Friday, March 7, 2014
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.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Yes, wine lovers there is a genuine, real winery on Maui! It should be one of your top must see places on the island. Working with the Ulupalakua Ranch, they started growing grapes in the early 1970’s along the slopes of the mighty Haleakala. As the vines were maturing and the wine making process was improving, they also started making wines from pineapple which turned out to be a huge hit. There are about twenty-five acres of vines currently at Tedeschi Vineyards. Varietals include: Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec and Viognier. The vineyards sit at an average elevation of 1800 feet. With the inclined slope, rows can vary in elevation significantly enough that grapes from the lower elevation can have different characteristics than those from the slightly higher elevation. The average temperature on the vineyard ranges from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round and they do have a very long growing season. For the pineapple wines, they have a semi-dry and sweet wine. The more unique pineapple version offered is the Pineapple Sparkling Wine called Hula O’Maui. It is quite delicious, refreshing, and well balanced. It is made using the traditional “methode champenoise”. This sparkling wine is already a gold medal winner at the Los Angeles Wine Competition. It is plane trip worthy, so save room in your luggage for a few bottles! The grape varietals include the Upcountry Gold (Viognier, Muscat, and Chardonnay blend) and the Ulupalakua (Red Syrah, Merlot, and Malbec blend). If available, you should also check out the 2011 Plantation Red (Syrah). The grape wines are all fermented in steel tanks and are easy on the palate for all. They have good aromas and color. Not a bad wine to have in paradise. About 25,000 cases of pineapple wines are produced yearly and about 2000 cases of grape wines. Take notice at some of the unique artwork on their labels which reflect the work of local artists. So after your Haleakala sunrise visit, head back down the mountain roads and make a stop here. Enjoy their wines and hospitality along with one of the most spectacular panoramic views of the islands of Lanai, Molokini and Kahoolawe while sampling and sipping the wines of the island. There are tour times twice daily, so plan your trip accordingly and you can also enjoy some interesting information about the winery and get to see things up close, personal and behind the scenes. Wines are currently available to ship to the US mainland as well, so if you are so inclined, you can order a case or two and have it shipped home if you cannot make it to the winery. As a side note, do check out the general store across the street, too. They have the best Elk burgers in the Pacific and super friendly staff!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
This is a very nice sparkling sweet white wine that suits any occasion. It is quite fruit forward with citrus and some melon flavors that pop. It also seems to have just the right amount of sweetness, more than off-dry but not super sweet. It makes for a great bubbly wine to enjoy with friends and family and stands up well for special occasions. It's a crowd and palate pleaser.
Friday, February 21, 2014
This wine gives a whole new meaning to tart lemonade! It is a white wine with lemon and packs quite a smart punch to the newbie. It has some stronger sour notes to it and can be a bit too much alone for most taste buds. However, it does make a great mixer as an icy lemon slush or with ice cream. Other mixes to try would be 50/50 mix with a good white sweet white wine, perhaps with your favorite muscat wine. If you’re looking for a new twist to lemon chicken, try it as a cooking wine….but a bit will do or you can use this to help marinade. Don't forget baking as well, as we used this for some Lemon Pound Cake as well, which turned out nicely. This wine has many surprisingly wide varieties of uses from mixed drinks, desserts, and cooking. So, check it out and don't be afraid to experiment with something totally new to you. Who knows what new famous concoction you could come up with?
Monday, February 17, 2014
Owner’s Clark and Linda Hornbaker started planting vines on their Texas plot about six years ago. Like many Texas winery entrepreneurs, they started out their adult professional lives doing one thing and ended up in the Texas vineyard and wine business after talking about it and just finally doing it. Their son, Chris Hornbaker (Grayson College alumni) has a hand as winemaker in their family operation. With the maturing vines, they’ve been able to produce some estate Tempranillo and Muscat wines. Grapes from Smith Estate Vineyard (owned by Texas wine pioneer Bobby Smith), as well as West Texas help supplement the Hornbaker’s wine production. They have a full range of the wines available for tasting. One wine you may have a hard time finding in Texas that they serve is an Albarino white wine. Blended with Viognier, this dry wine has a unique crisp, citrus and lime flavor that is quite delightful. They also serve a very nice dry Blanc du Bois that is quite refreshing on a warm December day in Texas. Don’t miss out on the late harvest Roussanne with its buttery color and well balanced presentation. Their estate Tempranillo (a gold Dallas wine competition winner) has a strong fruit forward and medium body characteristic that is quite fulfilling. The 2011 Texas vintage should be one for keepers! They also have a Tempranillo/Cabernet blend that is quite good and should please most red wine lovers. You’ll want to save some room for their estate Orange Muscat. It’s sweet and crisp and leaves a nice long zesty finish on your palate. Definitely try this one with some dark chocolate! We were fortunate to be able to sample some Chambroucin that was still in the tank. “Wow” may be an understatement. If they keep this up, they may put Chambroucin on the Texas map. They also had a Cabernet Sauvignon still in the barrel that we were able to sample, that was pretty darn tasty for one of their first cracks at a single varietal Cabernet. It should settle and age well in the bottle. The other yet to be released wine we sampled was Devine White, which is a blend of Albarino, Pinot Grigio, and Orange Muscat. There won’t be that many cases produced, but it is well worth the effort to get some before they are gone once they are released. The Eden Hill estate is a delightful place to relax on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The neighboring moo cows just add that nice “off the beaten path” and “you can relax now you’re in the country” feel to the place. The estate is a working farm that harvests fresh fruits and vegetables and practices sustainable methods. Take some time on your next road trip when in the area and head to this new place north of Dallas. It’s a cool place to sip and swirl with delightful owners very willing to chat about what makes Texas wines so good. Cheers!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
This estate bottled wine is from an occasional older vintage collection that you may find available from the winery. Grapes were sourced from the LD3 Ranch Vineyard (Texas Hill Country) using three to four year old Syrah vines. The strong aromas may make your eyes pop out after first opening the bottle, but hey, it's a 10 year old wine! The color seems to have held up well and was a bit more opaque than expected. Make sure you have a well cleansed palate before tasting. It definitely has a string peppery taste that will stick around for a bit. The acidity is on the high end, as well. Not bad for this old gal. No sense in saving some for the next day, but there is plenty in the bottle for during and after meal enjoyment.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
This delightfully pleasant plum wine has a rich a fruity bouquet that entices you to sit down and spend some valuable sipping time enjoying both the aromatic and flavorful notes. This medium bodied sweet wine is smooth and fruit forward, with bold, bright fruit flavors springing forward on the palate quite nicely. It tastes just as good chilled or at room temperature. Even the sweet fruit wine skeptic should find this an enjoyable option.