Texas Reds

Profiles & Notes

Mourvedre

Pronunciation: “moore-ved”
aka: Monastrell, Mataro

  • Fruitiness: 4/5
  • Body: 4.5/5
  • Tannin: 4.5/5
  • Acid: 4/5
  • Alcohol: 4/5

The textbook example of a varietal that has small berries and thick skins, which can produce wines with intense color and high tannins (astringency). Mourvedre tends to have fruit aromas of blackberries and black cherries, along with herbal notes of sage, fennel and lavender and meaty or earthy notes of sweet tobacco and cocoa. The combination of its meaty and earth notes, along with its firm tannins, make Mourvedre a classic grape for blending, which is commonly seen as part of the famous GSM blend (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre). In Texas, we see Mourvedre as a single varietal quite often in both dry red and dry rose styles, as well as in GSM blends. Unlike other parts of the world, Mourvedre in Texas tends to produce wines with less color overall and with increased acidity and fresh red berry fruit aromas and flavors, but there some examples produced in a bolder, more full-bodied style.


Tannat

Pronunciation: “ta-not”
aka: Maidiran, Harriague

  • Fruitiness: 4.5/5
  • Body: 5/5
  • Tannin: 5/5
  • Acid: 3.5/5
  • Alcohol: 4.5/5

Tannat originates in the Basque country in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains between the borders of France and Spain. The wine that Tannat produces is deep, dark and rustic that can pack a tannic and full bodied punch, which is why significant oak aging is typically associated with wines made from Tannat. In the New World and in places like Texas, Tannat still seems to be a big, robust wine, but less-so than its French counterpart, making it more approachable when young. The wine is characterized by firm tannins, elevated alcohol and moderate acidity. Wines tend to be fruity and lead with dried berries, plums, cassis and licorice aromas and flavors. Tannat is famous for having the highest antioxidant levels of any other varietal because of its think skins and because it has 2-3 more seeds than other varietals; these two attributes contribute to its elevated tannin levels and overall body. It is a wine with significant aging potential in good vintage years, like 2015 in Texas.


Tempranillo

Pronunciation: “temp-rah-nee-oh”
aka: Cencibel, Tinta Roriz, Tinta de Toro, Tinto Fino, Tinto del Pais

  • Fruitiness: 3.5/5
  • Body: 4/5
  • Tannin: 4.5/5
  • Acid: 4/5
  • Alcohol: 3.5/5

Tempranillo can be a chameleon of sorts, meaning it can take on several different styles and exhibit different aromas and flavors depending on where it is grown, the nature of the growing season and the production technique applied to it. It is a varietal with relatively thin skins that relies on acidity and tannins for its primary structure, making it an excellent food wine. Tempranillo literally translates to “Little Early One”, because it tends to ripen in mid-season, locking in that food-friendly acidity. Tempranillo tends to lead with fruit smells of cherries and dried figs along with a range of herbal notes of dried roses, dried leaves and rosemary. Oak is also an important contributor to the overall style of Tempranillo, which lends layers of cedar, tobacco and dill. In Texas, Tempranillo can produce very classic styles where emphasis is placed on rustic, earthy aromas or in more modern styles where fruit and oak are the focus. In either case, however, Texas Tempranillo tends to show more red berry fruit, particularly strawberry.