What a jewel to still have and enjoy!  This lovely merlot wine is what a good mouth feel is all about.  Despite its age, it still packs beautiful full fruit flavors.  The aromas are quite delightful with notes of bright cherries.  It’s slightly sweet and could substitute just fine for any dry white wine pairing.  It’s been preserved well and could go on for another year or two.  Westcave Cellars still makes White Merlots, so it will be an interesting comparison to try newer vintages. It is worth scouting out a bottle or two to enjoy, especially in this early spring, warm spell we’re seeing in Texas right now. Enjoy well!

IMG_8912 - Westcave Cellars - White Merlot - 2010

www.westcavecellars.com

Sourced from Bellanzi vineyards in New Mexico, this beautiful red wine is a pleasure to behold and taste.  Popping the cork, you’ll notice a nice black coating signifying a great experience awaits!  Admire the light-colored red in the glass as you anticipate the initial waft of its lovely bouquet. On the nose, you will get a hint of leather and some cocoa as you swirl and inhale. You might just repeat a few times because smelling wine is sometimes more enjoyable than tasting it and much of the taste is tied to our noses. Take the first few sips and savor the blueberry and plum that dance across your palate.  It still has decent tannins, so this one continues to open and develop the longer it’s in the glass. This medium bodied ’09 Montepulciano has aged well and is certainly able to cellar longer. This is a lovely wine to pair with food, but also entirely enjoyable on its own. Great wine like this one is certainly to be remembered!

IMG_8900 - Llano Estacado - Montepulciano - 2009

www.llanowine.com

Blanc du Bois may have finally found its calling in Texas as THE sparkling wine to produce!  The delicious tropical fruit nose and lively bubbles are an enticing sight and tickling treat for the nose.  This sparkler is pale in color without flaws. There are nice acids along with kiwi and peach notes.  No traditional cork or plastic cork with this bottle, but a bottle cap! Yes, something unique and different to add to the overall enjoyment.  The Majeks have shown how to do a quality Blanc du Bois right with this fantastic sparkling wine they are producing. Kudos and cheers!

IMG_8898 - Majek Vineyard and Winery - Sparkling Blanc du Bois - 2014

www.majekvineyard.com

Hye is becoming a popular location along the HWY 290 wine corridor in Texas.  Zero 815 is one more winery to add to your next visit in the Hye area.  The husband and wife team, Karl and Laura Hogsett, just opened their tasting room a little more than a week before Christmas.  Just in time for the holidays! The winery name comes from their anniversary date, 08/15.  How cool is that!  With their passions now in full gear, you’ll get to try some great Texas wines.  Bending Branch and McPherson are helping this new winery get off on the right sip with their initial batch of wines.  The grapes for their wines are sourced from some quality vineyards, like Newsom, Reddy, and Lepard.  There are five wines to try out.  The first is a 2015 Muscat (50/50 Muscat Blanc/Muscat Canneli) that has that nice dry citrus feel you expect from a Muscat.  The 2015 Blush is a light and tropical white blend that’s easy drinking for many occasions.  The 2014 Mourvedre has a nice long finish and an enticing cranberry color. The 2015 Rilassato is a Malbec/Mourvedre/Petite Sirah Blend (50/25/25) made in French and American oak. The tannins are balanced and the berry flavors are a delight.  The 2015 Hyeland Blend is a “tweaked” version of the Rilassato with (37.5/37.5/25) Malbec/Mourvedre/Petite Sirah. The Hyeland Blend has as similar tasting profile as the Rilassato but with a bigger mouth feel and a longer finish. Planned for future releases are a Zinfandel, a white blend of just about everything, and a Tempranillo Rose’.  The Hogsetts have plenty of acreage (14) on their estate.  You’ll get some really nice views looking down the Pedernales Valley.  Karl plans to plant Picpoul Blanc out on the front of the estate and an undecided red in the back.  This place will look fabulous driving in when those future vines mature.  Stop in on your next trip through Hye and spend some time with Karl and Laura as they share their love for wine with you.

IMAG3551 - Zero 815

zero815winery.com

This exceptional red blend is a delight and treat for the tongue!  The soft texture and smooth taste gives a heartfelt warm reception to your taste buds. On the nose, you get very pronounced bright fruit. While the palate discerns velvety strawberry and cherry notes to sip and savor in this well-balanced wine. Although not an entirely sweet wine, this is on the sweeter side and would pair nicely with spicy Mexican or BBQ dishes. It is also such a lush pretty wine to enjoy on its own or with something chocolate.  Highly suggest you stop in to pick up a bottle to sample for yourself and we think you won’t be disappointed and you will likely crave more.  Yes, it is quite wonderful! Cheers!

IMG_8839 - Bernhardt Winery - Valentine - NV

www.bernhardtwinery.com

Ooh…now this location wine is quite lovely!  This red blend of Grenache, Syrah, and some Bordeaux varietals balances out quite nicely.  Do let this crimson colored jewel breathe for about 20 minutes to release those aromatic berries and optimize the flavor profile.  It is a bit smoky at first, however it then transitions to some moderate peppery notes. After a good swirl across your palate, you’ll pick up some moderate acids followed by a nice tannic finish. This wine has plenty of pairing power to entice your taste buds.  That’s just what good wine is all about, right? Enjoy this, with your favorite elegant style meaty dish!

IMG_8824 - Locations Wine - F-2 - NV

www.locationswine.com

This six-year old Blanc du Bois is quite lovely.  The color shows little signs of aging unlike most whites and the fruit is still intact.  It is somewhere between dry and off-dry.  On the nose, you will initially get some herbaceous notes. You’ll detect some butter on this wine and it might trick you into thinking Chardonnay initially, but it’s really a dry Blanc du Bois.  The Apricot aromas are a delight along with some tropical and herbaceous notes.  The tad bit of sweetness gives this elegant wine some versatility in your dish pairings.   It’s also a great treat on those warm winter days!

IMG_8837 - Saddlehorn Winery - Blanc du Bois - 2010

www.saddlehornwinery.com