Divine (and Gold Medal Winning) Wines of Eden Hill Vineyard
Every now and then, I taste a wine and makes me realize why I spend so much time tasting Texas wines. In this case, there were two: Eden Hill Vineyard 2013 Roussanne (Oswald Vineyard) and their 2013 Divine White. Both wines are well made to the point of being downright energizing: pleasant on the palate while also stimulating for my wine-appreciating soul.
Apparently, my reaction was not a one off reaction. Both wines crafted by Eden Hill Vineyard’s winemaker Chris Hornbaker also made an impression on people in San Francisco, too. The good thing was that these people were the judges at this year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition, the largest wine competition in America, with over 4,500 wines from 31 countries and 26 states. It would be easy for a wine to get lost in this competition, if it weren’t for the quality of these wines.
In the case of the Eden Hill Roussanne, it was made from a white grape variety that, despite its lack of name recognition, has increasingly done well in Texas. Also, the grapes came from Oswald Vineyard, a primo grower in Brownfield, Texas, on the high plains (near Lubbock). It is long on lemon citrus and tropical pineapple with an overlay of nutty almond nuances and a silky mouthfeel.
The second wine was the Eden Hill Devine White, a white blend of grapes coming from two Texas vineyards: Albariño and Pinot Grigio from Bobby Smith’s Springtown, Smith Estate Vineyard, and Orange Muscat from Eden Hill Estate Vineyard in Celina north of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. This wine is bright to the point of perky with crisp acidity that carry this wines ever loving citrus character.
Chris (shown with his father Clark) has been working on his enology and viticulture classes at Grayson College in Dennison, but he lacks one class for a degree. Well, from the results of the SFO competition (and from his gold medal winning accomplishments in 2013), I can’t say that he is lacking anything in his winemaking skills (but make your father and mother happy and finish your degree, Chris). As a family operation, they rely on his ability to bring equal parts of art and science into their Eden Hill winemaking process, and he appears up to the task. The winery also includes Clark and Linda Hornbaker’s daughter Wendy and her husband Chanaka as partners, too. The Eden Hill label art is created by Wendy and Chris: Chris did the Divine White label, Wendy the Roussanne.
This latter point is important. Both Eden Hill wines have eye catching designs. The Eden Hill Divine White gets an added lift from the label art showing an emulation of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam complete with a white Texas cowboy hat on the head of our very own cloud-riding, gray-bearded creator. Some might call this bodacious. But, I see it as a adding a bit of Texas twang to the Eden Hill wine drinking experience.
Stop by their estate vineyard and tasting room in Celina, February 10 to December 31, open every Sunday, from 1 PM to 6 PM: Eden Hill Farm and Vineyard, 4910 Eden Hill Lane, Celina, Texas 75009, www.edenhill.com.