Friday, July 18, 2014

The Austin Winery – Austin, Texas

Yes, Austin folks!  There is a quality winery in the state’s capital city that’s worth your sipping time.  Having just opened up over a month ago, this very small urban winery has the potential to be a big hit in the Austin scene.  The three young entrepreneurs Cooper Anderson, Matthew Smith and Ross McLauchlan have started with an initial small batch of wines sourced from various west coast and Texas terroirs.  Everything in a wine that a good wine fan expects is here in the lineup, from crisp whites to deep bold reds.  Current wines available for tasting are made from grapes chiefly sourced from California.  The Sauvignon Blanc from Lodi is a very nice crisp dry white that you’ll enjoy.  The Russian River Valley Chardonnay puts the “B” in buttery flavor and despite its long oak aging, it’s not an “oak wine”.  The three Pinot Noirs from different areas provide the opportunity to sample the influence and subtle variations of various west coast terroir on a single varietal.  The Pinot Noir from Sonoma County comes across quite fruity like a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is quite bold and favorable.  Finally, the Santa Lucia Pinot Noir is just plain awesome.  Who knew one could enjoy such quality and variety of notes of Pinot Noirs in one sitting at the same winery.  But don’t stop there! Their Violent Crown is a Grenache/Syrah blend(80/20) that puts the “w” in wow.  Sadly, the source for the Grenache in this vintage is no longer available, so keep a few of these around and enjoy over time.  Lastly, you’ll get to sip the tasty old vine Zinfandel from Shenandoah Valley.  Stay tuned to this blog channel and we’ll be able to go more in depth on each wine in the future.  At the time of this visit, the Texas wines weren’t ready to be bottled, but should be soon.  Do take note of the unique art work with the labels.  They help tell a story with each wine.  These label art work are worth framing and displaying in your post-opened bottle room.  They are currently open on Saturdays as well as by appointment.  Give this new local winery a tour on your next wine adventure. It’s a cool place to visit, along with Austin!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Merlot - 2011; Compass Rose Cellars; Hye, Texas

It's always a pleasure to feature an early startup winery's work.  One gets to see how the wine maker's first style of vision is.  This first release from the "year of hell" (a.k.a. Texas 2011 drought) has yielded some of the best fruit for the state of Texas.  First impressions really are a big deal in the industry and this wine will put a big smile on your  mouth via your taste buds!  By no means is this your stereotypical "mellow" Merlot.  While the aroma and flavor are similar, it is a bit more dry with some stronger tannins than most, yet, it is still light bodied.  It also has hints of  dark cherry and vanilla.  The slight acidity pairs nicely with heavier meals like an Italian sausage dish.  Be careful though, you may finish the whole bottle in one sitting! No worries, when we tasted them we were wise to by a few extra bottles, and you should too.  Keep a few of these bottles around and try them out over the years at your favorite Texas Hill Country spot with friends and family and enjoy the richness of both the Texas scenery and the lovely wine from this region.  Cheers!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cider Dessert Wine – NV; Sandstone Cellars; Mason, Texas

You’re in for a treat and for quite a punch with this dessert wine.  This is a light sweet wine with apples and cinnamon to delight your palate’s senses.  It also has a herbal bouquet much like a mead.   Secondly, the fortified cider will pack quite a port like punch to the first time sipper.  So be prepared and don’t plan on going anywhere after having a glass or two of this one as it is made to enjoy and help impart a relaxing mood.  The light amber color provides a nice backdrop to the label's artwork as well.  This a nice dessert wine to pass the eve after a crazy work day.  Helps put your spirits at ease and settles you down to refocus on enjoying the wine of the moment. Cheers!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pinot Grigio - 2006; Flat Creek Estate; Marble Falls, Texas

This one has held up quite well over the years.  It's mature color is quite noticeable with a lovely straw hue. The fragrances are still good and pleasant.  The wine still has a nice medium body with a bit more minerality than expected, but it is grown in Texas and there are definite terroir variations that lend themselves to some nice mineral notes in whites.  It's still quite enjoyable and refreshing when chilled.  The wine pairs nicely with tapas, snacks, picnics, a light meal, or even on its own as you enjoy a lovely sunset at the end of the day. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Colorado River Winery – Bastrop, Texas

The historic downtown Bastrop area provides an ideal location for one of the newest wineries to open in Texas.  December 21st, 2013 was the opening day for owners Brad and Sylvia Cook.  Apparently, it’s been a dream of Brad’s to have a winery since his young wine making days.  Now he gets to "retire" and do what he loves.  The long slender tasting room has Tuscany style d├ęcor with a relaxed, cozy and welcoming atmosphere making you feel at home. The winery offers a selection of wine related gift and gourmet food items, along with a selection of jewelry. Wine making is done on the premises.  You may get a scent of CO2 in the air as part of the experience.  That’s just to get your brain ready for some good wine tasting!  They get their juices primarily from California and Washington, though their Tempranillo is Texas sourced.  There are currently eight wines available for tasting. The unoaked Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are quite refreshing as the temperatures outside begin to heat up. The sweet white is a Riesling blend that is bright, clean and quite good. The Sweet Blush with hints of raspberry, tastes great chilled.  For the reds, the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines are soft enough on the palate for most to enjoy.  Their best dry red is the Tempranillo.  The top seller by far though has been something that was just supposed to be a seasonal variety for the holidays, their Seasonal Bliss. The Seasonal Bliss has just a hint of cranberry and sweetness married in this good medium bodied wine to create a great “bliss” to cap off your tasting session.  This is a great spot to bring your friends to swirl and chill.  Have fun, stay a while and enjoy the wines, staff and the comfortable tasting room. We think you'll enjoy the visit! Cheers!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sandstone Cellars II - 2005: Sandstone Cellars; Mason, County

This well aged red wine is super delightful treat for your honey.  It is a Touriga/Mouvedre/Syrah blend with a little bit of five other grapes which are all sourced from Mason County.  There is that strong aromatic scent that only enhances your anticipated tasting experience.  The wine is a good dry deep red, with peppery notes  in the middle, and a long smoky finish at the end.  It's very well balanced from beginning to end.  It also has managed to retain its deep red color for its age.  The quality of the wine has held up very well over the years and could have easily lasted a little longer in the cellar. We were very happy to enjoy this one recently and note how well it tasted for its age as well as how well it aged. WOTM fans will be very pleased with this one! This was fabulous with a rich Italian dinner and would likewise pair nicely with steaks. Cheers!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Dank Lights Out - 2012; Fly Gap Winery; Mason, Texas

The Black light illumination of the label is a great eye catcher and it gives a whole new meaning to artistry in wine label designs.  The craftsmanship of the wine is as equally impressive for this newer winery.  The Syrah/Mourvedre blend (71/29) is just delicious!  No fancy terms are needed to describe this wine.  It just has that great overall mouth feel of a good quality wine, with medium body, some acidity and a nice slightly oaked taste to this dry red. Though the oaked "woodsy" taste comes through initially when you sip this wine, when paired with food those notes fade as the wine pairs nicely with a wide variety of dishes. This wine also has the potential to age well over the next few years.  Stay tuned to this wine channel when we open that second some point in the future! Fly Gap has hit a home run right out of the box, so we're looking forward to more great offerings from this winery in years to come.