Texas Fine Wine conducted its second Texas Two Sip Blind Tasting at Re:Rooted 210 Urban Winery in San Antonio. The blind tasting pits a Texas wine against the same variety from a different region. In the past, the event used Old World wines, but this year included two California wines. However, this change made the blind tasting more difficult, which also made it more fun.
The tasting consisted of eight tastings and snacks. Each winery provided one wine that was tasted alongside a similar wine from a different region; these wines matched the Texas wines in variety, quality, and price point. Attendees had their own personal charcuterie box of meat, cheese, olives, almonds, bread, and crackers.
The event is hosted by Denise Clark of Texas Fine Wine and Jennifer Beckmann of Re:Rooted. The two hosts led the tasting, providing info on Texas wines and wine-tasting techniques. During the tasting, attendees shared tasting notes, as well as their guesses on varieties and wine locations. After tasting both wines in a set, the hosts announced each wine and a representative from the winery discussed the wine.
Up first was a surprise. The wine kept many guessing down to the reveal. Ron Yates, owner of Spicewood Vineyards and Ron Yates, shared the newly released 2022 Sauvignon Blanc. This was tasted alongside the Cliff Lede Vineyards wine from Napa.
This new release from Spicewood comes from a small vineyard in Dell City near El Paso. After losing the estate Sauvignon Blanc crop to the 2021 freeze, Ron looked for replacement fruit and found it. The wine was aged in stainless steel for 5-6 months.
The next wine was no surprise to Texas wine fans. Of course, Pedernales Cellars provided their 2021 Texas Tempranillo. This wine was tasted alongside the 2019 Marqués de Cáceres, a Crianza Tempranillo.
Executive winemaker and co-owner David Kuhlken discussed grape growing. Right now, Pedernales Cellars is replanting their estate vineyard, despite its relatively young age. Many Hill Country vineyards replant vines sooner than their Old World counterparts. Vines struggle in the location due to the unpredictable weather.
By this point, most in attendance could guess which winery was next but struggled a bit with the wine. Winemaker Dave Reilly from Duchman Family Winery shared the 2017 Aglianico alongside the 2017 Synthesi Aglianico del Vulture from Paternoster. Many knew the wine was an Italian variety, but many chose the wrong one.
One of Dave Reilly’s first wines at Duchman was the 2008 Aglianico. For the 2017 vintage, the grapes came from Oswald Vineyards in the Texas High Plains. The wine aged for four years in mainly neutral oak barrels; in fact, Dave mentioned he prefers to use neutral barrels so that the wine tastes like a true expression of the grape.
Last, but not least, was Tannat. Everyone knew it, since Bending Branch Winery had not yet gone. Jennifer Cernosek shared a 2019 Tannat from nearby Lost Pirogue Vineyard. Before the tasting, those involved struggled to find a comparable Tannat, both in quality and price. European Tannats proved relatively inexpensive. However, Bending Branch owner Dr. Bob Young came through and provided the other wine from his own collection, a 2018 from Tablas Creek Vineyard.
This 2019 wine from Bending Branch went through cryo-maceration. The slow freezing process helps to extract 50% more compounds from the grape, aiding with improving color, flavor, and tannins.
The Texas Two Sip is one of many events hosted by the Texas Fine Wine group. They hold the monthly Talk and Tastes on Zoom. Two of their big events coming up include the Texas Fine Wine Sunset Cruise on Lake Austin in September and the Texas Fine Wine Annual Dinner in December at Duchman. More info about events can be found on their website.
Re:Rooted regularly hosts special events, usually about once a month. These events always sell out; this past event included a waiting list. The best way to get a ticket is to join the wine club; members get first crack at the tickets, as well as a nice discount. You can also join the mailing list or follow them on social media, but tickets do go fast by that point. More about their events can be found on their website.
The Texas Two Sip Blind Tasting is one of Re:Rooted’s most popular events. The once annual event may become a twice a year event to accommodate the interest and spread the good word about Texas wine.