Raining the 1st half, letting up the further south we went. There was water over the road on 820 S at the Lancaster Ave overpass. And a chocolate Brown SUV that rolled between Cresson & Granbury going North.
Met up with Jeff S. @ Bluff Dale & we tasted the rest of the trip together.
Barking Rocks – Granbury
Viognier had the typical sweet floral nose of honeysuckle, with pear, apple, citrus – more lemon than grapefruit. The rose had a nose of Raspberry and strawberry, light taste of watermelon.
The Sangiovese had cherry and coffee on the nose and more of the cherry on the palate. Went really well with the ribs from Pearl Street Station.
Tiberia’s Cabernet Sauvignon was very aromatic with the scent of Dark cherry and blackberries.
Didn’t much care for the orange Muscat, however. Appropriate nose of oranges, with some yellow peach, and the appropriate taste, but the taste seemed flat somehow…
Bluff Dale – Bluff Dale, TX
The Chardonnay was unoaked and very citrusy (more lemon than grapefruit). The White Cliff (white blend) was wonderfully bright with citrus, pineapple & white peach. The Sweet Carmella had a nose of honeysuckle & tasted lightly of apricots. The Paragon had a nose of black cherries & raspberries. David mentioned that he thought it went with the pork rib, with the Asian seasonings & smoke, but I sided with Teresa that the Merlot, with its red berries & sage, was even better. The 07 Cabernet was full of dark cherries, plum and light oak. And last, but not least, was the Nexus, a sweet red with sweet cherries, and blackberry jam.
Brennan – Comanche, TX
One of my favorite stops on the Trip. Wines are elegantly done. The Viognier is what I set for the standard to compare all others with its honeysuckle nose, and the taste of white peaches, lychee & citrus. The 3 Chicks, which is a blend of Viognier, Semillon, and Muscat, has an aroma similar to the Viognier but more rounded, and a fuller mouthfeel. The Austin St. Red (Syrah blend) had aromas of black pepper, black cherry, and tasted of cherries and light oak ,and was paired with the pork rib with a light-sweet BBQ sauce. The Cabernet Sauvignon was full of black cherries & spices, though more subdued than the Syrah.
Rising Star – Rising Star, TX
Last stop on Saturday - ‘08 Chardonnay was citrusy, more lemon. The 07 Syrah was earthy with a nose of blackberry. The 07 Rustler’s Red (blend) came on with a nose of black cherry and plum. The 07 Cabernet Sauvignon was full of black cherries as well. The Sunset was lightly sweet, and the 07 Blush was a wonderful golden peach color and sweet like a dessert wine.
After so much pork ribs, no dinner tonight. Although I did break into the bag of POPPIN’ PECAN – Texas-made and like Crunch–N-Munch, only better.
Alamosa – Bend, TX (Sunday the 27th)
Our 1st stop of the day. ‘08 Viognier – this one is more subdued, French in style than the Brennan. The ’07 Scissortail, a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, and Marsanne – Rhone grapes not typically found in Texas, and had a nice apple-y aroma.
’08 Texacaia – their Super Tuscan – Usually a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Tempranillo, this time it’s a blend of Graciano, a lesser-known Italian, Syrah and Tempranillo. Ruby in color, with a wonderful cherry nose & ‘dusty, earthy’ palate. The ’07 Syrah had black pepper, black cherry as the aroma. Lighter in body than the Brennan.
The ’07 Rosato was full of blackberries and some cherries. To finish, the Tawny Port had a wonderful caramel, almost chocolate aroma.
Fiesta Winery – Bend, TX
Although not officially on the Road Trip, we made a stop (after a detour down FM 581) at the newest (as far as I know) winery in Texas – they officially opened Friday (September 25th). Their Tempranillo is wonderful, not overly dry, and full of black cherries. All the other offerings (for now) are sweet – the tasting notes below are from their website as I can’t seem to find mine :-\.
