Friday, December 19, 2014

Touriga Nacional, Round Mountain Vineyard Reserve – 2011; Lewis Wines; Johnson City, Texas

These special superb wine releases are always fun to blog about.  This is one of those wines that you will say 'I love you' to.  Yes you will without any doubt!  Don’t feel embarrassed to hold this bottle up to your cheeks and give it a good wine kiss, because you really will love it that well.  Let’s start off with the bottle. The glass is not your typical wine bottle and is more like those heavier ones used for champagnes. It's also very well tinted – a good sign that behind the scenes someone wanted the right kind of bottle and also knew this wine is going to be made to age.  After you initially open the bottle, feel free to be a wine geek and smell the wonderful floral aromas every few minutes as it breaths.  It’s what you do, because you love this wine. The aroma is….beyond pleasant, so just keep breathing in and out for a while as the bouquet continues to unfold. Once you’re ready to taste, make sure you have that high end wine glass.  After all, quality wine in a quality wine bottle deserves a quality wine glass!  The taste…."Magnifique!" With this wine, there will be no doubt if you are taste blind, that this is something special.  You’ll notice some good berry and peppery flavors along with its dry and nice finish.  You'll be enticed by the deep purple color as it stimulates your visual senses. So, feel free to gaze in the glass and hold the wine to the light as you inspect the color and the edges where it meets the glass and enjoy every swirl.  You can tell that great care and respect has been bestowed not only upon the vines, but the grapes and wine making process.  Everything has perfectly come together in this wine.  It should age well for the next several years.  We look forward to a future posting on our second bottle in whatever the latest Internet social media fad form will be the norm for those future days.  So, pour yourself a nice big glass and have with a big meal.  Everything on your plate will taste good with this one!  Have a third bottle?  It’s ok if you put that one in your will to have it buried with you because you really do love it that much.  By then, friends and family will understand your wine obsession as well as toasting your long lived life with some of your other favorite wines. Double Cheers!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Citrus Tango - NV; Dancing Bee Winery; Rogers, Texas

Made from 75% Orange blossom honey and 25% squeezed oranges, this  melomel  is certainly an interesting twist.  It is semi-sweet and quite tangy with notes of grapefruit and honey. There's a touch of tartness but  just enough sweetness to make it pleasant.  It has a very nice color as well with a lovely deep golden yellow. This is definitely one you want to serve chilled on a hot summer day or open during the holidays to pair with creamy desserts and cranberry items. We think it will make a great addition to the traditional holiday wines.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Terhune Orchards Vineyard & Winery - Princeton, New Jersey

This is a great place to visit especially during the Fall.  With fresh fruit and veggies as well as events during festival season, the whole family can have a day full of fun.  Alongside a working orchard and farm, is a winery and vineyard owned and operated by Pam and Gary Mount.  They took their first adventure in grape vines back in 2003.  Among the varietals planted are Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Terhune wines have been available for the last four years.  In addition to grape wines, apple wines are also made here with apple cider.  Additional grapes from other vineyards are also sourced for wine making.  The tasting room is in a historic 150 year old barn.  You can belly up to the wine tasting bar and select from eleven wines.  There are two good whites to try.  The Farmhouse white is a white grape blend with a nice Chardonnay crispness, without being overly oaked.  The Chardonnay has just  a touch of oak and a clean, crisp dry finish.  The Vidal Blanc is a nice smooth wine with fruity aromas and flavors.  For reds, check out the Chambourcin.  It is medium bodied and dry with a fresh finish.  The Apple wine is actually a dry apple wine.  It's crisp, aromatic and presents some citrus notes. The Barn Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (50/50). The tannins on this one are soft and it is one of the fuller bodied varietals available. The Red Rooster is a sweeter red, but not too sweet and is quite pleasant.  The Cold Soil White is a semi-sweet blend of Vidal Blanc and Orange Muscat.  The two white grapes complement each other quite nicely in this wine!  After the Cold Soil White, try the Porch Breeze.  It will be similar to the Cold Soil, but with Niagra grapes providing that sweet blush shade. Strangely, it almost taste like strawberry wine!  The Just Peachy wine is actually an apple wine made from cider with peach essence added.  It will keep you happy and warm on those first chilly fall nights.  End off with the Harvest Blue, a mix of blueberry and apple, for a nice tart and crisp taste.  You'll be pleased with everything you try here. Take your time here when visiting.  The country side setting and locally made wine is a wonderful setting!  Cheers!!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Riesling - NV; Su Vino Winery; Grapevine, Texas

