coming from the prestigious Stagecoach vineyard on Atlas Peak. Click here to read more about Lonen. […]

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