There are humans on this planet that are determined to climb the highest summits of the largest mountains. Others make the decision to climb the employment ladder to reach the top in their career field. I, however, choose to climb to the “Top Of The Hill Country” and fill my glass with Alamosa Wine Cellars Texacaia 2011.
It is no secret that winemaker Jim Johnson, a graduate of UC Davis in California, is a pioneer in the Texas Hill Country. He has been producing world class Texas wines for quite some time now. I recently had the pleasure of bottling with them and the experience was nothing less than stellar. After we wiped the sweat from our brows, Karen and Jim invited me into the tasting room to sample their current portfolio. I was impressed with how big their wines were to start and I really appreciated the diversity of which Jim chooses to blend his wines.
The 2011 Texacaia is a classic example of that diversity. What do you get when you blend Texas grapes such as Sangiovese (Italy), Tannat (France), and Petite Verdot (France)? Well, you get a wonderfully bold and complex red wine. 2011 was an extreme drought year for Texas, which equated to smaller yields and concentrated fruit.
Alamosa Wine Cellars Texacaia 2011, Tio Pancho Ranch (Estate Vineyard)
62% Sangiovese, 30% Tannat, 8% Petite Verdot
Clarity/Brightness: Clear bright / no flaws
Color: Ruby with a garnet rim variation
Tannins: Medium plus to high
Acidity: Medium minus to medium
As I swirl the glass and shove my sniffer in the bowl, I detect black fruits such as blackberries, black cherries, and a splash of black current. There is a nuance of an old oak chest as well. The palate confirms the nose tossing black fruit all around my palate. The splendid hint of French oak resting quietly in the Cellar is prominent behind the fruit. This wine was aged for 14 months in mostly neutral French oak barrels after being co-fermented in small picking bins.
This wine is more than capable of standing up to a thick and juicy steak. The ample tannins and Arnold Schwarzenegger structure from the Tannat means that this wine can bask in your cellar for several years to come? Texacaia you ask, yes please!
Sip, savor and enjoy my fellow aficionados.