Pontotoc Vineyards

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon — tasting the new releases from Pontotoc Vineyards. Pontotoc is Indian for “land of hanging grapes.”

Made by owner Carl Money and winemaker Don Pullum, these wines show what Texas can do with warm climate grapes like Tempranillo, Mourvedre, and Alicante Bouschet. 

My favorite — their signature blend San Fernando Academy, named for the old school on the property located on Highway 71 and FM 501 in Mason County. This is a blend of 65 percent Tempranillo, 15 percent Mourvedre, 15 percent Alicante, and 5 percent Cab. With lots of red fruit and mint on the nose, it is rounded out by the Alicante and offers a chocolate cherry finish. Yes, I will enjoy this bottle tonight.

The Smoothing Iron Mountain, named for the mountain between Llano and Pontotoc, is 75 percent Tempranillo, 20 percent Cab and 5 percent Alicante. With bright red/cherry fruit, it offers some earth and spice tones.

Finally, the estate Tempranillo offers tart, red currant and cherry flavors, with some green tobacco notes.  This is a favorite of Mary Stanley of the Turtle Restaurant in Brownwood.  Next time you are in Brownwood, make time for dinner at the Turtle Restaurant…great food!


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!