Congrats to Fall Creek Vineyards! Their GSM Texas Monthly’s Top Texas Wine
As announced by Fall Creek Vineyards Director of Winemaking Sergio Cuadra, “We are thrilled to learn that our 2015 Fall Creek Vineyards Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre (GSM), Salt Lick Vineyards was awarded this year’s Texas Monthly’s Top Texas Wine. It is a fantastic honor to be named for this prestigious recognition among so many outstanding Texas wines at the annual Toast of Texas event held by The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas. The Texas wine industry is truly producing some of the best wines in the world at this moment.”
Responding to my inquiry, winery co-owner Susan Auler adds, “Fall Creek GSM is sculpted with minimal inputs by Winemaker Sergio Cuadra from the Terroir of Salt Lick Vineyards, and is a natural Texas Monthly “Top Texas Wine”. Four-plus decades of selecting the correct grape varieties for the best soil sites continue to pay off in top reviews for Fall Creek Vineyards wines.”
Anyone who has read my writings on Texas wines over the past two decades knows that was an early-believer in grapes grown in Texas with a sun-loving Mediterranean heritage and one of my favorite red grape varieties for Texas overall continues to be Mourvèdre. In the Fall Creek GSM, Mourvèdre is in the lead role and doing incredibly well: Mourvédre 91%, Grenache 3%, Syrah 6%.
Caudra says, “We are extremely excited about the quality of the Mourvèdre we are sourcing from Salt Lick Vineyards. In 2015, it was the shining star of the vineyard. Taking center stage in this GSM blend, it lends a dark, brooding character with flavors of stewed plum and black cherry, wild herbs and a rustic, integrated barnyard funkiness that is both nostalgic and mysterious. Subtle, chewy tannins and medium weighted richness provide balance and support to this gorgeous beast.
It is worth noting a bit of background on Mourvédre, a grape synonymous with the southern French appellation of Bandol and a leader in the advance of modern Texas wines. While Bandol is one of the oldest winegrowing regions in France originally planted with Mourvédre, it was almost relegated to a historical footnote in the late nineteenth century following the great phylloxera devastation of the vineyards in France. After a long recovery period, this region received its official appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) designation in the 1940s, mainly through the efforts of Lucien Peyraud and several other local viticulteurs to bring back Mourvédre.
Mourvèdre vines are being planted in many hot, dry Texas locales: the High Plains, the Hill Country, and even far west Texas. While Texas is large and Bandol is small they are inexorably linked by terroir, climates that swing often from Mediterranean to continental (influenced by both the north and south winds), and for now and ever more – the Mourvèdre grape.
It’s time to celebrate the success of Fall Creek’s GSM and the start of a period where Texas wines are being acknowledged on the grand world stage. Congrats to Fall Creek Vineyards!