H-E-B Creekside Park in The Woodlands hosts weekly wine tastings where customers are led through a sit-down tasting by a representative from the host winery. Currently only two H-E-B stores offer these tasting events, but due to their popularity, H-E-B is interested in expanding this program. Bill Azzam, the wine manager of H-E-B Creekside Park, does a great job organizing and hosting these tastings. Bill also keeps an interesting and ever-expanding selection of Texas wines on the shelves. I recently attended a Flat Creek Estate tasting where I had the opportunity to try six wines from Flat Creek Estate. Cecil Drummond from Flat Creek Estate led the tasting where he shared lots of info about Flat Creek Estate and their wines.
Flat Creek Estate was founded by Rick and Madelyn Naber back in 1998 North of Lake Travis in Marble Falls, TX. The scenic 80 acre estate has 22 acres of vines, all of which are picked by hand. Flat Creek offers tastings, tours, dining, and lots of special events. They have lots of info on their website, so be sure to check it out. Tim Drake, Flat Creek’s winemaker, joined the team in 2011, and brought his background in Chemistry and some great winemaking experience with him from the Pacific Northwest.
Now onto the tastings!
2015 Pinot Grigio
88% Pinot Grigio, 8% Chenin Blanc, 4% Blanc du Bois
100% Stainless Steel fermented; grapefruit and floral notes on the nose; honeydew melon, green apple, and bit of minerality on the palate; bright acidity, light body, 12.2% ABV
2015 Cuvee Blanc
50% Viognier, 25% Chenin Blanc, 25% Blanc du Bois
Cantaloupe and bit of a floral note on the nose; honeydew melon and tropical fruit on the palate; medium acidity balanced by 0.8% residual sugar, medium body, 13.2% ABV
2014 Super Texan
94% Sangiovese, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Zinfandel, 1% Syrah
Black cherry and spice on the nose that carries onto the palate along with blackberry and more dark fruit; long finish, medium-plus tannins, medium body, medium acidity, 13.7% ABV
100% Tempranillo from Lost Draw Vineyard in the Texas High Plains
38 months in 60% new American Oak; cherry preserves and spice on the nose; dark fruit, cola, cedar, and leather on the palate with a good bit of spice through the long finish; medium tannins, medium-plus body, medium acidity, 14.3% ABV; There’s not much of this one around, so if you find a bottle, get it!
90% Tempranillo, 10% Mourvèdre
30 months in barrel; red cherry and spice on the nose; dark cherry, spice, and some earthiness; medium-plus tannins, medium-plus body, medium-plus acidity, 13.8% ABV
A blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay
Lots of toasted almond and pear on the nose that carry onto the palate; demi-sec style so a touch of sweetness, 11% ABV
I enjoyed all of the wines across the board and thought they offered excellent quality for their price points, and the other guests I spoke to had the same opinion. The Super Texan was Flat Creek’s break-out wine. It’s made in the style of a Super Tuscan, a style of wine created in the 1970’s by some creative winemakers in Tuscany that began blending French grape varieties into their Northern Italian wines. Flat Creek Estate has done a great job of bringing this style to the world of Texas wine with Super Texan, and it’s an excellent bottle to act as an introduction to Flat Creek Estate wines. Now I just need to plan my trip to Flat Creek Estate.