Sunday, October 13, 2019

Aglianico – 2012; Perissos Vineyards & Winery; Burnet, Texas

Heaven in a bottle…what could be more pleasing?  This seven-year-old wine sourced from the Perissos estate grown fruit in the Texas Hill Country AVA is maturing quite nicely. It still packs some great flavors of plums, ripe black fruit, lilac and a touch of leather. The acids on this medium bodied wine do a nice light dance around your palate. The savory tannins are long lasting and linger nicely on the finish. A few hours after you open this bottle, we found it easy to still be enjoying this wine! Enjoying a bottle left our souls and bodies feeling quite refreshed and spectacularly happy to have one of our favorite varietals age so nicely in the cellar. Do we have any more? Well yes, however we believe great wine like this deserves to be spread out over many years.  We look forward to enjoying another one in years to come. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

7 Creeks Vineyard – Bertram, Texas

With soft openings since July, this tucked away jewel located north of Bertram is going to stand out as a top quality fine wine destination in the northern Texas Hill Country.  Jerry and Janis Horne’s path to a winery career began many years ago with a casual conversation and visits to California wineries. That passion and love for what they do has matured into a beautiful estate vineyard and wine tasting room. The vineyard itself has been a work-in-progress for that last two years.  They currently have about seven acres (hmm, seven again…) of grape vines with a mix of Mourvèdre , Tannat, Vermentino, Alicante Bouschet and Souzao planted.  Tasting some of the grapes from the Souzao vines was an ‘OH MY’ and then some experience! Bob Young and Ron Yates are some of the winemakers helping them out on their first start.  Current wine selections have grapes sourced from California and Texas.  For the whites, the 2017 Chardonnay (Lodi) is aged in stainless still and exhibits great minerality, good acids, and a clean crisp taste! For reds, 2017 Mourvedre is sourced from the Texas High Plains AVA and shows off some great earthy notes. If you like Zinfandel, then you’ll do somersaults over this Lodi 40+ year old-vine 2016 vintage. It smooths out quite well with lingering notes of jam.  Got Alicante Bouschet?  7 Creeks does with their 2017 High Plains release. The garnet color is wonderful to gaze at with a touch of leather aftertaste. Don’t forget to also try their Alta Mesa AVA sourced Souzao.  If you love red wines and appreciate great meat parings, the 2015 Souzao vintage will have you hooked!  Scheduled for release in the fall, will be a Tannat, a Muscat Blend, and a superb Syrah Rose’….worth a return trip! And what’s a quality wine tasting with the bubbles? The 2014 Cuvée Blanc de Blanc is sourced from Lodi Chardonnay and made in the “Méthode Champenoise” way.  You can taste the greatness in every bubble! With some nice estate homes being built nearby, as well as, proximity to the booming Liberty Hill area, wine traffic will not be a problem here.  Stop by and enjoy their great hospitality!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Glory – NV; Messina Hof; Bryan, Texas

Glory Mistella Late Harvest Moscato…nice long name and a nice lingering sensation of flavors!  Magic in a bottle is perhaps the best way to describe this delicious sweet Moscato wine.  Sweet, yet light bodied and a touch of crisp texture. The luscious aromas of fresh apricot and pear are quite enticing on the nose. A few sips of this, and your hellacious summer heat will be well tempered. It is a delightful wine to serve chilled and enjoy when it is hot outside as it is such a refreshing sipper during the glory days of summer. This is a fantastic wine to enjoy on its own, or to serve with cheese, dessert, as dessert or even to enjoy with brunch. Truly, no bad time for this one. Grab a bottle and enjoy its full glory!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Roussanne – 2014; Torr Na Lochs; Burnet, Texas

Going back the first wines produced by a winery is always a special treat. Sourced from the Oswald Family Vineyards in the Texas High Plains AVA, this five-year-old Roussanne can still hold its own.  Made in stainless steel, the deep lemon color is a testament to how enduring this wine is and its structure.  There is still some good acidity to it in addition to the hallmark buttery notes associated with wines from this varietal.  Kiwi flavors are the strongest impressions you’ll get on your palate. It pairs well with a variety of seafood, vegetarian and poultry dishes and is equally enjoyable on its own. This wine could still cellar nicely for a few more years. Well done Torr Na Lochs on this one. Cheers!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007; Woodrose Winery; Stonewall, Texas

