On Sunday March 25, Lewis Wines held a special tasting event featuring wines from Round Mountain Vineyard. The tasting focused on six wines produced from grapes grown at the Round Mountain Vineyard in the Texas Hill Country. The vineyard is located about 6 miles north of Lewis Wines in the town of Round Mountain. It was initially planted in 2006 with 2 1/2 acres of vines primarily focused on Portuguese varietals.
The current owner bought the property in 2008 and began working with Lewis Wines to have a local winery they could sell grapes to, and likewise collaborate with on managing the growth and care of the vineyard. They worked together to expand the vineyard to 6 acres and improve the vineyard management practices to incorporate more organic practices like using compost, improving the ground cover between rows, and using compost teas to impart more nutrients into the vines, thus enhancing fruit quality and production.
There were six wines highlighted at the tasting poured and discussed through two different flights. The first flight of three wines, were the 2017 Round Mountain Rosé, the 2014 Round Mountain Tinta Cão, and the 2013 Round Mountain Estate Blend. The Rosé, was a very easy drinking wine with a delicate pale pink hue and a slight citrus note on the nose. It was highly aromatic and very bright and fresh with Touriga Nacional and Tempranillo grapes used to produce this beauty which should be enjoyed now through this fall. The Tinta Cão had nuanced and delicate tannins, something more reminiscent of a Pinot Noir with longer lasting tannins. This wine can still lay down for a little while longer without issue. The Estate Blend was a fresh youthful medium bodied red with beautiful soft tannins and some light smoke notes.
The second flight of three wines included the 2011 Round Mountain Reserve, 2012 Round Mountain Reserve, and the 2013 Round Mountain Reserve, allowing for a vertical tasting through three years of vineyard production. This opportunity was a special treat for attendees to discover the differences each year created in the tasting profile of each of the blends. The 2011 came from a very hard drought year with little rain and lots of harsh heat. The vines had to work much harder that year due to the stressful growing conditions, and the wine has a slight herbaceous nose with soft smoke and lingering tannins. This was 100% Touriga Nacional and will continue to age nicely.
The 2012 in comparison was bolder on the nose and a dark inky red with less fruit on the palate, yet dusty spice and cocoa notes. It is a blend of 53% Tempranillo, 16% Tinta Cão, and 21% Touriga Nacional.
The 2013 was a more challenging vintage in the winery due to the impact of powdery mildew, and the need to drop more fruit in the vineyard that year. This wine had less acid and was cooperage in 100% new oak barrels that were produced for Pinot Noir wines, which provided a lovely finish. This was a blend of 65% Tempranillo, 30% Touriga Nacional, and 5% Tinta Cão. The last two Reserve wines are definitely age worthy and a couple more years cellared will continue to allow them to evolve to their full potential.
All in all, the tasting was a wonderful event and it was a delight to have Doug there to personally walk folks through the different wines, along with the vineyard owner, Mrs. Strickler. If you get the opportunity to taste and enjoy Round Mountain wines from Lewis Vineyards, know you will be in for a treat. Delight in knowing everyone who had a hand in producing them takes pride in producing a 100% Texan wine that can be cellared for a while and enjoyed for years to come.