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Thread: Texas wine recs?

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    Texas wine recs?

    Are there any Texas wines that y'all would recommend trying? Can be either red or white, trying to stay under $20.

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    pairing with what?

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    no.

    1234

    Except a few made on imported grapes.
    Last edited by Anastasis; 12-29-2011 at 05:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anastasis View Post
    no.

    1234
    this

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyBevoBalls View Post
    pairing with what?
    paired with a wine glass. more of a personal wine tasting to widen my wine experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anastasis View Post
    no.

    1234

    Except a few made on imported grapes.
    hmmm... that does not sound promising

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    Quote Originally Posted by random horn View Post
    paired with a wine glass. more of a personal wine tasting to widen my wine experience.
    I would try widening it with something else.

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    Sorry wine gives me a headache without food.I like Coppola merlot or boons and grape soda

  9. #9
    It's in my list with good New England BBQ and favorite meatless chili recipes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anastasis View Post
    no.

    1234

    Except a few made on imported grapes.
    This.

    For some great values try any Southern Rhone wine from 2007. You can get some great wines for under $15. Go to Specs and ask a sales person.

    In California, try Louis Martini cabs (either Sonoma (about $18) or Napa (about $25)) from 2007 or 2008. You can find them pretty much everywhere including Kroger.

    Also, try any Malbec from Argentina. There are some great wines coming from Argentina.

    I've always wanted to find a good Texas wine for obvious reasons, but I don't think they exist. Robert Parker, the most prominent wine critic in the world, has never recommended a Texas wine. That says a lot. There are simply better wines at far better prices from other parts of the world. Wish it wasn't true, but it is. We've got some great soil, but it's just too damn hot here. The growing season is too short to make great wine.
    Last edited by HouTex; 12-29-2011 at 08:01 PM.

  11. #11
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    I lived in Northern California until a few years ago, and desperately wanted to find decent Texas house reds, ideally a 10 dollar pizza burger wine and another 20-30 dollar steak bottle to serve all the smug $#@!s. For like 5 years I drank every 10 dollar texas red I could get my hands on, but I never found one that could stand up to an 8 dollar Californian, Chilean, or Argentinian. God I drank a lot of bad Texas wine. I eventually gave up.

    The Inwood high end tempranillos are very good, but too expensive for a house wine (at least for me), and truth be told not really any better than good 20 dollar Spanish bottles.

  12. #12
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    This clearly won't be a popular post since I'm going against the grain and actually recommending some wines to try, but I think these are good values and are all Texas wines:

    Becker Claret or Viognier - both $12-15 depending on where you find them
    McPherson Sangiovese - about $15
    Llano Estacado Signature Red - about $8-9

    Inwood and Texas Hills make some good wine but are overpriced. Grape Creek prices their wines like they are awesome but I've never had them.

    Anything made by Newsom vineyards (they produce grapes for several Texas wineries including Becker and others).

  13. #13
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    might be a bit out of that range, but here are a couple that i really like:

    Bending Branch (Comfort) - Tannat: Haven't had the 1840 version, but my wife and I really like the Texas Tannat ($26) We had never had this grape previously. The owner apparently did massive amounts of research on what varietals would be the best match for Texas soil/weather and this one was the best fit.

    http://bendingbranchwinery.com/index_files/Page319.htm

    Solaro Estate (Dripping Springs) - They seem to be sold out of our favs (09 Bordorosso 100, Tempranillo, Merlot). I think these are somewhere in the $25-50 range, but can't recall exactly. We really like the Bordorosso. I can't exactly put my finger on why we like these wines so much, but they have a uniqueness to me.

    http://solaroestate.com/thewines.html

    Those are definitely our two favorite wineries as far as Texas goes.

  14. #14
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    no, just......no, I recommend you go to Cali. There are winemakers in Texas but apparently not wine country to go with them.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Anastasis View Post
    no.

    1234

    Except a few made on imported grapes.
    This depends on personal taste. I can't stand sweet/dessert wines, but some good muscats and sweet rieslings from Texas-grown grapes can be found if you're into that. It's just to damned hot here to grow any dry varietal worth a damn. Becker's Claret is good, but they have to be using a majority of imported grapes to make it, so there's not really any novelty to it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by beer View Post
    no, just......no, I recommend you go to Cali. There are winemakers in Texas but apparently not wine country to go with them.
    Have you ever been to Texas?

