Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rosé Sec – 2014; Narrow Path Winery; Stonewall, Texas

First impressions are important, and this Rosé makes a superb one! This wine was one of the first releases for Narrow Path. It is 100% estate grown fruit from Fredericksburg and is a blend of 80% Merlot, 20% Pinot Gris.  The ever so elegant red berry aromas shine through on this one providing an enticing bouquet on the nose. The fruit flavors still balance out well for its age and there is a slight residual sugar to this one that just adds to the beauty of this wine.  A nice early release that demonstrates the care and love that went into the production. Sante’!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Farmhouse Vineyard – Johnson City, Texas

Owners Nicholas and Katy Jane Seaton and Anthony and Traci Furgeson helped Farmhouse Vineyard realize its next natural step in its evolution, which is making wine! Their 122-acre vineyard is located near Brownfield in Texas High Plains AVA. With 16 plus varietals, it has been the grape source for many well-established Texas wineries that we have all come to know and love. We were fortunate to visit their “new-new” location in Johnson City at their house on highway 290. The previous location was at a trailer located near the 290 Vinery. The newest locale is right on Main street in a renovated classic home. Location, location, location is everything to a business and this place is spot on!  The owners do have plans to relocate the trailer to this new site soon.

Their expanded tasting menu consists of two flights, one has the full range of sparkling to dessert wines and the other focuses on dry Rosé, Whites, and Reds. As one of the first vineyards that helped establish Malvasia Bianca as a viable Texas grape, they have made a sparkling version called Boyfriend. The 2017 vintage has lemon grass and apricot notes that just “bubble” all over your palate. Their 2017 Revolution is a dry Rosé sparkling made from Counoise. With strong raspberry notes, it is crisp with a nice finish making this wine quite enjoyable on warm Texas days. For the 2017 Bloom Rosé, you get to enjoy a 100% Mourvedre Rosé that is light and refreshing with plenty of strawberry and melon notes. You will be in for a treat with their Marché. Made from a blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Tempranillo, this Saignee style wine may be different than most Rosé’s you’ve tried, but it is equally pleasing for the upcoming hot summer. There is a lovely red blend called, Ramble on which is a melding of Tempranillo, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. It is smooth and fruit forward and we believe most red wine lovers will readily enjoy. Wine tasting at Farmhouse, will also provide you with a rare opportunity and special treat!  In their selection is one of Tim Drake’s legendary wines called Assistant. This House of Drake greatness blends 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 9% Syrah sourced from Columbia Valley AVA in Washington.  It is a superb dry red wine blend with a beautiful fruit finish that will leave you craving for more!  Their semi-sweet dry white called Housewife is a Malvasia Bianca with nice melon and pear notes with just enough sweetness to boot. Lastly, you will get to enjoy their 2017 Sweet. This blend of Malvasia Bianca and Orange Muscat combines a bit of citrus and vanilla notes for something quite enjoyable and their sweetest dessert style wine.

If you have visited the trailer before, now you have a new excuse to revisit and enjoy their expanded wine selection.  The staff and owners are quite friendly and will make you feel very comfortable as they chat with you about the wines. We strongly encourage you to stop in and visit their new location and wish them well as they kick off this new phase in their journey.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tannat – 2012; Santiago Queirolo; Lima, Peru

This Intipalka line of wines is quite a pleaser for a single varietal Tannat wine. The deep garnet hue on the initial pour is quite an eye catcher! The aroma can be complex for this Ica Valley sourced grape, but you can distinguish both a little balsamic and cocoa note. The flavors of blackberries and herbs are pronounced, and the finish satisfies with balanced tannins. Yes, Tannat has found another home for itself and deserves to stand out for the quality wine grape that it is. Cheers!!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Hula o Maui – NV; Maui Wines; Kula, Hawaii

Some of your favorite brut quality champagnes just might have to take a backseat to this pineapple sparkling. Say, what?  Seriously folks! This specialty fruit wine is made in the Traditional Méthode Champenoise. Yes, it is legit!  This long painstaking process along with top quality Maui Gold Pineapple yields a brut quality sparkling that just might be your new go-to celebration bubbly.  It has a light pale-yellow color with tiny bubbles and a nice crisp refreshing taste to go along with the long-lasting effervescence. The pineapple notes are mild yet distinct on the nose and give this an awesome tropical aroma that does not overwhelm. The balance between pineapple flavors and acidity is perfect. Someone did their homework and paid close attention to detail with this luscious creation. This full-bodied sparkling will be a for sure crowd pleaser at your next party. You can order bottles directly from the winery in Maui and they can ship to Texas or wherever you may wish. We have done so, and they arrived in fine fashion without issue - highly recommend you give them a try.  Cheers and happy rest of this year to you and yours!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Vermentino – 2011; Christoval Vineyards, Christoval, Texas

