Landon 2008 Tempranilllo, Bingham Family Vineyards: The New Fave Wine I Found on a Bus
Last night, I was herded onto a bus along with many other attendees at the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) Meeting in Richardson, Texas. Our distination was Crosstimbers Winery (www.crosstimberswinery.com) in Grapevine, Texas, for dinner festivities.
No sooner were we onboard comfortably seated and the the wheels rolling, I heard the sound of corks being pulled. We were seated elbow-to-elbow and the conversations flowing with talk of root stock selection, Pierce’s Disease (PD for short), new plantings of grapevines in Central Texas, and a long list of new varietals that were being planted in Texas. We talked about inky purple Tannat wine coming from Les Constable Brushy Creek Vineyards (email@example.com), Blanc Du Bois and Black Spanish (Lenior) from the Vineyard at Florence (www.thevineyardatflorence.com), and Tempranillo on the Texas High Plains (www.newsomvineyards.com).
Just about 30 minutes into the bus trip, I was passed a bottle that contained wine that I had not tried before. It was Landon Winery’s (www.landonwinery.com) 2008 Tempranilllo with a single vineyard designatation indicating that it came from the Bingham Family Vineyards (www.binghamfamilyvineyards.com). I poured a taste into my glass and it was love at first sight (or should I say love at first bus ride).
The Landon Tempranillo was dark, very dark, with a deep purple hue, followed by a balsamic dark berry aroma and a range of flavors including blackberry and dark red plum. This was an interesting find and pure please in the glass. When the bottle was passed back to me, boo…it was empty. No wonder though, others likely found the pleasures of this wine and did not have the kindness to save me a second pour.
Later, during dinner at Crosstimbers Winery, I talked to Cliff Bingham about the Tempranillo grapes from his vineyard that Landon made into my new wine fave. He mentioned that they were actually young grapes on only the third leaf (third year of growth), but acknowledged that Tempranillo grows well for him. He likes it as a new varietal for Texas and you know what….so to I! The wine from his Tempranillo is just going to get better year-by-year as the vines gain maturity and reach their peak performance in the next five years. With the Texas High Plains up at between 3,500 and 4,000 feet in elevation, it is like what the Spanish call Rioja Alta, the highest and best quality Tempranillo they have.
Watch the YouTube video above from the Landon Winery (McKinney, Texas) website. It shows the havesting of the 2008 Tempranillo at Bingham Family Vineyard on the Texas High Plains near Lubbock.
That’s a great video. I’m excited to see what Tempranillo can do in Texas. I’ll have to get my hands on some!
We have just started the ramp up with Tempranillo as a highly recognized Texas varietal grape along with Viognier (white varietal from the South of France) and Blanc Du Bois (widely planted hybrid for east Texas and the Gulf Coast). There have been some good Texas Tempranillos (e.g. San Martino, Lone Oak, Llano Estacado to name a few).
It buds late to resist late spring freezes and the rugged vitality to handle our unusual growing conditions in Texas.