    This is my favorite Texas wine ;)

    Last edited by drifter379; 12-30-2011 at 11:32 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximumBarnes View Post
    This depends on personal taste. I can't stand sweet/dessert wines, but some good muscats and sweet rieslings from Texas-grown grapes can be found if you're into that. It's just to damned hot here to grow any dry varietal worth a damn. Becker's Claret is good, but they have to be using a majority of imported grapes to make it, so there's not really any novelty to it.
    The only Beckers I know are using imported grapes are the Iconoclast labels (which are almost entirely imported grapes). The Claret might be using some but it's less than 25%.

    You are correct that the hill country is too hot for growing wine grapes - most of the Texas vineyards are in the panhandle around Lubbock. The wineries are in the hill country because it's a heck of a lot prettier than Lubbock. I think Becker and Flat Creek are two that grow any significant portion of their grapes on site and even then they truck in a $#@!load from the Llano Estacado vineyards.
    Last edited by The Dog; 12-30-2011 at 02:01 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dog View Post
    The only Beckers I know are using imported grapes are the Iconoclast labels
    I imagine the Iconoclast leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially when the Texans are playing.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dog View Post
    This clearly won't be a popular post since I'm going against the grain and actually recommending some wines to try, but I think these are good values and are all Texas wines:

    Becker Claret or Viognier - both $12-15 depending on where you find them
    McPherson Sangiovese - about $15
    Llano Estacado Signature Red - about $8-9

    Inwood and Texas Hills make some good wine but are overpriced. Grape Creek prices their wines like they are awesome but I've never had them.

    Anything made by Newsom vineyards (they produce grapes for several Texas wineries including Becker and others).
    You get no negrep from me, my efforts ceased a good 8 years ago, maybe things got better. I do remember having the Llano Estacado non-varietal "Red" though around 2000, and it was undrinkable. Liquid oak horrid. Either things got a whole lot better or your taste does kind of suck.

  20. #20
    Becker Claret is the only Texas wine I can recommend. I haven't had the Viognier. Becker Claret is a great value at $12.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyBevoBalls View Post
    Sorry wine gives me a headache without food.I like Coppola merlot or boons and grape soda
    It isn't the wine but the chemicals in inexpensive domestic wines giving you the headache/wine head. That is why Anastasis is recommending US wine from imported grapes. I generally don't drink US wines under $40 as the grapes are full of pesticides and sulfur(I have no issues with wine head with Becker Claret). If you do drink lower priced US wines look for estate grown grapes(Hard to find under $18 a bottle). I generally stick to South America or European wines in the daily drinker ~$12-20 a bottle range. They use way less pesticides and sulfur on the grapes. South African and Aussie/NZ wines follow in the American footsteps when it comes to the chemicals. Pick up a comparably priced South American wine and see if you have any issues.

    When you are in Napa on the main road you'll see quaint small trucks loaded with grapes pulling into the big vintners and being crushed in the day time during harvest season. Between midnight and 5am tanker trucks full of pre-crushed San Joaquin Valley grapes roll in to those same vintners under the cover of the wee hours. Have you ever seen a cloud of sulfur over thousands of acres of grapes? It is a common sight in the SJV.
    Last edited by Rippin' lips; 12-31-2011 at 04:12 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingCoastal View Post
    It isn't the wine but the chemicals in inexpensive domestic wines giving you the headache/wine head. That is why Anastasis is recommending US wine from imported grapes. I generally don't drink US wines under $40 as the grapes are full of pesticides and sulfur(I have no issues with wine head with Becker Claret). If you do drink lower priced US wines look for estate grown grapes(Hard to find under $18 a bottle). I generally stick to South America or European wines in the daily drinker ~$12-20 a bottle range. They use way less pesticides and sulfur on the grapes. South African and Aussie/NZ wines follow in the American footsteps when it comes to the chemicals. Pick up a comparably priced South American wine and see if you have any issues.

    When you are in Napa on the main road you'll see quaint small trucks loaded with grapes pulling into the big vintners and being crushed in the day time during harvest season. Between midnight and 5am tanker trucks full of pre-crushed San Joaquin Valley grapes roll in to those same vintners under the cover of the wee hours. Have you ever seen a cloud of sulfur over thousands of acres of grapes? It is a common sight in the SJV.
    so.....they pump sulphur and pesticides into the grapes and that gives you a headache when you drink the wine? Just want to be sure I have this right.

