These are some of my favorite Texas wines I’ve tasted, edition 2021 – part 2

If you’ve seen the first part of my blog, “These are a few of my favorite Texas wines,” welcome back to other good tastes. Because these wines are in Part 2 of the series, this does not mean that they are secondary or worse than the wines in Part 1. Well, have a glass and let’s taste it again.

I can think of a couple of very special Texas Petite Sirahs – Bending Branch Winery and Westcave Cellars:

Winery Bending Branch 2017 Newsom Vineyards, Petite Sirah, Texas High Plains

This tasting took place at the beginning of the year and the wine probably came out of my cooler after a few years. Unfortunately, I lost track of these details. But what I remember was a wonderful pairing with three-meat (beef, pork and lamb) meatballs, tomato ragout and linguini served with a stew of green beans. This Petite Sirah with her News Vineyards in her pedigree was especially remarkable to me. It was the one who brought this variety back to my tasting radar. He showed a deep purple color in the glass, a dominant blackberry on the nose, interwoven with curves of mocha and tobacco, all combined with a special softness.

Westcave Cellars, 2018 Petite Sirah, Texas Hill Country

This wine was tasted at the winery’s new location just off Route 290 near Hye, where it was tasted on a winery’s sausage platter. However, it was born and raised from a hand-grown vine grown in a vineyard at an old winery site near Round Mountain. With a dense red-purple color, the wine shows its mature black raspberry essence in combination with soil, tobacco and smoke, which goes very well with hard cheeses and salty sausages.

Now… Three white wines not to forget (one old and two new)

McPherson Cellars, 2010 Roussanne Reserve, Bingham Vineyards, Texas High Plains

Who said white wines don’t age? I have to say that this wine has been in my wine shop for a long time, actually longer than any other white wine from Texas, but maybe as long as some blends of White Burgundy or White Rhone that I have owned and tasted before. As I recall, I declared 2010 the year of the century for Texas – it starts early, runs long, cold spring and hot, but not overly hot until harvest. Great year for making and storing white wine in Texas. At the time of pouring, the age of the wine was evident by the yellow-gold hue it radiated. However, in the aroma and on the palate, this wine screamed lemon jams, green tea, roasted almonds and fresh acidity. It was a testament to both the vintage and winemaker Kim McPherson and Roussanne’s special attributes for Texas wine.

Messina Hof Winery, 2018 Blanc Du Bois, Texas

I mentioned this wine on a blog based on my first visit to the new Messina Hof winery and bistro in Harvest Green, about 45 minutes from downtown Houston, where I live. It is dry with a crunchy lemon flavor with tropical fruit, a floral tone and a little more flesh than many white wines such as sauvignon blanc. It reminded me of some Italian white wines that I tasted with a little more weight on the palate, maybe sometimes on the skins. The pairing for Blanc Du Bois included a wide range of cuisines, but especially with anything made with cream or especially goat cheese, from crostini to cheese seafood and poultry dishes.

Cheramie Wine, 2019 White Blend, Texas High Plains

This wine comes from Cheramie Law, owner and co-founder of Todd Aho in Salt and Pepper Wine, and is a white blend in the Southern Rhone style made from Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier grown in Texas. Cheramie worked with winemaker consultant Michael McClendon at Wes Jensen’s at Sages Vintage in Nacogdoches to produce this wine. I tasted it on the Houston Chronicle tasting jury, where it received almost unanimously 9 out of 10 ratings for the stone and citrus characteristics that are typical of elegant Rhone-style white wines.

CL Butaud 2020 Randy Hester, Carbonic Counoise

It was from 2020 (I guess from Farmhouse Vineyard), a pet project by owner and winemaker CL Butaud Randy Hester – a wine darker than Rosé made from Counoise grapes by carbon maceration. It was made for members of the wine club, but I claimed the bottle and it is worth a special shout from my tasting in 2021. Why? Let me tell you what … Counoise as a varietal wine in Texas didn’t fascinate me, but this has gravity. When served slightly chilled, it wrinkled me with red cherries and strawberries reminiscent of Jolly Rancher, but with a pleasant tannin that adds texture and mineral tones at the end. With Rotisserie chicken, roasted beets and zucchini salad, cherry tomatoes and homemade sweet red peppers, it hit all sides.

Well, that’s all for now, running out of gas, but I still haven’t finished my shouts about Texax wine for 2021. It’s been a very good year to taste Texas wine and … I’ll be back with a few others.

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David Berry

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