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.