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Top 10 Tempranillo- 2016

Texas vineyard

Top 10 Tempranillo of 2016

The panel tasted the Tempranillo category on November 17th and featured 29 wines from 19 producers and 9 single vineyards with the category split between 45% being Texas High Plains wines, 45% being Texas and the remaining 10% consisting of Texas Hill Country and Texoma AVAs. The panel demonstrated an acute degree of consensus with average Panel Consensus score of 0.63, which means that on average the judges on the panel tastes within 2.52 points of each other on a 100 point scale.

The following judges participated in this tasting:

  1. Peter Gatti
  2. Sam Hovland
  3. Miguel Lecuona
  4. Nathan Prater
  5. Mark Rashap
  6. Ron Weiss
  7. Rae Wilson

Top 3

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Top 10 Syrah/Shiraz – 2016

Texas vineyard

Syrah is one of those categories that continues to show well, and not just for current vintages. Here is our Top 10 and Top 3 with reviews and ratings of the best Syrah/Shiraz we tasted in 2016.

 

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Top 10 Viognier – 2016

Texas vineyard

Here is our Top 10 list of the best Viognier starting with the Top 3 we tasted in 2016.   Below are also the panel reviews for the top 3.

TOP 3 Viognier…


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is the Texas Wine Journal’s top ten selections from the 2016 producer submissions of Viognier.

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Top 10 Roussanne of 2016

Texas vineyard

Roussanne is showing some incredible promise in Texas. Here is our Top 10 list of the best Roussanne starting with the Top 3 we tasted in 2016.   Below are also the panel reviews for the

TOP 3 Roussanne…


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Top 10 White Blends – 2016

Texas vineyard

The Texas Wine Journal announces the Top 10 and Top 3 White Blends out of the producer submissions from all over Texas.  While there are some familiar names on the list there are also many new producers making the top 10 list this year.  The judges panel will be tasting this category for 2017 in April.

TOP 3 White Blends …


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Interview with Dan Gatlin of Inwood Estates

Talking Texas wine history and science with Dan Gatlin, Owner and Winemaker at Inwood Estates. This show originally aired on September 6th on Another Bottle Down Radio, which is a weekly wine talk show on KOOP 91.7.

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Top 10 Dry Rosé – 2016

Texas vineyard

The Dry Rosé category featured 20 Texas wines from 17 producers, that came from grapes sourced from across the state; ten (43%) were appellated Texas, three (13%) were appellated Texas Hill Country, and seven (30%) were appellated Texas High Plains.  The 2015 vintage comprised of the largest percentage of total wines submitted at 83%, followed by 2014 at 17%.


Top 3 Rated Dry Rosé:

 

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Top 10 Other Red Varietals – 2016

Texas vineyard

The Other Red Varietals category featured 45 Texas wines from 23 producers and 10 single vineyards, that came from grapes sourced from across the state; twenty-four (53%) were appellated Texas, ten (22%) were appellated Texas Hill Country, and eleven (24%) were appellated Texas High Plains.  The 2013 vintage comprised of the largest percentage of total wines submitted at 38%, followed by 2014 at 29% and 2012 at 24%.

The overall category was divided into two separate tastings, Other French Red varietals (including Norton and Black Spanish/Lenior) and Other Italian Red varietals, the data from each of these tastings were combined and analysed as a single category.


Top 3 Rated Other Red Varietals:


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Alive and Well

File Feb 28, 11 45 51 PM.jpeg

by Daniel Kelada, Tasting Director of the Texas Wine Journal

In fact, better than well, great!

There are a select few moments in every wine lover’s journey, that they drink something so profound that it makes them arrive at a deeper level of appreciation and understanding. For me, one of those moments came when Bobby Cox of Pheasant Ridge winery presented an opportunity to taste Texas wine history in the form of a 2006 Chenin Blanc, a 1988, 1987 and a 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was one of only a few experiences where my craving for superb Texas wine was achieved. No doubt about it, these wines have raised the bar entirely of what I expect from great Texas wines going forward. The Chenin Blanc would make you guess and reminisce of worldly Vouvray-lifted, honeyed, wooly, floral and spectacular and the Cabernet Sauvignon possessing vintage specific personality that whispered deep, complex notes that simply begged not only to be sipped, but quite possibly to be laid down even further.

