Texas wines continue to explode on the regional market, especially wineries that have outposts in the Texas Hill Country. The good news is, we are finally finding the best grapes for our soils and our winemakers are really knocking a few of them out of the park.
Best of all for red wine lovers is probably the Tempranillo grape. I could fill a small book just with world-class Texas Tempranillos.
Consistency counts, and one of the most consistent of the Texas Tempranillos is made in Stonewall, about an hour's drive west of Austin. The winery is Pedernales Cellars and their focus is on wines made from grapes grown in the Texas Hill Country and the Texas High Plains. It’s a great place to visit, especially if some in your crowd don’t believe you can find good Texas wine. Not only is it as beautiful as 95% of the wineries in California, they also tend to make good to great wines in every category.
Our most recent tasting was their Texas Tempranillo Reserve, a blend of Texas Hill Country and High Plains Tempranillo fruit. Of course, this tastes nothing like its Spanish forefathers. It is hugely fruity and massively viscous. The aromas are dominated by cherry and oaky butterscotch. We tried it with a grilled rib eye steak and the combination showed that despite the overwhelming flavors of the wine, Tempranillo still goes well with food. Just be sure to pair it with food that is equally flavorful.
Reflecting the winery's success in competitions and the reputation of the winery, this Tempranillo runs $50 a bottle. That may sound like a lot, but it is better than a lot of California wines selling for twice as much. Take a quick trip over to the winery to taste through their Tempranillos and you might find yourself converted.
Copyright © 2023 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.