Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Texacaia - 2010; Alamosa Wine Cellars; Bend, Texas

This delicious red wine treat is a blend of Sangiovese (64%), Tannat (25%), Petite Verdot (11%).   You'll pick up the lovely garnet color on the rim of the glass as you hold it up to the light.  Beautiful, isn't it?  Next, you'll indulged in aroma of plums mixed with a bit of leather.  That's just the prelude to the rich minerality with a hint of earthiness to follow.  Some pepper notes may initially greet you, but wait until you experience the full mouth swirl.  There are no misses on these moderate tannins as you experience the full dry textured feel across your palate.  This is a great example of a single vineyard blend from Alamosa's estate vineyard. You taste the richness in their style of wines and recognize what can be achieved in Texas vineyards.  This wonderful bottle pairs well with game and beef dishes. Viva la Texacaia !

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lost Maples Winery – Vanderpool, Texas

You’re in for a real treat when you come to visit this place both in scenery and wines.  Bandera County is definitely one of the best places along the southern part of the Hill Country to swim and camp.  Now, you have a great winery to add to your get-a-way adventures.  Owners Tom and Glenda Slaughter starting growing grapes on the family land back in 2005/2006.  Their Polvadeau Vineyards stakes its claim as the first commercial vineyard in Bandera County.  Glenda’s family has been here for 175+ years and she is staying true to loving and tending the land.  Their 12 acre estate currently has about 2000 vines of Black Spanish grapes planted.   One look at the vines and you don’t need to be an expert to tell that they take good care of their plants.  That care and love for the land is also reflected in the wine that they make.  All wines are made at their estate facility.  They opened back in January 2015.  Currently, there are five wines to try out.  The 2013 Polvadeau Vin Blanc is a Sauvignon Blanc based wine which is quite crisp with bold citrus flavors.  The 2013 Polvadeau Vin Symphonique is made with the symphony grape.  Sourced from California, this hybrid grape is highly aromatic.  It has a sweet sense at first, but then quickly dissipates and leaves a refreshing feel on the palate.  The 2013 Lenoir (Polvadeau Vin Rouge) was oaked for two years. It is quite nice with good flavors and smooth finish.  Who knew a Lenoir could have this kind of quality taste!  The 2014 Polvadeau L’Inspiration is a blend of 80% Lenoir and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, which has a surprising Pinot Noir like taste. Lastly, the 2014 Polvadeau du Dieu is their Lenoir dessert wine. Fortified with cognac, this fortified wine at 18% alcohol is sure to be a nice pairing for your favorite dark chocolate.  We also got to taste their 60/40 Petite Sirah/Lenoir blend (Polvadeu Vin Rouge XL) which is expected to be released shortly.   The Slaughters have really hit the mark on this last wine and it's sure to be a top selling Lenoir blend .  If you want to taste what quality Lenoir wine is, then do come here. Plus, there’s nothing like checking out a brand new facility!   As it turns out, Tom was also a musician with Mickey Gilley back in the days.  Gilley’s will be re-opening again and will be featuring Lost Maples bottled wines.  What a way to come back with a Texas twist!  Tom and Glenda are really nice people and will take great care of you when you stop in to visit. They are very friendly and warm hosts with some fun tales to tell we're certain! Feel free to take your time and enjoy the fantastic surrounding scenery as it is a delightful drive on some of the most beautiful roads in Texas.  They are also conveniently located very close to the entrance of the Lost Maples park, so you might want to plan an extended outing to visit both as you enjoy getting lost in this little piece of mountainous paradise.  Have fun and enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jacques Lapin - 2013; Alamosa Wince Cellars; Bend, Texas

This is a 100% estate grown Verdelho varietal. This dry white wine initially greets you as crisp and light.  After opening and pouring your fist glass, you'll note the pleasant pear and passion fruit aromas on the nose.  With the first few sips, you'll definitely distinguish some lemony notes along with some slight soft oak. What better way to wrap up a hot summer week than a bottle of this and your favorite cheese and crackers.  This wine seems quite versatile and could easily pair with many lovely summer foods.  It equally stands alone as a great wine to share with friends and family when the temperatures get hotter outside and something crisp and refreshing is required. This could be the new standard for Texas seafood and white wine pairing. Enjoy and savor every sip!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Radiance - 2007; Rancho Ponte; Fredericksburg, Texas

