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: Texas Hills Vineyard
Appellation: Texas High Plains
Vineyard Name: Newsom Vineyard
Wine Type: Dry Red
Varietal: 100% Sangiovese
Bottled: July 2011
Total Production: 828 cases
Brix at Harvest: 26.5
Date of Review: 1/9/2014 Time: 6:30pm Glassware: ISO
Quality of Style: 4 Drinkability:4.5 DK 83/100
Visually the wine is clear and bright with light extraction; I can see straight through it and depict words on a page. The color is between garnet and brick red with subtle traces of maturity peeking through. Visually the wine is at or entering it’s peak drinking period.
The nose is clean and classic for Sangiovese with a mixed red berry character, spice and worn leather. I also picked up on some eucalyptus, which for me, could be from the noticeable alcohol even though it is not dominant. Oak is very subtle (9 months neutral American oak) but does give some muted dill aromas that serves as a complement to the rusticity of the fruit character. Overall the smell evaluation is simple, clean and correct.
On the palate the wine is just to the left of dry, medium to medium-full bodied and shows noticeable but smooth alcohol. The acid structure is lively and dominant, while the tannin structure takes a backseat and is balanced. Flavor wise, the wine is more savory and rustic with muddy red berries (cherry and raspberry), leather, mediterranean herbs and spice. On the finish the wine ends clean with a cherry-spice flavor.
The wine is simple, correct and approachable. I like this wine for what it doesn’t have, which is over the top fruit compared to a pleasant acid structure and balanced alcohol. I like the rusticity of the fruit and how the acid structure complements it. The body to acid to alcohol balance is really nice making the wine very food versatile. The wine reminds me of vino da tavola (VdT) Sangiovese – the classification and style of wine offered by the carafe as the house wine in Tuscany and Romagna or a lighter style of Chianti. It is the most enjoyable slightly chilled to 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit, which chills out some of the alcohol and acid bringing forward more of the red berry fruit character.
Drink or Hold: Now-2018
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.