File Feb 28, 11 42 31 PMThose that have an opportunity to learn from these wines will not simply look at them as “old” Texas wine, but rather see them in a much grander light, a light that will open minds, build bridges and make you question what you thought you knew about Texas wine, and in turn turn non-believers into evangelists.

These wines maybe from our past, but they represent our future; or at least I hope they do. And as I swirled, sniffed, sipped on and discussed this Texas wine history I became more and more perplexed, not by the “how”, but by the “why”. As in, why don’t we see more of these great wines being produced today in the modern, burgeoning Texas wine industry? Part of it, I think, has to be that we drink Texas wines way too earlier and don’t give them the opportunity to develop into these rich, complex and nuanced wines that tell a story. The other side of the coin are the volumes produced, which are based on a host of climatic and economic limitation. But even then, where are the great Texas wines of the 1990s and early 2000s? Did we drink them all? Are they sitting in a library somewhere? What else can we learn and what other bridges can we build?

We hear a lot of back and forth within industry circles about what the identity of Texas wine is and what our future brand will be, but the more we push for a definition, or an absolute for Texas wine, the more we realise that we are far from it. We produce an incredible range of wines, and really have only just begun to discover what our magic is. Examples like these Pheasant Ridge wines are, but one example of what is and what can be the Texas wine story the rest of the world will hear and experience.

A very special thanks to Bobby Cox of Pheasant Ridge winery for this walk through Texas wine history.

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Top Wines of 2015

Top-Wines-of-2015

Syrah/Shiraz

Llano Estacado, Texas, Mont Sec Vineyard, Syrah, 2012 – 88 points, $20

Lost Oak Winery, Texas, Shiraz, NV – 92 points, $30

Perissos  Vineyard  & Winery, Texas Hill Country, Estate Syrah, 2013 – 91 points, $68

Salt Lick Cellars, Texas Hill Country, Maile’s Vineyard, Syrah, 2013 – 89 points, $55

White Blends

William Chris Vineyards, Texas, ‘Mary Ruth’ 2014 – 89 points, $28

McPherson Cellars, Texas, ‘Les Copains’ 2014 – 91 points, $14

Wedding Oak Winery, Texas, ‘Terre Blanc’ 2014 – 87 points, $23

Viognier

Blue Ostrich Winery, Texas, Viognier, 2014 – 91 points, $22

McPherson Cellars, Texas, Viognier, 2014 – 91 points, $16

Pedernales Cellars, Texas, Viognier, 2014 – 90 points, $20

Lost Oak Winery, Texas High Plains, Bingham Family Vineyard, Viognier, 2014 – 91 points, $21

Roussanne

Kuhlman Cellars, Texas High Plains, Roussanne, 2014 – 91 points, $32

McPherson Cellars, Texas High Plains, Roussanne Reserve, 2014 – 91 points, $22

Dry Rosé

Brennan Vineyards, Texas (Comanche County), Mourvedre Rosé, 2014 – 88 points, $20

Lewis Wines, Texas Hill Country, Parr Vineyards, Mourvedre Rosé, 2014 – 87 points, $30

Calais Winery, Texas, ‘Gaston’ 2014 – 87 points, $30

Lost Draw Vineyards, Texas High Plains, ‘Arroyo Rose’ 2014 – 86 points, $24

Blanc Du Bois

Haak Vineyards, Texas, Blanc Dubois Madeira, 2013 – 91 points, $40

Lewis Wines, Texas, ‘Swim Spot’ 2014 – 87 points, $14

Haak Vineyards, Texas, Estate Blanc Dubois, 2015 – 86 points, $19

Red Blends

Pedernales Cellars, Texas, GSM, 2013 – 91 points, $26

Llano Estacado, Texas High Plains,  Reddy Vineyards, ‘Due Compaesani’ 2013 – 91 points, $20

Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, GSM, 2013 – 91 points, $43

