Friday, February 27, 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon – 2001; Foppiano Vineyards; Healdsburg, California

Red wine lovers always feel blessed when they have a well aged Cabernet Sauvignon.  Mr. Time has treated this one well!  This wine is actually a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Cabernet Franc.  Grapes sourced from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma can be like precious jewels to fans.  So, take your time and savor every sip of this bottle of wine.  Swirl your glass and just breathe in and enjoy the aroma of the cedar and vanilla bouquet that you’ll notice in this deeply colored wine.  It is quite dry, so be prepared as you enjoy the blackberry and cherry notes before the tannins round out the final flavor profile of this well aged cabernet.   Have a second glass and enjoy all over again!  This is a great full-bodied wine that reminds you what good red wine experiences are all about when the right grapes and the right year and the right oak barrel all come together! Cheers!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tamara – 2013; Perissos Vineyards; Burnet, Texas

Just say…mmm….mmm…good! This is one of those special little known wines you find that you’ll be savoring every moment…and then some.  This wine is a special craft of 85% Tempranillo from Tamara Dees’ Vineyard and 15% Sirah from Perissos Vineyards.  Take notice of the purple tint of this deep dark red wine.  It’s one of those eye catchers that you’ll love to gaze at.  Upon opening the bottle, enjoying the aroma and bouquet is 110% of the experience.  Take notice of the unique fruity and cedar aromas. It’s quite enticing to the taste buds.  Sip a little, then take a bigger sip as you savor the wonderful medley of flavors this red blend has to offer.  You’ll notice notes of coffee and tobacco along with a nice soft finish on the tannins. Yum!  This is just one of those all round well balanced smooth reds that makes life worth living.  Definitely grab a couple of glasses to share this one with someone you love.  This specially crafted wine pairs nicely with pork and beef dishes and can equally stand on its own as an outstanding wine to help soothe the stresses of the day. A lovely inaugural release with grapes from this little vineyard in Central Texas that should be enjoyed!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Autunno – 2003; Becker Vineyards; Stonewall,Texas

Sometimes what was not intended...turns out to be just fine. This 12 year old bottle of Texas red wine may not have intended to start on this long journey and sit unopened for so long, but fate has turned out well for this one. This “Super Tuscan” blend of Sangiovese and Merlot (50/50) proved it could stand the test of time and still demonstrate its character in spite of its age. The bouquet was still nice and allowing the wine to breathe a bit really helped bring the vintage to life. It puts a nice “t” in tertiary aromas. Examining the wine in the glass to discern the color and note any separation, you may convince yourself that the color is fading, but honestly, little color separation was detected. You’ll swear that the taste continues to evolve with each taste, but not unexpected for a wine of this age. You’ll note some spice flavors consistently present throughout each sip. We realize the magical flavors fade quickly once a bottle of this age is opened and understand the need to fully enjoy it the day it is uncorked. Doubt there are too many of these bottles still lingering unopened, but if you find you have one, it does pair nicely with Italian dishes. As always, the artwork on the label is also worth saving with a lovely scene of Lake Austin in the Fall. Enjoyed this one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fly Gap Winery – Mason, Texas

It’s always a great opportunity to check out an up and coming winery during its early starting period.  One gets to see “how it all began” and listen to the owner’s dreams and visions for the future business.  This is Brock Estes dream and story unfolding in Mason County, Texas. The hometown boy started a few years ago with other wine businesses as well as interning at Sandstone Cellars under Don Pullum.  As it turns out, it was a natural fit for Brock to start his own line of wine branding along with help from Adam Nelson.  He has traveled to Portugal and studied their winemaking and grape growing techniques including vertical planting.  Most Texas Hill Country wine lovers should have at least heard of their Dank (aka the good stuff) wine brands like Vox Populi, Transition, Lights Out and Johnny Rojo (all 100% Texas fruit).  The quality of each wine release is only matched by the uniqueness of wine's label art work.  Brock & Adam have taken a stab at concrete fermentation methods in wine making as well.  This process allows a bit more control over tweaking and adjusting the wine making process than other classic methods.  Concrete fermentation is the signature method that Brock wants Fly Gap to be known for.  The current release, Mason Punch, is a 2010 vintage blend of Tempranillo and Touriga.  You’ll notice the crown on the fly on its label of this latest release which signifies the fruit coming exclusively from Mason County. You’ll definitely enjoy sipping this red wine.  It has good character and a nice pleasing finish. It pairs nicely with an afternoon cheese and meat plate yet likewise is enjoyable on its own. We look forward to a more in depth posting on this particular wine release in the future like what was posted for their Lights Out wine last May.  Brock is already working on his next future red wine which he envisions as a blend of Tempranillo/Tannat.  We’re sure that will be a great one to look forward to!  Work continues to progress on the tasting room and fermentation room in Mason.  It will be exciting to compare the before and after progress on another future visit.  Talking with Brock, he does have many great ideas, dreams and visions for what kind of wine he likes to see coming out of Mason County.  He definitely has a strong passion and believes in what he’s doing.  Texas needs more young wine innovators like Brock and Adam.  Visions like theirs are an assurance that millennials will catch on to the future of winemaking.  So take the plunge off of HWY 29 and head down the dirt road and check this place out sometime.  It's a cool winery worth your sipping time!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Riesling - NV; Bernardo Winery; San Diego, California

Looking for a pleasant wine for a pleasant evening?  Check this one out sometime.  This lovely white Riesling has a tad bit of honey like sweetness that compliments its citrus notes. Initially, the aroma of apricot presents itself after pouring a glass. Visually, the deep golden hue will capture your attention in mesmerizing fashion.  This a good wine for just about any occasion and holds true to one of southern California's oldest wineries. It pairs nicely with any course, and also stands on its own to be enjoyed with pure pleasure. Simply delicious on one of those not quite Spring yet unusually warm winter days. Cheers!

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!