ON TEXAS WINE: Do They Age? Part 12
2012 DUCHMAN FAMILY VINEYARDS Aglianico Oswald Vineyard, 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. ”
“100% Texas Grapes, 100% Texas Wines. That is the philosophy behind Duchman Family Winery.” Those are the first sentences on the back label of this wine, setting out in unequivocal terms the mission statement behind it. If a consumer is seeking out a winery with purpose, they have found it.
At the technical level, Duchman specializes in Italian grape varieties. Aglianico is now recognized as a Texas natural, but in 2012 it was not nearly as widely grown or made with as much experience. With that in mind it should be said that Duchman winemaker Dave Reilly did a really solid job with this wine. As the tasting notes indicate it is one you can serve to visiting Italian tourists and leave them impressed with what a grape from the motherland can do in the new world.
Appearance: Translucent garnet core and brown tinges at the edge of the meniscus. Clearly showing its age.
Nose: Dark fruit of blackberry is almost subsumed by secondary and tertiary flavors, the latter reflecting the wine’s age. Long, intense forest floor bouquet. Oak, thyme, allspice, and clove;
Palate: This is often the Rubicon where wines that should age, crash. No signs of that here. Well structured, the tannins are still grippy, embarrassing many better-known wines. Dense flavors of blackberries, herbs, and spices linger in the mouth on a frame of acid that is pulled straight out of the playbook of the old country.
Overall: An astonishing wine that is probably close to its peak. Drink now, in the unlikely case you have some, with steak, lamb, or game. If you are a hunter, cinghiale!