Texas offers some outstanding Tempranillo wines and Benjamin Calais’ French style of wine making with this Texas fruit is a well matched pair. I met Calais online in a Texas wine forum on Facebook and was happy to finally get to meet and talk with him at his winery during the week of Texsom.
The saying “big things come in small packages” fits this well. The small, quaint French style winery was filled with some exciting red and white wines. It was hard to choose which ones to bring home to add to the cellar. After a few hours we ended up with a case and a smile.
This past year we have been on a red wine kick. Not just reds, but really bold, fruity style Texas wines – Cabernet, Merlot and everything in between; however, one varietal stood out in 2011 for us and that was a Texas Tempranillo and there’s no better way to start off 2013 than with more of it.
Calais, with his unfiltered wine making, produced this dark deep ruby color Tempranillo with very concentrated color. After a nice swirl and getting our noses deep into the glass we were hit with dark cherries and blackberries. Kelli stated she got a subtle hint of cedar and graphite. Graphite has a distinctive smell but it’s something that is hard to describe.
After setting our senses up with the swirl and sniff it was time to bring it all together with the taste. This Tempranillo hits home with a big body showcasing black plums, black cherries, and black berries with currants, pepper and light hints of spices such as cinnamon and mild curry. Kelli summed it up with this – “Delicious and Jammy”!
From the Calais website this wine runs $35.10 per bottle. Calais aged this wine for two years in French oak barrels. He stated they we are rewarded for being patient with this varietal. We agree it was well worth the wait. As a single vineyard release, these grapes are from Newsome Vineyards up in the Plains, TX area. This wine is “unfiltered”; however, we got very little, if any sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
We opened this on the third year of the vintage, give or take a few months. This bottle could easily be laid down for a few more years in the bottle and would age nicely. Had I known just how well this wine tasted I would have purchased another bottle as only 75 cases were made.
Jeff Cope from Txwinelover has a great write up from September 2011 about the winery and Jeff and I hooked up together at Txsome last year at the winery. French style with a Texas twist.