Barrel 27 “High on the Hog” 2010 white wine

40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Viognier, 15% Roussanne and 5% Marsanne
fermented in stainless steel; screw cap
Central Coast, CA, 13.2% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 13 June

Barrel27_HotH_whiteThis wine pours a pretty light golden with a greenish tinge.  It has a full nose of yellow flowers and fruits, with a little green fruit.  On the palate, the wine has intense flavors of lighter honeysuckle, yellow peach, green fig, ripe lemon, maybe ginger.  These ripe flavors are balanced by acid of those fruits, by bitterness of grape skin, green melon rind, and peach pit, and by a slight minerality.  To my taste, the bitterness is often a little stronger than the fruit and acid, but this is a minor quibble, and is less when the wine has warmed a bit from fridge temperature.  For this price, I give it a big Thumbs Up.

The producer web site is here for anyone interested.

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27 thoughts on “Barrel 27 “High on the Hog” 2010 white wine

  1. mereimage

    I’m not sure where to weigh in here as the direction of the usual banter has taken an unusual turn in this thread. However, BW no need to apologize. I was overjoyed to hear that a Barrel 27 wine was at GO that I immediately drove over to our local store, found it… bought it and couldn’t wait to read the review. Why? Because I know the guys who make this wine. McPrice Meyers and Russell From established B27 in Paso Robles, sourcing fruit from some of the best vineyards around the Central Coast. They were two young guys (27 years old… get it?) starting out who wanted to make great wine w/o pretense and have a little, well a lot of fun while doing it. High on the Hog is their entry level white blend. These guys collectively have established their own labels (McPrice Meyers and Herman Story respectively) who make amazing wines of their own accord. Mac’s Terre Blanche is the bumped up version of this wine and Russell’s Tomboy (Viognier) is other-wordly. The reds these guys produce are… well you get the idea. Huge Thumbs UP for Barrel 27 and I get the enthusiasm BW for a stand out wine as California and GO weather the drought.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      Thanks for that post, introducing us to the folks responsible for this wine. I am always in favor of buying GO wines made by people who care. Berkeley still has some of this, I will give it another try after it has had a chance to calm down a bit.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        OK, I have now bought another bottle and tried it again. I served it to a group of wine lovers. It was the only bottle that was not finished, with a lot left. Too little acid.

        Reply
    2. Expat

      Barrell 27 is a solid producer in my area so I snapped this up despite the fact that the wife and I prefer dry, crisp pinot grigio’s from Ittly to these varietals. Sure enough, this wine didn’t work for us, not because it’s “bad” but because it’s not the style we like. To us the fruit was heavy and cloying but I could appreciate that it was a quality product. Something about Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne and even Chardonnay wines that I find heavy and syrupy. Oaky is very tough for me to take too. So I would give this a Thumbs Down with the huge caveat that it’s based on my personal taste. I’d give it an objective Thumbs Up for the type and style of wine that it is.

      Re: the other threads, I appreciate the honest, open discussion on this forum that allows disagreement but a disrespectful tone like the Sewer guy exhibited has no place here.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        Expat, I would like to give my experience with Rhone varietals which I was totally unfamiliar with. I knew Viognier from way back, but didn’t bother to learn about the the other predominant grapes, Marsanne and Roussanne. I didn’t want to learn about these varietals through CA wines and instead wanted a quicker lesson via a fairly respectable CdP house. Tried their regular CdP Blanc and it didn’t do much for me as far as learning about the character of the grape and region. I read up on the higher end wines of white CdP in Cellar Tracker and noticed what more experienced tasters liked about these wines. They would go on about length, heavy body, viscous and probably syrupy too. So I broke down and bought the same winery’s Cdp Blanc, Vielle Vigne, Roussanne. I took my first taste and went, ptooey, what’s this about. Took another taste and thought this was over the hill. Put it back in the refrigerator and thought about the wine. It wasn’t maderized or brown so is there something wrong with my evaluation and just maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be. Had it over the next few days, sometimes with food, and thought, this isn’t so bad after all. Then the thickness and unctousnes grew on me while the wine seemed to be over ripe compared to other whites of my experience, but gee, I could be wrong and this is just the character of the grape. Well, the wine did grow on me kinda like a first experience with uni. It sounds like from your description that this is the type wine the winemakers were striving for and you realize it’s not the wine but just your preference. I do like your subjective and objective evaluations as it shows you know your wines.

        Reply
        1. Expat

          Darrell thanks for all your insight. Funny thing, I made a roasted albacore loin with a ratatouille tonight and busted out the rest of the bottle of the Barrel 27 from the fridge. I gave the wife the rest of the Three Rivers Sauv Blanc because she was not a fan of the B27. Curiously, just like you described with your Roussanne, this really grew on me. Is it the type of white I like? Not really but I can appreciate it for what it is, especially with a well-made version like this one. Bottom line is that I enjoyed it tonight and sometimes it’s healthy to break out of your comfort zone.

          And I think context is very important with reviews. I don’t want to exhibit hubris and give a definitive Thumbs Down on a wine because it’s not a style I like. I always try to qualify my comments with my bias. However, if it’s an objectively sub-standard wine I’ll say so.

          Reply
          1. lim13

            Expat…I like to think that your last paragraph sums up the philosophy of our blog’s editors (self included). Thanks for saying it so tersely and so well.

            Reply
        2. JoelA

          Darrell: I like Roussanne a lot better than chardonnay. To try good ones, look to the northern rather than southern Rhone. Hermitage blanc is way way out of my price range nowadays (didn’t used to be) but you still could try white Crozes-Hermitage, St. Joseph or St. Peray from good producers.

