The Connecticut Wine Trail: Stops Six & Seven
Back on the Connecticut Wine Trail after a short hiatus, the last weekend of August found us visiting two more wineries, Jones Winery of Shelton and Savino Vineyards of Woodbridge.
Jones Winery is located on a 150-year-old farm in Connecticut’s White Hills, and has the distinction of having been named “Best Wine” in Connecticut Magazine’s September issue. This is quite an accomplishment, seeing as how they’ve only been in production for six years. To celebrate the award, the winery will be hosting a “Best of Connecticut” weekend on September 25-26, in conjunction with other “Best of Connecticut” winners Liquid Lunch (best soup) and Stockbridge Cheesecake (best cheesecake).
The wines we tasted here were all good, with two making our short list of great Connecticut wines. The ‘09 Pinot Gris, First Blush ( a blend of apples, pears and black currants), and Strawberry Serenade (strawberries mixed with white grapes) were all very good wines, but it was the Stonewall Chardonnay and Woodlands White that got our palates singing. The Stonewall Chardonnay is described as dry but fruity, but we thought the wine was more off-dry and reminded us of one of our favorite wines, a Riesling. It was crisp and refreshing with none of the dry mouth feel of a true dry wine. The Woodlands White was also a nicely crafted wine, with a semi-sweet finish that was equally reminiscent of a good German or Washington state Riesling. The fruit flavors burst in our mouths and got the salivary juices going full throttle, making us feel like we needed a napkin to wipe the juice away that was surely dribbling down our chins!
The final two wines we tasted were dessert wines: Raspberry Rhapsody, which fairly exploded with raspberry sweetness, and Black Currant Bouquet, one of the sweetest fruit wines I’ve ever tasted. We tried both with some dark chocolate provided by the barista, and it was like biting into a fruit-filled chocolate cordial, full of decadence and richness that left us feeling like we had just done something naughty! We highly recommend it!
Jones Winery is located at 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road in Shelton. The Tasting Room opens in April; tastings are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. During the Christmas holiday season the tasting room is open daily. The tasting room is closed from Jan 1st until it reopens in April.
We included Savino in the same post as Jones for a couple of reasons: it’s very small, and it’s wines were unremarkable, at least in our view, and we’ve tasted some very remarkable wines lately! The vineyard is young; the vines were only planted in 2000 and the tasting room opened to the public just 2 years ago. Still, a wine tasting here is among the least expensive of all the wineries we’ve been to at only $5, and that includes a complimentary wine glass. We were able to taste their Merlot, Frontenac, Seyval Blanc, Cabernet Franc and St. Croix wines, but we just weren’t thrilled by any of them like we were by, say, the two whites reviewed above. However, the young vines may have something to do with that, and with the passage of time the wines may become some of the best of their respective varietals.
Savino Vineyards is located at 128 Ford Road in Woodbridge, and the tasting room is open from 12PM – 5PM every Saturday and Sunday between may 15th and December 15th. We urge you to give it a try…just because it wasn’t among our favorites, you may like it!