In March I stopped by a new winery n Pennsylvania - Vox Vineti in Christiiana, Pennsylvania. I was heading down to Lancaster, and decided to make a few stops. My good friend Paul Vigna had suggested I call Ed Lazzerini and make a pit stop there. It was a little out of the way....but it was well worth the trip!
Ed is a successful businessman who wants to turn his passion for great wine into a real live thing. Like the ancient sculptor Pygmalion who kissed his ivory statue Galatea, and brought her to life, Ed and his wife have sculpted the land, and brought forth art! Vox Vineti means "voice of the vineyard" in Latin.
Ed is now out to make the most ubiquitous wine in Pennsylvania, they want to make the best wine in Pennsylvania, then one the east coast, then the country, then the world. An admirable goal. Many are called...but few succeed in this quest.They intend to make only estate wine from their own Sauvingon Blanc, Semillion, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec plus a bit of Carmenere. They also planted Nebbiolo and Barbera. 5 acres at 2,000+ vines per acre (0.8m x 2m spacing and 0.9 x 1.8 m spacing). That's a lot of vines. Their soils are composed of fractured schist, sandy loam and quartz.
"Customers with a broader wine drinking background are frequently surprised that our wines remind them of many they've enjoyed while traveling in Europe," Lazzerini told a local paper. "What stuns just about everyone who comes through our cellar door is how rocky our vineyard soils are; most people can't believe anything would grow in them. But it's precisely this extremely low-vigor, schist-laden soil, which differentiates our vineyard from most other currently planted sites in the Mid-Atlantic region. Thanks largely to all that rock, we're able to produce compelling wines on a consistent basis."
Vox Veneti Galloping Cat Polyphony 2012 is a bend made up of 35% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 14% Malbec, 1% Carménère. The wine was made using a stainless steel fermentation, and went through a malolactic fermentation in oak. The wine was then matured for 15 months in barrel (60% new French oak, 40% neutral French oak). It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 4 barrels were produced. The wine was exceptional. Big notes of dark cherry and cassis were followed by mocha and cocoa, with notes of vanilla. The fruit lingers on the palate for a long, long times. A terrific red.
I also tried a tank sample of Vox Veneti Galloping Cat Polyphony 2015 is a blend made up mostly of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with Petit Verdot and Malbec playing a supporting roles, and a touch of Carménère. Again, big dark fruit, with layers of dark cherry, cranberry, cassis, and other stewed fruits. Very, very impressive!
The barrel sample of the Petite Verdot 2016 was also quite impressive. Big and lucious and deep, this was also incredibly impressive.
The verdict in in. Vox Veneti has certainly made a great first step! This small, high quality boutique winery is impressive right out of the gate. And the futures I tasted in the barrels and the tanks were also incredible. A huge addition to Pennsylvania and east coast wine making. Congrats to Ed and his wife.