I revisited Jefferson after a 4 year delay. It’s actually quite a wonder why I waited so long; Charlottesville is one of my favorite wine regions, PLUS it’s right next door to Montichello. As a history buff, this place is a magnet.
It’s hard to talk about this winery without also mentioning it’s namesake. Thomas Jefferson (I’ll call him TJ for short) is literally the founding father of all American wine, despite failing to make a single decent wine himself. A dedicated oenophile, TJ felt Virginia’s terroir was perfect for wine making. He was right – but what he DIDN’T have was a microscope. Little did he suspect that the US east coast is home to a tiny bug named phylloxera, which does nothing except dine on a grape vine’s rootstock. While native American vines are resistant, TJ’s imported French vines were not. Alas, his vineyards never had a chance.
Had he visited today though, I’m positive he’d have loved this place. They are neighbors with his home of Monticello, so the view is hard to beat. While their tasting room doesn’t have seating, they do have a separate building with indoor seating. Dogs can visit the main tasting room and hang outside as well. Over 20 acres under vine, so they are a good-sized producer.
My servers were very friendly, and I lucked out – they were doing a special tasting of their 14 Petit Verdot this weekend, and were happy to let me sample it. Score!!!
What I tried:
Rose: Off dry; light
2017 Viognier: Wonderful!!! Honeydew notes. Best Viognier I’ve had in a long time
2017 Chardonnay Reserve: Too oakey for me
Vin Rouge (mostly Merlot): Light, soft red
2016 Cab Franc: Soft for a Franc; pepper notes, cherry finish. Very nice
2017 Petit Verdot: Nice nose but too young right now
16 Meritage: Kinda oaky but OK
2014 Petit Verdot: Ooooohhh myyyy! Loved this one. So smooth…