Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inwood Estates Vineyards


     While visiting Inwood Estates Vineyards in Florence, Texas, I had the opportunity to talk with proprietor and winemaker, Dan Gatlin. He has been growing grapes and making wine in Texas for 30 years and has experimented with 30 grape varieties in five different vineyard locations during that time. He was one of the first Texas winemakers to realize that the Spanish grape Tempranillo would be a significant grape for Texas. Due to the high mineral content in Texas soil and how that terroir represents itself in certain grape varieties, he is generally a proponent of blending wines rather than producing single varietals.
     The 2007 Tempranillo-Cabernet is a 55% to 45% blend. It was a dark ruby in the glass with fresh aromas of mixed red and blackberries. It was medium bodied with medium+ acidity and high alcohol and tannins. It had a medium-length dried raspberry, mineral-tinged finish. $39.50
     The 2006 Magellan Texas Red Wine is a blend of the five Bordeaux grapes (68% being Cabernet) with a small amount of Tempranillo added to the mix. It was also a dark ruby in the glass with pleasant earthy aromas with dark berries and cedar notes. It was fuller-bodied with medium+acidity and high tannins with 14.4% abv. The dark fruit continues in the flavor with some dried herb notes and a medium+ length finish. $59.50
     The 2007 Cornelius is 100% Tempranillo. This is a wine that will not be regularly produced but was this year due to a unique vintage. Intense red berry aromas, dried herbs and floral notes of violets. Medium bodied with medium+acidity, tannins and 14.4% abv. Flavors of strawberry with cedar notes and a medium+ length finish. $39.95
     I enjoyed all of my tastings at Inwood Estates and would recommend it as a winery to visit. I think both Pinot Noir and Rioja lovers would enjoy discovering these Texas wines.