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ON TEXAS WINE: Do They Age? Part 9

Spicewood Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo, Estate Grown, Texas Hill Country, 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. ”


Spicewood Vineyards sits in the northern part of the Texas Hill Country specializing in tempranillo wines from Hill Country vineyards. This one could be legitimately called estate grown but such is the modesty of President Ron Yates, you would have to be an expert reader of 6-point type to know that. In more recent years Spicewood Vineyards and its progeny, Ron Yates Winery, have become more forthright about the heritage of their wines. They have also taken to putting the alcohol level on the label. In fact, ‘quaintly amateurish’ might be the graphic designer’s summary of the label in this era.


Not conceding to a full decade of age this wine has a bright, ruby appearance in the glass. The age is only apparent from the considerable sediment thrown over the decade.

The nose is tempranillo fruit as unmediated as wines half its age. Underneath are yeasty bread notes, hints of oak, pencil lead, black cherry and rosemary.

The mouth exhibits velvet tannins that still do their part in defining the expression of this wine. The lively fruit and perfect fruit-acid balance might lead you to think that it is much younger than it is. Savor those tertiary notes that make up the long, heart-warming finish although I think this wine, well stored, will keep for several more years.

Does it age? Hell yeah.




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