Ahh! That’sa Nice. This is What The Buffalo Gap Wine & Food Summit is All About
The morning started early under the indigo sky, over the red dirt and next to the lime green leaved mesquites. On my third trip here, I finally got it…don’t wear your good boots. The last two years it took me a few months and professional cleaning to get the red dirt out of all the nooks and crannies in my Stetsons. Not this year, it’s Lowas.
In the big white tent, Master Sommelier Guy Stout lead us through five flights of Italian, Texas and California wines (18 wines in all) that ran until noon. Now, that’s rough duty, I know, but when in Buffalo Gap you have to do what the Gappians do…it’s palate to the grindstone.
Texas notable in this morning’s flights were two Pinot Grigios from Texas wineries: Flat Creek Estate and Llano Estacado Winery. Texas just seems to have trouble with any grape that has Pinot in its first name. But, at times (like in the long cool season of 2010), the Pinot Grigio grape can shine in Texas. My personal fave was the Llano Estacado Pinot Grigio which as explained by executive winemaker, Greg Bruni, derived from Texas High Plains grapes (given care under warm days and cool nights with their roots in red sandy loam over porous caliche limestone). This wine was clean, fresh and crisp with citrus aromas and a hint of sage.
Even more notable was the strongest flight for Texas that included two Texas Viogniers; one from Lone Oak Winery (now Lost Oak Winery after their SFO double gold and threat of lawsuit from Kendall Jackson lawyers – it seems they have the rights to the name). The other wine was from the winery that introduced us Texans (and some outside the state, as well) to Viognier, Becker Vineyards. These two wines showed brightly with moderate forward fruit character. There was higher alcohol and ripeness from the Lone Oak, and the soft and smooth secondary (M-L) fermentation style in the Becker Vineyards wine. This showed the depth of what Texas can do with Viognier – Its world Class. Even the Californians and Italians on the panel were complementary of the results of these efforts.
McPherson Cellars and Brennan Vineyards finished the Texas showing in style with a Sangiovese from Texas-New Mexico fruit from McPherson Cellars and a wine with a no-name grape (Nero d’Avola) from Brennan Vineyards, but it has high potential in Texas (similar soils and climate here and in Sicily).
But, it was after the morning tasting when the personality of the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit real rose up in a groundswell of song. We were seated around tables enjoying Damian Mandola’s Antipasto lunch washed down with quantities of light and crisp Italian Rosato wine. With the gathering of Italians like we had in our group, it was no surprise that singing was going to start – Damian Mandola and especially Luciano Castiello from Banfi in fine vocal form on the West Texas red dirt stage. It started with Volare then finished with this version of Come Back to Sorrento!
Hope you enjoy the video and the beautiful setting of the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit. Follow tonight’s tastings action on Twitter using the hash tag #BGSummit.