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WINE REVIEW: Ron Yates 2016 ‘Amalgamation’, Texas ($29)

by Andrew Chalk

Amalgamation is Ron Yates Bordeaux blend. Blended from 57% Merlot 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, it most closely approximates a ‘right bank’, or St. Emilion wine.

In character, it has its own identity, being much riper than its French counterpoints on account of the warmer Texas climate. However, certain common grape characteristics come through. The Merlot gives the wine a softness on the palate, while Cabernet Sauvignon provides structure. Dark fruits predominate on the nose and in the mouth. Look for blackberry and black cherry. Good length on the finish which merges fruit with subtle oak.


Ron Yates, the winery, was founded by Ron Yates, the man, a recovering attorney who looks like the lead singer from a west coast grunge band, Yates was part of the family that founded

Spicewood Vineyards. They came to my attention on a loner trip to a conference in Fredericksburg. I was at the bar in Otto’s and was surprised that they did not have any local wines by the glass. After a bit of quizzing the manager conceded that he did have a bottle he could open. A rep. had dropped it off as a sample earlier that day. It was Spicewood Vineyards Tempranillo and made from Hill Country fruit. It knocked my socks off, and Spicewood was thereafter always on my radar as one of the Texas Tempranillo producers to watch.

Wind forward five years and Yates has spun off into his own eponymous winery, astutely located on US-290 frontage between Hye and Johnson City. I’ll have more to say about his whole line in a future article, but the long story short is that now Ron Yates is in the top tier of Texas wineries.


This wine is indicative of that standard. Quaff it, or serve with red meat -- including Texas barbecue brisket. Recommended.

Disclosure: tasting provided by the winery. Transportation and lodging paid by the author.



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