PRESS RELEASE – Hunterdon County’s Unionville Vineyards has earned the first 90-point score for a red wine from New Jersey in a recent edition of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, one of the most important media sources of international wine critique. Philadelphia-based critic Mark Squires, responsible for reviewing all wines of the east coast of the United States, Greece, and Portugal for the Advocate has reviewed Unionville’s 2015 Pheasant Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir each of the last three years.
The recent 90-point evaluation comes with acknowledgement of the wine’s longevity and gracefulness with each year of additional bottle aging. Besides being the first red wine to break the 90-point threshold for the state, the pinot noir is just the third wine from New Jersey of any style to make this mark.
“It’s exciting to break the 90-point barrier for New Jersey,” said John Cifelli, the winery’s general manager. “We proudly include New Jersey in our logo and as part of our brand at Unionville. We want to carry the banner for the state, and this wine’s rating is indicative of the broader increase in quality wine statewide.”
Of the wine, Squires wrote, “It is beautifully constructed, elegant, velvety and perfectly balanced. The good acidity always matches the depth and the fruit. This is very much a step up from what you’d expect in New Jersey pinot noir—probably several steps up. It is a beauty.”
The Pheasant Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of Unionville’s two single vineyard pinot noir bottlings. It is produced only in years of exceptional quality: approximately every three to four years. The vineyard sits on the southern slope of the Sourland Mountain, in northern Hopewell, Mercer County. The site has earned a reputation as one of the premier vineyard sites on the east coast. At the same tasting with the Wine Advocate, the Pheasant Hill Vineyard Chardonnay earned an 88 point score, and the Pheasant Hill Vineyard Syrah scored 89+.
“The vineyard was meticulously planted and so well taken care of in its youth,” offered winemaker Conor Quilty. “Now 13 years later, we are truly seeing the benefit. Well-drained earth, varied soil composition, excellent sun exposure—these all come into play to make Pheasant Hill an exceptional vineyard site. It helps that the varieties and the climate also lend themselves so well to the style and class of wine we are trying to produce.”
Unionville Vineyards produces wines from 47 acres of vineyard planted at sites in Ringoes, Hopewell, and Princeton. The winery’s portfolio is focused on Chardonnay, pinot noir, Syrah, and Rhône-style blends.
The tasting room is open seven days a week from 12 to 5 p.m.
9 Rocktown Road
Ringoes, NJ 08551