Monday, March 22, 2010

Champions in Cinci!

We sure had a busy week last week, but it was all worth it as we met new Jocelyn Lonen fans and accounts! We participated in the 20th Annual Cincinnati International Wine Festival, which took place March 11th-13th at the Duke Energy Center. We poured just three wines at the event: our 2008 Lonen California Chardonnay, our 2008 Lonen Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and our Premium 2006 Jocelyn Lonen Cabernet Sauvignon. We submitted both Lonen wines into the competition, which resulted in 2 bronze medals for Jocelyn Lonen! Both the Lonen Chardonnay and the Lonen Cabernet Sauvignon were recognized amongst 100s of wines! Our booth, proudly decorated with the medals and ribbons, was quite the attraction at the festival. We were so incredibly honored and happy to meet so many Ohio and Kentucky fans who have followed our wines throughout the years! " have to try their wines!" was a recurrent comment from many returning attendees and regular consumers.

The 2008 California Chardonnay was the talk of the event since the value pretty much knocks everyone's socks off! It retails for a whopping $12.99 yet has the characteristics of a $20+ Chardonnay. Rather than oak chips or stainless steel treatment the Chardonnay is all oaked, which is nearly impossible to find in that price point. Most of the comments were, "WOW! That is ridiculously good! How much?! No way!" The Chardonnay has 25% Viognier, which adds a lovely floral note to it. The Chardonnay and Viognier are so well integrated that it adds an exotic flavor to the wine. As you finish drinking it the finish has a wonderful surprise of acidity, which most Chardonnay drinkers seek nowadays. Once again, Alison Doran, used her exquisite balance and chemistry to marry the two varietals together! Our tasters were happy and so were we!

The 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon retails for a whopping $21.99!! Again, this wine is all about the value. You get a $35+ wine at a fraction of the price. How do you ask? Well, the secret lies in the magic of Brandi Pack, who has a knack for creating premium wines at "stupid" prices as I heard over and over and over again. The Cabernet was blended with 25% Syrah, which again, adds quite a unique characteristic to the wine. As soon as your nose touches the brim of the glass you pick up aromas of black cherry, strawberry and a bit of spice. Everyone enjoyed the nose so much it took minutes before they even sipped the glass. Again, everyone was floored at the quality of the wine. I suppose most consumers don't expect much from a $20 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Again, Brandi and Alison created a match-made in heaven between the Syrah and Cabernet, that everyone can afford. As I overheard many people say, "Why would I pay $50 for a Cab when I can drink this and be just as happy?!" We agree! This is why the Cabernet also placed bronze out of 100s of wines.

Lastly, we poured our flagship 2006 Jocelyn Lonen Cabernet Sauvignon, which retails between $36-$38. There was no need to submit this wine into the competition as it is what placed Jocelyn Wines on the map. This wine is again a pure testament of the value in each Jocelyn wine. It tastes twice its price, and I couldn't even count how many people came back for seconds and thirds of this wine. A handful of people boasted that it was by far the best Cabernet at the event! We will take that compliment because we truly pride ourselves in producing the highest quality wines possible at affordable prices. This Cab is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec, which mainly come from the prestigious Stagecoach Vineyards. Every time I taste this wine it has evolved a bit more into the "Big Cab" category. It is a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is filled with bright fruits and jams yet not too sweet. As the wine swims across the tongue there are these baby tannins that equally reach each corner of the mouth. It is smooth, balanced and as we say at Jocelyn, "It has that major YUM factor"! Again, this wine attracted many to our booth, and I was reaffirmed as to why we have such a cult following.

All in all, the event was a complete success. Many new accounts tasted and were impressed to the point that they are bringing the wines into their store. Other winos made sure to take my card for their next visit to Napa. What really stuck out to me was the pleasure that we bring to each person who tastes our wines. Above that, it is quite a fulfilling feeling to know that the wines are affordable and that we have created a win-win for everyone!

Thank you to all who stopped by our table, to all of the accounts that support our wines out there and most of all to Tramonte and Sons, our distributor, who has supported our wines in the area and introduced them to so many! It is a complete honor to receive such recognition, and we look forward to being a part of the Festival again next year!

Angela Herrera Lockhart
National Sales Manager

Friday, March 5, 2010

Clambake for a Cure!

Jocelyn Lonen Winery just hosted the first annual Golf & Grapes Foundation’s Clambake for a Cure event! The event was held at a private estate in the Carmel Highlands on February 11th, 2010. The event followed the first round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, formerly and affectionately known as the “Crosby Clambake”. All in all, it was a successful event!

The Clambake for a Cure event opened with beautiful sunny skies and stunning ocean views, which placed guests in a generous mood to raise money for brain tumor research. As some know, Susan Curtis inspired the idea of the Golf & Grapes Foundation in memory of her late husband, and Jocelyn Lonen Winery founder, Lonen Curtis III, who passed away from brain cancer in 2004. Thus, it was only fitting that the Clambake guests sip Jocelyn Lonen Winery’s mouth-watering new releases-2007 Founder’s Chardonnay and 2006 Founder’s Blend, which honor founder, Lonen Curtis III, all while perusing auction items.

The charity event also featured ten other wineries, predominantly from the Atlas Peak Appellation, where Jocelyn Lonen also grows its red varietals. There were seven celebrity chefs present competing to produce their best clam dishes for guests to enjoy! Three area restaurant critics attended to judge the dishes, determining who won the Critics’ Choice Award. Guests also voted to determine the People’s Choice Award. The winner of both awards was the great Todd Fisher, who owns The Kitchen in Monterrey! His “Broadway garlic, clam pizza” was quite the hit and even featured on View from the Bay on February 15, 2010. The picture above is of Todd Fisher with Susan Curtis on View from the Bay!

In addition to clam dishes, the chefs produced a variety of delicious appetizers for everyone to indulge in. Guests were frequently overheard stating they had never before been to a charity event which had such excellent wines and delicious food!

Guests participated in the Silent and Live Auction lots which included rare wines, art, and wonderful resort/golf/spa/dinner getaways in order to raise money for the continued battle against brain tumors. Also on site were PGA Tour Pros and celebrities attending the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am such as Brett Quigley, Jonathon Byrd, Bobby Clampett and Cindy Rarick! The event was absolutely fabulous, which is why Executive Director of Golf and Grapes, Sam Peters, is already planning next year’s Clambake for a Cure. For more information please visit

Thank you to all who participated, donated and supported this first-time event. It would never be possible without such a supportive community!