Looking for a List of Really Good Texas Wines? Here it is! The Best of the Best List for 2010

Looking for a List of Really Good Texas Wines: Here it is! The Best of the Best List for 2010

As contenders among thousands of the world’s best international and American wines, Texas wines (www.gotexanwine.org) stood tall and won top awards at some of Texas’ largest international wine competitions in 2010.

“Texas continues to earn more and more prestigious recognition at these competitions each year, and the industry should be incredibly proud of that,” said Robert Champion, state coordinator for wine marketing at the Texas Department of Agriculture. “These awards are proof of the hard work and dedication of Texas grape growers and winemakers who continue to push the Texas wine industry forward.”

Taking top honors in 2010 at five international wine competitions held in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio are:

Becker Vineyards (www.beckervineyards.com)  2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Wilmeth Vineyard – Best of Show Red Wine (San Antonio Wine Festival)

Becker Vineyards 2008 Fleur Sauvage – Class Champion and Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Becker Vineyards 2008 Barbera, Peter’s Prairie Vineyard – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)

Becker Vineyards 2009 Clementine Late Harvest Viognier, Bingham Family Vineyards – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)

Flat Creek Estate (www.flatcreekestate.com) Mistella NV – Top Texas Wine and Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Georgetown Winery (www.georgetownwinery.com) Lone Star Frost NV – Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)

Grape Creek Vineyards (www.grapecreek.com) 2007 Serendipity – Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Grape Creek Vineyards 2009 Viognier, Lost Draw Vineyards – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)

McPherson Cellars (www.mcphersoncellars.com) 2009 Rosé of Syrah – Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)

McPherson Cellars  DBS 2007 – Reserve Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Messina Hof Winery (www.messinahof.com) – Best of Herd Award (San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo)

Messina Hof 2005 Papa Paulo Port Private Reserve – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)

Messina Hof Winery 2008 Chenin Blanc – People’s Choice Grand Champion White Wine (San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo)

Sunset Winery (www.sunsetwinery.com)  2005 “Vintner’s Select” Orange Muscat, Newsom Vineyard – Texas Class Champion  (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Lone Star International Wine Competition judge and noted wine blogger of The Wine Curmudgeon (www.winecurmudgeon.com)  Jeff Siegel made an interesting observation about this year’s competition:

“What’s important to note is that the Texas wines that won golds – which included a Barbera from Becker Vineyards in the Hill Country and a Tempranillo blend from Llano Estacado in West Texas – are excellent examples of what Texas can do with grapes that aren’t Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay,” Siegel said. “Diversity is part of the future of Texas wine, and it’s good to see these wines rewarded for their efforts in helping Texas wine secure its future.”

Home to more than 280 family-owned vineyards that cover 2,500 acres and more than 180 wineries, Texas is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the nation. The Texas wine industry contributes approximately $1.35 billion a year to the state’s economy and supports more than 9,000 jobs for Texans. Current wine production is estimated to be 2.4 million gallons per year and growing annually with 95 percent of this wine consumed in the Lone Star State.

For more information about Texas wines and a complete list of competition winners, go to: (www.gotexanwine.org/findwinesandwineries/awards.html) and visit www.gotexanwine.org.

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  1. Im sorry, but this is not a very good list and partially bias as these guys are mostly large producers (excluding sunset and georgetown)
    Where is Pheasant Ridge, Alamosa, Red Caboose, Tara, Haak, Enochs Stomp, Mandola/Duchman, Brushy Creek, Maydelle, and Llano (viviana) I am sure there are allot of people that will agree with me on this list. I could get into specific wines but this is going off the top of my head.
    These are all 100% Texas wines and are considered by many consumer and people in the industry as “Good Texas Wines”
    And ALL of these are “award winning wines”
    Not to mention that some did very well in San Francisco the past few years which I would say is very impressive!
    Many of these places Russ you have not visited.
    I am just a consumer and passionate about Texas wines, I feel that there are allot of wines and wineries not getting the attention that they deserve in the industry.

    • Bob,

      I have posted on this blog about the performance of these and many other Texas wines in numberous wine competitions around the USA.

      For examples:

      San Francisco Intl Wine Competition

      Lone Star Intl Wine Competition

      10th annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

      National Womens Wine Competition

      The list I provided in today’s blog was meant to be a best of the best list. These are wines that won medals in second round of these competitions: double golds, grand star, Grand Champions, ect. It was not meant to be an all inclusive list of award-winning Texas wines.

      I think that you should be able to find most of the wineries that you mention on one of these lists.



  2. Russ I am going off your title which is in my opinion a very strong statement “Looking for a List of Really Good Texas Wines? Here it is! The Best of the Best List for 2010”
    Many of these Texas wines were not entered into all these competitions because either they did not know about it or choose not to enter for one reason or another. I know one whose owner does not want his wines in competitions. (sounds funny but its true)
    Im just saying with a title like that… I did not realize that it was about the best of the best Texas wines that won the most awards. One can get all wrapped up in awards and drinking only award winning wines and never taste some of the best Texas wines out there.
    Please do not take this as I am angry/upset I do not mean to come across as such and I know that my passion can come across that way to some.
    I am just a passionate Texas Wine enthusiast and Love Texas wines I have been to at last count 29 wineries and some more than once. I have drank allot of Texas wines, all that I personally have purchased, some amazing and some not as good, talked to allot of winemakers tasting room host, and people in the industry and have learned allot of ins and outs in the Texas wine market. Probably much more than an average consumer should know. I love Texas wines and want to see them get the recognition they deserve. Whats bothers me is that there are some great wines in Texas that need to be getting recognition, but what can I as a consumer do?

