Saturday, September 01, 2007

Jonathan Edwards: Bi-Coastal Wine Star

Jonathan Edwards is blazing new territory - the same one the pioneers blazed more than a century ago. He's going transcontinental. A wine maker who came of age as a winemaker in Napa,California, Edwards' New Stonington Connecticut winery sells wines made with estate fruits as well as with fruits Edwards carefuly monitors in California.

Edwards' has long term contracts in California. He leverages this kind of commitment with a demand for quality - a quality he tries to oversee himself. During harvest season his grapes are hand picked under Edwards direct supervision. Their transition into wine happens immediately in California. The young wine is then brought to Connecticut in refrigerated trucks to begin 12-18 months of barrel aging and bottling.

Meanwhile, back in Connecticut, Edwards has selected varietals that flourish to their optimum in the unique New England coastal climate. These grapes are also harvested by hand. Edwards' customers often participate!

The place itself is gorgeous. It is easilly one of the prettiest in New England, and is perfect for weddings and events. The interiors are painted with warm, buttery yellows trimmed in creame and lined with slate and natural woods. The extrior is classic New England white barns. The vineyards are botanical garden perfect. The effects are dazzling.

But what about the wines. Ah, yes. Now, for purists, the California wine connection might seem a little spurious. But Edwards has strong ties to California - so it's not a ploy.

Edwards California wines are very good. HIs Chardonnay is very fine and lovely. And the rest of the west coast menu is mostly big and robust reds. Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petite Syrah top the list. The Syrah is one of the most intense syrahs i have ever had, with a nose full of cherries and plums and vanilla. It's all berry up front, but this is a big wine and it finishes bone dry. Exceptional!

Edwards also offers a Connecticut estate Chardonnay (also very nice) and Gew├╝rztraminer. HIs Cabernet Franc was exceptional, and is easilly one of the better Cabernet Franc in New England, and probably on the east coast.

A Sunday drive to the Stonington back country, to Jonathan Edwards is defintely a winemaker to watch. And his winery is well worth the trip - a treat for all five senses. Enjoy!