Three Texas Wines Worth Cancelling Dry January
Three fabulous wines from two partner wineries are showcased below, as reviewed by Sommly friend and fellow Texas wine lover, Amie Nemec. January Wine Reviews:
2020 Hilmy Cellars Roussanne Reserve
This rich, luscious white wine was just released at a private wine dinner in December. My husband isn’t a huge fan of white wines and he loved this beauty. He’s still talking about the dinner and this wine. Aged 18 months in barrels, the wine has a full-mouth feel and a richness to make it a good fit for those red wine drinkers, like my hubby. The aromas of caramel, toasted coconut, and dried apricot are followed up with flavors of lemon custard, butterscotch and meringue. I enjoyed the wine with roasted pork loin in a sauce of apricot and shallots and a side of mashed sweet potatoes with toasted almond slivers and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Roussanne is a small white grape that grows in compact bunches and produces rich white wine. When ripe, the grape is reddish-gold in color. The name is derived from the French word roux, meaning “russet”, or reddish-brown.
Thought to have originated in the Northern Rhone area of France in the early 1900s, it is now most commonly found in the appellations of Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage, St. Joseph and St. Peray. Famous for being an important varietal in Northern Rhone blends. Roussanne has historically been used in the famous Chatenauf de Pape. There are plantings in Languedoc and Rousillon. Has been most commonly known to be blended with Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and on occasion, Viognier . It is a varietal that makes for a perfect blending grape because it can be manipulated. Until 1998, wines in California, labeled as Roussanne, were in all actuality Viognier. Roussanne is also blended sometimes with Syrah in the northern Rhône Valley to soften the tannins in frequently powerful red wines.
Hilmy Cellars has a 3-pack wine bundle available for purchase online on Sommly for a limited time! It includes the 2020 Roussanne Reserve, the 2019 Politics & Religion, and the 2021 Sparkling White.
2021 Rustic Spur Mourvèdre Rosé, Running Quail Vineyard in Coleman County
This beautifully colored rosé is peach hued and exhibits notes of pear and fresh herbs with a hint of apricot on the nose. It is a medium bodied dry wine with no sugar but a definite fruitiness. The flavors are a mix of ripe pear, orange zest, and dried apricot with thyme.
I love this fresh, crisp wine with a simple bed of spinach topped with sliced pears, pecans, a mild blue cheese and drizzle of honey. Add a bit of grilled chick
en or lump crab meat to boost the dish. Use equal parts of this wine, white vinegar and olive oil along with a dash of Herbs d’Provence and squeeze of fresh orange and you’ll have the perfect dressing for your salad and a compliment to the wine.
Another pairing suggestion is a delicious cheese and charcuterie board, which is always a stand by for me when I want a rose wine. You’ll certainly want a creamy Havarti cheese, prosciutto and dried apricots on the table, along with any of your usual favorites. Or, for a fancier dinner, roast duck breasts and herbed new potatoes. Make a sauce of this wine with orange zest, honey, and sliced apricots (fresh or dry will both work) and a dash of dried thyme. The body of the wine will hold up with the meat and the sauce will make the flavors of the wine pop.
Rustic Spur Vineyards also has a variety 3-pack wine bundle available for sale online in Sommly’s marketplace. This curated bundle 2021 Mourvèdre Rosé, 2018 Gramps Tannat, & El Gato Importante fortified dessert wine.
Rustic Spur 2018 Papaw Moyer Estate Souzao, Texas Hill Country
This richly colored wine is more smooth on the palate that you may expect. The nose is that of raisins, dried prunes, cedar and bar-b-q smoke. The mouth feel is velvety tannins without too much grip. Bold fig flavors are balanced nicely with the high acid and alcohol. After almost 42 months in barrel, this wine drinking nicely but because of the acidity and tannins, it can easily age another 8 years.
The Souzão grape is also known as Vinhão and originates in Portugal and is commonly used in Port wines and blended into dry table wines. Most grown in California, Australia, Spain and South Africa, the grape is also referred to as Sezão, Sousao or Sousón. The names Souzão and Vinhão were once used as synonyms for the same variety, but recent research has shown that while they are genetically close, they are actually two distinct varieties. Because of this distinction, the name has been changed to Sezão and formally registered this way in Portugal’s Coleção Ampelográfica Nacional. Souzão/Sezão wines are deeply colored with woodsy aromas. Expect bold, rustic flavors including raisins. Good acidity balances medium tannins and high alcohol levels. The texture can be smooth and satiny.
I enjoyed this bottle with smoked gouda mac and cheese topped with pulled pork. The goey cheeses balance the tannins and acid. The smokiness draws out more fruit flavors in the wine. I’d also like to try an arugala, fig and goat cheese pizza with a drizzle of honey. And a you can’t go wrong with a straight up Texas BBQ chopped beef sandwich.
Note: This wine is extremely limited in quantity, and can only be found onsite at the Vintner’s Hideaway.
About the Wineries
If you haven’t yet visited Hilmy Cellars or Vintner’s Hideaway, you’re missing out! Both tasting rooms offer a warm, family-like charm, and of course, beautiful 100% Texas wines.
Hilmy Cellars is located in the Texas Hill Country, on Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg, Texas. Check out this article we published in 2022 to learn more about the tasting room and winery!
Vintner’s Hideaway is located right off historical Main Street Fredericksburg, in the Texas Hill Country. The family-run winery offers guests a unique experience, with both their own Rustic Spur Vineyard Estate wines, as well as a carefully curated selection of wines from their Texas wine producing friends. We love the quaint, historic tasting room, the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and getting to experience the variety of options available onsite. Check out this article Sommly published in 2022 to learn more!