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Calais Winery 2010 La Cuvée Du Canton

La Cuvée Du Canton
2010 Syrah Texas High Plains

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Deep saturated ruby to garnet color.
Nose- first get the oak and cork but this ones been in the bottle a while and it’s not opened up yet. Dark plums, cherry, and mossy earthen notes. A bright cherry to raspberry on the very back of the nose.
Taste is very silky and well balanced. Lots of bright red cherries and raspberry right up front. A hint of cinnamon and anise on the tail end with the oaky woody notes in the midrange. Nice acid that holds up the wine and texture is silky velvet.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in #TXWine, Calais Winery, French Style, Syrah

 

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Landon Winery Grande Finale 2002 Tawny port style wine

 

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I am not typically a big fan of sweet wines, however port / port style wines are the exception to my rule.

These particular wines are an artistic approach to indulgence in which you would rather drink than eat

your dessert.

Not all Texas port style wines are created equal and from my experience a few are tastefully close to the

country of origin.

When we visit a Texas winery, one we have visited previously or a new winery to us, we tend to always

try a port style if they have one available. This has caused us to have a storage issue among all the

wines in the racks. The port style wines that were purchased tend to lay in a dark cool spot never to be

touched until the urge for a port wine is summoned. On these rare occasions the decision of which one

to open becomes complex and will purely drive you a little crazy with the choices.

As I reached down into this shrine of wine the other evening, pulling bottles, reading labels and checking

dates, I stumbled upon a 2002 bottle of Landon Grande Finale Texas Tawny. We have been fans of this

particular port style tawny because of the many flavors that can hide and mingle inside this particular

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This tawny brings with it a rich nose packed with dried cherries, raisins, vanilla and caramels. Upon

tasting you get a full and silky mouth feel of rich dried fruits such as plums, currants and raisins, spices

such as anise and allspice, along with flavors of toasted almonds. The dust on the bottle and the 12

years it just lain in our racks has given this wine a well blended and married profile that is one that has

aged extremely well.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Landon Winery

 

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Brennan Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay, Texas

After a long day on the first day of summer nothing more rewarding than to end the day with a nice chilled bottle of Texas white wine.  Well not just any bottle of Texas white wine but Texas Chardonnay!

Texas is not really the place you would think some white varietals would do well.  However with the right love, planning and hard work things work out.  Brennan Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay is one of those wines.

Grown in Comanche County, Texas Todd Webster has once again proved that Texas can produce such a varietal in the harsh Texas soil and temperatures that this state can bring on to fruit.

Normally I would have opened this bottle and poured some into the glass and staged a beautiful photo opportunity giving the bottle and glass a romantic glow to enjoying this wine.  Instead I am taking a photo of just the empty bottle with fingerprint smudges from last night.  Why would I do that you ask?  Well it was the first day of summer here in Texas.  We wanted to end the day, sit and enjoy a nice chilled bottle of Texas wine and well we did just that.

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I have opened many of Texas wines over the years however popping the cork of a Brennan bottle of wine will give you a slight workout. This is not a bad thing at all. When Todd Webster puts the cork in the filled bottle it’s the sealed stamp of approval.  You’re getting a top notch Texas wine.

I am not going to give you tasting notes because this is a Texas chardonnay I truly feel you must experience for yourself.  I will say this about the wine that it just the right amount of oak to give it some character, not that it needed any.  It was smooth with just a slight creamy feel across the palette and the taste faded nice and slow giving a nice soft clean finish.  That was my take on it.  Cool and refreshing wine for a nice end to a hot summers day here in Texas.

To order yours: Brennan Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Brennan Vineyards

 

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The Texas Viticulture Certificate Program

 

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The Texas Viticulture Certificate Program

Texas Tech University and Texas A&M AgriLife extension just pushed a email today and is now accepting applications for the Viticulture program starting this fall semester.

This is your chance to get the education tools to get you started and not only grow and learn yourself but your vineyards too.  This could be your ticket into the Texas wine industry which is growing each year.  Just look at the Texas Hill Country on Hwy 290.  Winery seeds have been sprouting up and down the roads in Texas

Click here to see the program website.  This is a really good program to get into if you’re truly wanting to start a winery and vineyard.  All the details and application and examples of the program are on the Wine Grapes website.

 

More contact Info:

Ed Hellman

Professor of Viticulture and Extension Specialist

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Texas Tech University

Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center

1102 East FM 1294

Lubbock, TX 79403-6603

ewhellman@ag.tamu.edu

Phone: 806-746-6101

Fax: 806-746-6528

Website: http://winegrapes.tamu.edu

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Viticulture

 

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Cripple Creek & Company Bastrop, Texas

By: Dave & Kelli Potter

 

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One of the fun things about traveling the in-roads and back-roads of Texas is the adventures you find in the many towns you drive thru.  Each town has its own unique touch, style and charm.  Bastrop is one of those towns and if you really get in deep you will find the hidden cool spots that lay within the streets.

