Spicewood Vineyards is among the oldest wineries and vineyards in Texas, with 20+-year-old vines still producing some of the best Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion in the state. And they can add Tempranillo now to their notoriety.
Since Ron Yates purchased the winery from the Manigolds, he has planted new acres of mostly Spanish and Portugese grapes. While he makes several estate wines, he also relies on High Plains fruit to make his portfolio of wines, which are winning medals right and left.
Yates credits his award-winning wines to his new winemaker, Todd Crowell, who studied at Texas A&M and got hands on wine-making experience working for several Sonoma wineries. Like every good Texan, Crowell wanted to return to the Lone Star State and Ron snatched him up.
Todd Crowell and Ron Yates
And just in time because Yates is expanding with a new tasting room, production facility and vineyard just six miles outside of Johnson City in the burgeoning new Johnson City-Hye winery corridor.
Here are some notes from a recent tasting with Ron and Todd:
Estate Sauvignon Blanc - refreshing (not overpowering) grapefruit, lemon, white floral. No oak. Delicious.
Estate Semillion — lemon, grapefruit, herbal notes, but softer, rounder than the Sauvignon Blanc. One of my favs.
Rose of Tempranillo — watermelon, green notes, reminds me of the Muga Rose. Can’t wait for the new vintage because they are sold out of this wine.
2012 Bayer Vineyard Tempranillo — blackberry, blueberry, floral and pepper notes, soft tannins.
2012 Estate Tempranillo — black and blue fruit, violets, cocoa and pepper notes, nice minerality. Won Gold at the TEXSOM-DMN Competition.
Estate Merlot — blue and black fruit, green notes, pepper. :Lush.
Finally, the barrel sample of The Good Guy 2013 (named after Ron’s grandfather) — delicious goodness of cherry and raspberry flavors.