Tag Archives: Texas wine

Mourvedre – Grown and Made Well In Many Places

William Chris Mourvedre

William Chris Mourvedre

William Chris Winery, Hye, Texas  Mourvedre

Somewhere around 500 BC, this ancient grape variety may have been transported to Spain from the middle East country of Phoenicia, a longtime rival and neighbor of Israel.  It is testimony to the many red grape varieties that were popular in the ancient world.  Typically, it does not rack up a great age, showing brown tinges at 10 years of age in many examples.  To experience this grape, try a French Mourvedre from the Bandol region in Provence and a Monastrell from Spain.  It is widely used in Australia where it is called Mataro and adds depth and complexity to their famous Shiraz and other blends, so see if you can find an Australian Mataro as a single varietal.  To complete your knowledge of how this wine tastes and grows well in many places, try the William Chis (listed above) from Texas.  Surprisingly, Mourvedre is used in Cava, the well known Spanish sparkling wine, to make a sparkling rosé and also in rosés in Provence.  Long live this ancient grape!

The William Chris example was very varietal, with a clear bright ruby appeal.  Its fruit is dark blackberry with black olive, oregano, and wood overtones of cedar, coffee, smoke, and tar, softened with cocoa.  The tannins are sweet.  William Chris has formulated a wine with fresh acids that are not dominant but carry their refreshment all the way to a smooth but lively finish.

Both Colorado and Texas Mourvedre holds promise for the future and exciting appeal for those who drink them now.

Rating:  89-90

Emotional rating:  You will love a meal that contrasts its darkness with bright rich food.

Availability:  From the winery.

Llano Estacado’s Viviano 2010 Superiore Rosso

(In this article you will find comments on complexity, the effects of oak, and a representation of the Old World in the New World)

Llano Estadado's "Viviano"

Llano Estadado’s “Viviano”

This blend (Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Sangiovese 30%) reminds the wine lover of a Super Tuscan marriage of grapes.   Llano Estacado, a large Texas Winery that has earned its reputation as one of the Lone Star State’s best wineries, produces this wine that is one of the state’s best wines and it deserves your close attention.  Contact the winery to see whether it can be shipped to your state and then follow the experience of this wine tasting with me.

Medium ruby, clear, clean, and bright, with aromas of earth, truffle, vanilla, smoke, clove, mineral suggestions, spice, cedar, leather, and dried cherries demand the term “complex.”  Complex flavors are not just a multiple of tastes but also the creation of new taste experiences that make tasting wines so much more interesting than just the identification of aromas.  Gripping fruit and oak tannins that tame as the wine breathes will endear this wine to steak (the wine insists Texas steak, of course).

This wine has spent 40 months in new French and American oak and its long tenure has shown how more time in oak is not necessarily more oak on the palate.  The oak has softened and integrated with the cherry flavored base of the wine.  The nose and palate are so complex that you keep getting impressed with new offerings on every sip.    It is not a reminder of Napa but of the Old World, with its lighter punch and its obvious finesse and minerality.  After the rich models of Napa and the heavy wines from Barossa Valley in Australia, this wine is a refreshing journey into the world of “less is better.”

The fruit, as you will already have gathered, is not in your face but is married and melded into the oak flavors, creating new and developing excitement as you drink.  It should age well and its tertiary flavors should constantly surprise as the ongoing chemical actions in the bottle reveal the wine’s as yet unknown charms.    However, notice how the finish evolves.  The fruit vanishes first; the oak lingers longer, and then the heat of the alcohol and the acid fade away slowly after a long, slow departure.  We would call this a medium finish because when we refer to the length of the finish we mean the way the fruit and oak flavors last, not any other lasting effects from the wine’s characteristics, such as alcohol or acid.

The grapes were picked at 24.5 brix (the sugar level at harvest), so it does not display any overripe fruit, such as very ripe plum or prune flavors.

Rating:  89+

Emotional rating?  For those who love the wines of the Old World and worship the wonders of the marriage of fruit and oak, it is a wine that will thrill and ring long lasting emotional bells.

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EXPERIENCING COLORADO WINE, Volume 2: The Whites and Rosés! 

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You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

GET YOUR COPIES  at SQUARE MARKET!  Get 25% OFF when you buy BOTH!  

These books entertain, educate, and entice readers to experience Colorado wine!Experiencing Colorado Red Print ReadyExperiencing-Colorado-White-Cover-Web

 

The New World’s Version of Rioja: Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo

Pedernales Tempranillo Reserve 2012 Pedernales Tempranillo 2012

In the heart of Texas is a winery that specializes in the Spanish grape, Tempranillo.  With a memorable view over the Pedernales River Valley from its spacious deck and an impressive tasting room, Pedernales Cellars is a sure stop on your Texas wine trail.

Tempranillo is Spain’s response to France’s Cabernet Sauvignon.  As we expect, this Tempranillo is light ruby in color and it is clear and bright.  American oak makes its presence known with coffee, leather, and a little cedar that control the aromas.  Earthiness and meatiness set up the savory notes and an evident minerality rounds out the first real indication of the Tempranillo grape.   The fruit aromas are reserved with hints of dark fruit, while a little greenishness settles around the edges.  The texture is pleasant and smooth.  Strong but fine tannins are well integrated and add to the savory character of the wine.  Fresh acids and a medium-long, crisp finish end the appeal of a well made wine.  It should be consumed within two to eight years of harvest.

For a Tempranillo, this is an excellent New World representation of “Rioja.”

Rating 91

Emotional  rating:  91

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! 

EXPERIENCING COLORADO WINE, Volume 2: The Whites and Rosés! 

AT SQUARE MARKET! 

FACEBOOK    TWITTER

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

GET YOUR COPIES  at SQUARE MARKET!  Get 25% OFF when you buy BOTH!  

These books entertain, educate, and entice readers to experience Colorado wine!Experiencing Colorado Red Print ReadyExperiencing-Colorado-White-Cover-Web