Friday, January 20, 2017

Apple Mead - NV; Maydelle Country Wines; Rusk, Texas

This is a very good combination of mead and apples. To use the classic wine terminology, it is well balanced!  You can discern that this is a honey wine yet that flavor does not overpower the apples.  The wine has a pleasant sweetness to it that’s not too syrupy sweet, so it is very easy to drink and enjoy.   Try pairing this with some homemade apple pie or various cheeses!  It’s also quite nice to sip and enjoy on its own.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

El Gaucho Winery – Spicewood, Texas

Argentina has come to Texas!  Did someone say Malbec, Malbec, and more Malbec?  This place is ground zero for the Malbec lovers.  Owners Bennett Sewell and Eugenia planted their winery roots on this property back in 2014 and opened their winery in 2015.  Bennett spent several years in the Mendoza region of Argentina and absorbed all things that made wine great there.  Eugenia is an established sommelier from Argentina and she knows her stuff!  The couple has two vineyards in the Mendoza region on the east side of the Andes.  The dry climate plus the meticulous viticulture practices only leads to some great tasting red wines from the region.  There are three tasting flights to choose from.  The first one, which are the lightest wine options available, includes whites with a Torrontes!  The second fight is the Estado Natura Malbecs and the third flight are the Reserve wines.  The Grand Reserva is also available and represent the quality work being done by this winery.  The 2010 Malbec Reserva has a nice smokiness that you like to savor in a rich red wine.  The 2013 Malbec Reserva has a good nuttiness.  Their 2014 Cabernet Reserva is not for the light hearted.  It’s a well-rounded mouth feel with great lasting finish that makes you realize why this varietal has a second home in Argentina.  Do try the 50/50 Malbec/Cab blend and be enticed by its spices and clove notes.  If you really want to taste the lands of the Andes, try the Estado Natura 2013 Malbec.  It’s has a pleasant earthiness that you expect and desire from these vineyards.  If available, ask to sample the 2009 Grand Reserva Malbec!  This wine has been aged for about two years, with some barrels set aside for an extra year.  The quality and texture of this wine is unbelievable! Everything that is in a good quality Malbec is exemplified in this wine.  They have not made this one since 2009, simply because the fruit has yet to meet their high standards for this wine.  Several bottles of these are worth your cellar space!  All throughout the tastings, don’t be surprised if visions of meat pairings start coming to mind. Do take the winding road off HWY 71 on your next wine trek and drive up the hill to this destination.  The surrounding views are spectacular, there is a lovely outdoor courtyard to enjoy, and the tasting room is very cozy and swanky with beautiful wooden tables and Argentinian décor, making you feel very comfortable as you enjoy the wine and great hospitality!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

“Denomina” Red Blend – 2012; Vinovium Winery; Johnson City, Texas

This red wine is why Montsant, Spain highlights the rich and deep textures of bold red wine.  Former Becker winemaker, Russel Smith, mastered this delicious blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Carignan.  It’s deep berry red color entices curiosity and interest. Breath in those intense floral aromas to help warm up your wine senses.  Next, savor the delicious flavors of raspberry and cherries.  It is quite nice on the palate with medium tannins and a light finish.  Repeat again, with a nice slow cooked ribeye for pairing and you’ll enjoy the wine even more!  We’ll definitely be bringing back our growler for more refills of this one!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

AR-3 – NV; Locations Wines; Argentina

This location series wines gives you a selection of some varietals that do well in Argentina.   This very opaque red blend is a mix of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat.  It is quite hot at first, but after letting it sit for an hour, it begins to open up a bit. You’ll pick up some aromas of chocolate at first.  Take another swirl and a sip or two and let the taste buds soak up some of that dark berry flavor.  There is some licorice intertwine in there along with a touch of vanilla.  End off with some sage aftertaste and you will have had the nice experience that has been waiting to escape the bottle just for you.  Pour another glass and let it sit longer for another comparison.  Being from Argentina, you’ll definitely want to find your mass stash of protein to pair with this one.  This wine will only get better with added bottle aging. We recommend you store and enjoy in 6 months to a year later. Cheers!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Colección de Parcelas – 2014; Bodegas y Viñedos Las Nubes; Baja Califonia, Mexico

Another fine wine from Mexico!  This rich red blend represents great quality from the Valle de Guadalupe wine region.  We received multiple insights regarding what the exact blend is, but the most reliable so far says 10% Tempranillo, 60% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 10% Sryah.  It’s a nice dry bold fruit wine with excellent tannins.  The color is red to violet with notes of prunes and caramel initially followed by some smokiness to compliment the sensory experience.  There is also a bit of minerality to add to the tasting notes, which is pleasantly unique to this terroir.  On the finish, this one is nice and smooth leaving you longing for more!  This fresh and balanced red wine is a keeper  so it's worth stocking up a few bottles and saving a few to sip later. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Andreucci Wines – Fredericksburg, Texas

Italy has come to Texas!  And we’re talking about a very long established winery from Italy that has now set its sights on making a mark in the Texas Hill Country.  If you’ve ever wondered what the bar is set to for fine Italian style wine, then this is it.  Many frequent Hill Country wine travelers may have noticed construction of Andreucii Wines along HWY 290 for the last couple for years.  That is a venture between Italian winemaker Flavio Andreucci and Bill Sutherland who both have a strong passion to bring fine Italian wine making styles to Texas.  The Andreucci family have been well established at making wines and tending vineyards since the 1790s in the Tuscany region of Italy.  Their vineyard foundations started in Montefollonico.  The Andruecii goal of the vineyard along HWY 290 is to produce the same fine Tuscany style wines using classic Italian wine making techniques while using Texas grapes.  A worthwhile effort, indeed!  The Hill County vineyard has Sangiovese, Merlot, and Primitivo planted for that future endeavor. Until those fine wines come from that vineyard, you can enjoy some fantastic fine Italian wines at their tasting room in Fredericksburg.  They have several wines available for tasting of which you get to choose five.   The black label wines are the premium tasting, well worth the extra fee to sample.  For the whites, we first tried the 2015 Donna Alma. This Pinot Grigio wine has distinctive citrus notes to this dry and smooth white.  Next, was the 2014 Montepulciano.  This deeply hued ruby red wine has some intense cherry aromas and strong to moderate tannins that linger on the palate.  The Cabernet Black label is a bold Cab Franc with an excellent balance between acidity and tannins, making it one of the finer Cab Francs we’ve tasted.  The 2014 Regale Black Label is a classic Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot that has intense tobacco and smoke for those who find rich reds enticing.  By far and away, the 2008 Brunello is worth your stop!  Made from 100% Sangiovese, it harnesses rich plum flavors with long lasting tannins. There is something to be said for this 36-month aged sexy red.  It sets the bar for a Sangiovese wine!  To finish your tasting, try their Prosecco which is dry and delightful with lasting bubbles to cleans your palate.  You can reminisce on this fantastic tasting experience as you rejoice that these folks plan to be around for many years, with an increased selection of both Italian and Texas made wines planned. Andreucci has really set the bar high for quality wine tasting in the Texas Hill Country.  It’s a great place for you to relax and enjoy the rustic lounge area flanked with racks of lovely bottles of wine along the wall! Saluti!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pinnelli – 2010; Bernhardt Winery; Plantersville, Texas

This blend of Pinot Grigio and Muscat Canelli is to die for.  The deep golden color of this aged white has held up nicely over the years. Entice yourself with the pear and citrus aromas for a few swirls and sniffs.  The soft texture of the first taste is quite lovely.  You can’t help but want another sip of this very easy to drink white. Serve chilled with your best cheese and you’ll have a lovely evening with your sweetie!