I live in Freehold, New Jersey, and it has seemed insane to me that I am interviewing winemakers up and down the eastcoast, and reviewing wines from the same, and yet the winery in my own backyard has gone without a review.
Four JG's Winery is fifteen mintes from my house. But their hours are not normal, and I have not known which stores carried their wines. I have felt ashamed of myself. One of our two favoritee local Italian restaurants, Frankie Fed's on Route 33, uses the Four JG's Winery glasses for people who bring their own. So I have even been even more embarassed, since I have not reviewed them.
The poroblem for me has been that Four JG's Winery is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays beginning October 28, 2006 through December 23, 2006, and selected advertised weekends during the year. It just never seemed to work. I even showed up one time just after they had closed.
All my angst disappeared this afternoon. I finally arrived at the winery sign at 3:30 this afternoon, with plenty of tiem to enjoy the experience. (BTW, out other favorite local is Bella Cucina in Freehold Borough Mall)
Four JG's Orchards & Vineyards is located in Central New Jersey in a historic farming area. The winery is named after the four owners, John and Janet Giunco and their two children, John (who most know as "Bert") and Jill. The Giunco family has farmed in Monmouth County for over 60 years. Four JG's seek to grow quality fruit and make the highest quality wine. The estate produces wines that are bold in character and rich in fruit. Founded in 1999, Four JG's Orchards & Vineyards is located on a farm with barns and houses that date back to the early 1700's.
I approached the barn and the winery building. Both were very evocative of the country farm expereince, picture perfect, and beautifully maintained.
Everythign about the winery speaks of family. Janet's sister and mother man the tastingroom, which is the livingroom of the old farm house. Jent was ringing up the sales at the register and John and his -father-in-law were outside planting a new vineyard. Everyone was friendly and jocular. When you walk into 4 JG's you are one of the family.
No question, my favorite was their Seyval Blanc. Nice fruit up front, lemony, and nice dry finish. Very nice. Wonderful.
Their Cayuga White and Vidal Blanc, which are sometimes cloying sweet bombs at other country wineries, were also refreshing white which really hit the mark. A slight touch of sweetness up front, but both dispelled with a dry pucker on the end.
All of the whites were dry and perfect for the upcoming summer, great with salads, chickem or fish.
Another shocker was that I liked their Monmouth Blush. Only slightly sweet, it's half rose' and half blush. A fabulous sipping wine. Great with cheese or conversation. Put some of this on ice, light some lanterns, and let's gather on the deck with a bottle or two of this stuff. One of my favorite blushes almost instantly.
The Cabernet Franc 2005 is young, with bright cherry and hints of vanilla. Nice tannins, and nice finish. This recently won a medal at the 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Competition.
The 2004 Chambourcin started off with lots of black cherry, and had some other lovely notes. A wonderful, medium bodied red.
And f course there was the Chambourcin Riserva was also very delicious. This has won at the Los Angeles County Fair and the 2004 New Jersey Governor's Cup. So this is an accomplished wine.
Even my good blogger buddy Lenndevours, beat me to my own backyard! You can read his excellent review of this wine at: http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-reviews/1321/Four-JG
The Riserva has won the following awards:
- Silver, 2006 Los Angeles County Fair World of Wines Competition (2002 vintage)- Bronze, 2003 American Wine Society National Competition (2002 Vintage)- Bronze, 2004 VinoChallenge International Wine Competition (2002 Vintage)- Gold, 2004 New Jersey Wine Competition (2002 Vintage)- Silver, 2004 American Wine Society National Competition (2003 Vintage)
- Bronze, 2005 New Jersey Wine Competition (2003 Vintage)
OK, so how can you get your hands on this hard to get Jersey gold? Well, first, go to their website: www.4jgswinery.com
and see what their hours are or if some event is about to take place.
Or you can call:
Four JG's Orchards & Vineyards
127 Hillsdale Road
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
Or you can go to one of the following local liquor stores:
Wine Sellers of Holmdel
Holmdel Town Ceter (Highway 35&Laurel Avenue) Holmdel, New Jersey
Colts Neck Shopping Center, Highway 34, Colts Neck, New Jersey
Regardless how you do it, you need to find this stuff. It's best if you go there, the place is absolutely beautiful. Don't be a lazy, silly SOB like me. Get off the couch, stop making excuses, especially in the fall, and get over to Four JG's Vineyards, and find out what you've been missing - and become a part of the family! You'll be thrilled.