The secret is out! Spicewood Vineyards makes incredible wine and has joined the Texas Fine Wine group as its newest member.
I suppose it was not that much of a secret, because they seem to be so popular with their Wine Club, that they sell wines nearly as soon as they are released. But it was a secret to me. That is before my Austin friend Matt McGinnis who blogs at What Are You Drinking? sent me a few bottles when I could not attend a Texas wine tasting there, missing a chance to meet Spicewood Vineyards' hottie owner Ron Yates.
The University of Texas graduate does not look like your typical Texas winery owner -- he is more of a (Black Sails') Charles-Vane-meets-Dave-Grohl (Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana drummer.) But the website still had a picture of the previous owners and founders Ed and Madeleine Manigold, on its "About" page -- so I was a bit confused. Yates bought the place from them in 2007. The Manigolds look like a sweet couple -- but an eight-hour round trip drive for a tasting event is a wee bit of a commute. I might have made a more diligent effort had I done better research. Or if I had asked my friend Wine Thoughts blogger Sandra Crittenden, who did a nice write-up of her visit to Spicewood Vineyards.
Spicewood Vineyards has joined the privately-funded marketing initiative of Texas Fine Wine. Last month I was in Austin visiting the Omni Barton Creek Spa and Resort with fellow wine writers Melanie Ofenloch, Thea Dwelle and Liza Swift. Melanie had set up a fabulous weekend for us to learn more about the Omni's Wine and Dine events. The aforementioned ladies were not sold on Texas wines, because Texas wines tend to be a mixed bag. I wanted to show the gals the best of what our state has to offer, so I contacted Denise Clarke who introduced me to the Texas Fine Wine group back in 2014, to see if we could do a tasting at Pedernales Cellars and Duchman Family Winery -- two I knew were good, and were not too much of a drive from Barton Creek.
We had a lovely tasting and tour with Pedernales co-owner Julie Kuhlken, and were delighted to be able to taste wine from Bending Branch Winery as well. Then we headed to Duchman, where Denise met us. She told us the news and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that Spicewood Vineyards had joined the group!
The Spicewood 2012 Estate Tempranillo won gold medals at the 2015 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, 2015 Concours De Lyon International Wine Competition in Lyon, France, and the 2014 TEXSOM International Wine Awards. We reviewed that one back in November of last year for Tempranillo Day.
Spicewood Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Rosé
Today I revisited Spicewood Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Rosé. Sourced from vineyards in the Texas High Plains, the wine is 100% Mourvedre. Pale salmon in color, it favors notes of strawberry, cherry blossoms and the slightest hint of raspberry and Pink Lady Apples on the nose. It is crisp and zesty, with citrus flavors of mango, lemon zest and a hint of orange and tangerine blossoms. It almost reminded me of a wine from Tavel, but those are Grenache and Cinsault. Syrah and Mourvedre are minor grapes not permitted until 1969.
I would love the Spicewood Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Rosé with salmon, but today I paired it with a salad. And the synergy was amazing: My salad started with a base of butter lettuce and watercress. I added Campari tomato, thinly shaved radishes and sweet Vidalia onions, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I rarely use dressing, but found a great bottled Chunky Blue Cheese at The Fresh Market. It's from Bolthouse Farms: only 35 calories per 2 tablespoons, is low in sodium, only 1 gram of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. No preservatives, 0 trans fat and gluten-free. I added some Point Reyes Blue Cheese crumbles to the top. The black pepper and blue cheese brought out a bit of spice and earth in the wine.
Spicewood Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Rosé is 13.5% alcohol by volume. It is priced at $18.99 per bottle or $205.10 per 12-bottle case through the winery. Wines from Spicewood Vineyards are available not only at the vineyard but also in Texas stores and restaurants.
Texas native Todd Crowell is Spicewood Vineyard’s winemaker. He joined the winery in 2012 after he graduated from Texas A&M University and spent 12 years at Christopher Creek Winery, White Oak Vineyards & Winery and Stonestreet Wines in Sonoma County, California.
Yates is expanding his winery business with a new winery and tasting room along Highway 290 that will be called Yates, scheduled to open by this summer. You can also learn more about Spicewood Vineyards on their Facebook page.
Texas Fine Wines will be featured at the Omni Barton Creek Wine & Dine Event in June. Next Monday, February 29th they are featuring a Coast to Coast dinner, and on March 21 I'll be heading up to Austin again for the Wines and Food of Germany to taste some new releases from my friends at Traubenhaus. To learn more about the Omni Barton Creek Wine & Dine series, check out our post here.
For more information about Texas Fine Wine, visit their website at http://texasfinewine.com/.