The warm weather is once again upon us in Texas. The bluebonnets have come and gone, and the temperatures are hitting the low 90’s already as summer quickly approaches. You know what that means everybody, time to fire up the lawnmower and it is also time to break out our favorite white wines for refreshing enjoyment. I had a hankering for a heavy hitting white with structure and finesse all rolled into one. This prompted me to open a bottle of wine I have been cellaring for some time now, a 2012 Hawk’s Shadow Luna Vieja, Chenin Blanc.
For those of you not familiar, Hawk’s Shadow Winery is located in Dripping Springs, Texas off Hwy 290 on McGregor Lane. They first opened to the public in 2013 and are in the very final stages of finishing a new tasting room and cellar right now. There will be a grand opening event the week of May 17th- 24th for the new tasting room. I highly encourage each of you to attend, as the views are stunning and the wines wonderful. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty shall we?
This Chenin Blanc is such a different animal than any I have ever tasted in Texas. Instead of crisp and fruity, it is chunky, buttery, and complex in the same way an oaked Chardonnay is structured. In fact, this wine drinks more like a Chardonnay than a Chenin Blanc, which is sort of interesting and fun.
Once the cork is removed, the wine is a deep golden color in the glass, with a slightly lighter rim variation. The nose is tantalizing throwing hints of buttery apricot, banana Laffy Taffy, and peaches. For me, the palate is nearly identical, which is a good thing. The mouthfeel is substantial, however it has become gentler with age. The acid structure is still present, but has also softened to a moderate level. I will mention this wine was completely flat at first opening, but began to come to life at a warmer temperature and after having been in the glass for 15 minutes.
- Hawk’s Shadow Winery Luna Vieja, 2012 vintage
- Winemaker: Tom and Doug Reed, with Tim Drake (consultant)
- Appellation: Texas High Plains AVA, Russell Lepard Vineyard
- Grape varieties: Chenin Blanc
- Barrels: Barrel fermented and aged for 19 months in neutral French oak. This wine was unracked and aged sur lie in barrel. Bottled unfiltered.
- Clarity/Brightness: Cloudy, with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas
- Tannins: N/A
- Acidity: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium minus
- Finish: Medium plus
- Alcohol by volume: 12.9%
- pH: 3.64
- Price: $28.00 (Sold out)
The bad news is this particular vintage is sold out. The good news is you now have an idea of the quality of the wines coming from Hawk’s Shadow, so pick up the phone now and schedule a visit, as I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy yourself while there.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.