Steven Kreuger’s Texas Viva Viognier Flight at the Westin La Canterra
Thursday evening I found myself on the northwest outskirts of San Antonio on the fringe of the Texas Hill Country, recalling something that happened several months ago. I was in an email exchange with Sommelier Steven Kreuger about his recent foray into Texas wines at the Westin La Canterra Resort. He was asking me for my permission to quote one of my blog posts….
For more, see: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=638
Steven was launching a new initiative in the Westin’s stylish restaurant, Francesca’s at Sunset. It involved integration of their gourmet cuisine with wine selections from his own creativity.
Since I was so close to the Westin La Canterra last Thursday, I decided to call Steven and stop by for a look….and, of course, a taste.
Fresh from an afternoon shower, the road surface was a steamy wet glare, but the white stuccoed Westin La Canterra Resort on its breezy hill top and its expansive view of San Antonio to the east was a welcome relief. Once inside, Steven greeted me with a firm handshake then gave me a quick tour of Steinheimer’s Bar and Francesca’s.
Steinheimer’s Bar, complete with a copy of Steinheimer’s buried treasure map on the ceiling, seemed to have something for everyone, no matter if it is a relaxing cocktail at the resort’s signature bar, a cigar in the wood-paneled, leather-accented cigar lounge, on eye-popping hill country views at its outdoor patio terrace table.
It was also apparent that Francesca’s at Sunset was more than a gustatory experience offering Texas cuisine with a southwestern flair and sunsets of which only Texas can lay claim. The restaurant has evolved a “Farm-to-Table” menu that features locally and naturally nurtured produce. Steven has developed an inspired wine list with some of the finest wines in the world; including what he feels are some of the noteworthy local wines from wineries all around Texas.
After the tour, Steven and I sat down to taste his specially prepared wine flight: Texas Viognier done four ways.
Brennan Vineyards Viognier (Comanche, Texas – www.brennanvineyards.com)
Brennan Viognier brings refreshing, fruit-driven characteristics of white peach and citrus from vineyards that bring a confluence of two of the state’s most acclaimed wine regions – The Texas Hill Country and The Texas High Plains.
Becker Vineyards Viognier (Stonewall, Texas – www.beckervineyards.com)
The wines from Becker Vineyards have been a cornerstone of Steven’s Texas wine program. This wine provides a silky smooth French style with derived from aging in French oak barrels. It has characteristics of ripe peaches, tangerine and tropical mango that round out this wine that has established the quality point for other Viognier’s from Texas and many other states, as well.
McPherson Cellars Viognier (Lubbock, Texas – www.mcphersoncellars.com)
McPherson Viognier is made from a blend of west Texas and High Plains fruit to provide a soft, rich feel with aromas of pear, apple and citrus. Kim McPherson has been the winemaking leader from the start of the modern wine movement in Texas going back to the 1970’s.
Alamosa Wine Cellars Viognier (Bend, Texas – www.alamosawinecellars.com)
Alamosa brings a textured and balanced Viognier with a decidedly well defined old world, Rhone Valley experience. Apricot, honeydew melon and pineapple intergrate with mineral undercurrents in this wine made from grapes harvested on the estate and nearby vineyards in the upper Hill Country.
Other Texas wine selections featured by Sommelier Steven Kreuger at the Westin La Canterra Resort include:
Flat Creek Estate, SuperTexan Sangiovese Blend (www.flatcreekestate.com)
Alamosa Wine Cellars, El Guapo Tempranillo (www.alamosawinecellars.com)
Inwood Estates Vineyards, Cornelious Tempranillo (www.inwoodwines.com)
McPherson Cellars, Sangiovese (www.mcphersoncellars.com)
Becker Vineyards, Raven Malbec/Petite Verdot Blend (www.beckervineayrds.com)
Alamosa Wine Cellars, Pallette Syrah Blend (www.alamosawinecellars.com)
Llano Estacado Viviano Sangiovese/Cabernet Blend (www.llanowine.com)
Becker Vineyards Provencal Dry Rose Grenache (www.beckervineyards.com)
When we were finished with our tasting, Steven and I stepped outside just in time to watch the fireworks at the neighboring Six Flags over Texas. Stop by the Westin La Canterra and check out a stunning venue, the gourmet cuisine and Steven’s wine selections, most available by either the glass or bottle.
You can see Steven’s video with Tanji Patton where he discusses his rationale for Texas wine selections and his Texas wine and food pairing ideas at: