We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
The renowned 290 wine trail that runs from Johnson City to Fredericksburg, Texas, is a world all its own. Many years ago there were open fields and a winery or two here and there scattered amongst the sparsely populated small towns within the region. In 2014, the change is very obvious. This is wine country, folks, and the gettin’ is good!
There is a new winery on Highway 290, one that will be providing world class Texas wines made by a well-known and prominent French winemaker by the name of Bénédicte Rhyne. Owners Christopher and Jennifer Cobb had a vision to open their own winery and to produce the best wines from the best grapes possible. Their vision is unfolding by the day as you pass the newly constructed winery just west of Hye on the south side of Highway 290. Soon, the winery will be completed and will officially be open to the public.
The 2014 harvest is already fermenting at home in the Kuhlman Cellars winery, while the final details of the building are being brought to life. Once complete, several blocks of estate vines will adorn the front and side lawns of the winery and these will not be show vineyards my friends. These, along with fruit from the family vineyard as well as other Texas vineyards, will be providing the grapes for the Kuhlman Cellars portfolio. The wines will be tasted in flights, sitting down and enjoyed with an assortment of carefully chosen food pairings. You can read about a sneak preview that Jeff was able to enjoy during his visit in May. The tastings are available by appointment. Kuhlman Cellars is all about the wine. The priorities will be to relax in the tasting room admiring the barrels and tanks in the connected winery and to frolic though the estate vineyards with a glass of wine on a nice day. Dirt, vines, grapes, strict and loving winemaking, fine stemware, and a passionate family at Kuhlman; that is what this is all about! Now on to the wine.
The Texas Red is a carefully crafted blend of five varietals, led by the beloved and powerful Merlot grape, which I call mama grape in the Bordeaux family. The bottle is adorned with a label that has the winery name printed in a very classy font if I may say so. The stemware used for tasting are etched the same, which already highlights the quality even before removing the cork. In the glass, the color is ruby red with a garnet rim. This wine offers medium concentration and a medium plus viscosity. To my awaiting nostrils, the nose offers notes of black cherries, tart raspberries, baking spices, and a nuance of cocoa. The palate is driven dominantly by red fruits with those gorgeous baking spices we have all come to love from the oak barrels. Oak is present both on the nose and on the palate.
I have made the comment that several of the Bordeaux style wines I have tasted in Texas really remind me of the famous growing region in Southwest France. This particular wine in a blind tasting would actually throw me off and make me believe it is in fact, a genuine Bordeaux wine. I have been drinking French wines since 2003 and the Bordeaux blends have always been my true love in wine. The Texas Red is about as genuine as it gets in regard to flavor profiles and structure. I know, I know, the blend is not a truly standard and authentic Bordeaux blend, but when you taste this wine, I think you will agree with my assessment regarding the French styling, and hey, when you have a talented French winemaker in Texas, would you expect anything less?
- Kuhlman Cellars Texas Red, 2012 vintage
- Winemaker: Bénédicte Rhyne
- Appellation: Texas
- Varietals: 49% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carignan, 11% Cabernet Franc, 10% Grenache
- Barrels: 18 months in French Oak
- Clarity/Brightness: Clear/bright with no detectable flaws and no gas or sediment
- Tannins: Medium
- Acidity: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium to medium plus
- Finish: Medium
- 14.1% alcohol by volume
- pH – 3.55
- TA g/l – 5.95
Tasting and appointment information:
Kuhlman Cellars will be open to the public beginning on October 3rd, 2014. Tasting fees are per person for the flight of wines and the food pairings.
Appointments can be made via phone at 512-920-CORK (2675) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call and schedule your appointment soon to be one of the first in Texas to be able to try these gorgeous wines! Be sure to tell them the folks at Texas Wine Lover sent you!
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.
Disclosure: Jeremy works for Kuhlman Cellars.