VintageTexas Top Ten Texas Wines of 2012 – White Wines

VintageTexas Top Ten Texas Wines of 2012 – White Wines

The naming of the top ten Texas wines has become our VintageTexas annual tradition. After Jessica Dupuy’s fine retrospective of her top Texas wines of 2012 (click here), I almost broke down to just posting a link to her site. She had some damn good wines. Luckily, as she mention, there are more and more really good Texas wine to go around, perhaps enough to make three or four top ten lists.

The method for my selections is based on what I’ve tasted during the past year and a revisit of my notes and scores as well. Unlike, Jessica’s selections that are based on getting 18 on a 20 point scale, I decided this year to feature my top scoring wines: five whites, five reds and five (really great) honorable mentions. The five extra wines (honorable mentions) this year were named for specific reasons; something about them I though was notable, unique or different. OK, enough of my blabber; the following list contains my favorite top five Texas white wines:

Pedernales Cellars Viognier, Texas, 2011

I tasted this wine in the heat of the Texas summer (click here) along with its big brother (Pedernales Cellars Reserve Viognier) and its cousin (Pedernales Cellars Albariño). This wine expresses clear, clean fruit character concentrated by the sun, heat and arid conditions from 2011. I think the reason that I chose this over the Reserve Viognier was its lack of oak resulted in penetrating citrus, peach and tropical pineapple and mango notes from grapes mostly from the Bingham and Reddy vineyards well placed on the Texas high plains near Lubbock.

McPherson Cellars Reserve Roussanne, Bingham Vineyards, Texas High Plains, 2010

This wine was one of several notable Texas wine on a tasting panel that I assembled for the Austin Food & Wine Festival back in April with June Rodil, Craig Collins MS and Devon Broglie MS (click here). It was also selected by Guy Stout MS for his tasting panel with Christy Canterbury MW (click here).  I’ve had it now probably six times this year and it keeps getting better with its lemony, green tea qualities, silky feel and long finish. Mark my word, Roussanne is destined for greatness in Texas.

Brennan Vineyards Lily, 2010

I discovered this wine one afternoon at 4.0 Cellars near Fredericksburg and by November it was one of my favorites of the year and on my Thanksgivings Day table. It’s Brennan Vineyards white Rhone-style blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache “Blanc”.  Viognier drives the nose with floral aromas, with Roussanne yielding lemon citrus notes, smooth feel and finish, and Grenache providing a crisp underpinning on the palate. It’s also become my wife’s favorite having displaced Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. I just can’t seem to keep it around the house for very long. In fact, I out again!

Messina Hof Winery Moscato, Tribute to Innocence, 2011

This was a recent acquisition.  On my last trip to Fredericksburg I purchased a bottle of this wine there at the HEB in preparation for our December TXwine Twitter Tuesday event. I already had a bottle the 2010 which was very good. However, when I opened the 2011, the jasmine and orange blossom floral aromas jumped out of the glass followed by bright crisp fruit flavors, light body from the refreshingly and barely sweet fluid. This wine is a wonderful statement from the Muscat Canelli grape that does so well in Texas.

Haak Vineyards Madeira Blanc Du Bois 2010

Ol’ Raymond Haak down in Galveston County just seems to be getting better and better making his Madeiras from both Blanc Du Bois and Lenoir (which he calls by its other name Jacquez). Honestly, I like both. However, I have to admit, while the Haak Madeira Jacquez is probably more in keeping with the style and tradition of Madeira, the Madeira Blanc Du Bois does something special to me. I did a retrospective tasting of Haak’s Madeiras, which was my backdrop for comparison. The 2010 Blanc is simply super with its interesting yellow-copper color, green hue, brisk acidity, caramel sweetness, deep layering and long finish with a salty note from somewhere thrown in for good measure. It is an exceptional dessert and sipping wine over ice.

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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.


  1. Have you tried the Saddlehorn Blanc du Bois. Worth a trip to Burton to try! I enjoy the Estate Blanc du Bois from Bernhardt Winery also. Since it is winter, I don’t normally think of white!

  2. Ron, it just goes to show ya that there are more than can be put on one list. That’s a great statement for Texas Wine.

    You should make your list too. More lists, more #TXwine fun!

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