Proprietor's Reserve 2007

Prestigious Sommeliers International September 2013 issue Review:

O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve 2007:

“Serve it at 16°C.

color: Black hue, purple
Nose: rich, very aromatic, dense, spices, blacberry, violet, peony, garigue, white pepper, cinnamon
Palate: pure straight at first taste. Very good amplenes, Spices, freshness and density in the finish
Match with food: grilled wild boar, Prime rib, marrow bone

We are so lucky to count, year after year, more friends from all around the World! We want to thank you for your support.
2012 wouldn’t have been the same without you, so we’re putting you on the wall of fame.

Your Friendship is the best present we received!

We will need more pictures to keep great memories of your visit and the great fun shared around good food and wine.
We will feature photos with links to reviews along with the food and wine experiences we had with you.

If you want to relive the memories…

We hope to see you again soon, but in the meantime, you can always relive the experience with a good bottle of  O’ wine or by downloading one of Liz’s recipes from our website.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Here is a link to an Aussie blog. Don, Margie , Alex and Rebecca spent some time visiting France and our beautiful region of Aude.

The Telegrah emphasized the quality of French Red Wine from different regions of France.  We are very honored that O’Vineyards Trah Lah Lah 2010 is included.

Gaillac; Côte-Rôtie; Gevrey-Chambertin; Pauillac: legendary French red wines that ooze style and quality. Check out these and the rest of this fine French red wine selection.

Saint-Michel 2009, Gaillac AOC £6.99, Majestic

Another great-value wine from south-west France, this blend of syrah, merlot and the local braucol grape packs plenty of punch for little money. It’s a terrifically gluggable wine, with lively notes of earthy cherries and berries, tinged with smoky liquorice and braced by crunchy tannins. Keep this one back for Boxing Day; it will provide a refreshing counterpoint to all those cold cuts of meat and salad.

Château Saint Nicolas 2011, Côtes du Roussillon AOC £7.99, Waitrose

Roussillon, which lies on France’s eastern border with Spain, is a go-to region for wines that deliver on quality and value. This red wine is a real crowd-pleaser, made from a blend of grapes similar to that used in the better-known Côtes du Rhône. Juicy, ripe and approachable, its slightly herby, spicy red fruit would work well with the Christmas turkey – especially if it comes with a dollop of cranberry sauce on the side.

Trah Lah Lah 2010, Domaine O’Vineyards, Cité de Carcassonne IGP £12.99, Naked Wines

Ryan and Joe O’Connell, the father-and-son team behind this delightfully named wine, originally hail from the US. They’ve put down roots in the Languedoc – near the pretty walled city of Carcassonne – and now make a range of heady red wines from grapes grown in the area. This dark, brooding blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot is packed with bold, ripe berry fruit. It would work well with the Christmas turkey; if you’re dining on rib of beef instead, so much the better.

Syrah Les Epices 2009/10, Domaine Les Yeuses, Pays d’Oc IGP£8.99, Majestic

While the syrah heartland is the northern Rhône, this version hails from vineyards within sight of the Mediterranean. The coastal position ensures vines benefit from breezes that keep the grapes from over-ripening – preserving the brightness that’s detectable in this wine. Thoroughly delicious, it has smoky damson and spiced fruit, draped around a framework of ripe tannins, and gives many a Crozes-Hermitage, twice the price, a run for its money.

Domaine Damien Coquelet 2011, Chiroubles AOC £14.04, The Sampler

This is a beaujolais – but if you’ve only ever tasted beaujolais nouveau, the personality and richness of this wine will come as a (very pleasant) surprise. Made from grapes grown on vines approaching their 90th birthday, this is an intense, earthy wine with aromas of summer flowers and red berries. Juicy and bright, it has enough tannin and acidity to provide structure – but not so much as to get in the way of your drinking pleasure. A festive season all-rounder.

La Croix Boissée 2010, Bernard Baudry, Chinon AOC £17.95, Lea & Sandeman

Cabernet franc is one of the parents of the popular cabernet sauvignon grape and shares some of its aromatic characteristics. However, it needs a cooler climate to thrive, which is why it’s most at home on the banks of the Loire. This cuvée – made from grapes grown on chalky soils – is fine-boned and elegant. Black fruit flavours are enlivened with a pronounced seam of smoky, graphite-tinged minerality. The tannins and racy acidity make this a food wine par excellence.

