Sunday, July 17, 2016

Trebbiano 2010 – Duchman Family Winery; Driftwood, Texas

When the summer heat comes early, there’s no better treat than a nice chilled dry white wine.  This Trebbiano from Duchman hits the spot.  The grapes were sourced from Bingham Family Vineyards located in the Texas High Plains AVA.  The wine has nice banana flavors with a touch of citrus  The acids seem to have tapered off over the years, which may make it more palatable for some white wine lovers.  It is a crisp, dry white that definitely has a refreshing overall tropical mouth feel that will help transport you to that island relaxation mode. In the right cellar, it’s just as good years later. So, pop the cork and enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Enoree River Winery - Newberry County, South Carolina

You’ll love this nice vineyard tucked in the countryside just outside of Columbia. In a very relaxing and beautiful setting, the vineyard and peacefulness of the surrounding trees with help set the mood for a memorable wine tasting experience.  Richard and Laura LaBarre planted their vineyard roots here about 10 years ago.  The vineyard estate has about eight acres of Carlos and Noble Muscadine.  Since then, they’ve added Lenoir vines (aka Black Spanish) as well as Herbemont.  The vineyard has a bit of a Texas connection as they told us that they had originally gotten their Black Spanish cuttings from Texas' oldest vineyard at the Val Verde Winery.  We knew that there was something that instinctively led us here!  The winery has been operational for about eight years and serves wines made from locally sourced fruit as well as from grapes sourced out of state.  Your tasting will include a good selection of whites and reds.  They actually have a nice chardonnay to start off with that is clean, crisp, and unoaked with a bit of a lavender taste!  The Amber-Daze is a great summer time sweet blend to sip and enjoy on the porch. The Carlos Muscadine has notes of peaches and vanilla.  The Naked Noble Muscadine is a red wine made without the skins, offering a nice sweet and pleasant sipping treat.  Do check out their Strawberry wine!  It's quite delicious with all the natural flavors you would expect in fresh strawberry fruit.  This place is well worth the country drive so stop by and enjoy the gracious company, the views and the wines.

Monday, June 20, 2016

VT - 2011; Bodegas y ViƱedos Valtravieso; Valladolid, Spain

Yes!  An absolutely wonderful Tinta Fina from Espana!  It pours with such beautiful cherry red color against the light. Swirl and enjoy the cocoa and balsamic aromas.  The mouth feel is not harsh or overwhelming. This has a good balance between the tannins and the acidity. You'll love the nice long mellow finish on each sip. This is a beautiful wine to enjoy on its own or pair with food. Strawberries really bring out some of the beauty in the tasting notes on this one.  Cheers!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Round Mountain Estate Blend - 2011; Lewis Wines; Johnson City, Texas

Meticulous detail to vineyard care and the great Texas drought of 2011 has produced some of the best quality Texas grapes which can be found in this wine. This blend of Tempranillo (82%) and Touriga Nacional (18%) is a testament to that and more.  Aging for 24 months just enabled the richness of the developed flavors that the Texas Hill Country has to offer. You’ll pick up notes of cherries and a bit of cocoa in this savory blend as well as some great earthiness.  The acids are still strong in this wine, so it will likely evolve more over time.  The tannins are moderate and provide a nice long and lingering finish.  Not that we’re in the points rating business, but we’ll go out on a limb on this one and give it 95 points! We suggest obtaining multiple bottles as this one is definitely able to lay down for a while. Maybe we’ll open the next bottle in 2020, so stay tuned our wine fans! Double Cheers!!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Nero d'Avola – 2013; Abbazia Santa Anastasia; Sicily, Italy

Let’s talk strong wine. Never had Nero d'Avola?  Then, you’re in for a treat.  This red wine from Sicily has everything “S” about it.  Strong tart acids, strong fruit aromas, strong and bright ruby red color, and strong gripping tannins on the sides. You’ll also pick up ripe berry and some black pepper notes.  As anticipated, there is also a bit of earthiness as well!   If you’re red wine palate feels up to the challenge, then you should do your wine senses a favor and try this varietal out as deep earthy red wine drinkers should enjoy this one. Get a couple of nice fatty dishes for pairing and you’ll be one happy wine lover.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Truckee River Winery – Truckee, California

