Speaking of fabulous Texas wines, here is a sneak peek at some new wines coming from the Texas Fine Wine group in 2024.
Bending Branch Winery
Bending Branch is producing its first Floc de Gascogne-style wine, a sumptuous apertif. Co-Owner and Executive Winemaker Dr. Bob Young was inspired to produce this wine as part of his continued interest in wines and styles originating in Southwest France. This wine is made of unfermented Blanc du Bois and Muscat that is fortified with grape brandy.
After the popularity of both the Frizzante Tannat and Sparkling Picpoul Blanc, made with carbonization, Bending Branch is making both a Méthode Champenoise Picpoul Blanc and Estate Crimson Cabernet Rosé. This is the traditional production method used to make wines of Champagne that promotes a second fermentation in the bottle.
Among the first to make Pet-Nat bubbly wines, Spicewood Vineyards is making its first sparkling made in the Méthode Champenoise style. Sammie’s Sparkling, named after one of Ron’s daughters, is a blend of Muscat, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Expect a bubbly with tropical and citrus fruit notes.
Spicewood will also release this year its 2017 Gran Reserva Tempranllo. Look for details about an upcoming release party for this special wine that’s been aged three years in the barrel and will be bottle-aged more than three years upon its release.
Keeping us on our toes, Pedernales is having some fun with its Kyla (pronounced “shoola”) Pet-Nat, this year featuring Semillon. A prominent white grape in the Bordeaux region, Semillon offers notes of crunchy green apple and citrus.
In early 2024, Pedernales will add the third of its single-vineyard Tempranillos from the 2020 vintage to its lineup – a Canted County Tempranillo Reserva. 2020 was a fantastic year for Tempranillo with concentrated flavors and tannins due to reduced yields. The other single-vineyard Tempranillos include the 2020 Daniel Vineyard and Lahey Vineyard Tempranillos.
And like Spicewood Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars will release a 2020 Gran Reserva Tempranillo in 2025!
Duchman Family Winery
This year, Duchman will offer its popular Vermentino after a four-year hiatus due to the 2019 early fall freeze in the Texas High Plains. With citrus and fresh floral notes and bright acidity, this is the quintessential summer wine.
Last, but certainly not least, is Duchman’s “It’s a Long Story” Sherry-style dessert wine made from Muscat grapes. Thirteen years ago, Duchman winemaker Dave Reilly decided to start a new long-term project with an exceptional harvest of Muscat grapes. He filled 24 French oak barrels and stored them outside for one year in the Texas heat and cold. Following that, this wine aged 12 more years in the cellar.
This unique process created a lovely dessert wine with a soft caramel color and flavors of tangerine, nuts and ginger spice. While this dessert wine has been served at a handful of private dinners, Duchman has now bottled it and is making it available for limited sale in the winery Spring of 2024, aptly named “It’s a Long Story.”