by Daniel Kelada, Wine Writer, Texas Wine and Trail; Founding Director of the Texas Wine Journal
The Texas Wine Review is a weekly column that aims to provide insight and reviews of Texas wines using a professional evaluation approach while encouraging the discovery and enjoyment of wines from across the State of Texas.
Producer: Brennan Vineyards
Vineyard Name: Comanche, Newburg, Blue & Cross Plains
Wine Type: Dry Red
Varietal: Tempranillo (42%), Nero d’Avola (23%), Merlot (14%), Cab (11%), Syrah (5%), Ruby Cab (5%)
Bottled: March 2012
Total Production: 659 cases
Brix at Harvest: 21-23.8
Date of Review: 1/31/2014 Time: 3:30pm Glassware: ISO
Quality of Style: 4 Drinkability:4.5 DK 83/100
The wine is between cherry and garnet with a medium depth of color and light extraction. Given the depth of color, vintage and amount of time in barrel and bottle the wine is still very bright and reflective in the glass. The number of transitions in color hints at the level of complexity and the fact that those transitions in color are well spread out indicates that the wine is ready to drink. Based on vision alone I expect the wine to have a smooth, non-aggressive tannin structure on the palate. There are no signs of maturity at the time of this evaluation but should start to be observed in the next year or two.
The wine has a big aroma that reminds me of camp fires and cooked meat; it is like an extinguished fire that had been cooked over. There are deep savory and smoke qualities that is reminiscent of juice from grilled red meat, bouillon or a jus. Also there is some dried tobacco leaf, cedar and worn leather. Over time the wine gets slightly sweeter and has a burnt sugar or caramel character.
The flavors and mouthfeel are not as big as the aroma and bouquet but similar flavors do persist. There is however a more pronounced fruit quality but it also takes on a grilled quality like roasting or grilling red berries, particularly strawberries. The sweetness comes through more as a rhubarb. Structurally the wine is medium dry, has balanced yet smooth alcohol, supple acid, is medium bodied and has a medium to long finish. The palate also confirms the smooth tannin structure anticipated from the visual observation.
The wine is developed, perfectly balanced in terms of tannin, alcohol and body even though it lacks some acid. That being said the wine is quite enjoyable in the sense that you have a big aroma (pairs well with aromatic foods such as grilled things are) but yet has a very plush mouthfeel like wrapping your tongue in a savory and smoky blanket. The lighter mouthfeel keeps your palate from getting fatigued so you can keep sipping. The wine is definitely a candidate for a daily drinker for those who like more earthbound and savory wines compared to wines that are more fruit forward.
Drink or Hold: Drink
Complete Evaluation (click here for pdf attachment)
Daniel is a Executive Sommelier, Master Candidate and Senior Wine Instructor with the International Wine Guild and through the Guild teaches accredited wine certifications and seminars in Texas and around the country. He has a background in BioChemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and in 2008, he founded GUSTO Tastings, a wine education company with expertise in consulting and event curation. He is a founding partner in Vinovium Partners, a Texas négociant that specializes in premium wines on tap from Texas and abroad. Daniel is also the Tasting Director for the Texas Wine Journal, a subsidiary of the Texas Wine and Food Consortium.