Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Value Vino

Value Vino: Tempranillo takes Texas

Photo: , License: N/A


"I don't know how you can make a bottle of wine under $20 in Texas; we're truly challenged due to all the bugs and critters … and fierce winds and hail in the High Plains." So said Guy Stout, a master sommelier (of which there are only about 160 in the world) who just happens to have a vineyard near Blanco. We were at a Culinaria wine dinner put on jointly by Lüke and Pedernales Cellars, a Hill Country winery now into its seventh vintage. And though the winemaker, David Kuhlken, never once mentioned plague and pestilence, he does produce wines that are well north of $20.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Kuhlken also has wines in the under-$20 category, and the first of these to be tasted was the 2011 Texas Dry Rosé ($16 at the winery), a delightfully crisp and strawberry-scented wine that is produced in a "Spanish style." (Pedernales is concentrating on warm-weather grapes such as tempranillo, garnacha/grenache, and monastrell/mourvèdre from Spain and the Rhône Valley.)

Next came a 2010 Texas Viognier ($18) with grapes largely from the High Plains, and though it lacked the honeysuckle aromatics often characteristic of the grape, there were pleasant peach and orange blossom components. I could have used a touch more acid, but can't fault the otherwise beautiful structure.

The 2010 Texas Tempranillo ($30) was served with a lusty lamb Bolognese pasta, and it held its own by countering with dark cherry, vanilla, and a hint of caramel, all given gravitas by a bit of smokiness. We can quibble with the price tag, but the results of this assembly from different Texas locations suggest that tempranillo is a grape to watch, and it may be worth paying a little more now to encourage future development.

Pedernales Cellar's 2009 Family Reserve was the most nuanced wine of the evening. The Family Reserve program will vary from year to year in its composition and might even include cabernet and merlot. The '09 model opened with a little herbal quality that quickly dissipated, evolving into vanilla and dark fruits complemented by a hint of earthiness. It is, however, priced at $50, but it's worth noting that the 2007 library edition, which had a price tag of $55, is sold out. Some folks think the pricy wines are worth it.

The evening concluded with an established Texas workhorse grape, muscat canelli, vinted in a light, bright style in the 2010 Texas Muscat Canelli ($16), artfully sidestepping the cloying qualities this grape sometimes exhibits. You can taste all of these wines and more at the tasting room near Stonewall (pedernalescellars.com). And should you feel inspired to walk away with a $70 bottle of 2008 Kuhlken Vineyard Reserve, we are definitely not going to attempt to stop you. Think Pierce's disease, the glassy-winged sharpshooter … and Texas pride.

Veteran food, wine, and spirits writer Ron Bechtol has been a Current contributor since 1993 and is the local editor of the Fearless Critic restaurant guide to San Antonio.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus