Sunday, March 19, 2017

F-2 – NV; Locations Wine; France

Ooh…now this location wine is quite lovely!  This red blend of Grenache, Syrah, and some Bordeaux varietals balances out quite nicely.  Do let this crimson colored jewel breathe for about 20 minutes to release those aromatic berries and optimize the flavor profile.  It is a bit smoky at first, however it then transitions to some moderate peppery notes. After a good swirl across your palate, you’ll pick up some moderate acids followed by a nice tannic finish. This wine has plenty of pairing power to entice your taste buds.  That’s just what good wine is all about, right? Enjoy this, with your favorite elegant style meaty dish!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blanc du Bois – 2010; Saddlehorn Winery; Burton, Texas

This six-year old Blanc du Bois is quite lovely.  The color shows little signs of aging unlike most whites and the fruit is still intact.  It is somewhere between dry and off-dry.  On the nose, you will initially get some herbaceous notes. You’ll detect some butter on this wine and it might trick you into thinking Chardonnay initially, but it’s really a dry Blanc du Bois.  The Apricot aromas are a delight along with some tropical and herbaceous notes.  The tad bit of sweetness gives this elegant wine some versatility in your dish pairings.   It’s also a great treat on those warm winter days!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

1851 Vineyards – Fredericksburg, Texas

Getting overwhelmed by the number of wineries along Texas U.S. HWY 290?  Next time, just hop over to Fredericksburg and take a visit to this wonderful new winery located just south of town on highway 16.  Owners John and Dabs Brown Hollimon have started their own pioneer dreams for the estate.  It’s not often that you get to visit a new winery that sits on property with such a rich history harkening back to the pioneer days of Fredericksburg.  The site was once the location of the owner Carl Hilmar Guenther who started Pioneer Flour Mills.  The original barn building and house are still on the property and are historical landmarks.  Dab’s family acquired the property in 1964.  She has since turned a vision of something more into reality by transforming this historic location into a quality vineyards and winery with the help of her husband John. You will have great views of the older buildings, vines, and ancient trees as you drive up to the tasting room.  On the estate are planted ten acres of Albarino, Tempranillo, Cabernet, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Tannat from 2013.  There are plans to add Mourvedre and Alicante Bouchet.  Many Texas wine fans are familiar with the winemaker, John Rivenburgh.  John has crafted some fantastic wines for the 1851 Vineyards winery. Notice on the label the JD “cattle” branding representing the family collaboration of John Hollimon and Dabs.  The first batch of wines that 1851 has are grapes sourced from the Sierra Foothills for the reds and the Texas High Plains for the whites.  There are four wines to currently taste. The first is a dry Texas white blend of Muscat Canelli and Muscat Giallo.  It has a beautiful orange aroma and a nice bright citrus flavor. The 2014 Tempranillo is just superb!  With earthy aromas and an excellent rustic finish, you’ll have no problem stashing more of these bottles in your cellar!  For the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ll get lots of nice fruit and cherry notes along with a hint of leather.  The 2014 Tannat is not for the timid.  If you LOVE red wine, then this hard-core red is for you. Be prepared for rich, strong tannins with a super long finish, and you’ll be happy with the bold berry flavors that this wine offers. Only four wines to try out you say?  Not to worry.  There are some other wines currently waiting to be released hopefully within the next two months. A 2014 Alicante Bouchet will be totally worth the wait.  We got to taste this (ok, maybe more than one taste) and it is just the epidemy of awesome red wine!  John has done a fabulous job on these initial releases and we look forward to more! Small crafted and attention to detail is what this winery aims for and is what they are achieving right out of the gate in producing high quality wines. The Hollimons also know a thing or two about great hospitality. You’ll enjoy your visit here and the warmth you’ll feel from the staff in this inviting tasting room. Don’t’ be surprised if you walk out with a case.  We’re really excited about this place and will make this one of our regular stops. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