  23. #23
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    ALL good wine--even the thousand dollar a bottle stuff from Bordeaux and Burgundy--has added sulfur. Yes, it can be overdone. If some sulfur wasn't added the wine wouldn't last very long. It would oxidize very quickly. See this link: http://www.vinetrail.co.uk/index.php?page=91

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by beer View Post
    so.....they pump sulphur and pesticides into the grapes and that gives you a headache when you drink the wine? Just want to be sure I have this right.

    It coats the grapes' skin and isn't/doesn't wash off. Some is absorbed into the grapes skin. The sulfur dusting is to keep the grapes from getting moldy on the vine. Wild yeasts thrown into the fermentation process doesn't make a consistent product.

    The vast majority of US grape producers get paid for quantity and not quality. When you get above $40 a bottle you are getting into the wines were the high quality grapes are going. At that price point you getting into vineyards that care about the quality of the grapes and still do many things by manual labor such as thinning the clusters to keep them from molding on the vine.

    If you're that much of a skeptic, drink a couple $10 bottles from California and a couple of $10 bottles from Chile or Argentina and see which gives you a headache and/or hangover. I had to this route myself as I'm a skeptic by nature.
    Last edited by Rippin' lips; 01-01-2012 at 09:41 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy fun ball View Post
    You get no negrep from me, my efforts ceased a good 8 years ago, maybe things got better. I do remember having the Llano Estacado non-varietal "Red" though around 2000, and it was undrinkable. Liquid oak horrid. Either things got a whole lot better or your taste does kind of suck.
    I would have agreed with you in 2000 - but I had a sample of the Signature Red after moving back to Austin in 2008 and was pleasantly surprised. Haven't tried anything else from them.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingCoastal View Post
    It coats the grapes' skin and isn't/doesn't wash off. Some is absorbed into the grapes skin. The sulfur dusting is to keep the grapes from getting moldy on the vine. Wild yeasts thrown into the fermentation process doesn't make a consistent product.

    The vast majority of US grape producers get paid for quantity and not quality. When you get above $40 a bottle you are getting into the wines were the high quality grapes are going. At that price point you getting into vineyards that care about the quality of the grapes and still do many things by manual labor such as thinning the clusters to keep them from molding on the vine.

    If you're that much of a skeptic, drink a couple $10 bottles from California and a couple of $10 bottles from Chile or Argentina and see which gives you a headache and/or hangover. I had to this route myself as I'm a skeptic by nature.
    I drink almost nothing but $10 wine except for special occasions and have never noticed this. Then again, most of the domestics I drink are from Washington State and Texas rather than California...

  27. #27
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    ive never gotten a headache from wine. isnt that like people saying tequila is the only spirit that gives them headaches, or they cant drink stouts cause it always makes them puke or they cant stand white wine cause its the only kind of wine that gives them hangovers???

    great thread btw

  28. #28
    Chemical sensitivities vary by individual. Not to mention by quanity consumed.

  29. #29
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    Here is a blog about Texas wine -- in particular, this link is it's top 5 recommendations: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=5793

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphie View Post
    Becker Claret is the right answer
    Agree. Plus Larry200's list is good. I can be quite the wine snob, but there are plenty of Texas wines that I enjoy, particularly the Beckers and some viogniers. The Duchman estate wines are also good. Their Dolcetta (should be about $15) won double gold at the San Francisco wine thing last year.

  31. #31
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    Becker is about the only winery I can stomach, but yes, you are better off getting any cali wine for the same price.

  32. #32
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    if you want wines from texas grown grapes, it is best to stick to grapes native to hotter regions, not bourdeaux grapes (cab/merlot). voignier is one that seems to do pretty well in some texas areas.

  33. #33
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    used to go tasting in Fredericksburg a lot, it is fun.

    reality, as mentioned, is that you can get much better wine for less. Try most any ch ste Michelle or Columbia crest from $10 to $20. Bought a 2007 csm horse heaven hills (I think) merlot at Costco for approx $18 and it is really good and superior to any tx wine imo.

  34. #34
    Fall Creek makes some pretty good wines IMO.

  35. #35
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    i went to specs and picked up:
    2009 duchman dolcetta
    2009 becker claret
    2010 becker voignier

    haven't tried them yet

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Lives! View Post
    Fall Creek makes some pretty good wines IMO.
    Agreed. Very drinkable.