Don’t be discouraged by the red barn and small tasting room.  It can be a sign of great wines to be tasted!  Such is the case with this fine winery in Truckee.  Owner Russ Jones knows his wines, especially Pinot Noir. As a graduate of UC Davis, he has spent much time studying and learning in Oregon, Washington, and the Pasa Robles area.  Winemaking started for Russ and his wife back in 1989.  Over the years, they have grown and now have a cozy, comfortable  tasting room with very friendly staff to try their great wines.  Most of the grapes are sourced from the Lodi and Monterey regions.  All the wine making process from crushing, to fermenting, to aging, to bottling is done locally.  You’ll likely be greeted at the front door by their wine canine connoisseurs, Max and Hamond. At the wine bar, you’ll have two fine wine flights to select from; traditional and reserve. As a couple, we tried both and didn’t waste a drop.  The 2014 Pinot Gris is sourced from Lodi. It is moderately acidic with good apple notes.   The other white Lodi sourced wine is a 2014 Chardonnay. That wine is a very nice crisp, citrus, and floral treat.  The Red Barn Red is a local favorite and by far the most popular. It’s a red blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Tempranillo. It has some smokiness and tastiness that adds to the full body tasting experience and it is an easy every day red wine.  The 2013 Zinfandel from Lodi is sourced from a vineyard that has been around since the 1930’s, so it is a true old vine wine.  Ahhh….real Zin!  Toasty and earthy…what’s not to like?  The 2014 Merlot is another Lodi sourced red. It’s a good easy drinking smooth Merlot that would pair well with many dishes.  Next, the menu transitions into Russ's favorite varietals, the Pinots. Two Pinot Noirs showcase the quality of the winemaker's skills and love for this varietal. The 2014 Pinot Noir is sourced out of Monterey County. Aged for a good two years, you’ll savor the taste of cherries and medium tannins. Bring on that pork chop for pairing!  Next is the 2012 “Best Man” Pinot Noir.  Another wine made from grapes sourced from Monterey County, these grapes came from Gary’s Vineyard.  Yes!  Everything that is great comes from that place and coupled with a very passionate winemaker, you get something no less than super awesome!  Aged for a nice long three years in new French Oak, you get all the rich deep flavors and notes that you were expecting.  These two Pinot Noir wines will entice even a non Pinot lover. They will also tempt you to want to purchase more than just a couple of bottles because they are truly just that great! The 2013 Malbec is sourced from the Chalk Hill AVA in Sonoma.  It’s tannic and chocolate flavors linger nicely. Rounding up the lineup is the Apres Dessert Wine.  It’s a traditional fortified port style wine made with Tinta Madera, Tinta Cao, Touriga and Sauzao. Have your best chocolate ready for that one!  Not on the list is a Rose’ that was released for Valentine’s Day. It’s a blend a Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Merlot.  A very nice treat when it’s in the 70’s in Lake Tahoe during the skiing season!  This a great quality winery close to Lake Tahoe and a great compliment to the town of Truckee.  Make sure to add this into your list of places to visit when on your next trip to the area and chat and sip with the tourists, locals, and staff. There is even Bocce available outside if you're interested in getting in a little game while you relax and enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2016

XO Tawny Port – NV; Stone House Vineyard; Spicewood, Texas

Yes!  For anyone that’s familiar with the traditional port making process, this port can be considered 50 years old.  The flavors of Eden are quite prevalent in this burnt amber jewel.  Tilt the glass on its side, and you’ll see a slight golden twinkle on the edges of this precious little gem.  The nose up front is loaded with toffee and oak.  Quite enticing!  The sights and smells help prime your taste buds for a wonderfully soft, silky, toasted pecan flavor that is classic and satisfying with this tawny port. Mellow caramel notes embrace your taste buds to put that happy sweet smile on your lips. Lovely, isn’t it? This treat will make any night better and best of all this port will last a while in the bottle.  You’ll definitely have many more sweet dreams ahead with this one. Enjoy!