Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.






I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the Napa Valley.



The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.


Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “California’s Surprising 2004 Cabernets: 20 to Watch – Exciting New Cabernet Labels” in their annual Cabernet issue.  I’m not sure if the story is free to all or if you have to subscribe to read it.  Here is the link to the story.


After dabbling in the Syrah/Rhone Ranger camp for a period, the winery is now focused only on Napa Valley Cabernets, but watch out for a very special Petite Sirah that will be included in their upcoming release.


Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.


I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.


In their words –

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.


Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.


Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we traveled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.


For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.


I highly recommend at least joining their mailing list.  This would be a great time to join since their newest release will be coming out in a few weeks, just tell them Cliff sent you.



The Vineyard

The grapes for this wine came from the famed Stagecoach Vineyard.  The vineyard is located on Pritchard Hill above St. Helena on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.  The list of wineries that use grapes from this vineyard would be a who’s who of the top Cabernet wineries of the Napa Valley.  The list of wineries is available by clicking here.


Much more information of this highly esteemed vineyard is available by clicking here.



Stagecoach Vineyard

Stagecoach Vineyard



2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – SRP $65

I think Jean Edwards Cellars makes some of the most reasonably priced cabernets coming out of the Napa Valley.  The winery has some of the most well known vineyard sources in the valley, even though in some cases, they can’t use the vineyard name on the label.  Obviously, for this wine, the winery can and does use the specific vineyard’s name.  The vineyard is about 1800 feet above sea level.  The winery’s block is in the Pritchard Hill region which includes esteemed neighbors like Paul Hobbs.  The soil is volcanic and includes some boulders, according to Karen, you feel like you are walking on the moon.


This is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvgnon and 8% Cabernet Franc.  After fermentation, the wine was aged 24 months in French oak.  The barrels were 50% new and 50% one year old.  The total production was a miniscule 250 cases.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.



My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to garnet color.  The nose is a real show stopper full of cassis, dried herbs, cigar box, minerals, pencil shavings and violets.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with spicy berries and minerals up front with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long with the berries, dried herbs, and minerals seeming to linger forever.  Even though this is delicious today, it is still young and will improve with additional time in the cellar.  (94 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard



Closing thoughts

I would highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list.  Their next release to the mailing list will be on August 28th (Cabernet Day) and will include four 2011 Cabernets and a 2012 Calistoga Petite Sirah.  The winery’s mailing list is still open, so you will be guaranteed getting a chance at the wines.  As an added bonus, mailing list members get a very generous “friends and family” discount.  These new wines will be available at restaurants and in the retail chain later in the fall.


As an added bonus, Karen will be the star of #winechat on Wednesday, August 27th.  This will provide a great opportunity to learn more about the winery, their history and the wines that will be “released” the next day.




Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.