Barlow Vineyards, owned and operated as a two-generation family enterprise since 1994, is located in Calistoga on the Silverado Trail at the upper end of the Napa Valley. Warren and Jeanne Smith, along with their son Warren Jr. (who goes by the name Barr), had been based in Southern California originally but traveled to Napa Valley since the 1950’s. In fact, a favorite family photo shows a young 5-year old Barr and his father together at Louis Martini’s winery. From that young age, Barr developed more than just a passing interest in wine and eventually relocated to Napa Valley with his family.
The Smith’s purchased a 36 acre vineyard site two miles south of Calistoga very close to the famous Three Palms Vineyard that Duckhorn has been sourcing fruit from for decades. In fact the Wine Spectator #1 Wine on the Top 100 List last year was the Duckhorn 2014 Three Palms Merlot. Barr and his wife Ann moved into an existing farmhouse on the property, while Warren and Jeanne built a new home as the families settled down to the business of planting vineyards and growing grapes. In 1997 the Smiths produced a small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon (25 cases), intended for consumption by family and friends. However, their winemaker at the time informed them that the high-quality, single vineyard fruit had produced an outstanding full-bodied wine with a long finish. He then suggested that all 25 cases be sold to the general market. This marked the beginning of the Barlow commercial release. From those minuscule beginnings, Barlow’s production has now grown to approximately 1,500 cases annually. Having expanded from initially growing only Cabernet Sauvignon, the wines produced now include Merlot, Zinfandel, and a unique proprietary red blend called ‘Barrouge’. With the excellent estate fruit source (now sustainable farmed), none of Barlow Vineyards’ wines have ever scored fewer than 90 points, a remarkable fact that speaks to the extraordinary quality of the wines.
We were so impressed with their 2014 Merlot that we included it in our 2nd Quarter CWM Wine Club selection. It's the kind of Merlot that made us all first fall in love with Merlot back in the 1980's.
Wines to be Tasted
Barlow 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley $22.00
Barlow 2017 Rose (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot), Calistoga, Napa Valley $20.00
Barlow 2015 Cabernet Franc, Calistoga, Napa Valley $40.00
Barlow 2014 Merlot, Calistoga, Napa Valley, $38.00
Barlow 2014 'Barrouge' Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley $55.00
Barlow 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley $60.00
Barlow 'Family Selection' Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley
$20 Per Person
CWM Wine Club Members (plus one guest) FREE