ON TEXAS WINE: Do They Age? PART 10
Haak 2005 Madeira “Aged 10 Years”, Texas ($∞)
by Andrew Chalk
The preamble to part one read…
“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 their first decade.”
And later added
“Since this vintage is no longer available in the retail market I have helpfully indicated the price as ‘infinity’ in the title, above. ”
The grape behind this wine, Jacquez (also known as Black Spanish) excels in dessert wines. Its resistance to Pierce’s disease and mildew make it one of a small category that survives in the difficult conditions of the Texas Gulf Coast. Winemakers in tha tarea could do worse than use Raymond Haak’s work as a reference point for how to excel with it.
Raymond Haak retired as a petroleum industry engineer to found Haak Vineyards and Winery in Sante Fe, Texas, but wasn’t about to take it easy. He has done more visible experimentation with Jacquez (for reds) and Blanc du Bois (for whites) than any other Texas winemaker. The results are wines that have one won medals nationally and even projected Texas wine to Europe with Jancis Robinson scoring a version of his Madeira 16/20.
This wine is a special expression that was priced at $100 on release. The main feature is a decade of age in oak casks. The result is intense fruit with molasses, caramel, boysenberry, and vanillin. The wine has a heavy mouthfeel, helping it cling to the palate and release aromas to the senses.
Given its 18% ABV, this wine will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. With such intensity, it may take that long for one person to drink it.
Definitely a candidate for the best Texas dessert wine that I have drunk.