Texas Monthly Top 20 Wine Picks for 2012

My friend Jessica Dupuy with Texas Monthly has shared her Top 20 favorite Texas wines — and lucky for me, I have tasted most of these.  I must admit the Brennan Vineyards Lily, the Duchman Winery Vermentino and Trebbiano and Perissos Roussanne are among my favorite white white wines.

For the reds, I am intrigued that two of the Top Reds are Nero D’Avola.  I have not tried either of these wines but will pick them up soon! I love the McPherson Sangiovese and William Chris Hunter for lighter style reds, and the Pedernales Tempranillo Reserve and the Pontotoc Vineyard San Fernando Academy when I’m hankering for something with some weight.

While I was getting over bronchitis last week, I sipped on the Hilmy Cellars Muscat Canelli and it was like enjoying a Clementine. It has nice acid to balance out its slight sweetness.  The Messina Hof Moscato is also a nice dessert wine that is not too sweet.

Go try some of these wines and let me know how you liked them!


The New Kid on the Block

Hilmy Cellars is one of the new kids on the Stonewall stretch of wineries on Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg.  With 4.0 Cellars and Messina Hof as its neighbors, and combined with some of the area’s favorites like Pedernales Cellars, Torre di Pietra, Becker Vineyards and Grape Creek Vineyards, tasting Texas wines has never been easier.

Hilmy Cellars is owned by Erik and Neldie Hilmy, who were busy planting Tannat and Petit Verdot to accompany the four-year old Sangiovese in their vineyard when I visited recently.

After opening their huge handmade swinging wooden door (I want one!), I knew this was going to be a special winery.  With my friend Jessica Dupuy who writes about Texas wine for Texas Monthly, we tasted several Hilmy wines paired with simple foods like fruit, nuts, jalapeno goat cheese, truffle popcorn and chocolates.

My favorite wines were the Persephone, a blend of Semillion and Chenin and the Muscat Canelli that was the perfect balance of tropical fruits and perfume with nice acid and hints of grapefruit pith.

Besides the impressive wine, another highlight of my visit was finding this piece of wine art! Hilmy Cellars features various mixed media pieces by Ruby Powell and I loved this one.