Friday, May 22, 2015

Blanc du Bois – NV; Pleasant Hill Winery; Brenham, Texas

This is nice semi-sweet white wine to help you ease into the warmer days ahead.  The nose on this one is aromatic with hints of pear, apricot and grapefruit that likewise dance across the tongue. The wine has a balanced acidity for a Blanc du Bois and appears to have a little higher alcohol content.  If you like semi-sweet Rieslings or Muscats, then you should enjoy this one.  Served chilled, this wine pairs nicely with spicy foods and vegetarian dishes.  This is a good one for enjoying with a meal on the patio with friends and loved ones.  Pop open a bottle and enjoy the wildflowers!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Merry Texmas – NV; Dancing Bee Winery; Rogers, Texas

This seasonal mead is a nice sweet treat that doesn’t necessarily require a holiday for you to uncork it to enjoy.  Made from cranberry, orange, and honey, you get the best of berry, citrus and rich honey favors all melded into one unique mead.  It has a nice floral scent that compliments its sweetness.  This one makes a nice treat after meals, or can be used for example over ice cream for a little extra kick to your regular vanilla treat.  Why?  Because you crave to do it!  Sip well, mead friends.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Moravia Vineyard & Winery – Schulenburg, Texas

Next time you’re zooming down I-10 in Texas between Houston and San Antonio, take a country road side trip off of Schulenburg and check out this wine jewel tucked away in the countryside. Owner Luca Suschitz has been operating this place for the past three years.  The inside tasting room d├ęcor is fantastic.  It has that old world brick style on the inside with open spaces and high ceilings. Take a seat at one of the tables or the comfy sofas to enjoy your tasting session.  You’ll definitely be in for a special treat. Not only will you be sampling some very good Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish wines, but you’ll also have some outstanding samples of quality cheeses, salami, grapes, bread, and some awesome olive oil as part of your wine pairing experience.  On the estate, Luca grows Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish using organic methods.  Sampling the 2013 and 2014 dry Blanc du Bois is like night and day.  They are both quite good, but the notes and textures and surprisingly different.  You might be astonished at the pleasant hints of buttery notes from the 2013 vintage compared to the 2014 which is more citrusy with grapefruit notes as well as crisp texture. The 2013 and 2014 Lenoirs (Lenoir Cervene) are both very good and could rival and traditional dry red wine.  The 2013 is quite mature with deep long lasting finishes.  The 2014 is a bit dryer and excellent as well.  You might compare the 2014 Lenoir as the younger brother of the 2013 vintage.  Both vintages have some merlot blended in to round out and compliment the Black Spanish grapes.  The Moravia Rose is a sweet version of the Lenoir that when chilled is quite delicious.  Something quite unique are the imported Czech wines from the Moravia region that can also be sampled and bought at the winery. The Sauvignon Blanc (2011) and Riesling (2013) have much of the quality flavors you expect from old world wines.  It’s a good selection to help calibrate your white wine senses.  Luca also has a few wines made from west coast grapes available to provide additional depth to the wine selection offered.  After you’re tasting has concluded, you can stay in linger in the tasting room over a glass of your favorite wine, or enjoy a complimentary coffee or tea.  Now how is that for a host! In addition to the wines, the olive oil you sampled with your tasting is also available and has been imported from Italy. We recommend not leaving without a bottle or two. The oil is made with great quality olives from Italy and tasting them helps you appreciate how lovely really great olive oil is! Take your time when you’re in the moment and enjoy what's inside the tasting room, as much as the quaint, relaxing and quiet beauty of the country estate winery. This is truly a little piece of heaven that should be visited!  There is no rush and the owner and his staff will make you feel welcomed and happy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Moon Shadow - NV; Homestead Winery; Ivanhoe, Texas

This is a very nice and delicate semi-sweet Riesling wine.  The bouquet presents hints of pear and sweet floral blossoms as you enjoy the initial sensory experience of your first glass. You may also recognize peach and honey notes as you take your initial sip. The wine is a nice smooth, light wine, with a beautiful lingering finish. It's quite pleasant when chilled and pairs well with salads, fish, chicken, milder cheeses, or on its own.  This is a very versatile white wine, and a wonderful sipping wine to enjoy with friends.  Nothing but smiles on your lips after sipping this one.  Definitely a delightful white wine to enjoy while relishing the splendors of Spring! Enjoy and be merry!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Pinot Noir – 2005; Santa Maria Cellars; Fredericksburg, Texas

