Friday, April 18, 2014

Private Cuvee - NV; Rancho Ponte Vineyards; Fredericksburg, Texas

This delightfully sparkling wine is a pleasure to enjoy for almost any occasion.  It has just the right amount of “bubbles” and just a tad bit of sweetness, making this an easy sipping sparkler.  It does taste like a blend of different whites rather than a single varietal, but doesn’t distract from the experience, in fact we thought it added nice character.  Although the back of the label says that it was made by Woodbridge Champagne Cellars in California, it really doesn’t matter where it came from. What we want you to focus on is how it tastes, looks and how it can compliment any occasion you want to celebrate.  It’s good and enjoyable for all! Cheers!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Nolan Creek Winery – Belton, Texas

Phil Monge and Vira Chudasma opened up this place about a year ago just off the downtown square.  Located in the “Gin” marketplace, this winery not only offers their own wine, but a good selection from other wineries around the world.  To sample their in-house made wines, ask for the ‘Nolan Creek Winery flight’.  Grapes are sourced from the Texas High plains and some from California.  During this visit, they had four wines available for tasting.  Their sweet white is quite nice, with definite green apple notes to this crisp but sweet wine.  It has good flavor and is an easy drinking wine.  Their White Blend is a mix of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc and is a drier wine with a crispness and a bit of a toasted nut finish. Their sweet red, Texas Moonlight, is smooth and suitable for any afternoon or after dinner event. It packs a lot of blueberry and raspberry notes in this very fruit forward option, while it is very smooth and makes for another easy sipping option to enjoy. They are proud of their red blend (Syrah/Mourvedra) being a bronze medal winner at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition.  Let this one age for a few more years and compare your notes from the first taste.  We hear they are also working on a future Zinfandel release that should be very nice. Be looking for more updates on that one on their Facebook page. Their wine bar d├ęcor has an upscale, jazzy chic bistro feel that is inviting and makes you feel very welcomed.  The owners picked a great locale in Belton.  Worth the visit and the time to just hanging out!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chardonnay – 2006; Red Caboose Winery; Meridian, Texas

Who says a Chardonnay can’t last this long?  Well, this one did!  Here’s the bottom line:  still a good clean and crisp medium bodied white wine with a good full flavor.  This wine had some slight acidity, yet had some toasted nut notes and a lovely feel on the palate. It is smooth and buttery enough to make you think it might have been oaked, but this was not oaked. We found this wine to be a very nice wine to welcome in the Spring season.  Enjoy with fish and poultry dishes as well as with cheese and crackers, or just alone. It pairs well with food but also is quite enjoyable on its own. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sweet Ruby Cabernet - 2005; Lone Star Wine Cellars; McKinney, Texas

More off-sweet, than sweet, this medium-bodied Ruby Cabernet is a delightful treat. It has a strong violet color which is a pretty cool looking hue.  It is definitely fruit forward with some blueberry and raspberry notes.  Even the "expert"  may initially mistake this nicely aged wine for a berry fruit wine. It is smooth and balanced making it both an easy to enjoy sipping wine, as well as something to pair nicely with cheese and crackers, spicy food or desserts.  It's a  keeper for a special dessert evening all its own too!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

McReynolds Winery - Cypress Mill, Texas

This small family owned winery has been opened since 2000 and have been cranking out Texas wines every since.  Founded by Mac and Maureen McReynolds, their winemaking beginnings actually started off in California.  After visiting, learning, and working at various wineries,  they purchased their own five acre estate in 1989 and thus began their small part in the Texas wine making pioneer history.  They have had some success with their own personal vintages in the 1990's as medal winners before opening.  The tasting room is located in a decorative small log cabin style home.  With views of their surrounding vineyard, it makes a peaceful place to sip and relax.   Earlier visitors may remember their tasting room located in the metal frame building which is used to produce their wines.  Today, you can sample four wines when you visit the tasting room plus you get to take your glass with you as a souvenir.  Their Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from California and is a smooth and enjoyable wine that can be paired with food or enjoyed on its own. They have a ten year old Merlot (2004) made from grapes sourced in the Hill Country.  Keep in mind, a wine that old may be a bit "strong" for some as this is not overly oaked, yet has some acidity to it. They have a 2008 Syrah made with Washington grapes - "steak material" wine.  Lastly, is their red blend made from estate Ruby Cabernet, Syrah, and Sangiovese varietals.  The folks here are pretty cool and enjoy chatting with you when you stop in to enjoy a glass. Say hello to Sangria when you step in, too, who is the official wine dog who likes to lay in front of the doorway.  She may give you the official sniff inspection when you come in, but it's just her way to happily greet you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pinot Grigio – NV; Bernhardt Winery; Plantersville, Texas

This wine has been resting in the cellar for a few years and has its deep golden spectacular color to prove it.   Try not to stare at this one too long before the oxygen demons have had their way with it.  This Pinot actually has a bit of a nutty flavor to it with hints of banana flavor.  The acidity level is a bit higher in this wine, yet is still "sippable" for most.  Some aromas of grape fruit are noticeable at first, as well as a light alcohol note.  Serve this one up with some light spicy fish or fruit.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Orange Muscat – 2009; Duchman Family Winery; Driftwood, Texas

Yes, this is a really, really good sweet dessert wine!  It’s probably one of the better vintages for Orange Muscats from Texas.  It has just enough sweetness and just the right citrus balance to make this a great sipping wine.  It has a bit of an amber color along with honey suckle and peach aromas.  The fruity taste pleasantly lingers leaving you wanting more.  The rich character of this full bodied sweet white wine is quite amazing.  Plus, the artwork on the bottle is pretty cool as well!  Impress your friends and family with this one and share with all.