Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coda Rosa - What Happens When Wine Geeks Become Owners - Awesome Wine (NJ)

So when I visited the wine festival in New Jersey in the fall, among the number of wonderful, eye-opening wines I tried, I count Coda Rossa as one of the new wave of wineries in New Jersey making a real difference. A real impact. A game changer.
The first thing you need to know, is that it is run by a bunch of real wine geeks. Enter Kenton and Kathy Nice. Apparently, Kenton needed to find a way to support Kathy's wine habit, so he took their hobby of making wine to a new level by opening The Wine Room of Cherry Hill. Kenton is a CPA by trade. Kathy currently works as a school psychologist and educational consultant. At The Wine Room, Kenton has developed a winemaking method with the kind of attention to detail that starts with high-quality fruit.Kathy and Kenton have been making wine for 15 years. Kathy refers to The Wine Room of Cherry Hill as "a hobby entirely out of control."

There was no question that Kenton was proud of his product. And he was eager to talk to anyone who knew more than a little bit about wine. You see, Kenton is a massive wine geek. And if you can speak the speak, Kenton will talk. And it is a pleasure to her him go on! Because he talks with passion and conviction. Yes he uses words...a lot for a CPA. But more than anything, he let's the wine do the talking. And boy does it speak!!!

Michael D'Auria came to The Wine Room of Cherry Hill to make his own wine, and would not leave, so he was hired as Winery Manager. With his background in culinary arts, Michael not only manages the daily operations of the winery, he also creates delicious dishes for every Wine Room event: from open houses, to cocktail parties, to multi-course dinners.

The first wine I tried was the Rose of Chambourcin. This was a blast of strawberry and cherry, with a splash of lime right at the end. Text book classic Rose' Fresh, bright acidity, clean finish! Zesty! Absolutely fantastic!
This is a lovely blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc all grown in New Jersey, much of it locally. This was a very impressive red table wine. If this was the base red wine, then I was in for a treat. And was I ever. A lovely, dry red wine. Very impressive. Bright and ripe cherry. Nice acidity and tannin. Very drinkable. Waned to start eating as soon as I drank it. You can serve this to guests with ease and pride. A lovely bottle of wine.

This is a Super-Tuscan-styled blend of locally grown Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. A lovely, lovely wine, again with wonderful ripe cherry flavors, with hints of cassis, lovely oak notes, and great balance. A beautiful wine.



A blend of locally grown Cabernet Franc, with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot aged in oak. Again, this was a lovely, mature, red, with notes of dark cherry, dark raspberry, and hints of red cassis, but with some age to it that made it smooth and mature. Very, very impressive.

Coda Rossa was a great and exciting new find for me for a number of reasons. One, I liked Kenton and Kathy a lot! Secondly, I like the way they talk about wine and winemaking. I like their philosophy. And more importantly, I LOVE their wine!
Coda Rossa is an important small winery in New Jersey, and is among the vanguard of quality winemakers making truly excellent wines in the Garden State! Very, very exciting stuff. I really am looking forward to seeing this small winery mature. And I'm very eager to get my hands on more of their wine!