Sunday, November 29, 2015

Viviano Superiore Rosso - 2010; Llano Estacado Winery; Lubbock, Texas

Welcome, welcome, welcome!  Greatness has come from this wonderful 2010 vintage.  Long time Texas wine drinkers are probably quite familiar with the Viviano lines.  For others not so familiar, you probably know about Chianti style blends.  Well, this wine is a reverse twist on Tuscany style blends.  Blended with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese, this blend perhaps brings out the best of what the Texas High Plains can do for these style of wines.  First of all, you get a fantastic deep ruby color in the glass.  It just looks fantastic!  Take a few sniffs and you'll definitely  pick up some very strong cherry aromas. Nice, isn't it? The tasting experience is equally pleasant.  You'll note rich raspberry flavors that you'll want to swish and swirl in your mouth.  And yes, there is some smokiness with a touch of cedar and spice just to add more pleasure for your senses.  You'll be very engaged in the finish.  It starts out with the strong fruit, followed by the oak, then it lets go to the acids to do their magic at the finish.  Yes, if the wine could stand on its own, it would probably take a bow at this point. This has to be the best of the Viviano brands.  It should last quite a long time in the cellar and has potential to hit that high 90s score in 10 years.  Enjoy well, our wine friends and cheers!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Super Texan – 2011; Flat Creek Estate; Marble Falls, Texas

These 2011 Texas red wines have not been disappointing. A great year for Texas wines! The rich and intense flavors from that year add proof that there is gold in the Texas wine industry.  This Sangiovese blend (78% Sangiovese, 13% Syrah 5%, Montepulciano, 4% Tempranillo) lives up to the reputation of one of Flat Creek’s flag ship wines and a great tasting Texas wine, too.  This wine has a good light color for a Sangiovese. On the nose you will enjoy aromas of cherry, blackberry, and plum.  The intense flavors of this vintage are major factor in wanting to stock pile this vintage. The medium bodied, low acidity wine melds bold fruit and nut notes, followed by a relatively long finish that tapers off with a nice spice and tobacco finish. It is a simply pleasant wine to enjoy with pasta dishes and at the end of a long day. Praise the Texas wine gods for blessing Texas with such a jewel.  Cheers!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cyser – NV; Texas Mead Works; Seguin, Texas

This nice tasting mead is a blend of apples and honey.  Initial impressions are that there is a good balance between the two as each compliments the other.  You’ll definitely pick up the apple and honey aromas when you first open the bottle. When sipping this deep golden orange mead, you’ll note the cinnamon and nutmeg spices.  This particular mead was actually aged in oak, so hints of vanilla and slight buttery notes round out the spices for a lovely fall medley of flavors. Texas Mead Works is at the same location as Blue Lotus Winery.  Check out their mead selection when you are in the area. It’s a cool way to toast to the onset of fall as you bid adieu to the long hot Texas summer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Three Daughters – 2003; Delaney Vineyards & Winery; Grapevine, Texas

Discovering a 10+ year old bottle of wine in the cellar is always an interesting surprise. Opening it up and discovering it still tastes great is better than a gold sprinkled ice cream sundae!  This particular 12 year old red wine has certainly aged well. The silver and bronze medal winner from Delaney is a bold blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  The light dusty red color is enticing to watch for us wine geeks during the first pour.  Some color fading is noticeable, but not unexpected for this well matured wine.  It’s still quite dry and medium bodied with nice smooth softened tannins that linger. You'll note pleasant vanilla notes with well balanced fruit flavors making this red quite enjoyable to swirl and sip again and again. This is just beyond excellent wine for its age.  If you told your wine friends you paid $100 for this bottle, they would probably believe you.  Impressions are always good, so impress well with this one.  Cheers!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Longshot Winery – New Braunfels, Texas

Located in the oldest house of New Braunfels, this newest winery is bringing some nice wines to locals and newcomers of the area.  Yes, it actually is the oldest house!  Check out the historical marker out front of the renovated 18th century Meriwether homestead, where you can read up on the historical placard out front about the history of this homestead which is now the current location of the winery.  The inside renovations thankfully retained some of the original charm and exposed beams from the original architecture of the period home. Part of the experience of this winery is appreciating the space as you sip and enjoy the lineup. This is the dream come true of owner Jasper McDonald. Opened in November of 2014, this winery has a great location for foot traffic as it is in the heart of commuters and those seeking refuge from tubing adventures. Jasper has a vineyard out near Brownfield where he has been growing his own grapes for the past few years.  Most of his grapes are sourced from the Texas High Plains AVA and California. In the tasting room, you get three free tastings from the wine list available.  At the time of our visit, 8/15/2015, there were eight wines listed (three whites and 5 reds) plus the unlisted Malbec. We had six of them during our visit.  The two sweet white wines, Jo Ann Semi-Sweet and Cactus Sweet, are great summer time treats. The Jo Ann is more sweet than semi-sweet, so just be prepared.  It has some lovely orange notes. The Cactus sweet comes off as fairly crisp with some tropical notes.  For the reds, the Tempranillo is a gold medal winner.  Berries, coconuts, and vanilla meld in the tasting profile for this wine, which is a pretty good one to try. The Sangiovese has medium tannins and a nice long smoky flavor on the finish. The Malbec has great earthiness that we loved. Lastly, the Sweet Red was a nice treat for this hot August afternoon.  It was a great refreshing drink at the end the day’s visit. Although it is sweet, it is not as sweet as the two whites and was quite easy to sip and enjoy as a refreshing afternoon wine.  This winery is a great addition to the New Braunfels area.  You’ll naturally feel relaxed and comfortable sipping your wine while surrounded by some great scenery.  It’s a cool place to visit and we recommend you stop in and check it out. There's a lovely outdoor sitting area in the front too, which should be great to check out in the coming cooler months of fall.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Aglianico – 2011; Duchman Family Winery; Driftwood, Texas

Wow!  You can sense nice intense and sensational fruit with that first sip. You’ll praise this medium bodied wine and admire its good balance and structure.  There are some hints of tobacco with a floral note to the finish. Swish and swirl all you want, because you definitely want that full "mouth feel" experience in this moderate tannin Aglianico. This vintage has many, many good years left in it and should be even more delightful in the future.  Add this varietal to what does well in Texas.  Enjoy with your wine friends, as this one is something to talk about!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Magellan – 2008; Inwood Estates Vineyards; Fredericksburg, Texas

Every drop from this magnificent wine is like a drop from the wine gods.  Every waft of the intoxicating aroma and sip is worth savoring from this bottle. It may just be that you’ve found a new best friend.  This Bordeaux style wine from Inwood is a melding of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and a touch of Tempranillo.  The tint is a beautiful rich crimson. On the nose you will detect intense smokiness.  As you enjoy each sip as you'll be greeted with cherry and plum notes. Simply soul satisfying, isn’t it?  That will be followed by some of those peppery notes and spice. That long lasting smooth finish has to be one of the best “icing on the cake” experiences you can have.  Its medium bodied and has a bit of earthiness that complements the excellent complexity.  Have extra bottles?  Good!  Everything in this wine is holding up quite well and those extra bottles should still last a bit longer. One of the added benefits of savoring this wine is knowing that it is not something that Inwood makes every year. If the grapes aren't just right, the winemaker waits...until a year when the fruit will do a new vintage justice...and that my friends is how high quality wines are born! Have one at some unexpected evening just for yourself, because you deserve it.  Savor and enjoy!