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Our Awards

The 2016 JB Winemaker Series Ameritage is a blend of 43% Merlot, 14% each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus 29% Malbec, aged for nine months in a mixture of French and Hungarian oak.

This is a nice offering in Justin Bogaty's stable this issue. Its main competition would be the James Charles Arrivato Ameritage. It's pretty much a tossup, although the Arrivato is a bit less expensive. (Bargain hunters take note.)

Reasonable minds might differ. This shows a bit more game, charred veggies and general herbaceousness but it is also fresh and lively, with equally good concentration and a juicy finish. The Malbec gives this a lot of personality. It finishes rather tight but you can certainly approach it now. The tannins are moderate. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - October 2017

``The 2016 JB Winemaker Series Cabernet Franc was aged for nine months in mostly four-year-old Amerique (French oak barrel heads, American oak staves), with about 12% new Hungarian oak and four percent second-use French oak. It comes in at 12.6% alcohol.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore etWhat do you get by trading up from the regular Cabernet Franc this issue? This has a bit more depth and more of a tightly wound demeanor. It is not quite the Ameritage reviewed this issue but it seems notably more concentrated than the regular Cabernet Franc while retaining mid-palate finesse.

The concentration is sometimes subtle—the difference is that this seems more elegant than thin. They both have a slightly vegetal edge (that's Cabernet Franc) but this seems to persist more. The acidity is better integrated as well, an important issue with this set of wines. Its silky texture, without losing mid-palate concentration, makes it more appealing too. Unlike the regular Cabernet Franc, this could use at least a few more months in the cellar to settle down. This too will be approachable young. It will not likely deliver big rewards for very long cellaring. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - October 2017

2016 Chardonnay (JB Winemaker Series) ``The 2016 Chardonnay JB Winemaker Series was aged for eight months in new French oak. It comes in at 12.1% alcohol. This is elegantly crafted and rather fresh. Alas, those won't be your first impressions. At least right now, this is creamy and laced with vanilla and caramel nuances from the new wood.

On paper, there isn't that much wood but it certainly shows, perhaps because the mid-palate here is not big enough to soak it all up. All that said, as I held this open and came back to it it grew on me, pulling in the wood to some extent and seeming much livelier.

Overall it's pretty nice. If it can soak up some wood over the next six to 12 months, it might be entitled to an uptick. Those who like those creamy Chardonnays will be even happier. It should hold pretty well for the next few years, perhaps more. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - October 2017

``The 2016 JB Winemaker Series Petit Manseng is unoaked. It comes in with 14.2% alcohol and 5.3 grams per liter of residual sugar, a hair over the typical ``fully dry`` line in most places, but not by enough to seem very sweet.

This is the debut offering in this brand and it is a terrific debut. This opens elegantly, despite statistics that would suggest an even bigger feel to the wine. It seems to be in balance, with a very fresh feel. The fruit dances lightly over the palate at first, emphasizing finesse and flavor. As it warms, it shows a bit more power, its underlying weight and intensity—so beware that this is no wimp. The calling card, however, will certainly be the clean, fresh, peach-to-apricot flavors lingering on the finish.

Beautifully wrought, this combines elegance and persistence. It will be interesting to see how this ages. It should hold reasonably well, but it is fair to note that it is pretty spectacular in its youth. Yes, that's a hint. For the moment, let's lean up a bit on this. When the sugar and fruit fade, we'll see how it handles itself. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - April 2017

2015

Merlot (JB Winemaker Series)

``This wine is lush, with aromas of cassis, lavender and kirsch enveloped in wafts of church incense. Bright cherry and violet meld with velvety tannins and delicate acidity. The finish is long and full of cedar and botanicals.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - April 2017

2015

Chardonnay

``The 2015 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented was aged for six months in used French-American hybrid oak.

It comes in at 13% alcohol. Nicely done, this is laid back, fruity and well in control of its wood, but there is still, happily, some tension on the finish. If there isn't a lot of depth or power overall, it shows beautifully just now, focused, clean and precise.

This needs to be drunk on the younger side, but if you drink it young, you'll be happy, perhaps happier than the score suggests. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - February 2017

2015

Cabernet Franc

``Striking aromas of lavender, incense and kirsch are intense on the nose. All of these characteristics carry through to the palate and are joined by fresh berry components

Light in body, this wine contains silky tannins and a bright lift. The finish is soft and subtle.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - April 2017

2015

Seyval Blanc

``This wine fills the senses with notes of grass, lemon curd, slate and unripe green apple. Flavors of peach-ring candies and lemon come though on the zesty and tangy palate.

The finish is long and tingly, although the flavors quickly dissipate.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - April 2017

2014

Cabernet Franc

``Tilled earth, geranium and stewed berries make for an earthy nose. The palate brings more fresh-fruit flavors, with crunchy red currant and cranberry streaked by granite.
Overall, there's good tension and feel in this medium-bodied Cabernet Franc.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - October 2016

2013

Chardonnay (Estate Club)

``Underripe peach, candied lemon and white flower aromas are lifted and bright on the nose. The palate is zesty and crisp, with ripe red-apple flavors leading to a slightly chalky finish.``
Wine Enthusiast Magazine - April 2015
2013

Chardonnay

``The 2013 Chardonnay ``Barrel Fermented`` was aged for nine months in a blend of new (25%) and neutral oak, French and American barrels. It comes in at 12.3% alcohol.
Light and laced with too many caramel and oak artifacts on opening, this should be a pleasing picnic wine this summer, easy to drink and rather tasty. As it warms and airs out, it improves quite a bit. It shows better balance, with the fruit rearing up over the wood.

