Saturday, February 9, 2008

In Vino Veritas

This is the weekend of the Wine & Chocolate Wine Trails tasting festival in NJ:

NJ has the somewhat unfortunate reputation of being known for it's fruit wine - not just the noble grape, but blueberry, raspberry, etc. For a long time, I thought that was all that was produced and made a point of avoiding NJ wine at almost all costs. Recently, I found that this was not always the case. On the whole, Jersey wines are lighter than Washington State and California, however, NJ soil is particularly good for Cab Franc, Chardonnay and Merlot (IMHO). I've been to several of the vineyards on the trail before, however, today I was able to visit a couple of new ones with a wine group that I belong to. We visited Bellview Winery, . Bellview does have the requisite fruit wines, but their chardonnay and their cabernet sauvignon were quite nice. The other vineyard we visited was Amalthea Cellars. I almost don't want to talk about it, it was sooooo good - wines that rivaled some of the wonderful California and Washington vineyards that get written up all the time. We had a cellar and a cask tasting with the owner who was so passionate about his wines, which made the trip for me. Their cabs, both sauvignon and franc, merlot and their blends all far exceeded my expectations (not that Robert Parker has to fear for his job or anything). Even though I'd like to keep it my own little secret:

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