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In spite of what the name Bungalow Red may imply, the 2004 Casa Barranca Bungalow Red (80% Syrah 20% Grenache) is any thing but lowly. In fact this tasty, seductive red has been compared to the finest vintages of Domaine Marcoux's famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And for the record, the 2004 Bungalow Red won a Double Gold Medal, Best of Class at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. In addition, it could legally be labeled as a varietal Syrah. The wine is deep purple in color and possesses an intense extraction. Moreover, it sports a flamboyant, haunting nose that recalls the scent of crushed raspberries, black fruits, and white pepper. On the palate, a cascade of fresh wild berries, bacon, and wood smoke is followed by a long, dense, fruit filled finish. Pure, hedonistic, and so easy to drink, Casa Barranca's 2004 Bungalow Red is another dramatic tribute to sustainable farming and the moderate use of sulfites – all of which set Casa Barranca and its wines apart from the competition. Kudos to the folks at Casa Barranca for crafting such a delicious Californian wine that recalls the finest Syrah and Grenache based efforts from France's Rhône Valley. We suggest serving this delightful, proud red at cool room temperature (64º-68º), after a few minutes of aeration. Enjoy!
The 2004 Casa Barranca Bungalow Red makes an exemplary companion to food, especially the hearty, stick to your ribs kinds of meals that make winter tolerable. So, put on the stew pot, and while you're at it don't forget to save that ham bone you put in the freezer for soup. We suggest serving the Bungalow Red with thick lentil or split pea soup, country ham, crusty bread, and some excellent cheese. Lamb or beef barley soups make other fine accompaniments to Casa Barranca's lofty tasting red. Grilled meat, stuffed eggplant, and full-flavored pastas all offer equally fine regards in the presence of the versatile Casa Barranca Bungalow Red, so what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and invite a friend over for a memorable evening!
Casa Barranca is as much a state of mind as it is a winery and an individual place. Centered around the Pratt House, a meticulously maintained masterpiece of American architecture, the Casa Barranca winery sits atop a gorgeous set of hills above the idyll and mystical town of Ojai, California. A recipient of National Historical Landmark status Casa Barranca, meaning "house of the ravine," was designed in 1909 by Charles and Henry Greene. The Greene's were founders of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, and they designed Casa Barranca for Charles and Mary Pratt of Pratt Institute, and Pratt&Whitney fame. To highlight just how beautiful this place is, Architectural Digest has said of Casa Barranca: "a closer approximation to Shangri-la is hard to image."
For centuries, California's Ojai Valley and surrounding sun drenched hills have provided dramatic scenic beauty, solitude, and spiritual comfort for its inhabitants – from the peaceful Chumash Indians to renowned authors, composers and spiritual leaders. Aldous Huxley treasured Ojai for its inner nature, and J. Krishnamurti called it "the most beautiful place on earth". Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the Ojai Valley, Frank Capra used it as "Shangri-La" in his 1937 film classic, Lost Horizon.
In 1994 Bill Moses, corporate CEO, investment banker, and serious winemaker purchased Casa Barranca. Bill restored the luster to the Pratt House and totally revitalized the grounds of Casa Barranca, adding fruit trees, flowers, and of course grape vines. Under Bill's guiding hand Casa Barranca has maintained its Historic Landmark status. In keeping with the humble and pure ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Pratt House and its estate are powered by solar electricity, draw their water from artesian springs and are of course surrounded by an organic vineyard and gardens which are farmed practicing sustainable principles. Casa Barranca makes its wines from organic grapes and either totally eschews sulfites or adds only minimal amounts to its wines. The result is a bevy of delicious, handcrafted wines that recall the best of France's garagiste offerings.
Casa Barranca produces only a little more than 4,000 cases of wine each year from a host of varietals. Viognier and Chardonnay are the preeminent white varietals here, while Casa Barranca's most exciting red wines remain their organic, unfiltered Pinot Noir offerings and a luscious Rhône style red called Bungalow Red that has been likened to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Small quantities of a varietal Syrah as well as a forceful, age worthy Cabernet/Merlot blend round out the portfolio. We can hardly wait to see what Bill Moses and his capable young assistant Jean-Benoit will put out next.
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