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.)

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.

Texas Wines at TEXSOM

The Taste Texas Wines Hospitality Suite, sponsored by Texas Monthly, was rocking at TEXSOM!  Guests enjoyed wines from some of the state’s most prestigious wineries including Brennan Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, McPherson Cellars and Pedernales Cellars.

Jeff Ogle of Duchman Family Winery, Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards, Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars and Fredrik Osterberg of Pedernales.

Texas wine folks with MS Devon Broglie and MS Craig Collins

Todd Webster and Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards

TEXSOM founders and MS James Tidwell and MS Drew Hendricks

SOMM film star and MS Fred Dame with Fredrik Osterberg of Pedernales

Texas Monthly’s Jessica Dupuy (left) and Pat Sharpe with Four Seasons Austin Beverage Director and Advanced Sommelier Mark Sayre

Fred Dame and Kim McPherson share a glass of Texas wine

Jessica and yours truly with MS Fred Dame

Mark Sayre and Fred Dame

A Texas wine event is not complete with Texas grape grower and MS Guy Stout

MS Guy Stout who tested me for my Certified exam

Fredrik Osterberg and MS Jay James of Chappellet

Jessica, Jenny and I at the Texas Monthly table at the Grand Tasting

Kim and Kassie McPherson

Besides enjoying great Texas wine, we also celebrated Jenny achieving Level 1 Certification!

Jenny with one of her Intro instructors, MS Jay James

A Negroni after the Grand Tasting with pal and Certified Somm Matt McGinnis

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 vs The World: Cabernet Sauvignon

Yes, Texas does make some great Cabernet Sauvignon!

Frankly, I was a skeptic so that’s why I attended this week’s Texas Wine and Food Consortium tasting of Texas Cabs compared to Old World classics and some other New World wines. But given my skepticism, I wanted to taste them all blind and thankfully, the TWFC folks obliged my request.

Several Texas wines were really nice with lots of red and black fruit, hints of green and even a little funk (which I happen to like).

Here are my favorites from the tasting:

Old World: Le Relais De Dufort-Vivens from Margaux

New World: The Vineyard at Florence Veritas and Stags Leap Artemis

Other Texas Cabs that earned stars were from Bending Branch (Newsom Vineyards), Flat Creek Estate (Newsom Vineyards), Brennan Vineyards and Cap*Rock Winery.

Two highlights of the night:

A Becker Vineyards vertical tasting — let me tell you, if you have the 2007 or 2009 Cabs from the Canada Vineyards, hold on to them (lucky me, I have a 2009)!  The 2007 is an elegant wine with nice fruit and hints of cocoa, while the 2009 expresses more earth, tobacco and green pepper notes.

The Becker Claret was also one of my favorite wines of the night — lots of red fruit and, for me, a sour cherry sweet tart finish.  And that’s what I like.

Finally, Flat Creek Estates shared a 2002 Cab from their cellar.  This 12-year-old Cab was terrific — great fruit, hints of mocha  — like a chocolate covered cherry.


With Texas Wine Month right around the corner, why don’t you pick up a Texas wine and give it a try?  I LOVE all the wines on this Dallas Morning News list.  The Duchman Vermentino (on tap at my local Whole Foods Market bar) is my go-to wine with sushi.