As you can tell from the cork in the picture, this is going to be a very good and well aged red wine!  Just look at that dark black side of the cork for a while in anticipation of sipping.  Kind of gets your taste buds worked up, doesn’t it?  No leaks or crumbly cork is a good sign, too. This Pinot Noir has a rich ruby hue and has a slightly sweet note, without being a sweet wine.  Your palate initially notices the fruity berry notes, with hints of blackberry and cherry in this well rounded, medium bodied wine. This is not too dry, and has a nice finish without harsh tannins. This Pinot Noir makes a nice accompaniment to bold meat dishes like lamb, wild boar, and hearty steaks and Italian dishes. We were pleased with the quality of the wine after 10 years and recommend you pick up a bottle to enjoy yourselves!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Paulo – 2002; Messina Hof Winery; Bryan, Texas

These premium red wines from Messina Hof are always a pleasure to open and enjoy.  The brand name alone sets the stage with a great reputation that you’re about to sip something really, really good.  This Bordeaux style red wine is a testament to the quality wines that are produced by this award winning winery. Even after fifteen years on the shelf, it’s still smooth enough to drink for any occasion.  After about twenty minutes, it really begins to open up and unfold the character, depth and intensity of the flavors you’ve been expecting.  It’s quite delightfully strong on the berry notes, with hints of chocolate and cherries too. While enjoying the glass of wine, you might also be taking notes on the cork.  It has some very impressive and detailed artwork unlike most other corks.  It’s definitely a souvenir for your cork collection!  Pour a second glass of this vintage as you toast to your wine sipping partner because once you uncork a lovely aged wine such as this one, you will want to enjoy the whole bottle!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lost Draw Cellars – Fredericksburg, Texas

Located in the Texas High Plains, Lost Draw Vineyards has done their best at contributing to the Texas wine industry by producing some great grapes.  Many Texas winemakers can thank Lost Draw Vineyards for producing some top quality grapes for any number of wines produced by state wineries. Wine lovers know full well that good wine starts with good grapes….no ifs, ands or buts.  In Fredericksburg, you can now find their tasting room, Lost Draw Cellars - a collaboration of partners Troy Ottmers, Andrew Sides, and Andy Timmons.  Kim McPherson is also helping out with their initial wine making.  At the Fredericksburg tasting room (opened last Nov 21st) you’ll be able to taste many of their quality wines.  The late freeze of 2013 was a detriment to many Texas high plains vineyards.  As a result, not all 2013 Texas vintages will be sourced from Texas grapes as wineries supplemented much of their grapes from New Mexico, California, and Washington.  Lost Draw Vineyards has since installed a wind machine to help combat late freezes and proved its worth during an April 2014 freeze.  Currently, there are eight wines for tasting.  For whites, start with the 2013 Arroyo Blanco.  It’s a blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne that has good character and quite smooth.  Next, try the Gemutlichkeit.  It's blended with Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Roussanne that comes across as crisp and dry.  The other white is a Gew├╝rztraminer. It’s a really good one to sip and swirl on a lazy afternoon. End off the white list with their very nice and refreshing French Colombard.   Now on to the reds!  The Arroyo Rojo is a Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan blend with a touch of Viognier.  It's a good enjoyable mellow red wine.  Their Tempranillo is a great one that lives up to the Texas reputation as Tempranillo country. It has good aroma, color, and quite fruit forward.   Lastly, you’ll savor the Sangiovese red wine.  This one is the star of the show!  Made from 40 year old vines (yes 40 year old Texas vines), it just has that quality taste and finish you’d expect from old world wines.  Sadly, we heard that Lost Draw will be pulling up these old vines, so this is likely one of the last vintages for their old Sangiovese grape vines.  The Arroyo Blush is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault that is a bit sweet and refreshing when chilled with some tangerine like notes.  It’s always great to visit a winery when they first open.  The staff here are warm and welcoming and will treat you wonderfully. Troy can be found at the tasting room and is a good friendly guy to chat with, too.  So come check them out when you’re in town and enjoy Fredericksburg's newest winery and tasting room as we don't think you'll be disappointed!