Texas Fine Wine’s New Rich Reds, Whites and Fruit-Forward Rosés Come from Abundant 2015 Harvest
Spring in Texas signals bluebonnets and a whole host of other wildflowers. But, for wine enthusiasts across the State, they are anxiously awaiting the new releases from the 2015 vintage and newly bottled red wines. The wineries of Texas Fine Wine have exciting new releases to share, including the first-ever “orange wine” [no they don’t mean orange like the fruit] in Texas as well as a new winery keg program for guests who want to take home a growler of Texas wine.
The group of five distinctive Texas wineries that make up Texas Fine Wine are dedicated to making quality Texas appellation wines from Texas vineyards and thus setting the highest standards for wine in the Texas. Here’s a look at the new releases and offerings from the Texas Fine Wine wineries:
Bending Branch Winery in Comfort is releasing its 2015 Comfortage, Hoover Valley Vineyards, Roussanne ($28) and 2015 Riven Rock Vineyard Viognier ($34), both grown in the Texas Hill Country, as well as its 2015 High Plains Cinsaut ($24). The Comfortage Roussanne is fermented half in stainless steel and half in oak barrels, so it offers crisp citrus flavors that comes with a great mouthfeel, pairing well with creamy cheeses, vinaigrette salads, quiches and a host of light recipes. The 2015 Riven Rock Viognier shows notes of apricot and a hint of vanilla creaminess, and exhibits minerality that complements seafood dishes. Bending Branch’s 2015 High Plains Rosé tastes of ripe strawberries and has a slight green olive brininess that pairs well with charcuterie and cheese, smoked pork loin, and pasta with pesto.
These wines are available at the winery; Comfortage can be found at some H-E-Bs.
Brennan Vineyards in Comanche has three new 2015 Viognier releases: Classic Viognier ($17) from the estate vineyard, Reserve Viognier ($25) from the Newburg Vineyards in Comanche County, and the first-ever Cellar Select Viognier ($25).
Brennan Vineyards Classic Viognier has big, bold, beautiful notes of grilled peaches, Meyer lemons, and citrus blossom. The Reserve Viognier, specific to the Newburg Vineyard, is refined with an aromatic presence of honeysuckle, nectarines, and key lime zest rounded out with a mineral- driven finish. The Cellar Select Viognier is the state’s first “Orange Wine” [referring to its bronze-like color] a white wine for a red wine lover. This white wine was made using red wine techniques, with intentional skin contact to produce extra color. The Cellar Select Viognier offers big, dry, intense aromas of granny smith apples and subtle hints of white flowers, with gentle tannins. Viognier pairs well with grilled salmon, soft cheese, and grilled quail and dove. Brennan is also releasing its 2015 Mourvèdre Dry Rosé ($20), a dynamic blend of 71 percent Mourvèdre and 29 percent Grenache. A winery favorite, this rosé offers notes of strawberry, golden raspberries and rose petals. These wines are available at the winery in Comanche and 4.0 Cellars in Fredericksburg; the Classic Viognier can also be found at Specs, Total Wine, Goody Goody and other Texas wine stores.
Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, specializing in Italian wines, plans to add a keg program this spring, making it one of the only wineries in the state with a “wine on tap” system. Duchman Family Winery will offer its popular Vermentino, Montepulciano and Dry Rosé in 750-ml growlers, which save on packaging and promotes sustainability.
It also announces several new spring releases, including the 2015 Duchman Dry Rosé of Montepulciano ($20), with notes of wild strawberry – a perfect sipping wine that also pairs well with cheeses and lighter fare. The 2015 Vermentino ($20) with classic citrus and light floral notes, pairs well with seafood and pesto. Duchman is having a limited release of its 2012 Estate Aglianico ($46; only 52 cases produced). It’s a rustic, savory wine with dark fruit and structured tannins and pairs with braised meats, grilled game, and hearty mushroom dishes. These 2015 Vermentino will be widely available at fine wine retailers and restaurants in Texas. The Dry Rosé and Estate Aglianico will only be available in the tasting room and online. Made especially for the Old Settlers Music Festival in Driftwood (April 14-16), Duchman will also be releasing limited edition Festival blends – Harmony White ($16) and Mandolin Red ($22). These wines are available at the festival and winery.
Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall has its fifth release of its Texas Albariño ($30, winery only) with prominent notes of candied green apple with subtle hints of banana and freshly cut grass. A buttery mouth feel balances the crisp acidity. The Texas Albariño pairs excellently with sushi (and lighter seafood fare). Its flagship wine, 2015 Texas Viognier ($16), reflects the mild weather and long growing season with aromas of peach and honeysuckle, with a touch of orange zest on the palate, pairing well with roast chicken and pasta dishes. The 2015 vintage of its Texas Dry Rosé ($30, winery only) is a Provencal-style Grenache Rosé, featuring lovely aromas of strawberries and ripe red fruits, is well-balanced with fresh, crisp acidity. They also offer two new reds, including the 2014 Texas GSM ($26), representing the seventh year of its Rhone-style blend incorporating Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache from the estate Hill Country vineyard and partner vineyards in Texas. This medium-bodied, rich red blend delivers aromas of raspberry, fennel, mushroom, and molasses, and a soft finish for pairing with savory meat dishes and sautéed vegetables. Finally, the 2013 Bingham Vineyards Tempranillo Reserve ($40, winery only) showcases the elegance of Texas Tempranillo. The nose includes notes of cherry, raspberry, and truffle along with hints of licorice and sage, with a rich and complex finish, pairing well with roast pork and BBQ. Pedernales wines are available at fine wine retailers in Texas.
Spicewood Vineyards introduces two new signature releases: its 2015 Estate Sauvignon Blanc ($20) along with its first-ever Texas High Plains Sauvignon Blanc ($18) and Texas High Plains 2014 Tempranillo ($24). The Estate Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of citrus and papaya with notes of ripe grapefruit and a refreshing minerally notes, while the Texas High Plains Sauvignon Blanc, made from grapes from Martin Vineyards, expresses more gooseberry and lemongrass flavors. Both Sauvignon Blancs pair well with spring and summer vegetables, fish and grilled chicken, and are great summer sippers, too. Spicewood also offers a new Texas High Plains Tempranillo (made from Bayer Family Vineyards grapes) that just won gold at the 2016 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. This red has notes of blueberries and plums and is a softer style of Tempranillo with subtle tannins and brighter fruit notes, pairing well with grilled meats, pizza and Mexican food. These wines are available at the winery or online only.
Texas Fine Wine group wineries promotes its award-winning wines, events, winemakers and growers at major wine education conferences such as TEXSOM, wine and food festivals, sommelier meetings and tastings, media events, restaurant dinners, and its signature Texas Fine Wine events. Texas Fine Wine invites wine enthusiasts to follow Texas Fine Wine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.