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This past April, right before the Lost Pines Wine Fest, my father-in-law drove me downtown to scope out the site where the festival was to be held.  We did not stop on this trip into town, but as he was driving I noticed a small sign on Main Street showing a giraffe wearing cowboy boots. The sign read “Wine Tasting”.  Yea, I was thinking the same thing: Wow you see lots of interesting stuff in small towns and I didn’t expect that!

About midday I told my wife we needed to make a downtown run and check out the Bastrop Brew house and I wanted to check out the mysterious “giraffe sign” location.  After a nice Texas brewed beer and some appetizers we walked up to Main Street back to where I saw the sign. I was very happy we did because we would have never have known that the place we found was Bastrop’s version of Cheers!

Once in the door we were greeted with a big smile and the happy face of DeeDee Peddy, owner of Cripple Creek & Company.  When you walk thru that door you’re greeted not as a stranger, but like a long lost friend.  How is that for small town Texas hospitality?

 

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Cripple Creek sells everything from wine shirts, a wide selection of whole bean coffees, candles, grilling & smoking rubs & spices, to Texas wines.  DeeDee prides herself in selling Texas made products and she does an outstanding job of picking some of the best Texas products you can find.

The Texas wine selections range from Duchman, Pedernales Cellars, Becker, Georgetown Winery, Llano, Wedding Oak and so on.  DeeDee is constantly working on tasting other wines around Texas and getting new wineries in her shop.  The wines in her store are not the normal Texas wines you find in stores like Spec’s, HEB or Wine & Spirits stores; no these are Texas wines ranging from sweet to dry Tempranillo and to bold Texas Cab’s.  Cripple Creek is not a winery or a wine bar, but does offer wine tasting.

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DeeDee’s Cripple Creek & Company is set up for free tastings of the wines she sells and several times a month on weekends you will find one of the winery owners, winemakers, tasting room managers or representatives of a winery doing tastings and answering any questions you might have. Of course all wines sampled are always available for purchase so you can take one home to enjoy. Be sure to let DeeDee know you are a personal friend and stop in to say hello – it’s guaranteed you will enjoy your visit!

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in #TXWine, Tasting Room

 

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Pontotoc,Texas the next Texas Wine destination

By: Dave & Kelli Potter

I will have to admit that this year’s trip to the Texas Hill Country was so organized and tight that a spreadsheet had to be produced just to make sure we were on track and on time.  Some might even say that is not a fun way to have a mini vacation.  To tell you the truth, it was the best way due to the fact we had a special stop in Mason, Texas to reach.

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Our last stop of the day on Saturday was Sandstone Cellars Winery in Mason, TX.  We had a special tasting set up with co-owner Scott Haupert and Don Pullum, the winemaker, and later co-owner Manny Silerio stopped in to say hello.

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Sandstone’s wines are labeled in roman numerals with vintages and some having NV (no vintage).  We tasted 6 wines, which were blends of everything imaginable from Zinfandel to Merlot, Touriga to Mourvedre.  I have known winemakers before that blend. I know winemakers that have some outstanding blended wines.  After finally meeting, talking about, and experiencing blended wines, Don definitely has this mastered. All I can say is that if I want to learn how to blend wines, and to blend them well, Don is the man to learn from and study with in this magical art form.

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We finished up our tastings at the winery and took a walk 30 feet or less next door to eat at Santos Taqueria Mexican restaurant.  Family owned and operated it is as authentic as it gets.  When I say authentic, as an example, refried beans that you might normally get at a Mexican restaurant will dry on top over the course of your meal. Not these! They were fresh and moist to the end and the food was awesome. Everyone in our group tried something different and loved every bite.

After dinner we hopped into our cars and followed Don on a 25-minute journey back in time to Pontotoc, Texas.  We made it to Pontotoc well before sunset and we started the nickel tour of what is to become the next Fredericksburg.  This is where Don’s smile got even bigger. Like a kid at Disneyland he laid on the history lessons of the town without skipping a beat.  We walked over to the old crumbling school building remains, which is surrounded by wildflowers and cactus.  This is a memorial site Don is creating to his wife who loved the bright vibrant colors, the flowers instilled into the landscape.  What a truly wonderful dedication to the woman he loves most.