Becker Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, ‘Prairie Rotie’ 2013 – 90 points, $22

Flat Creek Estate, Texas High Plains, Reserve ‘Super Texan’ 2012 – 90 points, $35

William Chris Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, ‘Mandola  Estate Field Blend’ 2014 – 89 points, $38

McPherson Cellars, Texas High Plains, Lost Draw Vineyards, ‘Les Copains’ 2013 – 88 points, $16

Arche Wines, Texas (Montague County) ‘Chateau Rouge’ 2012 – 88 points, $29

Tempranillo

Flat Creek Estate, Texas High Plains, Lost Draw Vineyards, Tempranillo, 2011 – 91 points, $35

Times Ten Cellars, Texas, ‘Cathedral Mountain Vineyard’ Tempranillo, 2012 – 90 points, $29

Lewis Wines, Texas Hill Country, Parr Vineyard, Tempranillo, 2011 – 89 points, $32

Lewis Wines, Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyard, Tempranillo, 2011 – 89 points, $35

Round Mountain Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, Estate Tempranillo, 2011 – 89 points, $45

Lost Oak Winery, Texas High Plains, Bingham Family Vineyard, Tempranillo, 2014 – 88 points, $26

Pemberton Cellars, Texas, Tempranillo, 2012 – 88 points, $28

Bar Z Winery, Texas High Plains, Tempranillo, ‘Enigmatic’ 2008 – 88 points, $26

William Chris Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, Parr Vineyards, Tempranillo, 2013 – 88 points, $46

Cabernet Sauvignon

Texas Legato, Texas, Hoover Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 – 93 points, $35

Flat Creek Estate,  Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 – 92 points, $50

Becker Vineyards, Texas, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve,  2012 – 90 points, $20

Llano Estacado, Texas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 – 90 points, 2012

William Chris Vineyards, Texas Davis Mountains (Jeff Davis County), Dolores Mountain Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 – 90 points, $90

Messina Hof, Texas, Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Double Barrel,  2011 – 88 points, $22

Becker Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Canada Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2012 – 88 points, $45

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Cabernet Sauvignon | 2015

The Cabernet Sauvignon category featured 26 Texas wines from 17 producers and 7 single vineyards, that came from grapes sourced from across the state; eleven (42%) were appellated Texas, two (8%) were appellated Texas Hill Country, eleven (42%) were appellated Texas High Plains and two (8%) was from the Texas Davis Mountains AVA.   The average price of the wines submitted is $31.43, which ranged from $12 to $90 and included the following: 1 from 2002, 1 from 2007, 1 from 2008, 2 from 2009, 5 from 2010, 3 from 2011, 8 from 2012, 3 from 2013, 1 from 2014 and 1 non-vintage.

The Top 3 Rated Cabernet Sauvignon:

  1. Texas Legato, Texas, Hoover Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 – 93 points – Highly Recommended – $35

  2. Flat Creek Estate,  Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 – 92 points – Highly Recommended – $50

  3. Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 – 91 points – Highly Recommended – Library

Scores

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Tempranillo | 2015

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The Tempranillo category featured 31 Texas wines from 27 producers and 11 single vineyards, that came from grapes sourced from across the state; eleven (33%) were appellated Texas, six (18%) were appellated Texas Hill Country, fifteen (45%) were appellated Texas High Plains and one (3%) was from the Texoma AVA.   The average price of the wines submitted is $29.25, which ranged from $14 to $46 and included the following: 1 from 2008, 1 from 2009, 6 from 2011, 17 from 2012, 4 from 2013 and 4 from 2014.

The Top 3 Rated Tempranillos:

  1. Flat Creek Estate, Texas High Plains, Lost Draw Vineyards, Tempranillo, 2011 – 91 points – Highly Recommended – $35

  2. Times Ten Cellars, Texas, ‘Cathedral Mountain Vineyard’ Tempranillo, 2012 – 90 points – Highly Recommended – $29

  3. Lewis Wines, Texas Hill Country, Parr Vineyard, Tempranillo, 2011 – 89 points – Highly Recommended – $32

Scores

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Red Blends | 2015

The Red Blends category featured 35 Texas wines from 21 producers and 9 single vineyards, that came from grapes sourced from across the state; Thirteen (37%) were appellated Texas, eleven (31%) were appellated Texas Hill Country and eleven (31%) were appellated Texas High Plains.   The average price of the wines submitted is $29, which ranged from $14 to $46 and included the following: 1 from 2010, 3 from 2011, 9 from 2012, 13 from 2013, 6 from 2014 and 3 non vintage.