Fortis 2008, Domaine de Monteillet, Côte-Rôtie AOC £31.78, Goedhuis & Co

Côte Rôtie is one of the most prestigious appellations in the northern Rhône, an area that specialises in producing sinewy syrah redolent of cracked black pepper. This cuvée has had its brawn softened with a judicious dose of viognier; a white grape that knocks a few edges off the syrah, lending it a voluptuous, perfumed charm and enhancing its damson fruit. Decant it a couple of hours before your festive lunch and it should go down a treat.

Gevrey-Chambertin 2008, Mark Haisma, Gevrey-Chambertin AOC£32.50, Vinoteca, Bordeaux Index

Mark Haisma made his name in Australia, under legendary Yarra Yering winemaker Bailey Carrodus. More recently, he’s been in Burgundy and is beginning to make a name for his quirky, characterful wines. This gevrey-chambertin takes no prisoners: it is direct, with great purity of red berry fruit, a hint of autumn leaves and a long, perfumed finish. Subtle, precise and poised, this would be a terrific match for turkey or goose.

Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet 2009, Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac AOC £31 to £38, Bordeaux Index, Fine & Rare Wines, Hennings Wine Merchants

A rising star in the firmament of top-class Bordeaux. Its best bottle won’t emerge for a few years yet – and will cost five times the price of this, its second. The Bordeaux blend, dominated by cabernet sauvignon, is accessible, enhanced by the ripeness of the 2009 vintage. A bit of decanting would help bring its plush blackcurrant and cedar fruit to the fore and soften grippy tannins. Match with rare beef.


When I asked Ryan to explain his choice of name for the new O’Vineyards wine OMG, he replied: “I’m an O’Connell. So it’s O’Vineyards, O’Syrah, O’MG, hahaha”

O’Vineyards recently began having visitors taste their new wine called OMG 2011, and your reactions have been promising. For those of you who missed that memo, OMG stands for Oh My God in online communication culture – though if you’re reading this blog, then you surely already knew that.

OMG 2011, new O'Vineyards wine

We have been fortunate to hear professional opinions too, including the Maitre Sommelier of Carcassonne’s Hôtel de la Cité, Georges Gracia. In Georges’s words, OMG has the following characteristics:

The New Arrival at O’Vineyards: OMG 2011
color: purple, black cherry
1st nose: red berries; slightly spicy; la garrigue (thyme, laurel, Mediterranean spices)
2nd nose: combination of fruits, prunes and kirsh; beautiful intensity; fairly complex
Freshness, spices, thyme, bay leaves, pepper; beautiful balance
This is a nice aromatic wine that can adapt to a variety of different dishes. It can be drunk at room temperature or slightly chilled, in any season.
Fruit, spices, with a silky tannic wine with Bordeaux-like charisma

OMG is available for purchase exclusively at O’Vineyards for now, but will be available elsewhere this coming fall. More details to come.


“Some Naked people came to pick up their wine last week, and we all had a blast!”

I admit it was somewhat alarming to hear these words coming from Liz during my first few days at O’Vineyards. I was going to have to live with these people for several weeks, so I needed an explanation. Luckily Ryan had previously posted about the Naked Wines Angels, who are the main actors in O’Vineyards’ new vineyard share program.  One hundred “Angels” rented some of O’Vineyards vines and are paying Naked Winemakers Ryan and Joe O’Connell to see these vines through wine fruition. Now, the Naked Wines Angels are streaming in one by one to pick up their wine. If you are still confused, they are perfectly normal people–properly clothed and everything–they just went that extra mile because they really like our wine.

Michelle and David, Naked Angels

So, meet Michelle and David. They are Naked Angels. Liz and Joe had the pleasure of meeting Michelle and David (I unfortunately was not here yet) when they stayed at the B&B around two weeks ago. They enjoyed a tour of O’Vineyards and shared good times and good food around the Winemakers’ Table. As Michelle very poetically puts it in her TripAdvisor review: “We arrived strangers and left as friends.” They also reportedly arrived as fully clothed and sober angels, and left as…

“This was our Christmas dinner wine thanks to Ryan O’Connell and Joe for making such a gorgeous wine!”
Frankie Jacklin via Facebook

It’s the holiday season and we’re happy to see lots of people are opening O’Vineyards wine with their friends and family.  It’s always heart warming to know that we could play a small part in celebrating the best moments of your lives!