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The evening just kept getting better with each turn. Just about the time we walked back to what has got to be one of the first “shopping strips” in Texas,  Alphonse Dotson of the 1967-70 Oakland Raiders and his lovely wife Martha pull up.  Mr. Dotson has a vineyard and one wine they have produced so far.  I was lucky enough to get a photo opportunity with him and I will say he has got to be one of the most down to earth, friendly people you will ever meet.  The whole time he was smiling, asking questions to all of us and was genuinely interested in getting to know us all.

P1080279 We toured each space in the “strip” one-by-one, stepping further back in time. Don gave us the history about each business that once was.  At one time this small 60-70 yard building once held a general store, post office and a theater.  Now its being restored back to the original state it once was.  The tasting room and production room of Pontotoc Winery will take up two spots and Mr. Dotson’s Winery will take up residence right next to Don’s Akashic Winery and the theater will be restored and used once again as an entertainment space with live theater and events.

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We all stepped into the production area where Don hosted us to what was not just a show and tell, but a true hands-on experience.  At the beginning of this article I mentioned Don’s blending skills.  I got more out of this experience than what I even expected.  Don started off telling us what was in the tanks and barrels.  He then walked to the back with a box of small  Mason jars (no pun intended).  Funny because we were going to taste with Mason jars in Mason County; how ironic is that?

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Don poured a normal size mason jar with tempranillo that was being aged in stainless and then poured each of us a taste.  “Now taste this and remember how it tasted” Don says. We continued sampling the single varietals of another Tempranillo, this one aging in oak, as well as cabernet sauvignon, Mouvedre’ and lastly, Alicante Bouchet, all out of stainless steel.  Then he began the blending of the same wines out of oak barrels and mixes them with wine from the stainless steel tanks.  It was a winemaker magic trick and I feel lucky to have had this experience.  Definitely a moment and experience that will be etched in my mind, and one day I can give back the love of winemaking as Don did for us to others.

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Right before the beautiful Texas sunset of the Hill Country we walked around to the back to the vineyard.  I could not have timed this photo opportunity any better.  Looking out over the well maintained Tempranillo vines and working windmill this was a poetic and romantic moment to say the very least. Adjacent to the vineyard stands a beautiful two story home filled with history and love.  This place is being restored back to its original state from old photos of its glory days as a station with the German Emigration Company and later a boarding home for the girls attending the San Fernando Academy normal college in the town.  If only the home could tell the stories that fills its soul it would be a book with many sequels for sure.

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The grounds  are maintained and being restored by Ronnie Money, a former agriculture teacher, 30 year railroad man and now vineyard manager.  Talking to Ronnie was talking to a man that truly loves his job.  He said to us “I think I work harder now than when I was at the railroad” and then goes on to say “I feel better, healthier and happier now than I ever have.” Starting this project back in 2006 to the present he has lots to show off, and his hard work and love for what he does shows not only on the property, but the smile on his face as he and I talked next to the first row of vines at sunset.  I hope to be more like Ronnie someday and share the same feelings and smiles when I own a vineyard and share it with others.

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Other articles on Pontotoc, Texas

Jennifer McInnis

Jeff Cope

Denise Clarke

Russell Kane

 

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Saying Hi to Hye Meadow Winery

 

By: Dave & Kelli Potter

We were excited to finally meet Mike & Denise Batek at Hye Meadow.  The new winery is still under construction, but is filling out nicely. Apparently we were the first guests to visit, which is exciting in itself.  

As we drove down the muddy road to the site we were greeted by Mike and Denise.  I do not know who was more excited, us or them.  With little to no sheetrock up yet we instantly viewed the tasting bar area.  A very spacious bar is going in that will serve quite a few people easily.  IMG_1931

Just behind the bar are sliding doors which lead out to the patio, which also leads out to a wonderful backdrop of trees and grass with deer on the property.  This is going to be the place to be to sit with a nice glass of wine and unwind and enjoy the Hill Country view. 

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Leading off this patio area is a long walk way with a spacious events area that is covered and will be a staging area for events such as music and weddings complete with dressing rooms and bathrooms for both bride and groom.

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We finish off the walk-through of the property by moving over to the production building.  Once again I find myself dreaming for the day of having a place like this of my own.  Mike is going to have a state of the art production area complete with integrated cooling systems which he grins when saying, “I can control each tank from my phone!” That, my friends, is a whole new level of “Wine Geek”.

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I am not going to give away the really cool stuff that we saw so you will just have to visit to see for yourself in the production area.  Mike and Denise have really designed this place as a must visit destination while in Hye, Texas.

Before we left we did a little drive around the corner and visited Hye Market where you can purchase  wines including wines from Hye Meadow.  Mike and Cellar Manager Chris Black were set up for doing tastings for the day.  

Follow Hye Meadow Winery on Facebook: Hye Meadow Page

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in #TXWine, Hye Meadow Winery

 

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