Post written by guest blogger and friend – Stephanie Plunkett


My good friend John Witherspoon has taught me much about wine.  He’s never been off in his recommendations for wines to try and wine bars to visit.  The latest recommendation was to visit Barrel Thief in Richmond Va for the Kermit Lynch tasting.  The owners of Barrel Thief (Ross and Ned)  were in perfect form, handling all the behind the scenes work careful not to intrude upon the ambience of the experience.  As typical, Barrel Thief does not disappoint.  The French visiting winemakers had stellar selections, and in the end, it was hard to make a choice for what to bring home.  I have to confess as well that I have been disappointed by the French wines I’ve tried.  My flavor profile seems more akin to Spanish wines, Argentina Malbecs, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Sonoma Valley.  Needless to say, this experience has opened my palate to a whole new world of wine, and my husband and I visited that world last night with a bottle we bought, The St. Joseph VV.  


As you see from John’s blog on April 25, 2008 the St. Joseph VV 2005 is a wine made from 60 year old vines of 100% Syrah.  The alcohol content is 13%.  On the back of the bottle is a statement from Thomas Jefferson, which I couldn’t agree with him more:  “Good wine is a necessity of life for me”.   On the nose is a slightly overpowering woody cedar spice so I couldn’t really detect anything else.  This same spice hits you in the first taste, but soon the cranberry comes through, and on the finish the experience turns to a dusty and earthy note.  Overall I really liked the wine.  It was definitely unique to anything I had previously tasted.  For the first time, the following Friday at our usual tasting at the Caboose in Ashland Va my husband and I visited the selection of French wines and picked out a nice Sancerre. 


Perhaps I’ll write about that one in the future, but I wanted to get this one out there for my good friend John to help celebrate his Birthday in the only way I know how, and that is to celebrate the enthusiasm of wine with him!  Thanks John and have a great Birthday!


P.S.  For all you wine and beer lovers in the Richmond area, the Caboose in Ashland will have a beer and wine tasting special (free tasting of 5 wines and 5 beers) on Friday June 6.  Come out and visit Ian Kirkland who’s been an owner there 10 years now.  Sample exquisite cheeses picked out by Shannon Cook and experience this quaint little shop by the railroad tracks in the old town of Ashland.

Categories: Barrel Thief, Rhone Wines, wine review | Leave a comment

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