Although non-vintage, we estimate this one has been sitting around for about seven years.  Not a bad Riesling for a white wine of this age.  This wine has a smooth body and a light fruity aroma with a wonderful deep yellow-green  color.  We noted apricot and pear flavors with an alcohol content that seemed a bit higher, which may have masked other notes.  The label has a lovely hand on it, that sets it apart from many other brands. You could say the winemaker left his/her mark on this one.  Serve chilled and you can enjoying this one with appetizers, a meal, or just because.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Volcano Blush - NV; Volcano Winery; Volcano, Hawaii

Check out this unique wine from the Big Island of Hawaii!  Crafted from white grapes blended with berries for a good blush very suitable for summer sipping. It has a light raisin hue at first pour, but seemed to change its tint after being opened for several minutes.  This wine exhibited cranberry flavors with a slight sweetness. Interestingly enough, there is also a bit of acidity to the finish.  No volcanoes were harmed in making this wine, so open up and enjoy with a clear conscience.  You might be able to find it in some specialty wine stores, but the winery does ship to many states.  Of course, going to Hawaii and buying some bottles as well as sampling the wineries other wines is even better! :)


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tempranillo – 2011; Flat Creek Estate; Marble falls, Texas

2011 was a great year for Texas grapes, although a horrible year for just about everything else.  Red grapes from 2011 in Texas just have that extra pizzazz that red wine drinkers crave.  Although yields were much smaller in many Texas vineyards that year, they also benefited from high quality grapes.  Lost Draw Vineyards is no exception. You won’t find a bad grape from this vineyard and the great 2011 drought only made their grapes that much better.  Tim Drake of Flat Creek has taken these blessed grapes from Lost Draw and made a “beyond” wonderful Tempranillo wine.  It is a full bodied, beautiful  experience like no other and is complimented with a great earthy finish. You’ll taste notes of plums and blackberries swirl across your tongue. This Tempranillo pairs nicely with a good thick ribeye, pork chop, or large rack of ribs.  Take your meaty pick because you can’t go working with this wine pairing. This vintage turned out really well and likely exceeded the expectations of many red wine lovers who have been waiting for it.  Best of all, this wine will likely age well in the cellar for another ten years and be even more fantastic.  So buy a case and enjoy one every year for the next decade!  Cheers!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pontotoc Vineyard – Pontotoc, Texas

We had the opportunity to post some wine reviews of their 2011 releases back in 2013.  A year later, we finally get to say a few words about their winery and vineyard!  Carl Money bought up part of the town back in 2003.  He has since restored the old farm house and planted a good five acres of Tempranillo on these higher hill country elevations with well drained fertile red soils.  For 2014, they had 14 tons harvested!  Can’t wait for that vintage!!  Along with his father and uncle, this family run business is starting to make its mark on the Texas wine industry.    Grapes are sourced primarily from his vineyard estate, other surrounding vineyards in the Mason County area, or within Texas.  Mr. Money is committed to using only Texas sourced grapes.  Don Pullum has been helping out with the wine making.  There is a tasting room in Pontotoc, but you can find Carl at the Fredericksburg tasting room, which is a shared shopping space with a few other great local vendors. Here, he is selling some of their great wines and allowing folks to come in and familiarize themselves with his wines. It makes sense to have a tasting room there due to Fredericksburg's increased wine traffic these days.  There are five wines currently available for tasting, some of which are named after local historic sites.  The first wine is a 2011 Tempranillo with a good medium body and toasted oak qualities.  The second is the 2012 Tempranillo.  This one is good to compare to the 2011. You will find the 2012 has more vanilla characteristics than the 2011 as well as more tannins.  Next, is the 2012 Smoothing Iron Red.  This Tempranillo (75%)/Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), and Alicante Bouschet (5%) blend has quite delicious flavors of cherry and raspberry.  The 2012 Spy Rock (Cabernet Sauvignon - 68%/Alicante Bouschet - 22%/Mourvedre - 5%/ Tempranillo - 5%) has a bit more toasted fruit flavor with soft tannins.  Lastly, is the 2012 Valley Spring which is a Monastrell varietal.  This one has some slight citrus aromas as well as strawberry flavors.  Pontotoc Vineyard is a rising star in the Texas Hill County wine industry.  Come on out and visit sometime.  If you like earthy, dry, bold reds, we think you’ll enjoy!