One of the first white wines to be released by this winery, exhibits some unique and pleasant characteristics after lying around the cellar for a while. First, the color seems to have changed little, which was a pleasant surprise. One would expect a deepening for such a long aging white wine.  Second, the flavors and aromas are not of your typical Vermentino. There are pronounced apple notes and lingering butter notes.  The wine still maintains some citrus notes, but the apple fruit notes tend to dominate.  You would have likely guessed the wrong varietal in a blind tasting session though as something more along the lines of a chardonnay potentially comes to mind with the buttery finish. Interesting to try a Vermentino that has aged this long. The overall tasting profile is still quite good. Sip well!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Red House Winery – Nacogdoches, Texas

The oldest town in Texas has many legends and stories to tell.  Who would have thought back in 1779 that Nacogdoches and the surrounding east Texas region would one day be leading the charge of some great wines for the area?  Welcome to the 21st century!  Located in a renovated 120-year old building in the historic downtown area is a new chapter of storytelling for Nacogdoches, Red House Winery.  Owners Jacob and Rikki Leigh Willoughby began the winery back in 2015.  Opened last May, the tasting room offers visitors the opportunity to experience some fantastic quality wines, art work, and friendly people that add to this city’s natural charm. Mike Henry from Wedding Oak Winery has been providing invaluable mentoring to the Willoughby’s. With the famous Penny Adams providing top notch winemaking for them, they have certainly gotten off to a great start! Currently, Red House Winery does small productions of about 1500 cases.  Their tasting menu is divided into flights of Red, White, and New Releases.  For the whites, we first tried the 2018 Roussanne.  The floral aromas are quite enticing and it’s a blend of Roussanne and Riesling!  The 2018 Floral Blanc is a Trebbiano/Vermentino blend with some slight residual sugar.  It exhibits notes of the best of both grapes and when chilled makes for a great summer time sipper. For the 2016 vintage of 1779, this is a blend of 40% Orange Muscat, 40% Riesling, and 21% Muscat Canelli. This would be a great pairing for some spicy East Texas chili! The last white we tried was the 2016 Sweet Azalea.  This raspberry hued Riesling/Muscat/Tempranillio blend is fabulous on its own or as an after-dinner sweet wine.  For the reds, we started out with the 2017 Tempranillo.  A little tight at first, but once it begins to open you know this will be a great pairing for a fine ribeye.  The 2016 Sangiovese is a shining star in their lineup.  With a touch of Touriga Nacional, Dolcetto, and Cabernet Sauvignon, its rich and earthy texture is to die for!  The 2016 Rebellion Red is a blend of 55% Montepulciano and 45% Dolcetto. This well-balanced red blend expresses itself well with lovely aromas and flavors.  Finally, you’ll be in for another stellar treat with their dry 2018 Rosato di Sangiovese. Mixed in with 10% Cinsault grape, this will make you a believer in the beauty of Texas Rose’s.  If you end up being a wine club member, the owners have established a very spacious and relaxing lounge area in the back for you to sip and enjoy your wine in style. This a great addition to downtown Nacogdoches and we look forward to more stops in our future wine treks out here! When in the area, do stop in and visit and enjoy their wines, we think you will be very pleased.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tannat – 2010; Bending Branch Winery; Comfort, Texas

Hello Tannat!  If you are a fan of the old-world wines, you might be thinking blending.  If you are into new world wine, then yes…it does make for a great single varietal wine.  Sourced from Bella Collina Vineyards in California, its earthy and rich texture is to die for. Dark rich color, yes, but that is just part of the “visual effects” as you enjoy the experience of tasting this wine. Let it breathe for about an hour or so and the characters of this Tannat wine really reveal themselves well. You will get blackberry and cherry notes complimented by a bit of tobacco and a touch of cinnamon. It has an elegant and lingering finish that will surely entice you to keep coming back for more.  Age worthy? Most definitely!  Meat pairing?  Bring on that fatty ribeye and chow down.  This wine is just additional proof that the Elysium fields do exist on earth. Cheers!