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Best Texas Wine

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Looking for the highest quality/rated Texas-grown wine or alcholic beverage. Price is no object.

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  1. My wife and I live in Ny but took a trip to Texas Hill Country last fall. We loved the trip and can't wait to go back. While there we visited a lot of wineries and did enjoy of a few of them. We bought several bottles and actually list night just tried one. We were worried that we wouldn't like it as much as we did while in Texas. To our delight we loved it. The winery is Becker and we had the 2004 Claret.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

      Note: I was trying to add a reply at the bottom, so this is not in response to any particular post.

      There are several related threads on the Wine board, amysuehere, that you might want to check out:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452735

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/454309

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/364158

      The posters aren't necessarily all Texans, but there are some serious wine aficionados over there, too. For me, it's always helpful to get more perspectives.

      1. re: MPH

        thanks, I appreciate it

    2. Well heck, if price is no object, get a whole case of Lone Star!

      1 Reply
      1. re: FrankJBN

        Circle S Vineyards Ibello

      2. Llano Estacado

        1. Spirits: Tito's Vodka
          Brew: I am going with Real Ale Nutbrown Ale
          Vino: (in hopes that it gets cold this weekend) - Maybe Messina Hof Reserve Port

          1 Reply
          1. re: mac8111

            Ditto on Tito's.
            Decent table wine: Ste Genevieve Cab or "Red" They're not great, but it's just as good as any table wine you'll find in a cafe or trattoria on the Continent. JMHO.

          2. 2005 Inwood Estates "Cornelius" Tempranillo

            also check out their Palomino-Chardonnay blend.

            http://www.inwoodwines.com/

            1. Just out of interest, why are you doing this search?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Worzel Gummidge

                Last year for the holidays we gave everyone Cooper's bbq. This year we want to give everyone a really upscale selection of Texas wines/alcohol.

                1. re: amysuehere

                  Coopers BarBQ? Ah, a woman of great taste and insight! I would second the notion of Becker's Claret. Also try their Vintage Port. In fact, I would check out the entire Beckers line at www.beckervineyards.com

                  1. re: Thefoodczar

                    I also vote for Becker wines and Tito's vodka. All of the Becker wines are very good, from the inexpensive Iconoclast Cabernet, to the upper-end Cabernet-Syrah and Reserve Cabernet.

                    1. re: vergilius

                      And yet another vote for Becker wines. I admit I have only had the Iconoclast (several times over), but I think it is one of the best $10 wines you can get.

              2. We have always enjoyed Missina Hof wines.
                http://www.messinahof.com/

                1. Best liquor: Paula's Texas Orange (http://www.paulastexasorange.com/
                  )Best beer: Saint Arnold Elissa (http://www.saintarnold.com/beers/elis...)

                  1. Hands down the Super Tuscan style Viviano from Llano Estacado 2003 was great. Not cheap but worth it.
                    BTW, the area with the most potential for interesting, consistent, and distinctive Texas wines is not The Hill Country, but in west Texas south of The Panhandle near Lubbock.
                    Moe

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Big Fat Moe

                      There is absolutely no question in my mind that Viviano by Llano Estacado is the best wine in Texas. End of story.

                      Tito's is great vodka. It seems to me to be a bit more viscuous than other vodkas. Very nice.

                      For beer, I'm partial to any of the Real Ales from Blanco, Texas.

                      1. re: Epicurious Esquire

                        McPherson Wines from Lubbock produces the best Texas wines

                        1. re: carousel

                          second your McPherson vote , for reds....for whites , I would say Becker .....

                    2. I am not a big fan of Texas wines but the best I have had by far is the Viogner from Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, TX. The 2007 is wonderful. I have never seen any Brennan wines in stores which tells me they can only be purchased through the winery. Here is a link:

                      http://store.brennanvineyards.com/

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: bhoward

                        Becker is the only one I care to drink. I haven't tried Brennan.

                        1. re: hellpaso

                          Try Inwood Estates. Price point is higher than Becker. Quality is significantly higher.

                          1. re: Epicurious Esquire

                            Did some digging for you Epicurious, these are the highest rated wines that have been made here:

                            1984 Llano Estacado Chardonnay

                            1991 Fall Creek Vineyards Chardonnay

                            1995 Cap*Rock Cabernet Sauvignon

                            1996 Fall Creek Chenin Blanc

                            1998 Messina Hof "Angel" Late Harvest Johannisberg Riesling (90 pts Wine Spectator)

                            1999 Llano Estacado Signature Red

                            1999 Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and 2000 Chardonnay Reserve (2001)

                            2002 Becker Vineyards Vintage Port

                            2002 Cap*Rock Winery Orange Muscat Newsome Vineyard

                            2002 Val Verde Sangiovese

                            2003 Messina Hof Winery Pinot Grigio

                            I've ordered online from Messina Hof online and I tried their 1990 private reserve cabernet sauv., was excellent. Good luck searching!