Mark and Marcela Siegel's O'Podium wine tasting on Christmas Eve 2011

photo: Siegel

Chocolate and O’Vineyards Tasting

O’Podium on Christmas Eve

Feel free to share more photos and comments on our facebook page or by tweeting @mroconnell.

It’s hard to link directly to specific reviews on Naked Wines, but our UK customers have been enjoying the wines for the holidays too!

And a whole bunch of people will be opening the Proprietor’s Reserve 2006 on New Years Eve at La Barbacane, a michelin star rated restaurant in the medieval castle of Carcassonne.  The wine has been selected for a pairing with “poularde de Bresse en deux cuissons, le suprême poché aux truffes et langoustines, la cuisse confite, purée de cerfeuil tubéreux purée de cerfeuil tubéreux et salsifis au jus, une sauce, un jus”.  Should be a delicious main course on a mouth watering  275€ St Sylvestre menu.

Customer review of Domaine O’Vineyards Trah Lah Lah 2009:

osted by Jane Burgess on 18:02 07/12/2011 Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Trah Lah Lah 2009

This is probably the best French wine I have ever tasted. Full bodied, rich, smooth, clean-tasting. New French wine at its best.

I love the name New French wine.  I could be part of a New France movement.  Very inline with the Outsiders group.  Thanks for the comment, Jane!  Really nice to hear that we’re doing something right and that all of our work is paying off. 🙂

I got to see a lot of British friends while I was on Naked Wines UK Tour this summer.  Even Jancis Robinson, the queen bee herself attended our London tasting.  And she had exceptionally positive things to say about the innovation at Naked Wines and also the quality of wine.

Overall quality of Naked Wines

“There are no duds, even if most of the offerings are of solid rather than mind-blowing quality – but the range is really interesting (see, for example, boutique Chileans, dry Germans, the stunning value Strathbogie Pinot and Slovenians). And if you search for GV (good value), you will find some VGV and the odd VVGV. But please be warned that not all of these wines will still be available. You can check at”

Jancis correctly points out that the entire range at Naked is solid quality and there are many hidden gems with very good value.  She also acknowledges that the listed prices are 30% higher than the discounted price available to the thousands and thousands of Naked Angels, paid members of the site.

Impression of the Winemakers

“We were allowed in early at the beginning of the tasting session and it was rather sweet to see this collection of mainly young men, all in the same Naked Wines T-shirt, chatting excitedly with each other, rather like freshers on their first day at university.”

I did like this bit about how the winemakers (myself included) were standing about the room before the tasting like a bunch of first years at university. 🙂  It’s a remarkably accurate description as the whole tour reminded me a lot of college.  Roaming around a new environment with a bunch of great people I just met.  Free shirts.  A bit of drinking. 🙂

O’Vineyards Tasting Notes

I don’t cater my winemaking to specific journalists, but it’s always really nice to hear that very accomplished wine pros who have been around the block like what I’m doing. 🙂

O’Vineyards, Trah Lah Lah 2008 IGP La Cité de Carcassonne 16.5 Drink 2011-2015
Made by Ryan and Joe O’Connell. 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep crimson. Nicely integrated. Sweet start and attractively dry, lively finish. Still a bit chewy but chock full of life. 13.5%
£12.99 Naked Wines
O’Vineyards, O’ Syrah 2008 IGP La Cité de Carcassonne 16 Drink 2011-2014
Dry and minerally. Really rather smooth and well mannered.
£14.99 Naked Wines

And I’m not the only one she liked. As mentioned above, no duds in this tasting. The Languedoc did exceptionally well as we represent an important part of the Naked Wines portfolio. Winemaker Ben Darnault got one of the many Good Value awards in Jancis’ notes for his highly drinkable “Very Languedoc” Minervois. And Hegarty-Chamans put forward some nice wines that raised her brow. Always interesting things to drink in the Languedoc. 🙂

O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve 2006 was delivered in the UK recently and the reviews are pouring in as quickly as the wine is being poured into glasses!