Country Road – A Lush, Rich Merlot with the Essence of Ripe Blackberries.
Home Sweet Home – A Very Summerful, Crisp Zinfandel with hints of Pomegranate.
Skinny Dippin’ – A Crisp, Clean Riesling that makes Skinny Dippin’ Fun and Lighthearted with Refreshing Aromatic Elements of Green Apple.
Texas Well Water – A Pinot Gris with Light, Crisp Bursts of Sweetness and White Cranberry.
Back Porch Sittin’ – A Satiny, Rich, Bold Cabernet Sauvignon with Robust, Lively Blackberry.
Savannah Rose – A Sweet White Zinfandel Blush with Aromas of Strawberry.
Sweet Dreams – A Silky, Smooth Pinot Noir that Exudes Chocolate and Cedar
Finished with Sweet, Mellow Rounds of Raspberry.
Rhinestone Cowgirl – A Smooth Pinot Gris with Bold Layers of Citrus, Smokiness and Higo Chamba.
Muscat Blanc - A Refreshing Texas Grown Muscat with a Clean, Zesty Citrus Undertone.
Pillar Bluff – Lampasas, TX
’09 Chenin Blanc – citrus, more lemony than grapefruit. The Enology 101, was a blend of 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet, 15% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Petit Verdot & 2.5% Malbec. The ’08 Merlot was full of black cherries. The ’09 Viognier had a nose of apricot & mango. Founder’s Red – a semi-sweet red with a hint of cherries. And the Orange Muscat, with a 13.9% ABV, was, of course, full of oranges, and a hint of tangerines.
Texas Legato – Lampasas, TX
Just down the road from Gil Bledsoe & Pillar Bluff, is Bill, his brother, and his wife SuLynn. Both worked for Bank of America. I understand SuLynn is retired. Not sure as yet if Bill is as well.
The ’07 Family Reunion – made up of Texas Cabernet Sauvignon and Texas Malbec, and Merlot. We tasted the ’08 Family Reunion next, with 40% Petite Syrah and 60% Malbec. Both were well done with aromas of black cherry & blackberries. The ’09 Cabernet Sauvignon had aromas of black cherry, plum, with a hint of cedar. The ’09 Petite Syrah was a little lighter, but also had a nose of black cherries. Sweet Surrender ‘08 is made from Cabernet Franc with all of the body, black cherry with a pleasant sweetness.
The port-style wine, Sojourn, had a wonderful plum aroma.
Red Caboose – Meridian, TX
Last stop, appropriately – as the caboose is the last car on a train.
We started off with the ’09 Blanc du Bosque (named for Bosque County where the winery is located). Golden in color, with aromas of peach & citrus. A slightly sweet wine, but very good.
Next was the ’09 Veranda White – a blend of Blanc du Bosque & Viognier. For sipping on the patio/veranda on a summer evening. Honeysuckle & lemon.
The last of the whites was the ‘09 Viognier – honeysuckle, peach, and a hint of green apple.
The reds –
The 07 Tempranillo had aromas of black cherry. The ’07 Syrah/Cabernet was full of plum, black cherry and a hint of cedar. Next was the ‘08 Malbec, with black cherry, plum, and tobacco. The ’08 Le Noir/Tempranillo was next with its aromas of black cherry, plum, and tobacco also. The newest wine, Hobo Hooch, which was a blend of Chardonnay and Zinfandel, had a wonderful nose of cranberries and could also be considered a patio wine. We had interesting conversations with our tasting companions, who mqake their own wines as well…
Talk was in the works from previous Road Trip travelers that we should not only go in reverse order (i.e. start in Meridian @ Red Caboose 1st) and stop for dinner in Granbury, but to also conduct the Road Trip a day early (start on Friday as opposed to Saturday) so we could visit the San Saba Pecan Company when they’re open, as well as go back to Der Autobahn (a German restaurant outside Meridian) for dinner on Saturday.
The winery which won the prize for best Pork Ribs was Texas Legato.