La Herencia – 2009; McPherson Cellars; Lubbock, Texas

Aging has balanced out this wine quite well. This Spanish style red wine is a Tempranillo blend of 70% Tempranillo, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache, 5% Carignan and 5% Syrah.  It is quite delicious and still exhibits the wonderful flavors that delight the red wine lover. The smoothness and rich mouth feel that coats your palate makes this wine worth doing the side-to-side swish across your tongue.  Soft tannins only add to the delicate taste of this beauty.  Yes, the Texas High Plains fruit shows its ability to age well in a finely crafted bottle such as this. Whether you pair it with Spanish, Italian, French or Texas style cuisine, you’ll find this to be a well-suited wine for dinner.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sweet Elisa – NV; Sarah’s Vineyard; Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

This blend of Niagara and Concord grapes has a well-balanced sweet flavor that’s not overpowering.  It has pleasant fragrances and a touch of effervesces to add to its sparkling color.  Surprisingly, it has some strawberry notes along with the cherry flavors to add a bit of a twist.  Sweet red wine lovers will enjoy this one for those cozy mild nights!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

TX-3 – NV; Locations Wine; Texas

This Texas Locations wine series is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan and a mix of other Bordeaux reds with some Petite Sirah.  McPherson Cellars from Lubbock had a hand in crafting this wine.  Letting this wine sit for about 45 minutes really allows it to reveal the best qualities of this wine.  The deep purple-red color holds up well with little variation.  You will initially pick up notes of raspberries, plums, and some cranberries.  There is some pepperiness to it, but it is a smooth drinking red.  This medium bodied wine is a good well rounded representation of Texas High Plains wines and offers a glimpse to the rest of the country and world of what Texas wines are all about.  Cheers!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Newsom Vineyards at Comfort – Comfort, Texas

Just about every serious Texas wine drinker is probably familiar with Newsom Vineyards.  Established in 1986, the vineyard has over 100 acres of vines in the Texas High Plains, one of the premier grape growing regions.  There are many wineries that source their grapes there and every time you see “Newsom Vineyards” on a label as the source of the grapes, the expectations will typically rise.  Neal and Janice Newsom’s son, Nolan, has taken on the venture of opening a tasting room in Comfort along with the help of his wife, Mei.  They just opened this November. The house they have renovated for the tasting room used to be the tasting room of the former Comfort Cellars, however they have preserved this piece of history by retaining that old wineries sign inside the tasting room just above the entrance. Much of the renovation inside the tasting room involved repurposing the walls and floors back to their original wood which really looks terrific for a home originally built over 100 years ago. At the tasting bar, there are currently four wines available. Since the Newsoms have a long established working relationship with many different wineries, they have worked with different winemakers to help make their initial wine releases.  This helps exemplify their fruit and the character of each winemaker’s techniques.  Driftwood, Bending Branch, Calais Winery, Lewis Wines, Llano Estacado, Pedernales Cellars, and Flat Creek Estate are all lending their wine making skills for the initial wine releases.  The first wine to taste is a dry Orange Muscat (2015).   The citrus and honeysuckle notes might throw you off at first and make you expect a sweet wine, but it actually comes across has quite smooth and refreshing as it is dry.  The 2015 Pinot Grigio is herbal with a tad bit of acidity.  For the reds, the 2014 LaVerne’s Merlot, has fruit sourced from some of the oldest Merlot vines on the vineyard lot (1993).  The garnet colored wine has notes of plums, berries, and pepper.  Letting this bottle sit for another year or two will only improve its character.  The other red is Inception and is a Tempranillo (58%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (42%) blend and is a good example of well-balanced high plains wine.  These are all some great wines to help get this new winery off to a wonderful launch. There are at least five more wines coming out early next year and yet more on the horizon.  For the near future, you can expect a 2015 Albarino, 2015 Sangiovese, 2015 Syrah, 2015 Malbec, and 2015 Cabernet Sauvginon.  This is a great addition to Comfort and a good boost to the downtown shops and restaurants.  You’ll have a good time tasting and chatting with Nolan and Mei who are very eager to showcase and share their latest wines and talk about their history and vision for their new winery. There is also a back porch where you can sit, relax, and sip down a bottle of Orange Muscat on those warm winter days in Texas.  Come visit them and see why Comfort is worth the trip. Cheers!