Winery Review: Château Julien Wine Estate in Carmel Valley, California

Wineries in California: Inspired by the travels of wine lovers Bob and Patty Brower, Château Julien Wine Estate was born in 1982. The splendid winery building was fashioned after a real French château and built close to the road to make it easily accessible to guests.

Today, Château Julien Wine Estate is at the top of every wine tourer’s list in Carmel Valley. Beyond beauty, the grounds exude a feeling of gracious hospitality. Open daily for drop-in tastings, the château’s Great Hall is filled with light from its towering hand-blown stained glass window. There is no tasting bar, but rather an elegant 18-foot antique mahogany table where guests sample the wines. Sometimes this magnificent piece is removed and the Great Hall is dressed for a wedding or other intimate affair. A private dining room, conservatory, wine cellar, and a beautiful cobblestoned courtyard are also available for events, which have a reputation for running seamlessly.

Complimentary tours of the 16-acre estate are offered daily to those who make reservations, taking guests through the château, chai (barrel room), vineyards, and cellar. There are also other tour options to consider, including barrel tastings and a light repast on the Garden Cobblestone Courtyard. And on Friday and Saturday afternoons, an exclusive tasting of library wines, commemorative editions, and specialty bottlings are available for private tastings by appointment only in the château’s newly renovated Vintner Salon.

Winemaker Bill Anderson, who has been with the winery since its inception, believes in a simple, straightforward style of winemaking. One of his many triumphs, Black Nova, an explosive blend of Zinfandel and Syrah, recently earned 94 points from Beverage Testing Institute. Another proprietary blend to celebrate is La Conviviance, in its first release. The finest, hand-selected Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec from the estate’s vineyard in southern Monterey County were chosen for this blend.

It is evident from one’s first sip or visit that Château Julien has much to taste, appreciate, and enjoy. So much, in fact, that one can easily justify coming back for more.

What To Buy:
’06 La Conviviance Chocolate, Bing cherry, ripe blackberry, toasted vanilla, anise $90
’06 Black Nova II Raspberry vanilla, dark, luscious, touch of oak $78
’06 Private Reserve Merlot Ripe raspberry, cassis, hints of cedar, mocha $40
’07 Sangiovese Soft berry, black cherry, vanilla note, hint of spice $25

831.624.2600; Fax: 831.624.6138
8940 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel, CA 93923
Tasting Room Open Mon–Fri 8–5; Sat–Sun 11–5

Getting There:
From Hwy 1, turn onto Carmel Valley Rd and head east (5 miles). The winery is on the right.

Touring & Tasting
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Touring & Tasting

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