  37. #37
    bunghole BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison's Avatar
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    remember this thread and came back to it - becker has some great wines made from texas grapes. inwood is also good, but expensive.

    commercial wine in texas has only really been around 20-25 years. there are 10x as many wineries in texas now as there were in the '90s (around 20 then to over 220 now). american's taste in wine has been so influenced by the california wines that there's only a handful of varietals that sell really well. the problem is that texas wineries tried to grow and sell those same varietals. they are terrible. i've had one or two palatable texas caberet savignons and have never had a decent chardonnay made from texas grapes. the grapes that are going to work here are, as mentioned, grapes from dry regions in spain/france that have little name recognition here. plus, wines from those regions those tend to be blends, and california tends to produce pure varietal wines. blends are a much tougher sell to the average wine drinker here in the states.

    having said that, texas vineyards have finally realized we will never compete with california in terms of the popular varietals. definitely seeing more grapes that might/should work here being grown. i hear a lot of people say that the current state of the wine business here in texas is very similar to california in the 1960s - people are starting to find out what will work and are growing that in masse. the really good winemakers here are not going to try and sell you a merlot, cab sav or some other popular wine. they will have blends of their grapes - some are really good, some are ok. most of the terrible wine from TX is stuff that shouldn't be grown here, and that's what gets bought because it's a popular grape.

    i follow texas wine pretty closely - my brother and i early-stage home winemakers. we aren't using any local fruit/juice yet. there's not enough decent fruit here to get passed on to amateurs, but we might be able to get some this year. we'll see.

    cliff's notes - texas wine getting better, won't be the CA varietals/style, will be old-world style wines, support texas wine so it keeps growing

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyMadison View Post
    cliff's notes - texas wine getting better, won't be the CA varietals/style, will be old-world style wines, support texas wine so it keeps growing
    thanks for the info, good stuff. do you have any reqs on "old-world style wines"? i'm curious to try a wine of the style you think texas wines are headed in.

  39. #39
    asshat HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard. HouTex slams and goes hard.
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    Billymadison, I hope you are right and I agree that the CA varietals grown in Texas make bad wine. You didn't mention them, but what about the Southern Italy/Sicilian varieties? How do you think they would do in Texas?

  40. #40
    From what I have seen most all of Texas wine's are barely or not distributed at all. If you live near Fredricksburg or Grapevine you have some options.

    Toured Grape Creek last summer and it was a fun experience. I thought they were very solid, but a little over priced. Great place to check out on a nice day though.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex View Post
    Billymadison, I hope you are right and I agree that the CA varietals grown in Texas make bad wine. You didn't mention them, but what about the Southern Italy/Sicilian varieties? How do you think they would do in Texas?
    I'm a fan of the Spanish varietals like Lenoir and Tempranillo, maybe even some others like Shiraz. You need grapes that thrive in our hot ass climate.

  42. #42
    bunghole BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison is probably perfectly normal.  Probably. Maybe. Who cares? BillyMadison's Avatar
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    the hottest grapes right from texas right are tempranillo (red) and viognier (white). becker's viognier has been the most widely available. have seen it priced from $12-20 depending on where i'm at. kinda pricey about the $12 mark, but hey, it's texan. honestly i haven't had a tempranillo that's commercially sold, but i'm going to try some this week.

    maybe we'll have a rioja-style wine that is truly texan in the future. i've read that growers are having some nice sucess with grenache and syrah as far as reds go. i don't know and nobody's figured it out yet. here's a recent post at "vintagetexas" that talks about this. it's the best blog i've found covering texas wine and i read it about once a week:

    http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=5872

    when i try and see what we might be making/drinking here in 20-30 years i buy southern french/spanish wines. i bought a $11 cotes du rhone yesterday to top off our current batch (we're making a cheap knockoff of a chateauneuf du pape, but those were too expensive to buy to just top off our swill) - let it breathe for about 30 minutes after opening and it was pretty good. please don't confuse me with someone who really knows what they are talking about though.

    trips to a winery/vineyard are a very underrated way to spend a saturday. we're going to try and make it out to a north texas winery this weekend. just gotta find a driver.
    Last edited by BillyMadison; 01-30-2012 at 06:37 AM.

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