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Pedernales Cellars 2011 'Block Two', Texas (∞)

by Andrew Chalk

More people are coming round to the idea that Texas can make good wine as they sample more of it. But the ultimate test of gravitas in, at least red wines, is how they age. How does Texas do in that regard?

To find out I am doing a series of tastings of Texas wines, all 10+ years old, and assessing how they are doing. I am choosing them based on how their peers in other parts of the world do at the end of the first decade.

Today is the first example.

Pedernales Cellars 2011 Block Two, Texas

Labeled as “Produced and Bottled…” but would appear to be a legitimate Estate Grown, as block 2 is owned by the winery and is in an AVA.

A blend of 65% tempranillo and 35% touriga nacional. What foresight. Since David Kuhlken fashioned this wine 11 years ago both of these grapes have elevated their stature. Their most famous pairing is in the fortified wine of Oporto, but now a new generation of Douro wines uses them to make awarded table wine.


The first thing I notice is that the cork is soft to the corkscrew. Too soft. Sure enough, it cracks and splinters into a thousand pieces.Time for a paper towel to filter one, clean glass.

That turns out to be easier than I feared. Observed through a stemless Riedel the fringe is showing garnet color before acceding to opaque ruby at the core.

The nose is intense and yet so fresh. The aromas are deep dark fruit, fig, wood, cinnamon, coffee and thyme.

On the palate those dark fruits are fully evident in a plummy, forward expression of themselves. Green tea notes suggests there was some American oak used in the aging process. The tannins, still very present, are sandpaper rather than velvet. They impart a strong but not overpowering structure to the wine and are showing signs of mellowing with age. However, drink now as there are incipient signs of drying on the palate.

Does it age? Hell yeah.




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