                            http://shoppingcart.messinahof.com/xc...

                            if you want their website...Cheers!

                            1. re: PWORD9D8

                              Inwood Estates "Cornelius" and the tempranillo / cab blend and Kim McPhereson's Sangiovese easily take the prize for best Texas wine. Pword9d8, your list has some questionable wines. Anything Fall Creek is suspect (and they source many (if not most of their grapes from California). I support what they are doing (furthering Texas wine) but they fall short of producing a quality product.

                              1. re: carousel

                                My search was strictly for wines that have received awards in Texas. I did not know that Fall Creek imported grapes from CA. Something to note....

                                1. re: PWORD9D8

                                  A lot of wineries do.

                                  1. re: PWORD9D8

                                    The situation in Texas is quite fluid with new wineries arriving and long standing wineries going under.

                                    Plus the curse of Pierces Disease is stalking the land.
                                    One winery I know made what I thought was the best Sauvignon Blanc in Texas. A year later they were wiped out by Pierces and they replanted with native varieties.

                                    A mention has been of Fall Creek inporting CA juice. Fall Creek were one of the major wineries with superb vineyards. Then a few years ago those vineyards were wiped out by disease. They are painfully replanting vinifera. I was speaking with the owners only a couple of months ago.

                                    To meet demand they may have been importing juice - but, as the ever reliable Zin1953 states, a lot of wineries in many US states do. You really need to check the 'appellation' on the wine label.

                                    I think it would be premature to name a Texas winery or wine as the best. The situation is (if you'll excuse the pun) too fluid...

                                    1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                                      may I respectfully disagree with you , Gussie ? There is a lot of Texas juice out there , and the orig poster was looking for opinions on the best ......the situation will always be fluid , and some wines will always be better than others . The growers in the Caprock area are above the "PD line" and are producing good grapes . They are basically trying to determine what grows best in a very hot climate , and they have produced some very drinkable wines , and thet will do better with time . Hopefully those vineyards will stay immune to PD (you have to wonder with our climate slowly warming , sinse it is the winter temperature which determines if the sharpshooters will die out or not . ) PD was a known hazard when many planted vinifera , so they knew they were gambling and that it was possible that effective treatments for PD might not be discovered before their vineyards were infected . We can all agree that it would be good to discover an effective treatment for PD .

                                      1. re: pinotho

                                        I'm not sure where you disagree . . .

                                        1. re: zin1953

                                          I disagree that the situation is too fluid to name the best ........there are winemakers in TX who have been pretty consistent now for 4 or 5 years , and I believe they should get credit for their efforts....McPherson and Becker are two , but pick others if you wish , just please make a pick . I don't think the Texas wine scene comes anywhere close to being as fluid as the everchanging CA scene , and I bet that Gussie has many opinions on who does or doesn't do a good job in CA.........

                                          1. re: pinotho

                                            EVERY time someone asks for "the best" in the realm of taste -- who's better, Bach or Mozart? the Beatles or the Stones? Abacus or Lola's? McPherson or Becker? -- precisely because it IS a matter of tatste, there is NO correct answer . . .

                                            That's as true when it comes to wines in Texas as it is for wines in California . . . or France . . . or Italy . . . or Australia . . . or -- wherever. One cannot pick a "best," only a "favorite."

                                            For me, it's rare I can pick ONE favorite winery, as I tend to like X for Cabernet, Y for Zinfandel, Z for Sauvignon Blanc, etc., rather than a single winery for everything. On the other hand, I can pick with relative ease a winery that I dislike across the board, most of the time due to what's in the botlte but -- I confess -- sometimes, it's on principle.

                                            The wines of Texas will have "arrived" on the world stage when someone can say, "This is a great wine," instead of "This is a great wine . . . for Texas."

                                            I have no doubt that day will arrive. Each time I sit down to a tasting of wines from Texas, the overall quality gets better and better. But I'm not sure that day has arrived yet.

                                            FWIW, on my last visit, I did bring three bottles back to California from Texas -- one Cynthiana; one Pinot Noir, which I thought was "good for the price" as well as being"good for Texas"; and one red Bordeaux-styled blend, which was, I thought, "good for Texas."