The Top 3 Rated Red Blends:

  1. Pedernales Cellars, Texas, GSM, 2013 – 91 points – Highly Recommended – $26

  2. Llano Estacado, Texas High Plains,  Reddy Vineyards, ‘Due Compaesani’ 2013 – 91 points – Highly Recommended – $20

  3. Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, GSM, 2013 – 91 points – Highly Recommended – $46

Scores

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Blanc Du Bois | 2015

The Blanc Du Bois category featured 27 Texas wines from 15 producers and 5 single vineyards, that came from grapes sourced from across the state; twenty-six (96%) were appellated Texas and one (4%) was appellated Texas Hill Country.   The average price of the wines submitted is $23, which ranged from $14 to $45 and included the following: 1 from 2010, 8 from 2012, 6 from 2013, 9 from 2014, 1 from 2015 and and 2 non vintage.

The Top 3 Rated Blanc Du Bois:

  1. Haak Vineyards, Texas, Blanc Du Bois Madeira, 2013 – Highly Recommended – $40

  2. Lewis Wines, Texas, ‘Swim Spot’ 2014 – Recommended – $14

  3. Haak Vineyards, Texas, Estate Blanc Du Bois, 2015 –Recommended – $19

Scores

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Dry Rosé | 2015

rose

The Dry Rosé category featured 20 Texas wines (from 15 producers and 6 single vineyards) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; Ten (50%) were appellated Texas, Four (20%) from the Texas Hill Country and Six (30%) from the Texas High Plains.  The average prices of the wines submitted was $17, which ranged from $11 to $30 and included the following: 1 from 2013, and 19 from 2014.

The Top 3 Rated Dry Rosés:

  1. Brennan Vineyards, Texas (Comanche County),Mourvèdre Rosé, 2014- Highly Recommended – $20
  2. Calais Winery, Texas,‘La Cuvée De Gaston’ (Mourvèdre based rosé) 2014 – Recommended – $30
  3. Lewis Wines, Texas Hill Country, Parr Vineyards, Mourvèdre Rosé, 2014 – Recommended – $30

Scores

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Roussanne | 2015

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The Roussanne category featured 8 wines, from 7 producers.  Three (38%) were appellated Texas and the remaining five (62%) from the Texas High Plains.  The average prices of the wines submitted was $25.43, which ranged from $16 to $42 and included the following: 3 from 2012, 1 from 2013 and 4 from 2014.

The Top 3 Rated Roussanne:

  1. Kuhlman Cellars, Texas High Plains, Roussanne, 2014 – Highly Recommended – $32

  2. McPherson Cellars, Texas High Plains, Roussanne Reserve, 2014 – Highly Recommended – $22

  3. McPherson Cellars, Texas, Roussanne, 2014 – Recommended – $21

 

Scores

There were not enough wines submitted into this category to warrant a report or a Top 10 list. The scores and tasting notes for the three wines above are on the scores page.

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Viognier | 2015

The Viognier category featured 20 wines (from 15 producers and 5 single vineyards) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; Ten (50%) were appellated Texas, two (10%) from the Texas Hill Country and eight (40%) from the Texas High Plains.  The average prices of the wines submitted was $22, which ranged from $12 to $30 and included the following: 1 from 2011, 9 from 2012, 1 from 2013 and 9 from 2014.

The Top 3 Rated Viognier:

  1. McPherson Cellars, Texas Viognier, 2014 – Highly Recommended – $16

  2. Blue Ostrich Winery, Texas, Viognier, 2014 – Highly Recommended – $22

  3. Lost Oak Winery, Texas High Plains, Bingham Family Vineyard, Viognier, 2014 – Highly Recommended – $21

Scores

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White Blends | 2015

The White Blends category featured 25 wines (from 20 producers) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; nineteen (76%) were appellated Texas, three (12%) from the Texas Hill Country and three (12%) from the Texas High Plains.  The average prices of the wines submitted was $22, which ranged from $12 to $30 and included the following: 10 from 2012, 5 from 2013, 8 from 2014 and 2 non-vintage.

