L.M. Archer is an international fine wine writer specializing in Burgundy, bubbles and emerging wine regions.

“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

The Hedonistic Taster

by L.M. Archer

William Heritage Vineyards | Outer Coastal Plain, NJ

Williams Heritage Vineyards Brut Sparkling Wine is made in New Jersey's Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

“Fiat vinum en vinea.”  (‘Let the wine be made in the vineyard.’)
– Outer Coastal Plain AVA motto

In my endless quest for quality sparkling wine, New Jersey never crossed my mind.

That all changed with a sample of William Heritage Vineyards Estate Reserve 2014 Vintage Brut from Outer Coastal Plains, New Jersey.

I’ve tasted a fair share of bubbles, but this one stopped me in my tracks. You can read about my reaction in USA Today.

For those of you not familiar with the area, Outer Coastal Plains (OCP) AVA straddles the western edge of the southern New Jersey coastal plain. Designated in 2007, the wine region comprises over 2.25 million acres, 700 acres planted to vines, with approximately 49 vineyards, and 31 registered wineries.

Within OCP,  proprietors William and Penni Heritage converted 150 acres of their orchards in Mullica Hill to vine in 1999. Winemaker Sean Comninos blends estate-grown chardonnay and pinot noir to craft this sparkling wine.

In honor of my rebranded The Hedonistic Taster series, I could think of no better bubbles with which to christen the new site – an outlier with an attitude.

This sparkling wine merits attention. It got mine.

(Note: You can learn more about the making of William Heritage Estate Reserve 2014 Vintage Brut wine in my forthcoming September 2018 feature on “Sparkling Wine Techniques” in Wines and Vines Magazine.)

TASTING NOTES:

Wine: William Heritage Estate Reserve Vintage Brut

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 11.5%

Specs: 69% Chardonnay, 31% Pinot Noir. Juice from each varietal blended together in tank at onset of initial fermentation. Aged 12 mos. in bottle prior to disgorgement.

Suggested Retail: $40 SOLD OUT
(Contact the winery for details.)

Robe: Golden robe, pin-point bubbles, diffuse mousse.

Nose: Aromas of biscuit, hazelnut, almond.

Bouche:  Zesty citrus attack, bouncy acidity, lustrous mid-palate lilt, effervescent finish.

Rating: 4 ( (1 – lowest, 5-highest).

Takeaway: Finely structured, high quality sparkling wine reminiscent of a snappy New Zealand or South African blanc de blancs, although this wine contains some pinot noir. Suitable for celebrations, solitude, or served table side.

More about William Heritage Vineyards here. 

More of The Hedonistic Taster here. 

Need pairing suggestions, or more sparkling wine recommendations?

Leave your comments below. Cheers!

Copyrighted ©2018 L.M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.

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