2009 GO TEXAN DrinkLocalWine.com Conference in Dallas: Tasting Notes

Andrew Chalk attended yesterday’s Twitter Taste-Off of Texas wins. He reports his favorites:

The GO TEXAN DrinkLocalWine.com conference in Dallas this weekend featured a tasting of 45 Texas wines. All were 100% Texas fruit. The range incorporated over 20 grape varieties in styles that ranged from very sweet to bone dry. Here are my personal favorites. The scores are mine as well.

2006 Haak Vineyards & Winery Madeira Blanc du Bois. Not remotely like a Madeira, just a very well-made and interesting sweet dessert wine. Treacle on the nose and molasses in the mouth. Good with desserts containing fruit like tarts and crepes. (86/100)

2006 Inwood Estate Vineyards, Magellan. A blend of the five Bordeaux red varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec) and Spanish star Tempranillo. A massive, chunky undeveloped behemoth of a wine that needs to be put away for five years or so. I think that only then will we discover its ultimate character. Very complex, the restrained nose has hints of raspberry (Tempranillo influence?) and likewise there is raspberry in the taste. This wine is almost chewy in the mouth. The winemaker’s objective is so independent in its thinking that the final results could eventually establish him as either the Mozart or the Pied Piper of Texas red wine making – depending on results. Liquid Frank Gehry. (86+/100).

2008 Landon Winery Tempranillo. I hope this wine is indicative of where this winery intends to go in the next few years. There is clearly-defined Tempranillo fruit in the nose and a medium-bodied mouth feel of varietal fruit and soft tannins. Good for drinking now but will keep for 3-5 years. I would serve this with red meat. The fruit is from West Texas although the winery is conveniently located just a ten-hour rush-hour drive up Central Expressway in McKinney. Landon has historically been one of the worst offenders for importing out-of-state grapes from which they turned out mediocre wine. Hopefully this represents The New Landon. (84/100)

2008 Brennan Vineyards Viognier. This is the white grape variety that seems to be doing best in Texas and nobody illustrates the potential better than Brennan Vineyards. Classic Viognier floral nose leads to tastes of pineapple. A good choice with chicken, spicy food such as Thai or Indian, or fish. Brennan is becoming something of a Viognier expert, growing vines not only for their own use but also selling fruit to other wineries in the state. (85/100).

2008 Becker Vineyards Viognier. I remember the first time I tasted Becker Viognier. It changed my whole perspective on the winery. It was a blind tasting of 10 Viogniers in which all of the other wines came from California. I placed the Becker third. No mean achievement for a Texas wine. This wine has pineapple and lychee in the nose and pineapple in the taste. Same food recommendation as the Brennan (above) but this one may be better for quaffing on account of its fruitiness. (86/100)

2008 Tara Vineyards “Angel’s Kiss”. A Blanc du Bois that may have some Chardonnay blended in. A sweet white that should be served as a dessert wine in lieu of Muscat. The main element in the taste is Peach. (84/100)

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