Sunday Funday & Texas Wine Rock Stars

Nothing beats spending a Sunday in Texas wine country — because you never know who you might run into. Today, I took my dear college friend Monica who is visiting from St. Louis to Hye to check out Compass Rose Winery’s new tasting room and to make a quick stop at William Chris Vineyards.

Needless to say, I brought home a few wines.

And lo and behold — there’s Alphonse Dotson of Dotson-Cervantes, with a new bottle of his Cab-Merlot blend that promises to be a stellar, complex  red.  Lucky me, I got to bring one home.  (You can find it at Salt Lick Cellars.)

After a great tasting of William Chris wines in the tasting room, Chris Brundrett took us to the winery for some preview tastings of his 2014 Blanc du Bois (pineapple, citrus) and Syrah Rose (strawberry, watermelon). I’m super excited about the 2014 vintage.

And of course, I was thrilled to finally taste the Tatum Rose (100% mourvedre) made by William Chris assistant winemakers Josh Fritsche and Matt Jaksik.  Inspired by rose wines from Provence, this is a beautiful, delicate wine with nice fruit and minerality.  Nice work fellas!

New to the Hye wine area is Compass Rose Winery’s tasting room, an intimate winery designed to bring people together outside on the porch to enjoy not only their beautiful wines, but also the fantastic Hill Country views and nice breeze

Lucky for us, owner Mark Watson was at the winery and shared his vision for the Hye tasting room, which already includes a kitchen for private dinners, but also will eventually include vineyards and a pavilion for special events.  Of course, I brought home a bottle of the Compass Rose Syrah, a cherry-raspberry number with spicy, minty-peppery notes.

Last but not least, I ran into a group of Houston-area restaurant and retail somms and wine buyers who I met a few months ago who were visiting wineries up and down Highway 290 for a long weekend.  I love to see the support for Texas wine across the state.


Memorial Day Weekend

What a great weekend!  Lots of biking, running and wine-ing.  Enjoyed some Pedernales Rose, William Chris Mouvedre Rose, Hugl Gruner Veltiner and topping weekend off with this amazing Bernard Baudry Chinon 2009 Les Granges.

Sweet tart cherry, plum, violet….and let me tell you, this wine has tons of chalk/rocks!  Love me some minerality!



Lucky girl

Yes, I really am one of the luckiest people I know.  I spend lots of my time enjoying wine and visiting Texas wineries.  The best part is the friends I travel with and the friends I make along the way, including the winemakers, winery owners and grape growers in the Texas wine industry.

This weekend, Jessica Dupuy of Texas Monthly, Alissa Leehner with SAHMmelier, Margaret Shugart with Wine Roads of Texas and I headed out for a Texas wine journey. 

Destination: Mason and Pontotoc. 

Of course, we had to make a few stops along the way, starting with Hye. Texas and William Chris Vineyards.


Tasting with Chris Brundrett of William Chris.

My two favs:


Next stop: 4.0 Cellars — the tasting room with McPherson Cellars, Brennan Vineyards and Lost Oak Winery.

Had to pick up Brennan Vineyards Lily and Buffalo Roam.


Next up:  Mason and swinging by Sandstone Cellars.


Scott Haupert with Sandstone Cellars


Beautiful, rich, dry reds powered by Touriga

I went home with this piece of art — not sure I will ever want to open it because it’s so beautiful!


Sandstone NV Port




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!