    I am curious Russ, if say I was from Out of state and was a HUGE wine buff and came to you because I wanted to cut through the chase and taste 10 wines that represented Texas Terroir and showcase how great Texas wine is, what 10 wines would you suggest to me? And as with most people out of state I am not really into sweeter wines.
    I am curious what your list would be!


    • Bob,

      From your comment, “Whats bothers me is that there are some great wines in Texas that need to be getting recognition, but what can I as a consumer do?”

      If you feel this way, please expound on what wines they are.

      I was recently asked to select nine wines for the tasting that I did at the Bush Presidential Library at TAMU. While I choose these wine because I love them, I did want to slant it more toward reds than whites. They are all damn good. See list at: https://vintagetexas.com/?p=1733

      If I had to add a few more, I would include the Blanc Du Bois’ from Haak, Enoch’s Stomp and Black Spanish from Torre di Pietra.

      I normally wait until the end of the year to pick my favorites from all of the notes that I have taken during the year. This is a more accurate way to do it rather than just spouting off the cuff. I made such a list at the end of 2009. You can see it at: https://vintagetexas.com/?p=1337.

      Here is my list from 2008 too: https://vintagetexas.com/?p=214

      I look forward to hearing your top ten list in return.




      • Those are great selections Russ, Sad to say I have not had some of those that you have spoke of. And like allot of really good Texas wines the good ones go FAST.
        I live in the central to northeast region of Texas and some of these I do not currently have access to. I have not been to many of the wineries in the Hill Country as I do not travel that region much in my work.
        And I have not had the pleasure of visiting as many wineries as you have or been invited to any wine competitions.
        Here are my 10 I am going to give 4 reds, 4 whites and 1 sweet and 1 port style.

        Pheasant Ridge 2006 Chenin Blanc
        Red Caboose 2009 Viognier
        Tara Vineyards 2009 Blanc du Bois Dry
        Llano Estacado 2008 Viviano

        Pheasant Ridge 2006 Pinot Noir
        Pheasant Ridge 2003 Proprietors Reserve (Bordeaux Blend)-that is a new release BTW
        Alamosa El Guapo 2004
        Texas Hills 2004 Cabernet Savignon

        Maydelle Country Wines NV Lime Wine

        Port Style
        Haak 2006 Jaquez Madeira

        As you can probably see Pheasant Ridge is one of the Wineries I would say has not gotten its fair share in the wine accreditation and has a very supportive cult following which I will say I am apart of.
        Also too I want to add that all these wines I chose (except the Madeira) were under 20.00 (I know a place that sells the viviana for 20.00)
        I know that there is some really expensive Texas wines out there some are worth the price and some are a little over prices. So I try to stay in the under 20 category as best I can.

        I also would add
        Sunset wineries 04 Cabernet Savignon
        Red Caboose 2007 Tempranillo and Tempranillo/Cab Franc
        Pheasant Ridge 2002 Cabernet Savignon
        Lone Oak 2008 Fiore Bianco – an Awesome wine no longer available. so sad 🙁 I miss this one dearly.



  3. Although I don’t get as much of a chance to try wines from the other side of the state as I would like, here is my list of some favorites that I’ve had. I apologize for the slight High Plains heavy list, but here goes (in no particular order) –

    1. 2005 Llano Estacado Viviano
    2. 2008 Mandola (now Duchman) Dolcetto
    3. 2007 Red Caboose Syrah/Tempranillo
    4. 2008 Becker Vineyards Viognier
    5. 2006 Pheasant Ridge Pinot Noir
    6. 2008 (I think) Brushy Creek Moscato Giallo
    7. 2005 Pheasant Ridge Chardonnay
    8. 2007 Llano Estacado Cellar Reserve Cabernet
    9. 2007 McPherson DBS
    10. 2008 Brennan Vineyards Viognier

    Both my limited exposure to the extensive list of Hill Country wineries and my penchant for Viognier are visible in this list. I hope to expand my experience with wineries in other areas soon, which will doubtless lead to a change in this list. Cheers!

  4. I invite you to come out and taste some amazing Texas wine. The Vineyard at Florence. 8711 W FM 487, Florence, TX. Just 45 minutes North of Texas. We also won an award in The San Francisco wine competition.

    I think you will be surprised. 🙂



    My suggestion is that you find a Spec’s store near you. They typically have the best selection of Texas wines statewide. Find one near you at:
    http://www.specsonline.com/cgi-bin/showpage?pageid=locate by inputting your zip code.

    You can also order wines directly from Texas wineries and have them delivered to your door step or a nearby friendly business that can provide an adult signature if you are unavailable.

    Cheers and have a great time.


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