                                            Cheers,
                                            Jason

                                            1. re: zin1953

                                              Nicely worded. Which winery were these Texas wines from that you purchased?

                                              Thanks!

                                              1. re: almccasland

                                                Let me preface this reply by saying I was in Dallas with my wife for a legal conference. (She's the lawyer.) So while she was busy, I hit every single tasting room in and around Grapevine. (Yes, I know it's NOT the Hill Country . . . ) Literally. Every one.

                                                Much of what I tried was plonk, or at worst $#!+ . . . At two "wineries," nothing they made was from Texas! The best overall was Delaney, and it was their Cynthiana and Bordeaux blend that I bought.

                                                This third wine, believe it or not, was Homestead's Pinot Noir. It was actually pretty good -- reminding me of what was coming out of California some 25-30 years ago -- and at the price of $12, it was a good buy. I popped it for some wine people here in the SF Bay area, and while nearly everyone guessed Pinot, no one guessed it was Texan. Praise for the wine overall was positive, but also somewhat muted . . . until they discovered it was from Texas, and then they were more intrigued. It wasn't that the wine was better, but the location made it more interesting, if you know what I mean.

                                                I still have the Delaney bottles. I'm waiting until they won't think of my "pulling a fast one" on them before I pop these other two . . . .

                                                1. re: zin1953

                                                  Kudos to you, Jason, for having the guts to try a Texas pinot. I live in Dallas, and frankly have never heard of Homestead. My only forays into Texas wines have been from the Hill Country. Any idea where the grapes for the Homestead come from? I can think few more inhospitable locales for such a delicate grape as Texas. If they are using out of state grapes, then $12 is really a steal.

                                                  1. re: Bhutani

                                                    No, I'm with you -- I wouldn't have EVER thought of "Texas" and "Pinot Noir" as belonging in the same sentence, let alone actually belonging in a bottle!

                                                    The winery itself is in Ivanhoe, with the grapes coming from the Red River Valley. Tasting rooms are also found in Denison and Grapevine. http://www.homesteadwinery.com/

                                                    There was no doubt (to me, but then I knew what I was tasting -- both in the tasting room and at home when I served it blind) that is was grown in a warm climate: something out of, say the warmer regions of the Napa Valley itself, rather than Carneros, circa 1974-1980; at its worst, it was an example of a "really good" (seriously) Pinot Noir from parts of the Central Valley. (I am specifically thinking of Angelo Papagni here.) But it was quite drinkable and was definitely a Pinot. Again, not a great Pinot, but -- what the heck! it's from Texas!!!

                                                    Again, just to be clear -- I'm not the biggest fan of points, as many people know, but think of this as, maybe, an 82-83 point wine* -- then add bonus points for its origin!

                                                    Cheers,
                                                    Jason

                                                    * Keep in mind that Robert Parker defines as follows:

                                                    "80 - 89:
                                                    A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws."

                        2. The responses to your posting are impressive. I have just had two trips to discover more on Teaxs wines.

                          I was invited up to the Texas High Plains AVA (high country in NW Texas around Lubbock). This is probably the best wine grape growing region we have here. Texas wines that have a Texas High Plains appellation indicated on the lable have won awards in both nationally and internationally. The interesting things is that these wines have come from large producers (e.g. Llano, Becker, etc.), but also from some smaller micro-wineries such as LightCatcher and Barcking Rocks - Yes, Barking Rocks Winery - both in the DFW area.

                          1. I live in CA, but my mother lives in the Hill Country, and I spend alot of time there. Last trip I decided to bite the bullet and taste Texas wines. Had many different Beckers that weren't bad, but the prices were way too high for what I can buy for the same price in CA. I also had some outright BAD wine at Becker Vineyards when I went to taste. The person pouring proudly declared herself a bourbon drinker who knew nothing about wine. The wines she poured were unswallowable. I asked her how long they'd been opened, and she said, "Only a few days." That sloppiness on the homefront made me not want to support Becker in any way.

                            At a party, I met a French wine maker who was recruited from Sonoma to work at Ste. Genevieve, I think. She explained that all the panhandle vintners truck their wines down to the Hill Country where they build pretty facitilities to tempt the Texas tourists flocking in.

                            If I lived there I might take it all more seriously, but as a frugal wine drinker, there's nothing there for a Native Texan living in CA. My advice, Amysuehere, is to look for the right winemaker, then taste.

                            1. I did taste a dessert wine that wasn't bad. Can't remember the winery but again the price was not worth the quality.