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Visit to Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, CT

jonathan edwards 4On a hot, but otherwise beautiful, summer day in New England several weeks ago we took a drive out to North Stonington and visited the Jonathan Edwards Winery.  It has been several years since our last visit here, and definitely time to catch up on the winery and the wines.  We’ve seen them at wine and food events in the area, and many friends have visited, so we expect they are doing quite well.  When we arrived that expectation was confirmed, as the winery was bustling with visitors and the tasting room was full.

It really is a beautiful spot, on a hillside overlooking vineyards and grounds.  The large white building dominates the view as you approach around the last bend in the road prior to arriving at the winery.  In the back there is a large covered porch, as well as an open deck, both filled with tables and chairs for relaxing.  A small gift shop rounds out the tasting area, and the barrel room is adjoining.  They also have some local cheeses and snacks, and encourage you to bring your own picnic basket if you want something more substantial.

After a short wait we found a spot at a table and started to go through the wines.  Scott was our host, and poured through the eight

Busy tasting room

Busy tasting room

wines Cheri and I had selected for our two tastings, as well as a ninth that came as a bonus.  We talked about the wines, the winemaking and the winery in general.  Scott was knowledgeable and did an excellent job.  The team here seems to be well organized and versed in their products.

At Jonathan Edwards you’re going to get some estate wines, and some wines made from California grapes.  The

The barrel room

The barrel room

Californian wines are from the Napa Valley, Russian River Valley in Sonoma, and Lodi.  The winemakers at Jonathan Edwards are out in California prior to and during the harvest, staying involved and making the decisions on when their grapes are picked.  Fermentation is done on site on the west coast, then the wines are transported to the winery in CT for aging and bottling.  In the estate vineyards, back here in the Northeast, they grow Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc.

Here are our tasting notes:

2014 Estate Pinot Gris – this is very light in color, almost colorless actually.  There is apple, it is clean and crisp jonathan edwards 6and finishes that way.  Nicely done.  $25

2014 Estate Chardonnay – very pale straw color, and somewhat surprisingly light given the fact that 100% of the wine spends 18 months in French oak.  The oak is a little too prominent for us, as we prefer a cleaner, more fruit driven style.  $23

2013 Napa Chardonnay – this is finished in a combination of stainless and French oak.  It’s got some nice citrusy flavors and the oak is very subtle.  Overall very good.  $25

2014 Napa Sauvignon Blanc – this is another almost clear wine with little color.  Floral notes come out of a subdued bouquet, and some fruit hits the palate.  At the end it turned a little bitter for us and was not our favorite wine of the day.  $21

And now the bonus wine!  They happened to still have a bottle or two of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc so we got to compare.

2013 Napa Sauvignon Blanc – completely different than the younger 2014, this wine was crisp and fruit driven with grapefruit up jonathan edwards 7front.  Well balanced and very clean, this was excellent wine.  If you can find it buy it.

Now the reds:

2014 Estate Cabernet Franc – a light red color, almost salmon really, this wine had lots of pepper on the nose.  It is light bodied, with great spice on the palate and some red fruits.  It finished surprisingly long and is a solid wine overall with an elegant, spicy profile.  $28

jonathan edwards 122013 Napa Merlot – this was a mix of red/black fruit and herbal notes.  It had medium body and was smooth.  Very pleasing wine all around.  $25

2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon – here the grapes are from Lodi in California, and the wine presents red and black fruits, although mostly red, with some noticeable tannins and good length.  It’s medium+ in body and well balanced.  Young yet, this should get better with a few years in the bottle.  $32

2013 Napa Petite Sirah – a dark ruby red, with a nose of berries, bramble and a touch of menthol.  This is the biggest of the Jonathan jonathan edwards 10Edwards wines, and is full bodied.  It’s long too.  We got a glass of this to enjoy and after ten minutes in the glass the wine opened up and really started to shine, with a much more complex profile, deep fruits and a lovely vanilla flavor.  This is really delicious, and we bought a bottle to take home and put in the cellar for another time. $35

Overall we would give very good marks to the team at Jonathan Edwards.  The wines are good, some are excellent, and the winery is beautiful.  Mix in a friendly and knowledgeable staff and this is a good place to spend an hour or two.  They have entertainment as well on weekend nights in the warmer months, so you can arrange to spend even more time if so desired.  Well worth the trip.

The particulars:

Website – http://www.jedwardswinery.com/

74 Chester Maine Road

North Stonington, CT 06359

860 – 535-0202

Open daily!

A votre santé!

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