Inwood Estates Vineyards, 2011 Collus, 100% Tempranillo, 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. ”
Inwood Estates Vineyards is one of the longest established wineries in Texas. But, from before a single vine was planted, or a single grape crushed, the objective has remained unaltered. To produce the very best wine possible from 100% Texas grapes. That may sound like an unsurprising goal nowadays, but as recently as 2009, when I first started writing about Texas wine, and condemned the scam of using California bulk wines and labeling them to trick the consumer into thinking that they were Texas wines (and Texas-based wine bloggers were conducting softball interviews to justify the practice), there were producers who said things like “the consumer does not care where the grapes come from”. Such self-serving platitudes never got in the front door at Inwood Estates Vineyards where founder and winemaker Dan Gatlin hewed to his own path to make wines as complex as Europe and as powerful as California but with a fully Texas identity.
Inwood wines earned a justified reputation for intractability, a word Gatlin would likely approve of as he sees no value in making wines for early maturation. The rapid evolution offset by a lower peak. So, since 2009 I have wondered when, and if (!) Inwood wines came around.
Good news. Colos, 2011, a $200 wine (sold out on release) made from economically insane yields of 0.3 tons/acre, is an absolutely staggering pleasure to drink now. Especially with Spanish food like leg of lamb, or Texas food, like wild boar shot from an R-66 Turbine Helicopter, obviously using a Gatlin(g) Gun (sorry).
Nose of cedar, vanilla, green tea, blackberry, plum, rosemary, leather, and cigar box. Taste of wood, plum, rosemary, forest floor, and orange peel. Long enveloping finish of woody notes.
It will keep longer, but I suspect it is roughly at its peak right now. So enjoy.
Does it age? Hell yeah.