The Top 3 Rated White Blends:

  1. McPherson Cellars, Texas, ‘les Copains’ 2014- Highly Recommended – $14
  2. William Chris Vineyards, Texas, ‘Mary Ruth’ 2014 – Highly Recommended – $28
  3. Wedding Oak Winery, Texas, ‘Terre Blanc’ 2014 – Recommended – $23

Scores

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Syrah | 2015

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The Syrah category featured 18 wines (11 producers and 6 single vineyards) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; twelve (67%) were appellated Texas, five (28%) from the Texas Hill Country and one (6%) from the Escondido Valley.  The average prices of the wines submitted was $31, which ranged from $14 to $68 and included the following: 1 from the 2009 vintage, 4 from 2010, 3 from 2011, 5 from 2012, 5 from 2013 and 1 non-vintage.

The Top 3 Rated Syrahs:

  1. Lost Oak Winery, Texas, Shiraz, NV- Highly Recommended – $30 (Sold out)
  2. Perissos Vineyard and Winery, Texas Hill Country, Estate Syrah, 2013 – Highly Recommended – $68
  3. Salt Lick Cellars, Texas Hill Country, Mailes Vineyard, Syrah, 2013 – Highly Recommended – NYR

Scores

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A Look Inside The Journal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC8RWVors1Y

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Cabernet Sauvignon – 2014

The Cabernet Sauvignon category featured 26 wines (17 producers and 11 single vineyards) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; Ten (38%) were appellated Texas, five (19%) from the Texas Hill Country, ten (38%) from the Texas High Plains and one (4%) from the Texas Davis Mountains. The prices of the wines submitted ranged from $13 to $55 and included the following: 3 from the 2008 vintage, 1 from 2009, 3 from 2010, 2 from 2011, 15 from 2012 and 1 was from multiple vintages.

 

The Top 5 Rated Cabernet Sauvignons:

  1. Pilot Knob Vineyard, Texas Hill Country, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 – Highly Recommended, $45

  2. Becker Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Canada Family Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2012 – Highly Recommended, $45

  3. Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, ‘Meritus’ 2010 – Highly Recommended, $40

  4. Landon Winery, Texas High Plains, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, 2008 – Highly Recommended, $24/Library

  5. Westcave Cellars Winery, Texas Hill Country, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 – Highly Recommended, $50

Download Category Report Button   View Consumer Ratings button   View Pointed  Ratings button

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Merlot – 2014

The Merlot category featured 12 wines (10 producers and 4 single vineyards) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; six (57%) were appellated Texas, two (25%) from the Texas Hill Country and four (18%) from the Texas High Plains. The prices of the wines submitted ranged from $17 to $38 and included the following: 1 from the 2009 vintage, 2 from the 2011 vintage and 9 from 2012 vintage.

The Top 5 Rated Merlots:

  1. William Chris Vineyards, Texas High Plains, ‘Hunter’ 2012, Recommended, $38

  2. Becker Vineyards, Texas, Reserve Merlot, 2012, Recommended, $19

  3. Messina Hof, Texas, Reserve Merlot, ‘Double Barrel’ 2011, Recommended, $22

  4. Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Merlot, 2009, Recommended, $17

  5. Lewis Wines, Texas, Merlot, 2011, Recommended, $27

Download Category Report Button   View Consumer Ratings button   View Pointed  Ratings button

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Red Blends – 2014

The Red Blends category featured 28 wines (17 producers and 9 single vineyards) that came from grapes sourced from across the state; sixteen (57%) were appellated Texas, seven (25%) from the Texas Hill Country and five (18%) from the Texas High Plains. The prices of the wines submitted ranged from $14 to $50 and included the following; 3 from the 2010 vintage, 6 from the 2011 vintage, 14 from 2012, 1 from 2013 and 4 were multi-vintage wines.