Try a bottle

Everybody orders in increments of six bottles.  Even though this is a wine they know can sit for a long time in their cellar, it’s only human to want to taste one straight away and evaluate for themselves how it will age and when would be the best time to open the other five!

So right away, we have a lot of people trying a bottle.

Posted by Stephen Engel on 19:13 28/08/2011

Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006

Just sampled my new delivery of Propritor’s Reserve 2006 Cabardes. Wow! What a beautiful wine, gentle on the palate but full bodied. Tres bien Domain O’Vineyards!!

 How to cellar a wine

Once you discover the wine is good, it’s very hard to resist the temptation of drinking them all young on the fruit flavors!  One customer suggested her perfect solution: buy 2 cases ;D

Posted by Julie Boulton on 16:17 25/08/2011

Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006

The characteristics of this wine make it go well with a wide range of foods. We tried it with tapas and each dish brought out different undertones. A real medley of tastes! I’d highly recommend trying it this way, but do include some spicy meats, chicken and cheese dishes. Wonderful and very smooth.

Agree it’s too powerful to drink on its own.
A very special wine to be savoured with every mouthful…

I’ve put 6 bottles aside, so there are 5 on my rack to indulge in whenever the urge takes us… now you’re thinking I’ve been a bit greedy buying 2 cases, but I’m very glad I did (at Market Place prices)! Well done Ryan and Joe… a votre sante!

 Dealing with Negative Feedback

I should confess that one person has given us a negative review on the wine.  It’s really great how Naked Wines puts me in direct contact with my wine drinkers, and this comment is a perfect example.  The man says he’s disappointed and “Delivery was left in porch foe some days” [sic]   A-ha!  I think that’s a good guess, and I recommend the best way to get his money back.  Crisis averted.

In the wine world, there is such a long chain of custody between vineyard and your cellar, there are a million things that can go wrong.  If he hadn’t offered this information, I’d be left scratching my head wondering how anybody could describe this wine as lacking oomph.  If anything, the major criticism of the O’Vineyards Reserve is too much oomph!  ;D  So here, the comment system allows me to discover what went wrong and offer the best course to rectify the problem.  All businesses should be so lucky!

O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve 2006 finally made its way to households across the UK.  One of my favorite things about Naked Wines is the rabid devotion and excitedness of the customers over there.  We get instant updates about the wine being delivered and it seems to never take more than a day for somebody to pop open a bottle and let us know how well it traveled.


Naked Wines customers are Fast

Posted by Darren Lewis on 17:51 18/08/2011

Woo hoooooo…… the O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006 Marketplace offering arrived today.

Now I just need to make up a special occasion so that I can drink it.

Is Thursday a special enough occasion?

Darren confirmed the wine has been delivered at their home at 17:51 on the 18th.  I wonder how long it will be before somebody opens a bottle. Less than 3 hours later Trevor is already reviewing the wine online:

Posted by Trevor Charlesworth on 22:08 18/08/2011

Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006

Wonderful nose , deep colour and a complexity that justifies the price. A perfect amount of tannin just enough to make it interesting. A mouthful of fruit that goes on and on. I like it in other words.

Naked Wines customers are devoted

And the reviews keep coming in!  We’ll keep hearing from them about how the wine is evolving and meeting their needs.  Do their friends like it?  Do their kids like it?  How does it compare to other wines from O’Vineyards or other vintages of Reserve.  We get all this feedback for free and it helps us make better wines to better please our best customers.

Naked Wines customers are the best customers in the world.

PS – It took Darren a few days to open that bottle, but he immediately let us know how it went!

Posted by Darren Lewis on 13:31 21/08/2011

Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006

Not for the feint of heart.

It’s a deeply heady blend, packed with ripe fruits and carrying an undertone of floral perfume.

This intensity, coupled with a slightly dry finish might make it just too full-on for some to drink on it’s own. But, all of these characteristics make it a perfect match for a nicely rare steak.

Top drawer again O’Connells…… and I have 5 more bottles to indulge in.

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing

North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Best by GPS.
    Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.