Coda Rossa Wines Review
Address: 1526 Dutch Mill Road Franklinville,New Jersey 08322.
Phone Number: 856-697-9463
Tasting Hours: Fri 5:00-9:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-5:00
Region: Outer Coastal Plain AVA, New Jersey
Reviewer: Charlie Toms
Review Date: 1/11/2014
Reviewer: Charlie Toms
Coda Rossa Winery came into being as a result of a “hobby entirely out of control” as described by Kenton and Kathy Nice, an accountant and school psychologist respectively. The South Jersey couple first made wine in 1997, and in 2004 opened the Wine Room of Cherry Hill, an instructional winemaking facility. Not satisfied with just teaching people how to make wine, two years later the Nices purchased an abandoned vineyard in Franklinville, deep in New Jerseys farm belt. The couple refurbished the property, which had been originally planted in 2002 by a previous owner, and the winery opened to the public in 2010.
Coda Rossa produces 1,500 cases of wine per year from 17 types of grapes Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cayuga White, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Concord, Durif (Petite Sirah), Merlot, Nebbiolo, Niagara, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Vidal Blanc, and Zinfandel. Ten acres are under cultivation, and some grapes are purchased from California vineyards. The winery also makes fruit wines from blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and raspberries. Coda Rossa is a member of the Garden State Wine Growers Association, and is located in the Outer Coastal Plain Viticultural Area. The vineyards name means “red tail” in Italian because of the red-tailed hawks that live near the farm.
Codas Rossas entrance is marked by a yellow and white wooden sign. The winery consists of a non-descript blue and white building surrounded by a highly attractive vineyard. The most noticeable feature of the vineyard is the rose bush at the end of each row of grapes. The tasting room is small and consists of a wood and tile bar and a few small tables. Because of the extensive variety of wines offered, I visited twice and tasted sixteen of their wines. The vast majority of Coda Rossas wines are dry reds with a handful of whites and sweet wines. The server was very friendly and eagerly provided information about each of the wines.
The Nebbiolo, which has Barbera blended in, was light in appearance and tannins and would go well with a lamb dinner. The Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel were medium-bodied with a sharp finish, whereas the Syrah was spicy. The Super Tuscan and Tempesta are both made from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon and were strong and dry. My favorite of the dry wines was the Barbera/Petite Sirah blend, which is intensely red-colored and finishes smooth. I could see myself drinking the Barbera / Petite Sirah while eating duck.
The Sauvignon Blanc was dry and a little acidic. Neve, which is made from Cayuga and Vidal Blanc, was fruity and smooth. Pair this wine with salmon or other strongly-flavored fish. Harmony, made from Concord grapes, was characteristically sweet and could be used as a party wine. Peacho Grigio is a Pinot Grigio with the mild flavor of peaches. Raspberry Rose is Vidal Blanc with raspberry, whereas Black Bird consists of Syrah and blackberries. Both were sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Blue Moon Port is unique in that it is made from Merlot blended with blueberries. It was strong-bodied with a velvety texture, and did not taste like blueberries. Rather than imparting tartness, the blueberries balance the sweetness of the port, making Blue Moon a drink worth sipping after dinner.
Coda Rossa is an enjoyable place to visit among the many choices in New Jersey wine country. The vineyard is attractive, the service is good, and the owners are willing to experiment with uncommon wines. Tastings includes a souvenir wine glass with no limit on the number of wines that can be tried. Coda Rossas wines cost $12-$20 per bottle and are sold at liquor stores, restaurants, and festivals throughout the state. Their wines can also be shipped to residents of New Jersey and 38 other states that permit wine deliveries.