The Top 5 Rated Red Blends:

  1. Llano Estacado, Texas, ‘Viviano Superiore Rosso’ 2010, Highly Recommended, $35

  2. Lost Oak Winery, Texas, ‘Vintage Lane-Dawson Red’ 2010,Highly Recommended,  $25

  3. Messina Hof Winery, Texas, ‘GSM’ MV – Highly Recommended, $13

  4. Landon Winery, Texas, ‘The Texan’ Reserve, 2011 – Recommended, $50

  5. McPherson Cellars, Texas, ‘La Herencia’ 2012 – Recommended, $14

Download Category Report Button   View Consumer Ratings button   View Pointed  Ratings button

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White Blends – 2014

The White Blends category featured wines from across the state including the two prominent Texas AVAs; the Texas High Plains and the Texas Hill Country. Most of the wines submitted however (15 out of 20), were simply labeled under the state appellation name. The prices of the wines submitted ranged from $13 to $30 and included the following; 1 from the 2010 vintage, 14 from the 2012 vintage, 2 from 2013, and 3 were multi-vintage wines. All the wines submitted were the producer’s current release or soon to be released white blend.

The White Blends category tasting featured 20 wines and was held on March 18th at the offices of the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas located in Austin Texas. The Texas vs. The World category tasting featured 10 wines and took place the following month on April 22nd. Only the top rated white blend from Texas would represent the state in a tasting that also featured white blends from France, Italy, Spain, United States, Greece, Lebanon and South Africa.

All wines in Journal tastings are evaluated and rated under controlled, blind conditions, using a standardized evaluation form where the judges taste and rate based on peer groups. The panel comprises of 12 judges of which a minimum of 5 are required to reach a quorum . The White Blends category tasting included 7 of the 12 panel judges and the Texas vs The World category tasting featured 6 of the 12 panel judges.

In regards to the overall White Blends category it is safe to say that this category, to date, was the most difficult to judge. The result was much more variance and deviations across the panel’s scores, which was not something entirely unexpected considering the nature of the category. Having the panel evaluate and rate this category for the first time is the initial step to uncovering what is normal (if such a thing exists) or should be expected (in terms of quality) from white blends in Texas. Only future tastings will provide a deeper level of insight.

That being said, there were still some interesting trends uncovered that are worth mentioning, namely;

  • Four out of the 5 (or eight out of the ten) top rated white blends contained Viognier; all of which rated 80 points or higher.
  • Three out of the five (or six out of the ten) bottom rated white blends did not contain Viognier.
  • Only two wines (2013 William Chris ‘Mary Ruth’ and MV Pleasant Hill ‘Collina Bianca’) out of the twenty wines tasted scored 80 points or higher when Viognier was not some percentage of the blend.

To start to understand the difficulty of this category and to decipher these results, let’s start with the understanding that there are no ‘classic’ or ‘traditional’ white blends in Texas as compared to the classic blends found in France, Italy and Greece. And according to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association website there are 12 different white varietal species grown in the state; any combination of those can be used to make a wine; that’s 479,001,600 different possible combinations!

There were however, some varietals more prominent in the blends than others including, Blanc du Bois, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, the Rhones (Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne) and the Muscats (Canelli and Orange).

To understand why Viognier, more than any other varietal, is having such an impact on the quality of the white blends evaluated, the structural characteristics of Viognier must be looked at. It is a varietal that is highly aromatic, can throw its weight (body) around, can be rich and round or lean and crisp all while maintaining the ability to produce moderate to high alcohol levels. It has the ability to offer blends four critical structural characteristics (Aroma, Body, Acid and Alcohol) to create balanced wines around; regardless if it is the informing grape in the blend or not. This characteristic plays out in the results. For the most part, the wines that did not contain some percentage of Viognier seemed to lack balance and cohesion between the parts and the whole; particularly for alcohol – a counterbalance to sugar (which also seemed misplaced among several of the wines) and viscosity and a complement (either balanced or extreme) to acid and tannin. To put it into perspective, nine out of the ten lowest rated wines all had 13% ABV or less; again, six of those ten wines were blends that did not contain Viognier as part of the blend.

