Top Ten Texas Wines of 2011 from VintageTexas: Installment #2 – Next Five Wines
I’ve already given you my standard disclaimer and warning in Installment #1 for my top ten wines of 2011. Basically, these are my favorite wines from the lone star state that I tasted in 2011 (and all were Texas Appellation – which means that they were made from Texas grapes). Enjoy!
Perissos Vineyard and Winery, Roussanne Blend 2010
I already warned you about 2011 was the “year of Texas Roussanne” and this is why. I love this wine! Why? Well, it brings together a trio of wonderful Texas-grown grapes (Roussanne, Viognier and Muscat) in the right proportions to play off the finest qualities of each grape variety. The Roussanne lightens up the Viognier while the Viognier adds silky almost “oily” mouthfeel to the Roussanne. The Muscat? The Muscat provides just the right dollop of floral (jasmine, orange blossom) aromas to send this wine over the top. I tasted this wine at the winery twice this year and came home with a bunch of it. The winery visit was made even more special when I found an ancient paleo-point at the base of a Aglianico vine, which I gave to Seth’s son Luke (See: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=5092).
Lone Oak Winery Blanc Du Bois Dry 2009
I arrived at the 2011 Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit for the early 10 AM kickoff session, a display of master wine selection and description by Guy Stout MS. A total of eighteen wines, five flights in all that covered the wines of the Rhone River valley and its far western reaches into Texas and California. Rhone style white wines were presented made from the “three sisters” of the Rhone region: Roussanne, Marsanne and Viogner from the three wine growing regions of France, Texas and California. But the session carried a real “Texas Surprise”, Lone Oak Winery 2010 Dry Blanc Du Bois, made from a white French American hybrid grape by the same name with a Muscat somewhere in its heritage. It had crisp acidity, citrus (lemon and grapefruit), pear and a hint of Muscat. Since this was a blind tasting, the wine had everyone guessing, searching and finally amazed when they found out what this wine was. This Blanc Du Bois like other “Blancs” from Texas has so much to offer consumers (and therefore Texas winegrowers and winemakers). As reconfirmed at Buffalo Gap, it has the ability to show well in head-to-head tastings with vinifera from major wine regions.
Messina Hof Winery 2009 Cabernet Franc, Cedar Crest Vineyard
This wine is both a fascination and conundrum to me: kind of like a wine some hate to love and a wine others love to hate. I personally like this wine very much. I last tasted it at our December TXwine Twitter Tuesday and it shows a deep rich red/black berry mélange that’s overlaid with dark chocolate, earthy forest floor. But, I have heard comments all over the map about this wine. Perhaps, what is most troubling to some may be its varietal character as Cab Franc is often described as a lighter-style wine with an herbaceous nose. But, hey… this is Texas and what varietal character is Texas Cab Franc supposed to have here. This wine is the full emersion experience into a deep, intense, dark red wine from the lone star state that you will love to sip, sip and sip. More at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=5419
Llano Estacado 2007 Viviano Superiore Rosso
This wine just keeps getting better and better every time I taste it. The 2005 Viviano was in my Pick Six for the Grand Wine and Food Affair (http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=738) in April 2009. I first tasted the 2007 vintage of this wine while at a winery event in April. But, I don’t feel badly going back for more Viviano particularly as it gains time in the bottle. This wine could be labeled as a Cabernet Sauvignon as it is more than 75% Cab. However, to do that would be leaving out a portion of its grand heritage. The 2007 Viviano is a blend of about 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 23% Sangiovese, and the wine is produced in an authentic “Super Tuscan” style having been in aged in American and French oak for an extended period (measured in years not months). This wine has a deep color of garnet followed by purely Italian qualities of dark cherry, spice and earth for a true new-but-old-world experience. This wine is all about silk, spice, sophistication, moderate alcohol and length of expression on the palate. It was a Grand Star award winner at the 2011 Lone Star International Wine Competition. Watch for the 2008 Viviano, too.
Sister Creek Vineyards 2010 Muscat Canelli
Many of you saw my “The Original’s Back!” blog post (http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=4395) as I was referring to it being back to Texas appellation and not made from out-of-state grapes. The 2010 vintage started with a deep cold winter and a slow warm-up through March and April without as killing freeze. By June, many growers were optimistic for a good year, but they still had to get through May and June: the hail season for most of Texas. The early summer was cool and wet, but around mid-July, to the delight of wine growers, the summer finished hot and dry. This semi-sweet wine brings a richness of aromatics of citrus, jasmine and honeysuckle, the wine titillates and bathes the palate in crisp sweetness with a hint of carbonation to give it a sensual tickle, as well. We also featured this wine on VintageTexas during coverage of the Edible Texas Food Wine Match (I also had the pleasure of presenting this wine at the event) and again at our November TXwine Twitter Tuesday event because of its value wine pricing.