We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
A cold and rainy day before Thanksgiving was the perfect excuse to host friends for a wine tasting of six of the newest releases from Cicada Cellars in Stonewall, Texas. I gathered seven friends for:
- 2021 Dog Days Sparkling Rosé of Mourvèdre – Veraison Hills Vineyard
- 2121 Texas Trebbiano- Six Harts Vineyards
- 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon & Tannat – 50/50 blend, Ynot and Gatewood Vineyards
- 2019 La Chicharra – Texas Tempranillo
- 2019 Mourvèdre/Tannat/Merlot – Desert Willow, Gatewood, and Newsom Vineyards
- 2019 Bourbon Barrel No. 3 – Petite Sirah and Malbec, Texas High Plains
Armed with pencils and paper we began with the 2021 Sparkling Rosé of Mourvèdre as I set the ground rules for the tasting and chatted about Cicada Cellars. Owners Jeff and Barbra Williams began the winery well before the “official” 2018 start date by purchasing and renovating the old VFD in Stonewall. With the perfect locale secured, they chose the cicada as the logo for its theme of good luck and renewal – what better symbol for this new adventure! The lively Rosé was a hit with several of my tasters who noted it was off-dry with slightly high acidity with raspberry and lemon notes and similarity to Prosecco. We all agreed it would be perfect for a special occasion/holiday breakfast!
Next up: a perfect wine for a light seafood dinner, the 2021 Trebbiano, which tasters noted had a distinctive nose; flavors of pears, citrus, and clover, bright, and crisp. It was the favorite of my white-wine-loving friends who thought that it was light, dry, and refreshing.
On to the reds with the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon & Tannat. This wine yielded the following notes: cherry/berry/plum/currant notes with vanilla and spices, slightly spicy but smooth, with medium tannins and a slightly sweet finish. The Texas Cabernet Sauvignon grapes both tamed the Tannat and added deep flavors of fruit to this wine. It was in a word: delicious!
We took a short break to eat a snack while we chatted more about the Cicada Cellars journey. Though Jeff and Barbra decide the grapes and any blends they want to try, they rely on the winemaking expertise of Dr. Bob Young (Bending Branch Winery) and Bénédicte Rhyne (Kuhlman Cellars). They also strive to use 100% Texas-grown grapes as much as possible. And they are improvement-focused, relying on customer feedback and word-of-mouth.
Next up: 2019 La Chicharra (Tempranillo). An extra steeping in oak just before bottling gave this wine a smokey nose of oak and sweet tobacco. The flavors of fig/cassis/plum and the sweet and smooth finish made all of us remark how well it would pair with Texas BBQ!
The 2019 Mourvèdre/Tannat/Merlot was also a fan favorite, being praised for its easy drinkin’ style. Several tasters debated on leather/tobacco, cherry/vanilla, and blackberry/black pepper…but all of us agreed that it started out on a sweet note and ended with a smooth, dry finish. Another winner!
Did we save the best for last? Five of us said YES. The 2019 Bourbon Barrel No. 3 blend of 50/50 Petite Sirah and Malbec was highly anticipated and did not disappoint! We agreed on: Bourbon/vanilla/raisin/molasses/plum/licorice and all thought it was smooth and full-bodied and that we needed to take the bottle out to the firepit asap! We loved discovering the complex aromas and flavors imparted by the Garrison Bros. bourbon barrels.
All of the wines were great, and we may or may not have talked about taking a road trip to visit the Cicada Cellars tasting room over the holidays to enjoy them in person. I can highly recommend the wines and so can my tasting buddies!