Even though Viognier is having an impact on the blends evaluated in this category tasting, it must be noted that just because Viognier may not be included in the blend does not mean a quality or high scoring wine can’t be produced. We see this imparticularly with Blanc du Bois and Chenin Blanc led blends (see 2013 ‘Mary Ruth’ and MV ‘Collina Bianca’).

After both categories are tasted and rated the scores across the panel are averaged, which creates a scenario where it is very difficult for a wine to score above 90 or below 70 points. Averaging the scores creates a consensus across a wide range of palates and produces a final rating that is more objective; even when category and panel deviations are considered. To that point, only 5% of the wines rated were defined to be ‘Very Good’ wines by Journal definitions (scoring 84-89 points), 45% were rated ‘Good’ wines (scoring 80-84 points), 30% were ‘Average’ wines (scoring 75-79 points) and 20% were ‘Below Average’ (74 points or less).

The 2012 Solaro Estate ‘Miscela Bianco’ (the top rated Texas wine) that scored 86 points in the initial category tasting scored 89 points in the Texas vs. The World category tasting (within normal deviation limits), coming in second after a Viognier based blend out of California. Coming in last with 83 points, was the Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle blend from the Graves region of Bordeaux.

For more information on the Journal’s definition of ratings click here.
For more information about the panel of judges and to match initials below with names click here. 

White Blends Banner

Solaro Estate Texas High Plains, ‘Miscela Bianco’ Reserve, 2012Brennan Vineyards Texas, ‘Austin Street - Three White Chicks’ 2012McPherson Cellars Texas, ‘Les Copians, 2012William Chris Vineyards and Winery  Texas, ‘Mary Ruth’ 2013Pedernales Cellars Texas, ‘Texas Cinco’ 2013Brennnan Vineyards Texas, ‘Lily’ 2012

Hilmy Cellars Texas High Plains, ‘Doo-Zwa-Zo’ 2012Pleasant Hill Winery  Texas, Collina Bianca, MVLewis Wines  Texas, Viognier-Chenin, 2012Lost Oak Winery Texas, ‘Tres Uvas’ 2012Westcave Cellars Texas, ‘Spectrum’ 2012Wedding Oak Winery Texas Hill Country, High Valley Vineyard, ‘TerreBlanc’ 2012Pilot Knob Vineyard Texas, ‘PK Cuvee’ 2012
Llano Estacado Texas, ‘Viviana - Superiore  Cuvee’ 2012
Duchman Family  Winery, Texas, ‘Texas Bianco’ MVKiepersol Estates Texas, ‘Texas Vit’ 2012

 

TXvTW White Blends BannerPine Ridge Vineyards California, Chenin Blanc and Viognier, 2013Solaro Estate Texas High Plains, ‘Miscela  Bianco’ Reserve, 2012Bockenhoutskloof Western Cape, ‘The Wolftrap’ 2012Domaine Maby Lirac, ‘La Fermade’ 2011Ruffino Orvieto Classico, 2011Ixsir Lebanon, ‘Grande Reserve’ 2012Barcelona Celler Catalunya, Vino Bianco, 2012Skouras Peloponnese, White, 2011Pro.mis.Q.ous Wines California, MVCh. Graville-Lacoste Graves, 2012

 

 

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Syrah/Shiraz – 2014

Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon – 2017

Click To Enlarge – Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon of 2017

The panel tasted the Cabernet Sauvignon category on February 22nd and featured 24 wines from 16 producers and 11 single vineyards. The panel demonstrated an acute degree of consensus with average Panel Consensus score of 0.55, which means that on average the judges on the panel tastes within 2.20 points of each other on a 100 point scale.

The following judges participated in this tasting:

  1. Steve Alley
  2. Jesse Brantley
  3. Moxy Castro-League
  4. Daniela Dasuta
  5. Peter Gatti
  6. LaSaan Georgeson
  7. Miguel Lecuona
  8. Ron Weiss

*Learn more about Journal judges, rating methodology and 20-point evaluation form