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New Jersey Wines Earn Twenty-two 90+ Point Scores in Nation-wide Tasting by James Suckling

Posted on October 31, 2018

Over 800 wines were tasted last month by the qualified critics at, and New Jersey wineries impressed. Held at Barboursville Winery in Virginia, the tasting offered a comprehensive look at winemaking across the United States. Bottles were sampled from wineries in 14 different states. In an effort to shine light on emerging quality producers across the country, wineries from established the industries of California, Oregon, and Washington were not included.

Leading the way for New Jersey were two red wines from Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, whose 2015 Pinot Noir earned a 93 point score, placing it in the top 3% of all wines tasted. Beneduce also scored 92 points for “Blue 2,” the winery’s signature red wine made from the Blaufränkisch grape. Ten separate New Jersey wineries that were sampled in the tasting each earned at least one 90 point score. Working Dog Winery in Robbinsville joined Beneduce as the two New Jersey wineries to score 90 points or better with each of their four wines submitted.

Mike Beneduce, owner-winemaker at Beneduce Vineyards sees the results as a potential signpost, directing serious wine enthusiasts to the doors of quality producers in New Jersey. “It's exciting to see that the major publications are starting to pay attention to our corner of the wine world, says Beneduce. “Passionate producers in emerging regions are crafting some really interesting wines, and I think wine lovers owe it to themselves to spend some time exploring these lesser-known areas. I hope these scores give them a reason to start with ours.”

The massive tasting was branded by the Suckling team as the “American Wine Revolution.” On the impetus to undertake such an endeavor, contributing editor Stuart Pigott wrote “the idea of American wine from places other than the [west coast] is entirely new and exciting. It illustrates America’s pioneering spirit as well as the trend for authentic food and gastronomic experiences from heirloom vegetables to craft beer. American wine is unique and now part of the American psyche for food and wine. This is why James, contributing editors Nick Stock and William Mcllhenny and myself got together in Virginia to taste more than 800 wines from some of the best wineries in the heartland of America. We focused on non-West Coast wineries and rated wines from 14 different states from Colorado to New York.”

Top scoring wines from New Jersey:

Beneduce Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir...93 points
Beneduce Vineyards 2015 “Blue 2” Blaufrankisch...92 points
Amalthea Cellars 2015 “Europa 1” Bordeaux blend … 92 points
Alba Vineyard 2014 “Heritage” Cabernet Franc…92 points
Alba Vineyard 2017 Chardonnay… 91 points
Unionville Vineyards 2014 “Pheasant Hill Vineyard” Syrah… 91 points
Unionville Vineyards 2015 “Hunterdon Mistral Rouge” Rhone red blend… 91 points
William Heritage Winery 2015 “BDX” Bordeaux blend… 91 points
Hawk Haven 2016 “Signature Series” Syrah… 91 points
Working Dog Winery 2015 Cabernet Franc… 91 points
Working Dog Winery 2016 Syrah… 91 points
Amalthea Cellars 2015 Cabernet Franc… 91 points
Sharrott Winery 2015 “Trio” Bordeaux blend… 91 points
Tomasello Winery 2013 “Palmaris Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon… 91 points
Beneduce Vineyards 2017 Gewurztraminer… 91 points

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