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Joel, yes ” Hermitage blanc is way way out of my price range nowadays ” is so true and I should have investigated these wines much earlier. My lessons are reserved for special occasions only. Tried a Chapoutier St. Joseph Les Granits blanc and didn’t do much for me. Just recently acquired a Chave Hermitage Blanc and will be had out for some special dinner. Thomas Jefferson must have known something; I hope it’s a good lesson. For those following this page I found a quote about the Rhone whites from P. Guigal, “Condrieu you taste with your taste buds, Hermitage with your head.” I thought this was funny and apropo with my earlier experience with the white CdP. Thanks for the recommendations on other N. Rhone Blanc seeing how expensive Hermitage blanc is.

            Reply
  2. Seedboy

    I shared a bottle of this with friends today. They liked it. It is a fresh tasting nice looking wine that is a bit shy on acid and minerality for me. But for $4.99, try it out.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      I frequently find that domestic Marsannes and in particular, Rousannes can be a bit flabby, but I still hope to have a crack at this wine, SB.

      Reply
  3. EHL

    Hey BargainWhine,

    Just to clarify, my comment was tongue-in-cheek and in jest…….and thanks for your unbridled enthusiasm and refined palate……now what about finding some spectacular GO reds at that price point that you can wax euphoric about, too. ;}

    Always — EHL

    Reply
  4. lim13

    Like Darrell said, BW…there’s no reason for you to be apologizing. Us wine reviewer types all get carried away from time to time, but why apologize for enthusiasm? With the recent lack of many tasty new wines at my local GO’s, I’d be seriously pleased to have anything to be enthusiastic about. I’d love to find a bottle of this up here in WA…based on your very thorough description.

    At the same time, theconnasewer just scratched the surface of a segment of the wine sales and marketing arena that has been the thrust of my approach to wine for the last 30 years. Keep it simple. One of my goals is to try to introduce new folks to wine. Many of them find wine (and trying to buy the “right one” intimidating. Those folks encounter hard-to-read labels, unfamiliar varietal names, and lengthy, flowery descriptions and reviews that tend to jack up the intimidation factor. Most novice wine drinkers have a difficult time finding all (or any of) the flavors that are described by wine reviewers. Jeez! I’ve been a “wino” for 40 years and I have the same hard time with some reviews. If I’m going to win over a new wine drinker, I want to talk on their terms and let them move at their pace. The real difficulty lies in trying to write reviews that appeal to novices while providing the more thorough information that some of us “old timers” appreciate too. It’s not an easy job, but I’m not looking for sympathy.

    While I appreciate the connasewer’s free expression of his/her opinion, I have little appreciation for the spirit of the delivery. By addressing “the person who writes reviews…” instead of BargainWhine or BW and using charged language like “ridiculous over the top description”, some of us are immediately put on the defensive. Just saying “Too many words” (in your description) might have accomplished the same thing.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Lim13 and thanks for your thoughts. I’d agree that a bit of my enthusiasm was due to not having been excited by a GO wine in a little while. The thing is, I’m not really sure what I could have left out. Those are my reactions to tasting the wine, and they make a paragraph only as long as the photo. I even felt like I wasn’t doing justice to the wine’s complexity. Had I been more long-winded, I would probably have included something about the the French wines (Cotes du Rhone) of which this wine is a Californian version, using more words to make the post more accessible to folks who might not recognize that from the list of grapes. Anyway, if anyone actually tries this wine, please let us know if you like it, using whatever words seem appropriate to you.

      Reply
      1. jwc

        Connasewer, my take on your comments is that they were uncalled for. I reviewed your posts, and see you’re from Boston or spent a good deal of time there. I played football in school, with some Bostonians, they were crude & rude, great as teamates, and in trying to take someone’s head off, or defending your back for that matter. However, coarse & raw doesn’t transfer well in the wine world, especially out west. Here folks aren’t quite as thick skinned as back east. Yeah, BW’s review was a tad overblown, green melon rind? As opposed to what, yellow melon rind? Peach pit? Not flavors I’m seeking in a white wine, or any wine. That being said, its the intent…
        BW, Lim13 & Bin5 are trying to provide a service to folks interested in good wine, at reasonable prices. Cleaning the oyster to find the pearl, as one does at GO on a regular basis. Chastising someone for writing what they perceive to be an honest review, is a bit of a cheap shot. How about trying the wine, prior to popping off, AND then seasoning your text with grace, not a caustic reply. That’s how I see it, onto the wine.

        Reply
          1. EHL

            LOL…….truly……the art of wine appreciation is totally subjective and rather effete….especially when trying, even with the greatest sincerity, to capture in words ephemeral emotions stirred by a simple sip of vino….

            Methinks it not worth the effort to share that epiphany and joy…..

            Reply
  5. theconnasewer

    The person who writes reviews as in the above one Barrel 27 should take a DEEP BREATH dump the ridiculous over the top description. Too many words…PERIOD!

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      I have tasted wines with BW and he does have many more descriptors of the same wine than I do that I have to ask myself, “You get all that?” Well this is just in the parking lot so you can imagine what he tastes when doing a more formal evaluation at home.

      Reply
    2. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi guys. I was just being honestly enthusiastic about a wine I liked that seems to be a real GO find. It’s not the most amazing wine ever, but a tasty CA white Rhone blend for $5 is a nifty novelty. Sorry if I overdid it.

      Reply
      1. Patrick

        The good news is that it is summer and there are a lot of good whites @ $6.00 and under for most tastes.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Well, probably they would like the wine; I think it’s just the prose they’re objecting to. 🙂

          Reply

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