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!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blush – 2005; Pheasant Ridge Winery; Lubbock, Texas

Just about every long time Texas wine fan knows that Pheasant Ridge makes the good stuff that will keep a long time.  This 2005 Blush has held true to their reputation.  Not sure what’s really in this “blend”, but it is quite nice and crisp.  A combination of floral and honeysuckle notes are detectable.  It has just a touch of sweetness that, when chilled, helps smooth out those spicy dishes.  We were quite pleased with this old gal, given that it's nearly 10 years old.  Give it a try if you have one and drink well!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sangiovese – 2003; Wimberley Valley Winery; Driftwood, Texas

The color has held well over the past decade on this red wine.  Little separation was noticed on this limited release from Wimberley Valley Winery.  It is quite aromatic with some subtle tropical notes to the bouquet. It tastes fairly good for a wine that was not intended to be “hidden” in the cellar this long.  There is a touch of acidity, but nothing too distracting.  We were pleasantly surprised with how well this wine held up with its age and it paired nicely with pasta.  Have fun and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Strawberry-Riesling – NV; Winery on the Gruene; Gruene, Texas

This off-dry white wine has a good mix of traditional Riesling flavors meshed with luscious strawberries.  Not your every day Riesling, but definitely something special for summer to enjoy chilled. The crisp ripe berry flavor is pleasantly coupled with pear-like aromas. You’ll be impressed with this one and wish you would have bought a few bottles.  Pair with some fresh fruit or ice cream and you’ll really enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Red Wing Dove Vineyard and Winery – Hamilton, Texas

Owners Ellis & Susan Vandiver have staked out a seven acre plot of vines in this part of the Texas countryside.  Growing on their seven year old vineyard are Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Shiraz, Viognier, and Pinot Blanc.  Rows are oriented north/south.  They opened up the winery a year ago and are now serving up their own version of some tasty Texas wines.  Current wines available for tasting from their 2012 harvest include: off-dry White Dove (Pinot Gris/Blanc blend), Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Rosé Shiraz (great chilled) and a bold tasting Shiraz. The Shiraz grapes were aged in American oak and another release (aged two years) will be coming out in the future. Like most Texas vineyards, they experienced their share of loss from the late freeze of 2013.  California grapes helped supplement their 2013 release.  Their newest releases this year include: a very nice Viognier with good minerality, Honeysuckle (Sweet Pinot Gris with some apple notes), Judy (Sweet Blush of 90% Pinot Gris and 10% Tempranillo), T’Rose (nice dry Tempranillo Rosé with beautiful strawberry notes), and Sweet Red Pepper (50/50 blend of Ruby Cabernet and Tempranillo).  Come on out this way sometime and enjoy the company and views.  It’s a relaxing setting to help compliment the good wine in your hand. The winery is gearing up to celebrate their first year anniversary of their tasting room as well, so stop in and wish them well, stay a while, and sip a spell! You'll be glad you did. Cheers!