It never displays much concentration, but it becomes fresher and better focused. Drink it on the younger side and you'll be rather happy, no matter how long it theoretically lasts. It is in prime time now.``

This needs to be drunk on the younger side, but if you drink it young, you'll be happy, perhaps happier than the score suggests. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - April 2016

2013

Cabernet Franc (Estate Club)

``Lifted aromas of cherry Jell-O, spicy raspberry and a kiss of anise show brightly on the nose. The palate offers a slight tannic grip, with strawberry and cherry flavors leading to a lightly peppered finish.``
Wine Enthusiast Magazine - July 2015
2012

Merlot (Estate Club)

``The 2013 Chardonnay ``Barrel Fermented`` was aged for nine months in a blend of new (25%) and neutral oak, French and American barrels. It comes in at 12.3% alcohol.
Light and laced with too many caramel and oak artifacts on opening, this should be a pleasing picnic wine this summer, easy to drink and rather tasty. As it warms and airs out, it improves quite a bit. It shows better balance, with the fruit rearing up over the wood.

It never displays much concentration, but it becomes fresher and better focused. Drink it on the younger side and you'll be rather happy, no matter how long it theoretically lasts. It is in prime time now.``

This needs to be drunk on the younger side, but if you drink it young, you'll be happy, perhaps happier than the score suggests. There were 200 cases produced.``

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - April 2016

2012

Cabernet Franc

``The aromas of smoked pepper and grilled baguette are more reminiscent of a Syrah from the Northern Rhône than of a Cabernet Franc from Virginia, but they are enticing and delineated nonetheless.
Medium in body, the palate feels lithe, with integrated dusty tannins and bright acids.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - July 2014

2011

Chardonnay

``The oak-influenced nose is an aromatic showcase of honeyed nut, Granny Smith apple, dried caramel and flower petal. Soft and weighty upon entrance, the palate picks up some acidic steam on the midpalate, finishing with a medium-to-long flavor of toasty, warm spiced apple.``
Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2012
2011

Chardonnay (Estate Club)

``This has mild, one-dimensional scents of apple and Meyer lemon. The medium-bodied palate has fresh acidity, and shows a touch more depth than the nose with the added note of glazed white apricot.``
Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2013
2008

Merlot (Estate Club)

``Rich and round, this offers plenty of concentrated blackberry notes enveloped in warm spices and supple oak. There's a hint of green tomato leaves throughout, but the lush fruit combined with sturdy grape tannins and high acidity would pair well with fatty short ribs or braised pork.``
Bright and fresh with balanced acidity and a nicely concentrated midpalate.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2011

2009

Ameritage (Estate Club)

``While soft and ripe on the nose and palate with loads of soft red fruit and hints of mocha and milk chocolate, this Virginia Ameritage doesn't have a lot of structure, but its smooth, warm style is still eager to please.``
Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2011
2010

Viognier

``Aromas of toasted macadamia, Fuji apple and apricot preserves are bold and well delineated. This tastes off-dry, but its acids are lively enough to keep the midpalate from feeling sticky.
Warm and sappy on the finish, it bears vivid, lingering notes of toasted nut and bruised apple. Try pairing this with roast chicken and a not-too-sweet apricot chutney.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2012

2011

Seyval Blanc

``The bright bouquet of Meyer lemon zest, green apple and pear is filled out with heftier scents of toasted nut and bees wax.
Medium bodied with precise flavors, the palate is marked by stimulating acidity, finishing with some warmth and a mineral tang.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2012

2009

Merlot (Estate Club)

``Warm and spicy on the nose and palate, this Virginia Merlot boasts a sour cherry aroma combined with hints of gingersnap cookie and ripe bramble.
Ample and rich with slightly stewed black fruit notes, the palate is bathed in waves of anise and cinnamon that linger on the finish.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2011

2008

Cabernet Sauvignon (Estate Club)

``Ripe and rich on the nose with a harmonious black fruit and sweet vanilla bean aroma, this Virginia Cab is clean and pure with a remarkably pristine fruit profile.
Bright and fresh with balanced acidity and a nicely concentrated midpalate.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2011

2008

Merlot (Estate Club)

``Rich and round, this offers plenty of concentrated blackberry notes enveloped in warm spices and supple oak.
There's a hint of green tomato leaves throughout, but the lush fruit combined with sturdy grape tannins and high acidity would pair well with fatty short ribs or braised pork.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - December 2010

2007

Cabernet Franc

``This seductive Cabernet Franc opens up with aromas of cherry, vanilla and spice leading into layers of blackberry, plum, cinnamon and cedar on the palate
Fruit and spice are balanced here, and medium tannins means the wine can age. Paired with roasted duck or beef, the wine is a sure hit.``

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - February 2010

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