When we moved to the Magnolia area a couple years back, we didn’t expect to have a winery’s tasting room within a five-minute drive from our new home. Then late last year we noticed a small storefront go up with something that looked like it might become a wine shop. Little did we know that two Frenchmen, Steve Hari and Phillipe Legrand, would be opening a tasting room in Magnolia for their winery located in Coldspring, TX.
Currently they are only a private tasting room with tastings available on an appointment basis in Magnolia. Simply email them to set something up. Once all the licensing is in place, they will begin regular tasting room hours in Magnolia. Check our winery page for H-Wines for all the contact information.
As I said, both Steve and Philippe are from France. Steve has 24 years of wine making experience in the different locales of Champagne and Burgundy. He manages the local production in the Coldspring facility. Philippe comes from a family of wine merchants in France and enjoys having visitors and friends experience the wine and food experience they offer at H-Wines.
My wife and I went on a Friday evening and were greeted by both Steve and Philippe. After introductions, they offered a charcuterie plate (for a small cost) that had a nice selection of meats, cheeses, and quiche. Of course, we took them up on the suggestion. At that time, we were offered a tasting flight.
During our tasting, both gentlemen took turns explaining and pouring our tastes. It was explained that the wines we were tasting were mostly made by Steve either at his former winery in the Burgundy, France area, or in their new winery in Coldspring. While tasting, we were entertained by their stories of getting started in the wine business in Texas and getting out of the French wine business. By the time we tasted through the wines, it felt like we were old friends.
Tastings are done sitting at the bar or table of your choosing and poured from freshly opened bottles. As we said before, each taste came with a story. The tasting consisted of a sparkling white, two still whites, and two reds. That evening, the following wines were on the menu:
- Sparkling White – Varichon, France (Made in the “French Tradition”)
- Louis Moreau Chardonnay – Chablis, France
- Blanc du Bios – Coldspring, TX
- Clos des Rouards Pinot Noir – Beaune, France
- Black Spanish Lenior – Coldspring, TX
This is not a wine review, but I will say that the Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish were not like anything I’ve tasted in Texas. Steve said they were made in the “French way” and both were very elegant in their approachability. The BdB was mildly oaked with a malolactic fermentation that made the wine soft and supple. The Black Spanish was not as extracted as most I’ve tasted and seemed to be more “Pinot”-like in mouthfeel and taste. While they are waiting on final label approval for the Texas wine, they are taking pre-orders. The BdB was almost half spoken for as of our visit. They look forward to a release party once the labels are approved. We did pre-order a few bottles for ourselves.
Steve and Philippe said that last year’s contract for the fruit was a test run, and the vineyard owners were pleased enough to offer them substantially more this year. They were going to be harvesting the BdB the day after our visit. They also plan on gatherings at their Coldspring winery in the future and seemed opened to appointment only visits now as time allows. While he has every right to be proud of the wine he’s made, Steve wants to continue making his wine in the “French way,” and would especially like to impart some of that knowledge on to other Texas winemakers dealing with the hard Blanc du Bois and Lenior grapes. The proof is in the tasting.