When was the last time you had wines from Texas? If it was five years ago or more than you have not had wines from Texas. Why? The Texas Wine Industry is heating up. Texas wineries have learned through diligent trial and error which grapes thrive in Texas and the rest of the world is taking notice. Furthermore the Texas Hill Country is increasingly being recognized as one of the premier travel destination in the US for wine, food, culture and great indoor and outdoor activities for the entire family. There is no time better than right now to either give Texas wines a try! Not sure where to start? Don’t worry Texas Fine Wine has you covered!
Texas Fine Wine is a “distinctive group of highly respected wineries recognized for making quality wines from Texas appellation vineyards, delivering excellent customer experiences and setting the highest standards in the Texas wine industry.” As a privately funded marketing initiative, Texas Fine Wine represents five of the state’s most distinguished wineries: Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars, and Spicewood Vineyards. These wineries have “raised the bar” for Texas wineries and wine production by consistently earning medals and accolades at prestigious national and international wine competitions. Furthermore, these wineries are also known for their exceptional guest services, wine clubs, and special events. Texas Fine Wine was established to fill a void of a cohesive, organized marketing initiative to promote Texas wines.
Texas Fine Wine members are “dedicated to producing world-class wines sourced from Texas appellation vineyards.”
I was recently blessed with the honor to attend a private tasting with Denise Clark, of Texas Fine Wine, Julie Kuhlken of Pedernales Cellars, and Jennifer McInnis of Bending Branch Winery featuring a handful of outstanding wines from the Texas Fine Wine wineries. I will tell you that across the board I was impressed; each of the following wines were crafted in the highest quality and were quite pleasing. Here are the wines I tasted and my notes:
Pedernales 2014 Texas Viognier: soft yellow; bright wine with floral notes, lychee, stone fruit, and citrus zest; crisp wine with well-rounded mouth coating acidity, nice texture, long dry finish; very nice wine; $16
- Top Texas Wine at the 2016 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition
Bending Branch 2014 Comfortage: 100% Roussanne; soft gold; lovely aroma of stone fruit, spice notes of nutmeg, and toasted cedar; round on the palate with a creamy texture and fresh acidity; fermented in 50% stainless steel and 50% French oak with 25% new and 25% neutral; SRP $28
- Gold at the 2016 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition
Pedernales 2014 Texas Tempranillo: 100% Tempranillo from grapes cultivated in Texas High Plains and Texas Hill Country; deep ruby; lively red and blue berries, mineral notes, pepper, and candied violets; very round acidity with integrated tannins, a pleasing rustic quality, full body, long finish; SRP $28
Duchman 2012 Montepulciano: 100% Montepulciano; deep ruby with garnet highlights; red fruit accompanied by savory herbal notes, floral notes, dried tobacco, and pepper; round and slightly rustic on the palate with pleasing acidity; persistent tannins, full body with a long Italian finish; SRP $30
- Gold at the 2015 TEXSOM International Wine Competition
Spicewood 2013 Syrah: 100% Syrah from grapes cultivated in the Escondido Valley; inky purple; black berry marmalade, black berries, cedar spice box, dark chocolate, licorice and smoked meats;full body; round acidity with rich tannins; mouth coating with a dusty tar lingering finish; SRP $30.99
Brennan Vineyards 2012 Super Nero 2012: 100% Nero d’Avola from grapes cultivated in the Comanche County; bright ruby; bright red fruit, floral notes, cedar, earthiness, and vanilla; pleasingly rustic with layers of flavors, complex and clean mouth feel, round acidity and clean finish; SRP $30
- Double Gold, Reserve Class Champion and Texas Class Champion Comanche County at the 2016 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition
Bending Branch 2012 Texas Tannat: 100% Tannat from grapes cultivated in the Texas Hill Country; deep garnet with inky purple; deep black fruit and fruit marmalade, tobacco, black pepper, tobacco, and smoke; full body wine, powerful with round acidity and penetrating tannins; benefits from full decant before enjoying; very long finish that begs for a Texas size steak; SRP $30
- Gold at the 2015 TEXSOM International Wine Competition
I highly encourage you to seek out these wines as well as any wine from these wineries portfolios. Many of these wines are distributed to states throughout the US. If you are unable to find them in your favorite local wine retailer please do two things: 1) ask them to carry Texas wines; 2) until they do order direct from the winery.
If you are a fan of white wine, just about every white grape is cultivated in some part of Texas. If you prefer “off the beaten path” grapes such as Tannat, Picpoul, Vermentino, Mouvedre, and Aglianico than Texas wines are for you! If you love to travel to wine regions and you want to visit what Food and Wine Magazine called in their article “Texas is the New California” the next “it” wine region than add the Texas Hill Country to your 2016 travel plans. Texas is where it is happening so come on down to the Lone Star State; we will gladly welcome you with a glass of Texas wine!
My Song Selection: You cannot come to Texas and drink Texas wine, eat Texas food and not enjoy classic Texas rock n’roll from one of the greatest Texas musicians (or any musicians) that has ever lived!
Get your own bottles of Texas wine and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!