Weekend Wine

Great wines from Spain, Italy, France, Corsica, and … Texas?

Locations is a company that makes iconoclastic wines from vineyards around the world. Their response to the carefully crafted laws of various wine regions is to take any rules they don’t like and toss them out the window. They don’t do it out of hubris or because they are scofflaws.

They flout the laws to achieve the highest quality of wine within that region or country by blending wines from major appellations. In most countries, this is strictly against the rules. The company doesn't care. They want absolute autonomy so they can craft what they consider to be great wine.

Photo Courtesy of Locations wines

Owner/winemaker Dave Phinney has carefully followed these concepts since he opened the company a decade ago. At least, until he got to Texas. The fact that he chose Texas wines to be a part of his portfolio is a very good sign for Texas grape growers. But then he decided to add Kim McPherson, a lauded Texas winemaker, to help make the wine. Given the rarity of great Texas grapes (which are purchased by wineries long in advance of the growing season), Phinney and McPherson decided to focus on a single vineyard, Lost Draw in Brownfield, Texas.

The resulting wine, called TX ($23), is a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Carignan, as well as a few Bordeaux varietals. The big berry aromas of those grapes really come through on the wine, but Phinney and McPherson have created an old-world style that is also velvety and seductive. This should go beautifully with duck or rabbit, but for the less adventurous eaters, it will also pair well with a burger. If you’d like to get an idea of how a single vineyard and national owner can affect a wine, compare a bottle of McPherson’s Les Copains ($18), which is made with the same grapes but, presumably a different blend. Both wines are amongst Texas’ best red wines.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Locations, Dave Phinney, Kim McPherson, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan, Bordeaux varietals, Les Copains

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