38 Wineries in 90 Minutes

My friend, “Ms. J”, and I participated in the “People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic” at Grapefest in Grapevine Texas and Dear Hubby Sully, volunteered to be designated driver.

I had never done this kind of tasting and neither had my friend. Boy! did we get overwhelmed when we saw booth after booth of pure liquid delight awaiting us. Luckily, there is a limit as to how many people go during each session; but you are still hanging out with about 100 giddy adults with glass in hand; waiting to be let into a massive tent. When we were finally released; I half expected an announcer to yell “and they’re off”!
The great thing about doing this with Ms. J is the fact that we are polar opposites when it comes to wine. She is one of my “White Zinfandel” buddies. However, she has broaden her wine horizons to Vouvrey and Muscat….but those still are on the sweet side…I don’t think a Cabernet will ever touch her lips….when we do agree on a wine; I know it will appeal to a lot of people and would make a good gift.
So, here we are; armed with a glass, pencil,voting ballot, and information booklet that lists the winery and what you will be tasting. We are thankful that the booths and the booklet are in alphabetical order….but close to the end of the 90 minutes…the alphabet was a little jumbled…;-) and we did not get to all of the wineries (we missed 9) and we did not taste all of the wines that each winery had to offer (some had up to 4 choices).

These are Texas Wineries only. Because of time and the volume of wine we were tasting; we could only do quick impressions no detail. Our opinions should NOT be taken to heart.

Here is the list in alphabetical order:

Fall Creek Vineyard (www.fcv.com): Chardonnay, No Reserve. 

          We both tried it; but didn’t feel one way or the other. It had a little oak and light fruit. 
          Ed’s Smooth Red, NR – Lori. So smooth it was forgettable.

Flat Creek Estate (www.flatcreekestate.com):

          Super Texan, 2008  –  Lori. Good Sangiovese style. Light fruit with some earthy tones.

          Muscato Blanco, 2008  –  Ms.J. Very good. Lots of fruit layers great with spicy food.

Haak Vineyards (www.haakwine.com):   Tempranillo, 2007  –  Lori. Bitter.
         Reserve Blanc Du Bois, 2008  –  Ms.J. Clean & refreshing.

Homestead Winery (www.homesteadwinery.com):  

            Syrah,2007 – Lori. Good with fruit forward but spicy finish.

La Bodega:  Texas Country Blush, NR  –  Ms.J. OK,  but not outstanding.
           Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007  –  Lori.  Rich black fruit but soft tannins so it is very drinkable. The only thing about this winery is that you can only get these wines at the DFW Airport!

LaBuena Vida (www.labuenavida.com):  Scarborough Mead, NR  –  both tried it & both thought it weird tasting.
      Red Headed Stepchild Sangria, NR – Ms.J. Good. The description said it was a “party in a glass”. What’s not to like?

Lenior-Sage (www.site.lenoir-sagevineyards.com):  Texas Chardonnay, 2008 – Lori. Fair not too exciting.

Light Catcher (www.lightcatcher.com):  Happy Dog Sweet Red, NR  –  Lori & Ms. J.  Not good.

Llano Estacado (www.llanowine.com):  Chenin Blanc, 2008  –  Both loved it. Fruity & crisp.

           Signature Melange, 2007  –  Lori. Good. Light fruity red with clean finish.

Lone Oak (www.loneoakwinery.com):  Double Diamond Merlot, 2007  –  Lori. Full body. Good.
          Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007  –  Lori.  Dull.

Los Pinos Ranch (www.lospinosranchvineyards.com):  Blanc Du Bois, NR  –  Both liked it. Layers of light fruit.
          Pinky Tuscandero, NR  –  Ms.J.  Liked it.

Maydelle Country (www.maydellewines.com):  Lime Wine, 2009  –  Both thought it a “why bother”. We would rather have a margarita!

McPherson Cellars (www.mcphersoncellars.com):  Sangiovese, 2008  –  Lori. Excellent. Layers of fruit & spice. I want a case of it!
           Hook Line & Sinker Red, 2007  –  Lori. Too light -bodied.
           Viognier, 2008  –  Ms.J. Too Dry.

Messina Hof (www.messinahof.com):  Father & Son Riesling, 2008  –  Ms.J.  Good but wanted more sweet.
          Paulo Meritage, 2006  –  Lori.  Interesting red blend, would like to try again.

Paris Vineyards (www.parisvineyards.com):  Chardonnay, 2005  –  Lori.  Too dry, would like more fruit

Pedernales Cellars (www.pedernalescellars.com): Vino Blanco, 2008  –  Lori.  Interesting.  Crisp & fruity

Peregrine Hill: Pinot Noir, 2008  –  Lori.  Very nice. Dark fruit & earthy.
          Chardonnay, 2008  –  Ms.J. liked. Lots of fruit but semi-dry.

Pillar Bluff (www.pillarbluff.com):  Chenin Blanc, 2008  –  Lori.  OK, but very dry.
          Chardonnay, 2007  –  Ms.J.   Better if chilled.  The oak flavor reminded her of smoked oysters.

Red Caboose (www.redcaboosewinery.com):  Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007  –  Lori.  Good but not excellent.

Red Road Vineyard (www.redroadvineyard.com):  Signature White, NR  –  both like it. Good all around wine.

St.Rose Vineyard (www.guerravineyardandwinery.com):  Foxy Blue, 2008  –  Ms.J.  Liked it. Reminded her of a Black Muscat.

Sunset Winery (www.sunsetwinery.com):  Pink Rainbows, NR  –  Ms.J.  Good. Light fruit clean finish.
          Twilight Tango Malbec, 2005  –  Lori.  Weak & dull.

Texas Hills Vineyard (www.texashillsvineyard.com): Kick Butt Cab, 2006  –  Lori.  Good basic Cabernet.

Texas Legato (www.texaslegato.com):  Sweet Peggy Sue, 2008  –  Ms.J.  Liked.  Like a Muscat with clean finish.

Wichita Falls Vineyards (www.wichitafallsvineyardsandwinery.com):

          Bella’s Blush-Gate’s Vineyards – Ms.J.  Good. Lots of fruit.

Whew! glad that’s over!….2 wineries we did not try because we have had their wines many times: Inwood Estates & Times Ten Cellars. Both are fantastic!
I walked away from this experience (yes, I could still walk) thinking that Texas wineries are very diverse, fun and not afraid to put their hearts into the fruits of their labor. I really think Texas wines are becoming better and better; after all, we are the 5th largest producer in the U.S.
Some day the French will be very afraid!


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