A Texas Fine Wine — Pedernales Cellars Dry Rose

If you’re looking for a terrific Texas dry rose wine, you won’t be disappointed with the Pedernales Cellars Dry Rose.  With hints of strawberry and raspberry on the nose, along with some rose flower notes, this dry rose screams tart cherry on the palate.

To no surprise given it’s made from Sangiovese and Tempranillo grapes. I even get a hint of earth on this bone dry rose, which I suspect is from the terroir (i.e., red dirt) of the Texas High Plains.


Pedernales Cellars is one of four wineries that make up Texas Fine Wine, a distinctive group of highly respected wineries recognized for making high quality Texas appellation wines. The other wineries include Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Vineyards, and Duchman Family Winery.

You can’t go wrong selecting a wine from any of these four wineries.


(*Full disclosure: Texas Fine Wine is one of my favorite clients.)

McPherson Roussanne Reserve 2012

Opened this beautiful Texas wine tonight — the McPherson Cellars 2012 Roussanne Reserve.  With tons of tart pineapple and stone fruit on the nose, it surprises with citrus (lemon and lime) on the palate. A full-bodied white with tons of acidity, this is a terrific wine to wind down the night.

Duchman 2012 Vermentino

One of my favorite Texas wines that you will find frequently in my fridge is the Duchman Family Winery Vermentino. Lots of citrus, underripe white peach, and mineral notes. Nice acidity makes this such a refreshing wine. Whole Foods Market for about $17.

I have heard that winemaker Dave Reilly thinks this is their best Vermentino ever. We can also thank the Bingham Family for providing these terrific grapes from their High Plains vineyard.


Dark Horse Nero D’Avola

I am smitten with this Dark Horse Nero D’Avola, with its tart cherry, cranberry and spicy, peppery notes.  Made by Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, I believe it’s the only Texas (and maybe US) winery making a Nero D’Avola wine. I love the high acid and soft tannins on this lively red.

Nero D’Avola is the most widely planted red grape in Sicily.  Here in Texas, it’s grown at one of Brennan’s estate vineyards, Newberg Vineyards, just 10 miles south of the winery.

If you want to know more, check out this WSJ column on what could become the next Malbec.

A little Emotion for the night

You gotta love the guys at William Chris for making a wine with lipstick lips on the label.  They celebrate women as much as they do wine, and we appreciate it.  (Thanks Chris and Bill — true Texas gentlemen!)

The Emotion is always one of my favorites — an approachable red blend from Cab Sauv, Malbec, Cab Franc, Syrah and Merlot. You first get pretty floral notes on the nose, but this baby is full of fruit — blueberry, black and red cherries.  Its soft tannins make it an easy wine to drink.

If you haven’t been to William Chris, it’s “Hye” time you do.  Stop in, sit back, put your boots up, and enjoy their beautiful winery.


Salt Lick Cellars BBQ White

With the ice and snow storm on its way yesterday, I made a pot of chicken tortilla soup with green chiles, and decided to pair it with this Salt LIck Cellars BBQ White.

Made by Duchman Family Winery, this easy drinking white has hints of green apple and grapefruit, along with pretty floral and peachy notes, which complements the spicy soup.  I love the dry, crisp finish on this white.


I am crying over wine.

My tears are for joy — and sadness.  I am thrilled to share the news that Perissos Vineyards & Winery in Burnet received “Best of Class” for its 2012 Aglianico at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.


Perissos is the only Texas winery to receive this honor since 2006.

I’m sad because this is the wine (2011 vintage) I bought last year on a road trip to Perissos, which bit the dust when our car slammed on the brakes to avoid a deer.


Poor me.

Congrats Seth and Laura on this great honor!


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!


Wedding Oak Terre Blanc

I visited Wedding Oak Winery recently and am so glad I picked up this bottle of Terre Blanc — a Roussanne-Marsanne blend.  Great fruit - peach, lime, combined with some racy acidity.  A really great white wine to sip.

Roussanne continues to shine as a great Texas white wine grape.


Whole Foods Market Wine Geek

Yes, I am going to be one of Whole Foods Market’s wine geeks, providing my two cents on some of my favorite wines you can find at their stores.  Look for my Texas Wine Gal shelf talker soon!

Here are three wines that I buy regularly during summer:

Duchman Family Winery Vermentino 2010 ($14.99) - a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is crisp and refreshing with citrus notes.  One of my favorite Texas wines, it pairs well with seafood, oysters and salad.

Bieler Pere et Fils Rose 2012 ($12.99) — I can’t get enough of this summer sipper. This deeply colored, dry rose from Provence has lots of red fruit flavor with a lingering finish. Enjoy poolside or with salads and grilled chicken or shrimp.

Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2010 ($32.99) — my “splurge” wine is from the northernmost region of Burgundy, France, where its chalky, limestone soil provides great minerality in this chardonnay. With pear and citrus flavors, enjoy this refreshing white with crisp acidity by itself or pair with salads, chicken or fish.