Last month I wrote here about a local New Jersey winery whose Cabernet Franc captured the Gold Ribbon at a San Francisco Wine Tasting competition. Being the wine snob that I am, and having tasted a few, not many, but, a few of our home-grown wines, I was, at best, skeptical about the award. After visiting the website for Sharrott Winery I saw that this Cabernet Franc was available locally at Hops n Grapes, in Glassboro, for $19.95. I wrote in that post that I would make an exception to my “drink no NJ wine” policy and try it and report on my experience. Two weeks ago I purchased the wine despite the pleas of a fellow wine snob who happened to be in the store (we can sense the presence of our own with a system similar to Gaydar), and pleaded with me to use the $20.00 for a nice Spanish red he was recommending. I compromised by buying both.
At Siri’s Thai/French Restaurant on Friday night I opened the Sharrott Winery 2008 “Outer Coastal Plain” Cabernet Franc. There is something about an area of Winslow, NJ being known as the “Outer Coastal Plain” that seems bizarre to me but maybe areas of California felt the same way when they were designated as an AVA (American Vitacultural Area). The nose on this wine revealed red berries, forest floor, slight licorice scent and toast. The wine was medium body, had some decent structure and, much to my surprise, was very drinkable. I have had worse wines for $20.00 and it went well with my meal. I would have to say, I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of the wine. Am I now a believer in New Jersey wines? Nope, not by a long shot. However, as a result of my experience with the 2008 Sharrott Cab Franc, I will TRY to keep more of an open mind to the possibilities of our local wines. I would suggest you invest $20.00 and try it for yourself.