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Archive for January, 2014

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Recently, when Tom and I went on our north west NJ wine trail, we stopped at Alba, Villa Millagro, and Beneduce Vineyards. On this occasion Beneduce was our last stop. Beneduce Vineyards is fairly new. They purchased the vineyard in 2000, but their family has been growing wine in the US since they emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s.

We cut through a residential area to get there, so don’t let that throw you off. The actual vineyard was set back off the road a little bit. After driving up a gravel driveway, you are greeted by an outdoor relaxation area off to the right and just ahead of greenhouses. Further to the right are rows of vines. The actual wine tasting room is just past the outdoor area. The tasting room is large and smells new. Immediately on your right is a tasting bar with large windows behind it that overlook the patio and greenhouses. There were some smaller casks near the back wall and a HUGE wine barrel at the far end of the room. There was also a wood burning stove in the corner, just past their gift shop. We purchased the tasting that included the meat and cheese sampler.

We tried…

Three Windows White – Aged in stainless steel, this Riesling had an enjoyable taste that’s less sweet than typical wines of this style. Tom enjoyed it and he usually prefers dryer whites. I did notice that it had a bit of kick on the finish, which was borderline too much for me.

Chardonnay – The Chardonnay is fermented in oak from different forests. That didn’t seem to have an impact on the flavor for me. It seemed like an average oaky Chardonnay in taste, feel, and smell.

Shotgun Red – This red is a blend. It’s also aged in stainless steel which gives it a fruitier feel than their other wines. It’s more fruit forward than sweet, with hints of strawberry and cherry. This wine is called Shotgun Red because they found shotgun shells when digging for grapes on this property.

Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec – This wine was aged in American Oak and gave off a hint of plum and a mocha aroma.

Centerfold Pinot Noir – Unlike the other red we tried, the Pinot Noir is partially aged in French Oak. I sensed a pomegranate flavor and enjoyed the pleasant smell. The tannins were silky, but it was a little too bitter for me.

This winery is a nice additional stop to the north west NJ wine trail. It may be nicer to stop here during the summer and enjoy their patio area.

Rating

2 Wine Glasses (Out of 5)

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