Saturday, January 08, 2011

Bellview Lemberger 2005

I have written about Bellview Winery before. The are in the heart of south Jersey. Bellview was a long-time dream of owners Jim and Nancy Quarella. Jim, a successful fourth-generation farmer, learned a love of winemaking as a young man.

The winery is located on the same farm that Jim's great-grandfather, Angelo Quarella, purchased in 1914 after immigrating from Italy. He named his farm Bellview. Originally just the 20-acre plot on which the winery now sits, the farm has expanded to over 150 acres, 35 of which are planted in vineyards. The renovated building that is today's winery houses Angelo's original wine cellar where, for decades, Quarellas have made their wines.

Now I have tasted a number of Lembergers and have not been impressed. I know they are in fashion up in the Finger Lakes, but I ave not come around to any of them.

Now, on the other hand, the only Lemberger I did like was a New Jersey winery's -Laurita Lemberger from Laurita Winery. Where I thiught a number of New York Lemberges were thin and watery (my opinion), and had a kind of raspberry jello after taste, the Laurita was big and sensual.

So it was with great curiosity that I reached for the Bellview Lemberger. Domeinique had made a lovely pot roast dinner. This is always a treat for me. I grew up in an Italian household. Sunday was almost always pasta. Maybe there was chicken cutlets or veal, but never pot roast. I think my mother made poot roast like three or four times in her whole life. Call me a loser, but to me, pot roast is a special treat.

Anyway, the house was filled with the smell of carmelizing onions, other roasted vegetables, and the smell of cooking meat. Mmmmm.

Out came the Bellview Lemberger 2005. It was a nice medium garnet color. It had an aroma of cherries and raspberries and a hint of plum. The flavor up front was powerful, with bright cherries and bright raspberries, with a nice touch of acidity, and smooth, medium tannins. It defintely left a pop in your mouth. Dominique and I clinked glasses, and the boys dug into the pot roast. I finally dug into my meal. Wow! And the Lemberger was big enough and strong enough t stand up to the meal. The wine was really lovely.

The Lembergers from New Jersey seems to be much bigger, much riper, and much deeper than their up-state New York brethern. I have found them to be more lucious and full bodied. I think the New Jersey climate, with it's extra two to three weeks of warm weather has just enough extra time to give this grape what it needs to really flourish in the Garden State.
I remain curious.