Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cranberry Honeywine – Rohan Meadery; La Grange, Texas

It’s floral….it’s cranberry…and it’s wonderful!  This mead is a great flavored mead that will help change doubters to mead loving drinkers! It is lightly sweet with a smidge of tartness. This particular mead doesn’t come across as syrupy sweet, but more like a drinkable light sweet fruity wine.  The cranberry flavor adds a lovely berry compliment to the honeywine enhancing the depth and overall tasting experience. This one makes a good dessert wine that we strongly suggest during the holidays and winter months when cranberry factors into so many different meals.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012; William & Chris Wines; Hye, Texas

Sourced from Lepard Vineyard in the Texas High Plains, this is truly one of those cabernets that shows that Texas can and does make some really great reds.  Given the right soil conditions, climate, and the right winemaker, these raw Texas grapes of promise really do transform into some great wine.  Go ahead and enjoy the aromatic bouquet after opening the bottle. You’ll likely do this repeatedly as it breathes, but that’s ok.  It’s all part of the experience that true wine geeks understand.  Feel free to decant or aerate before serving.  Before trying it though we encourage you to study it and admire the  deep garnet color.  Stunning, isn’t it? When you breathe in the initial aroma from the glass, you’ll definitely notice a hint of raspberry. Take those initial sips and you’ll begin to taste both berry and nut flavors.  Quite good, right?  Having good acidity and a nice finish is just icing on the cake.  Being the smart red wine drinker, you’ll recognize that this will pair nicely with your favorite grilled steak.  This wine is one of those that you'll want to stock up on so you can try a bottle annually ….or maybe every six months to see how it continues to age and unfold, because you just like it that much!  It will be interesting to compare notes over time to see how things change with age, and how much more the love continues to grow for this one. Special cheers for this bottle and pour me some more!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lewis Wines – Johnson City, Texas

All it sometimes takes is some young guys with big ideas, passion, and hard work and presto….you have a great winery making some really good wine and establishing a name for itself!  This small winery located just west of Johnson City is putting out a good array of wines that are 100% Texas hand crafted wines. Bottom line, you really, really, need to check out the wines from these guys!  Owners Doug Lewis and Duncan McNabb (Pedernales Cellars “graduates”)  started making their own wine label in 2010 and opened for tasting by appointment a couple of years ago.  They have a local estate vineyard of about seven acres recently planted this year with focus on Portuguese varietals like Tannat and Touragi and others.  They also source grapes from a vineyard near Round Mountain as well as the Texas High Plains.  Let’s start with the whites.  The first on the list is Swim Spot (2013).  Made from a blend of Blanc du Bois (73%) and Chenin Blanc (27%),  it’s quite refreshing for those final days of Texas summer in November!  The other white, 2012 Texas White Wine, is a blend of Viognier (52%) and Chenin Blanc (48%).  It encompasses the best qualities of both varietals.  The 2013 Chenin Blanc is made from grapes from Mesa Verde and is quite nice, as well.  Their 2013 Rose from Mourvedre is a hint of soft pale pink that could pass as an adult refreshing summer time beverage....think softer than pink lemonade shade. The 2011 Texas Red Wine is a blend of primarily Mourvedre and Tempranillo along with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.   It has a lovely lingering finish that's best described as "wow"!  The 2011 Merlot has its grapes sourced from Granite Hill Vineyards.  Yep, the same grapes you may have had from William and Chris and Compass Rose’s Merlot version.  Lewis Wines has kept the high standard from this vintage and vineyard and made their own great Merlot, as well.  So store these Merlot bottles in your private stash!  The Parr Tempranillo, sourced from Parr Vineyards in Mason County, is to die for.  Only 198 cases produced of this one so get some while the gettin' is good, as they are sure to be gone soon.  Lewis wines has done quite well with the Tempranillo grape that has helped put Texas on the world wine map.  But the best is for last!   The 2011 Newsom Reserve is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Cabernet Franc (31%) and Malbec (13%).  It’s a twist on their own Bordeaux style wines that packs some pleasure for the true red wine aficionado.  It just damn good… what else needs to be said!  It just has one of those beautiful finishes that lasts and lasts and a great bouquet. It makes you crave for more!  Lewis Wines shows great promise in contributing quality Texas Hill Country wines to the growing list.  So, come visit, chat, and enjoy their own piece of Texas Hill Country setting with some of their wine! You will not be disappointed. Cheers and well done!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Blanc du Bosque – 2006; Red Caboose Winery; Meridian, Texas

This semi-sweet Blanc du Bois wine is delightfully pleasing for an afternoon treat.  You’ll note berries and fruit aromas enticing your taste buds.  Given it's age, this wine was still quite flavorful and delicious. We noted hints of banana and floral flavors as the dominant tasting notes. Surprisingly, this old white wine maintained its flavor even after being opened for an hour.  It’s always cool to gaze at the deep colors of aged whites and marvel in its physical beauty.  Served chilled with a light meal, snack or on its own.  It’s good either way.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Touriga Nacional, Round Mountain Vineyard Reserve – 2011; Lewis Wines; Johnson City, Texas

These special superb wine releases are always fun to blog about.  This is one of those wines that you will say 'I love you' to.  Yes you will without any doubt!  Don’t feel embarrassed to hold this bottle up to your cheeks and give it a good wine kiss, because you really will love it that well.  Let’s start off with the bottle. The glass is not your typical wine bottle and is more like those heavier ones used for champagnes. It's also very well tinted – a good sign that behind the scenes someone wanted the right kind of bottle and also knew this wine is going to be made to age.  After you initially open the bottle, feel free to be a wine geek and smell the wonderful floral aromas every few minutes as it breaths.  It’s what you do, because you love this wine. The aroma is….beyond pleasant, so just keep breathing in and out for a while as the bouquet continues to unfold. Once you’re ready to taste, make sure you have that high end wine glass.  After all, quality wine in a quality wine bottle deserves a quality wine glass!  The taste…."Magnifique!" With this wine, there will be no doubt if you are taste blind, that this is something special.  You’ll notice some good berry and peppery flavors along with its dry and nice finish.  You'll be enticed by the deep purple color as it stimulates your visual senses. So, feel free to gaze in the glass and hold the wine to the light as you inspect the color and the edges where it meets the glass and enjoy every swirl.  You can tell that great care and respect has been bestowed not only upon the vines, but the grapes and wine making process.  Everything has perfectly come together in this wine.  It should age well for the next several years.  We look forward to a future posting on our second bottle in whatever the latest Internet social media fad form will be the norm for those future days.  So, pour yourself a nice big glass and have with a big meal.  Everything on your plate will taste good with this one!  Have a third bottle?  It’s ok if you put that one in your will to have it buried with you because you really do love it that much.  By then, friends and family will understand your wine obsession as well as toasting your long lived life with some of your other favorite wines. Double Cheers!!