It's always nice to pour a good old white wine that has aged well.  The deep golden yellow color is always a pleasure to gaze at as one sizes up the vino before sipping.  Radiance is a slightly sweet Riesling made by Rancho Ponte.  It was one of their first wines released when they first opened. While you're lost in the depths of this wine's color, you're nose will detect the unmistakable citrus aromas in the glass. There are also honeydew notes as well.  Take a few sips and the melon and pear flavors unfold.  After sipping and smelling, you'll enjoy how the fruit notes lend themselves to a fruit salad like feel.  It's good served chilled, enjoyed both by itself as a great wine for warm summer days and likewise pairs nicely with your lighter summer dishes like salads and pastas.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rosato di Sangiovese - 2013; Alamosa Wine Cellars; Bend, Texas

You are definitely in for a wonderful treat!  This a very clean dry Rose' that just tantalizes your entire tongue as you sip and savor this one. With pleasant bright cherry notes with a hint of berry sweetness that enliven your taste buds on the sides, front and back of your palate, you end up finding yourself craving more and more. The color is also intoxicating and a sexy raspberry rose shade. Pour a second glass just to make sure and enjoy these great sensations all over again. The acidity gods approve of this work of art as the wine has a beautiful balance. Complimenting this wine with some pork chops or cheese is a sure way to get the full Rose' deal.  Chilled, this makes a perfect treat during the hot Texas summer heat.  Cheers!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Calais Winery – Hye, Texas

Did someone say French style wine in Texas? Why is possible and this is "THE" spot for some really, really fine French style wine made in Texas from Texas grown grapes.  Plus, owner Ben Calais just happens to be from France as well!  He grew up in the French town of Calais where he learned to make wine in Bordeaux.  Many long time Texas wine fans may remember him at his first location in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas.  That is where we first visited and tasted his wines many harvest moons ago.  A quick check of our inventory and we still have a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a 2006 (yes, 2006!) La Cuvee du Commerce still aging in our cellar from those early days.  Since then, Ben has been able to acquire quality Texas grapes to make his fine wines.   Ben has been pretty much a one man show getting the land and building construction done.  His hard labor of wine love is finally coming to form.  His wine cave will bring you a unique and cool (literally) wine tasting experience as well as a country like feel.  Not every grape makes the cut for Ben’s wine making techniques and it definitely shows in the aroma and taste.  Currently, Ben's lineup includes a Rose, two whites and three reds to sip and savor. The 2014 chilled dry Rose is great for our Texas summer heat.  It’s a blend of Cinsault and Mourvedre.  You’ll definitely enjoy it's cool, dry texture. You may need at least a case to get you through this hot and muggy summer.  The 2013 and 2012 Roussanne wine from the High Plains are like night and day.  Both are uniquely good.  The 2013 harvest for Texas was a bit lean because of the late freeze.  As such, there wasn’t that much fruit, but what was available is full in flavor.  The 2012 Roussanne was aged for 30 months.  Leave it to Ben to be able to age this white varietal for this long and turn out so well.  The 2012 Sangiovese has that nice earthy unfiltered flavor that just makes your whole mouth feel satisfied.  Ben has also done a fine job on the 2012 Tempranillo.  It should age well for those who are patient with their reds.  For the 2012 Cabernet Suavignon, just put a case of this in your coffin for the afterlife.  Yes, it is that good.  Ben knows cabs!  Available for purchase is the 2011 Marrons.  After all, what is a good meal without a nice Madera to end off the night?  Add this to your wine stash.  Future estate plans do call for a vineyard to be planted.  It sounded like Ben was focused on Tannat and only Tannat.  After all, the right grapes with the right soil in the right climate is where the “Q” in quality wine starts.  Future wine releases include some single vineyard varietal wines as well as a limited Bordeaux style release.  In addition to wine, Ben also makes some great homemade bread.  Yes, he is talented in food and wine. Maybe he should have a bread shop alongside his winery!  One thing we guarantee, you won’t find a bad drop of wine here.  So, come on out and sip and chat with Ben while enjoying his great tasting wines.  It’s a great place to visit!  Cheers!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Five Year Anniversary!

Five years?  No way!  My how wine goes by when you're sipping and having fun.  Last year our wine bottle inventory count was near 600.  Now the current count nearing 800 bottles.  How did that happen? It's like great bottles of wine just like to fly into our cellar(s). Visiting great wineries is how that happened and we have enjoyed sharing another amazing year of wine and winery adventures with you.  That just means many more great wines and to share and post about in the future as well.  Not to mention the great visits and unique stories at each winery which really add to the character of each bottle, winery, and the people behind every label. Our complete wine list is on Cellertracker.  Just lookup Wine Of The Moment under people.  Take a look and see what you like.  Give us a shout if you see something you're interested in hearing more about and maybe we can feature  it on a future post.  We really enjoy trying new varietals, visiting new places, and exploring the growing industry and hope you are enjoying the ride along with us. Here's to five more years and beyond! Cheers!