Friday, August 29, 2014

Showdown at Sunset

How would you like to try $480 worth of wine for only $27?  Of course you would!!! Come try my new “Showdown at Sunset” wine flight featuring:
"Which $120 Red Wine on our list is the BEST?"

Comparative tasting is an enjoyable pursuit. We often try the same variety side by side, or wines from the same region. When it is all said and done what it boils down to is which wine would you rather have and how much do you want to pay for a wine.  In our “Showdown” tasting; all bets are off and any rules are out the window...four wines are poured, two ounces each, and you tell us which one you like the most.  Simple & fun!

August 29th 2014

July and August we featured our French wines on the list; guest who had the Syrah from St. Joseph said; “It was so good we did not leave a drop.”  We know it is a great wine and a good value.  How does it compare to other red wine that sell for the same price?

2 oz each of four wines for $27. with tasting notes.
(8 oz of wine valued at $38.40)

-Syrah, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Domaine de La Croix des Vignes, St.-Joseph, Rhône, France, 2009

“2009 will mark the full and complete resurrection of Paul Jaboulet Aîné to the highest level of quality in the northern Rhône!” Robert Parker, March 2011
From a tiny 3.75-acre estate and aged in 50% new oak, shows terrific raspberry and mineral-laced black currant and cherry fruit intermixed with aromas of flowers.  Complex, elegant, pure—Syrah!
The Paul Jaboulet story is of a magical encounter between a generous land on a hill along the Rhone river and a family passionate about growing vines and making wine. Founded in 1834 generations have helped these vineyards soar as beautiful and profound wines for the world.

-Malbec 75% Petit Verdot 25%, RAVEN, Becker, Texas Hill Country, 2010. (VOTE = 2)

“Look no further, you have found Texas’ Greatest Wine!  Dark and brooding colors in the glass with pleasant aromas of oak and vanilla over Texas’ characteristic ‘Trail Dust’.   The flavors are big, rich and juicy, with blackberry, black cherry, a creamy coco tease over the vanilla laced oak and smoke notes.  In the complex layers chestnuts, spice and woodsy flavors emerge, followed by a great finish.” -Steven Krueger, Resort Sommelier
Established in 1992 by Richard and Bunny Becker.  In addition to the grapes planted on site they buy grapes from great Texas growers like Drew Talent.  His vineyards in Mason County are the excellent source for the grapes that make this wine.

-Cabernet Sauvignon 83%, Merlot 8%, Malbec 5%, Cabernet Franc 4%, Orin Swift, "Palermo"  Napa Valley, California, 2011

Only the third vintage of Palermo; this wine represents years of experimentation with different lots, varying grape maturity levels, complex  French cooperage programs, and some proprietary intuition, they call “separate among equal parts.”  As time has passed, Orin Swift has carefully assembled a diverse network of vineyards to work with, in an ongoing effort to make better wines. The spirit of Palermo resides in an allegorical catacomb that stands to honor the past, cloaked in deference to the vine, and strives to artfully frame what the harvest yields every year.

-Zinfandel, Turley, Dragon Vineyard, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, 2012 (VOTE = 2)

Dragon Vineyard is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard. Planted at 2400 feet at one of the
highest points on Howell Mountain, the vineyard sits well above the fog line and faces east.  These important features, along with the rocky, red volcanic soil, make for a very unique, full-bodied and powerful Zinfandel.
Turley Wine Cellars makes single vineyard designate Zinfandels and Petite Syrahs.  Focusing on old vine vineyards in Turley aims to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture.

Make reservations at Francesca's at Sunset in La Cantera Resort.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tour de France: France Saves the U.S.A.!!!

Not all lessons in wine come in a bottle...  Featuring the wines from France during the the Tour de France seems reasonable and even natural, some might even say obvious.  But, featuring French wines on July 4th!?!  Well that seems almost un-American!  Or, at least that is what I thought.  Looking a little further into it I learned that there would be NO Independence Day if it was not for FRANCE...

French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a British army at Yorktown in 1781. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
The war of American independence could be summed up as a civil war fought on foreign soil, as opposing forces comprised both nations' residents. That said, it is a war that America could not have survived without French assistance. 

Like so many things in our world and in history; there is more to the story than what we might commonly know.  The French and American relationship goes much deeper than french fries and fresh bread.  There is a complexity and dynamic here that can be felt and tasted in a glass of wine; a glass of French wine.  Cheers!
Come see me for some excellent selections today.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sangiovese, Duchman Family Winery, Texas

The legendary red grape used to make Chianti; Sangiovese, grows well in Texas!  I pour and pair this wine like a Pinot Noir from other parts of the world.  It is very easy to drink, it can be enjoyed by itself at cocktail hour and it pairs beautifully with a wide range of cuisine.  What I really love about this wine and Texas Sangiovese in general is that it does not have as high an acidity level as it's Italian counterparts and the grape vine is genius at taking the minrality from limestone and wrapping the fruit flavors into a cohesive delicious wine.  (Not every vine can do this.  I am not going to name names like Cab-er-nay ;-)

  • Sweet Cherry 
  • Tart Cherry
  • Cranberry
  • Red Apple
  • Spice
  • Minrality
Founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman, pronounced “Dukeman.” Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties inspired them to work with viticultural consultant Bobby Cox and growers in the Texas High Planes AVA to use 100% Texas grapes that will allow winemaker Dave Reilly to make the best possible wines!!!

“If that were all cultivated, Texas could produce more wine than all of California.” - BOBBY COX, Texas High Plains Grape Grower

Dream big, Bobby!