What has unfolded in this 12-year-old wine is nothing short of great wine sensations! The initial pour is somewhat clear like a chianti style wine, but the bouquet is of blackberries and raspberries with a touch of smokiness. The moderate acids lead to a lingering spice sensation for this medium bodied and soft tannin treat.  The wine smooths out quite well after an hour for a rich dessert like feel. A meal in a bottle could be one way to describe the experience, but certainly don’t pass up a good steak for pairing with this one. Still drinking nicely if you have any bottles in your cellar. Enjoy well!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Longhorn Cellars - Fredericksburg, TX

Owners Dr. Michael and Deanna Dickey are no strangers to wine.  Having spent some quality time in Napa Valley, the dream of having a vineyard and winery of their own was something they turned into reality. Mike Dickey completed courses with the Texas Tech Enology program and along with the guidance of Dr. Bob Young of Bending Branch, he has been producing his own wines. Located at the former location of Rancho Ponte, the Dickey’s have breathed new life into this place with their own inside décor and outside vineyard. In addition to their estate vineyard, they also have vineyards near Hye and Pontotoc for sourcing Texas Hill Country AVA grapes.  Since opening just over a year ago, Mike and Deanna started serving some Bending Branch wines and wines made from California grapes, they have been slowly making the transition to Texas High Plains AVA sourced grapes and are now gearing up for more Hill Country sourced wines. They have a few flight selections to choose from currently on their menu. For this visited, we opted for the mixed flight, featuring a little bit of everything! For the whites, we started with the 2017 Viognier. Sourced from the Texas High Plains of Reddy Vineyards, this aromatic wine is fresh with some buttery notes and bright acids.  We moved on to the 2018 Twilight Rosé. A blend of 92% Mourvedré and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon from Pontotoc, this off-dry Rosé is quite refreshing for the infamous hot summer Texas days!  For the reds, we sampled the NV Tannat which is a product of the Russian River Valley. This red was a rich wine with a lovely bouquet and a fine smoky finish!  The NV Texas High Plains Syrah has 25% Petite Syrah added to it to help round out that leathery, smoky, and tantalizing full mouth feel. Lastly, we enjoyed the 2014 Carlito's Cuvée. A blend of Souzao, Aglianico, Montepulciano, and Petite Syrah. This California sourced wine has great balance, moderate acidity, and a relatively smooth finish.  We also got to sip the 2018 Viognier, as well.  This release is Texas Hill Country sourced and its profile is completely different than that of the High Plains Viognier. A great treat to test “battle of the Viogniers”!   They are also working on a Tempranillo they plan to release in the future, so it is worth your valuable wine stopping time to stop by and taste not only what is currently on the menu but see if anything new has been released yet.  There are additionally plans for a great blend from the Mourvedre, Malbec and Merlot from their estate vineyard. This newest Texas Hill Country boutique winery is a fine addition to the area, and we look forward to stopping by again in the future to see how their menu and wines continue to evolve. The servers are also quite knowledgeable on wine and will provide quality professional service during your tasting session. They are off to a great start in their initial year. Cheers!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Merlot – 2003; Pheasant Ridge Winery; Lubbock, Texas

Houston, we have a winner!  We opened this bottle on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Like the moon landing anniversary, it was a great experience to savor this vintage after so many years. Age may have taken a toll on the color, but the fruit profile is well intact for this 16-year-old wine.  You want some background light for the first clear ruby color pour – great special effects!   There is a little bit of alcohol heat but dissipates over time. Some subtle black cherry notes remain, and the finish is pleasantly smooth. This Texas Merlot still holds some good depth yet has picked up some dustiness in its aging and will likely cellar for a few more years. The only question is…why didn’t we get a case?