Culture / Foodie Events

Embracing Texas Wines

This $8.99 Find Proves the State’s Bottles Are Worth Another Look

BY // 07.11.16

I don’t often drink Texas wines. One reason is because I had the misfortune of sampling, in a concentrated space of time (not long after I moved to the state, in the middle of 2013), a good number of bottles that were, frankly, pretty bad. I had made it a point to try as many as I could, but then stopped, tired of the quality level. I don’t mind going through my share of wines I don’t like, because that is part of the process of tasting — and the fact that one doesn’t care for a wine does not necessarily make it a bad wine — but it seemed to me that the Texas track record was too iffy, and besides, life really is too short to drink bad juice.

Llana Estacado

Not so long ago I decided to allow Texas back into my portfolio, for a couple of reasons, the primary one being that a friend gave me a case of wines hailing from the state, his way of urging me to drink closer to home. I unpacked it and put the bottles in my Eurocave, and looked forward to opening a few from time to time.

I did just that late last week. It was the 2015 Signature White from Llano Estacado Winery (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay). It was chilled to around 55 degrees Fahrenheit when I poured the first taste; the Sauvignon Blanc seemed to like that temperature, and it was certainly prominent on the nose. (I am partial to a good Viognier, and I was happy to discover that it also shone through in this bottle, slight thought it was.) Good balance was evident — decent acidity, and a crispness that was appreciated on the warm day.

We served this with a chicken salad (olive oil, a few capers, onions, celery), and the two paired with aplomb. Greg Bruni, Llano’s head winemaker, has to my palate crafted a pleasant and flexible wine in the 2015 Signature White, and at a retail price of $8.99, I recommend you give it a try. (Stay tuned for more Texas offerings.)

(Note: Not all of the grapes in the 2015 Signature White were grown in Texas; the vintage also includes grapes grown in New Mexico and California.)

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