The Back Story:
You might remember the expansive piece called the Texas-Virginia Wine Summit that I co-wrote with Ben Simons from Vinotology some odd months ago (if not, here’s a refresher). In the trade, I ended up getting 4 bottles of Texas wine, 2 from Alamosa Cellars and 2 from Pheasant Ridge. I indulged in one offering from each during our experiment, saving two for a rainy day.
Well, it poured while I was in Virginia. The Alamosa wine I opened, which I forgot to save the label from, was a remarkable trip through Texas terroir, a Spanish blend exhibiting almost no fruit whatsoever, instead providing a leafy, seedy experience of black tea, coffee, and chocolate. The other bottle from Pheasant Ridge was a Bordeaux blend, and as Ben so aptly stated in a Tweet, Pheasant Ridge is doing good things with Bordeaux fruit.
I didn’t pair this wine with food, but I did enjoy it while re-experiencing several of my old favorite songs. I decided to post one to continue my unofficial Music Week. Like this wine, the song is best experienced with eyes closed. Sipping the wine while just letting the music wash over me was a sublime experience.
(also, I recommend closing your eyes because the music video is kind of hokey)
The appearance of the wine is a beautiful spectrum of red and age. While the depth of the wine is almost a pure red, the swirl reveals shades of rust and cola. It’s a very interesting depth with a low viscosity.
The nose of the wine consists of blackberry and oak. As it opens up in the glass, it begins to develop a light cola and chocolate scent. After a good hour of airing out, it developed a very pleasant black licorice scent. There’s a complexity here I did not expect from the first sip.
The flavor of the wine initially consists of blackberry and oak, just like the nose. It’s surprisingly nuanced, with a higher-than-expected acidity that actually balanced very, very well with the flavor. As the wine opens up, darker fruits and seedier flavors of cola and coffee began to make an appearance. The tannins are a bit light but chalky. This wine is surprisingly complex for only 7 years of age.
For the Casual Drinker:
This is a nuanced, atypical wine and beautiful representative of Texas terroir. That being said, I recommend decanting this guy for at least an hour. You’ll definitely appreciate how much the mouth feel improves, and the “aged” character definitely needs some encouragement to present itself. If you want a unique example of what new regions in the New World are doing, I highly recommend this wine. As an added bonus, you’ll blow people’s minds when you tell them about the fantastic Bordeaux blend you had from Texas.
This wine might be hard to get a hold of, but at $15 you have absolutely no reason to pass on this beast of a Bordeaux blend. 8/10
In Case You Missed It:
Wine: Proprietor’s Reserve
Producer: Pheasant Ridge
Region: Texas, US
Varietal(s): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc
Residual Sugar: unknown
For a second look from a local palate, check out Vinotology’s review. He introduced me to this wine, and I have to say it’s a damn good thing he did.