COUNTDOWN TO A TEXAS THANKSGIVING: T - 1
by Andrew Chalk
We are just days away from what, for many Americans, is the biggest family get-together of the year - Thanksgiving. Turkeys all over the country may be taking cover and using fake IDs so as not to get cooked but, regardless of how you prep. yours, one of the best things about the Thanksgiving meal is that it can go with so many types of wine.
With that excuse, over the next few days I will post some suggestions for Texas wines based on wines that I have been sent by the wineries. All are 100% Texas grapes.
SPICEWOOD VINEYARDS 2019 ESTATE BOTTLED TEMPRANILLO, TEXAS HILL COUNTRY ($40)
A few years ago I had just rolled into Fredericksburg for a conference and checked in to the luxurious Super 8 Motel just east town. The sheets and carpets had huge historic significance, having been worn to threadbare by thousands of previous occupants. I wandered into town looking for something to eat and soon found myself at Otto’s German Bistro. Sitting at the bar, waiting for my order, I asked the barman what Texas wines they had by the glass and almost fell off my chair when he said that they did not have any.
He did, however, have initiative. Seeing my pained expression of disappointment, he said “Hang on, a sample bottle of a Texas wine came by this afternoon, let me get it”. It turned out to be this wine (albeit an earlier vintage)! Prior to that point I had not tasted it, nor was I familiar with the overall excellent quality of Spicewood Vineyards’ wines. Sitting at that bar, sipping through a couple of glasses that evening, made me appreciate Hill Country tempranillo in a whole new light. Even the Super 8’s stench of stale cigarette smoke didn’t bother me as much when I got back to my room.
Spicewoods 2019 estate tempranillo continues the character of that wine. The first thing you see is the translucent ruby color. A check on the nose reveals an aroma of tempranillo fruit, sharpness of American oak, perfume notes and herbs. The first mouthful releases flavors of raspberries, thyme, and cherries. The tannins are chewy so this is a pleasant wine to drink now. With the Thanksgiving meal consider pairing it with turkey. The good acidity will make it a lively match throughout the meal.
SPICEWOOD VINEYARDS 2019 ‘THE INDEPENDENCE’ TEMPRANILLO, TEXAS HIGH PLAINS ($40)
A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot. Although the name may be more suited to July 4th than Thanksgiving this wine is an excellent match with thanksgiving food. Especially ham, or strong cheeses.
The color is bright ruby. The wine is more opaque than the tempranillo. The nose has notes of blackberry fruit, cedar, and pencil shavings. On the palate the tannins are fairly pronounced and the blackberry fruit effusive. This, plus a fair amount of wood, makes for a long enduring finish.