Let’s start with the fact that German wine – at least German wine that I deem drinkable – is fairly if not extremely rare here in the US. What I’ve seen so far are the mass-produced “Liebfraumilch” or “Piesporter Michelsberg”. I always wonder how that “dear woman” ["lieb(e) Frau"] can produce so much milk! ;) And as to the quality of “Piesporter Michelsberg” suffice it to say that I always refer to it as “Pissporter”. ;) But in earnest: it is astonishing, to my mind, how those large quantities of these wines can be produced. A really good wine from Germany, say a “Bocksbeutel” from Frankonia, a “Roter Spätburgunder” from the Rheingau or a “Kaiserstuehler“, to name but a few from my wish list, simply can’t be found here, not even in upscale wine shops.
Talking of upscale wine shops: recently I was quite surprise to find at an H.E.B., admittedly in Lincoln Heights, one of the posher areas of San Antonio – a supermarket with a really large selection of good wines – a French wine selling at, believe it or not, $408! Yes, fourhundred and eight dollars! In a supermarket! Remarkable even if one considers the fact that the supermarkets certainly cater to the preferences of the customers in thier specific locations.
It was at that H.E.B, that I was looking for some Texan wines, on the one hand as presents and on the other hand for myself, as a treat for the holiday season. It is only on special occasions that I treat myself to these as they are a tad expensive for everyday consumption. They’re usually upwards of $10 per bottle. Which is why I usually limit myself to the cheaper wines from California. Thise I usually buy are more mass-produced, but still good. It’s just that the Californian wineries are much bigger enterprises that the Texan ones and can thus sell their wines cheaper. The Californian wines, btw, are somewhat sweeter than their European – and Texan, at that – equivalents. But as regards quality they really live up to their counterparts.
The wine I enjoyed very much come from the Sister Creek Vineyards in Sisterdale, one of the smallest towns [population 25] in the Texas Hill Country. Sister Creek Vineyards were founded in 1988 and are houses in a former cotton gin, btw. The wine I got doesn’t have a name, at least not on the label:
In their wine list they refer to it as “Cabernet Sauvignon – 3 Blend” and describe it as as “Red Bordeaux Meritage”. “Meritage” is, as I see it, the equivalent of the French “Cuvee” – and that is what the red Bordeauxs are. I can only say that this wine really lives up to it’s description and is absolutely comparable to a quality Bordeaux.
As I never know – my tongue isn’t up to it – how wine buffs can, e.g., maintain that a certain wine may have a “hint of nuts” or something like this, I’m simply going to add another picture, this time the label from the back of the bottle, with more details about the wine:
There was another wine I liked a lot, a Merlot from the Fall Creek Vineyards, also in the Texas Hill Country, in Tow on Lake Buchanan, that is. I have passed by that vineyard on my bicycle a few times, and I need to return – not only for bicycling. ;) . Theirs is another excellent Texan wine, of course, as a Merlot, of quite a different character than the Sisterdale Cabernet Sauvignon 3 Blend. I s
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- Texas Wine Included in Saveur’s Editor-in-Chief List of Top Trends for 2012 (vintagetexas.com)
- 2011 Top Ten Texas Wines from VintageTexas – The Honorable Mentions (vintagetexas.com)
- Write Off the Vine – Texas Wine News: December 16, 2011 (vintagetexas.com)
- Today Show Showcases American Wines, New York, Virginia Shine! (eastcoastwineries.blogspot.com)