Monday, February 02, 2015

Villa Milagro Vineyards - A Pleasant Surprise(NJ)

So I discovered another vineyard in New Jersey - Villa Milagro. I met them like so many others at the Garden State Harvest Festival. I tried four of their wines. All were good. The one I clearly liked best was the Villa Milagro Sauve 2008.

Milagro Vineyards is owned by Steve and Audrey Gambino. They are a driven and successful couple. Audrey, who serves as vineyard hand and winemaker.  Her doctoral degree in nutrition and wine making credential both from the University of California helps with the chemistry while her upbringing as a farmer's daughter helps with the attitude about doing manual labor! 
Dr. Audrey is author of numerous books, a former television show host and one of the most quoted nutritionist in the country.  She teaches our Bride's Basics cooking courses and shares our lives with you via her blog, "Vine Posts."
Steve Gambino  (a former formula race car driver)  is Director of BNI (Business Network Int'l) for northern New Jersey and northeast Pennsylvania and owner of Milagro Associates, a real estate and commercial finance company.  Steve, apparently, is a massive tinkerer and inventor, who created his vineyard's  multi-purpose mower-edger-flamer, which is a "one-of-kind" device for mowing, trimming the edge of the rows and removing weeds from under the vines.  Apparently it's pretty cool to see the flames in the night sky when he works it at night or dusk.
One of the things I like bet about Villa Milagro is that they make blends. I think that this s something the east coat does not do enough of. The best wineries, like Boxwood and Black Ankle, etc, tend to do almost exclusively blends. I think that's smart. Wines in the region vary greatly from year to year because of weather variances. And some grapes have holes in them. Blending allows the winemaker leeway to make decisions that result in better wines.
OK,  on to the wines!
Luz del Sol was the first wine I tried. This is a very nice, floral packet white wine blend where the major grape is Chardonnay, with a small smattering of others. But it has a lovely nose, and is very quaffable.
Rosita was an off-dry, blush wine. It’s a blend of Muscat Canelli and a small group of American hybrids. It’s got a lovely nose of strawberries and a hint of tropical fruits. Fresh, clean, zesty, with a hint of sweetness. Very nice.
The last one I tasted was the Villa Milagro Sauve 2008. Suave is a classic Bordeuax blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,  Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. This was a very mature, layered wine, with lots of nice notes of cherry, berries, cranberry and red cassis. , a deep rich wine.  A very pretty red.
Hats off to Steve and Audrey and some lovely wines. A gret new find in New Jersey!!