Jefferson's Dream Realized: Jefferson Vineyards 2007 Reserve Chardonnay

"Nearly 240 years later, Virginia has become Jefferson's land of the free-run, home of the grape" ~ Amy Zavatto

Who doesn’t like to have dreams come true, even if those dreams and visions are not realized in your lifetime?  Many believe Thomas Jefferson was a man ahead of his time [a visionary] and his vision for establishing vineyards in Virginia while difficult at the time, it can now be said that his vision has been realized. It can also now be said that Virginia wine has a firm foothold on the ever-expanding wine scene around the world and is set to become a force to be reckoned with on the worlds wine stage.

I've finally made my way home from steaming-hot Charlottesville, Virginia where the Wine Bloggers Conference took place this year. Charlottesville you have a lovely city and thanks for welcoming us in with open arms and making us feel right at home. I have a new found admiration for the people of this city and the excellent wine scene any wandering wino would be proud to call home. Truly, folks, this is an up and coming wine region, so pay attention as the train is in the station and is about to take-off, make sure you have your tickets ready for the conductor or you may just miss out on some delicious juice.

Many of my colleagues [blobbers] who went to this years conference came with a bit of skepticism [some healthy and some not so healthy]. To be perfectly honest, I always remain skeptical about wine regions that either are or appear to be on the fringe of the "accepted" winemaking regions in the world. I think skepticism is healthy, it keeps folks honest, authentic and most of all it keeps folks from being one of the kool-aid drinkers. That said, I believe if there is too much skepticism, it comes with a cost. That cost is being perceived as negative and narrow-minded. This is not healthy for anyone, especially for folks who would like to be considered as explorers of the vine [writers].

So meanwhile back at the review. Wow [yes, it made me say wow], the Jefferson Vineyard 2007 RSV Chardonnay is a stunning example of what Virginia wines have to offer the wandering wino or the adventurous vino-sapiens. Wines of distinction can be produced in places you may not have considered before, especially in the right hands and those hands happen to belong to Andy Reagan, their winemaker. Their RSV Chardonnay is in my mind representative of great Burgundian style and elegance. Many of my fellow wine-writers also thought very highly of this wine. In tasting this wine and the other wines that Andy produces, it's this writers opinion that he is a "rock-star" [no hyperbole] winemaker, that any winery would be lucky to have on board.

I found in each long slurp, the judicious [luv that word] use of oak. I was told it was something like 45% new oak and neutral oak which became the ingredients for the perfect balance of fruit to oak [the answer to oak abuse, is NOT non-use]. The fruit was estate and other purchased grapes from the Monticello AVA. Which combined to create the overall balance, so few wines achieve in places like Napa, let alone Virginia. I found the wine to be delicate, yet very detailed.

This wine danced with richness, an underlying mineral streak, mouthwatering acidity, that played nicely with the spicy cheese wheel sitting on the bar. It was floral, a touch of citrus, but brimming with ripe apricot, with the right touch of spice. The finish is long and inviting. Unfortunately, this wine is no longer available for purchase. However, this vintage is no longer for sale, but it did have an SRP of $21.

Their current 2010 RSV Chard. is available currently in their tasting room. It's my impression that this wine also has the stuffing to be another stunner for those willing to wait, which is what I plan to do with the bottle I took home. For those who can't wait, you won't be disappointed in the many complex flavors and aromas that await your empty glass.

I also walked away [paid] with their 07 RSV Cabernet Franc, which really impressed me on many levels, it pairs perfectly with seasoned BBQ Tri-Tip, chicken salad, brimming with grapes, apples, and tangerine on a fresh croissant. I hope you will give their wines a swirl next time you find yourself in Charlottesville, the wines of Jefferson Vineyard represent what Virginia wines are all about until next time sip long and prosper cheers! In the interest of full disclosure, yes I was treated to free tastings of their wines, and a fantastic lunch was also provided.


Hi Bill, so glad that you made it to Jefferson and enjoyed your experience. Thanks for sharing the good word.
Will Eyer said…
Hey Tamara,

Sure no problem, I came away with a much better understanding and appreciation of the Virginia wine-scene and have more I'd like to share. It was great meeting you at the event.

Bill- we're thrilled that you made it out to WBC11 and grateful for your positive reviews! We take pride in our local vineyards and our city, and it's great to see that enthusiasm carry across the country. We hope to see you around Charlottesville again soon, and hope you will take advantage of our website to find hotels, restaurants, and of course, wineries and breweries.

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