It is no surprise that Blanc du Bois has been making huge strides in Texas over the last several years. Many more wineries have recognized the potential of this grape, and they are doing some interesting things in the cellar to keep the consumer on their toes. Blanc du Bois is just at home in the oak barrel as it is in the stainless steel tank. Sweet, dry, off-dry, and sparkling are all costumes this grape can wear at any given time. Talk about diverse!
Despite it’s foxy nature, I have found that in the correct hands, Blanc du Bois can be crafted to nearly mimic the structural and flavor profiles of Sauvignon Blanc. I will be honest, for years I knocked the grape and looked right past it’s potential, but after having tasted many of the best Texas has to offer, I am quite convinced this will be a variety to be reckoned with for a very long time in the Lone Star State.
Up for review is a Blanc du Bois from a newly opened winery in Cedar Park, Bent Oak Winery. This is an urban winery with true Texas charm, and it just goes to show you don’t exactly have to be in the Hill Country to have a good time and drink great wine! I have only tasted one other barrel aged Blanc du Bois so I was anxious to splash some of this wine on my palate to see how it turned out. In my opinion, Blanc du Bois really benefits from barrel time in regard to mouthfeel. The zing of a crisp, stainless steel-aged white wine is fantastic of course, but the heft and excitement of a barrel aged white is a completely different story.
Once the cork is pulled, the wine pours into the glass a bright gold. The color is deep and intense for a Blanc du Bois. The nose is complex, offering layers of tropical fruit, blended with lime peel and zesty granny smith apple. There is also a tease of charred vanilla from the oak barrels. The palate confirms the nose, showcasing a rich and textured mouthfeel and a lengthy finish. This wine is a testament to the diversity of the grape, in this case showing what a little barrel time can do for the structure. It offers just a kiss of oak, but only enough to provide texture without sacrificing aromatics.
- Bent Oak Winery Blanc Du Bois, 2015 vintage
- Winemaker: John Catalano
- Appellation: Texas, Palacios Vineyards
- Grape Varieties: Blanc du Bois
- Barrels: Half the wine is aged in American oak barrels, the other half in stainless steel tanks
- Clarity/brightness: Clear/bright with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: N/A
- Acidity: High
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Long
- Alcohol by volume: 12.5%
- Retail price: $22.00 per bottle at the time of review
It is wines like this that keep my faith alive that Blanc du Bois is indeed a champion in Texas. It is a chameleon that morphs in whatever the winemaker chooses. This wine is a great buy and I highly recommend it. It is a great sipping wine for you “acid fiends” like myself out there, but it is much better suited as a food pairing wine. Choose dishes high in acid and or salt.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.