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    • Hello, Clint! I have you to thank as well – it’s your grapes that enable them to bottle such wonderful wine. It was a pleasure chatting with you and the other #TXWine folks last Tuesday. We WILL make it to the High Plains area before too long. I’d love to meet you face to face.

      If you are ever in the Pearland area, let me treat you the best steak in Texas!

      Jim (aka Ace)

  1. Loved reading about your trip. I think that traveling and visiting wineries around the state is one of my favorite parts about being in this business.

  2. Now that’s what I call a road trip! 😀 Sounds like a great time and thanks in advance for the photos. Can’t wait to meet Jim and Karen in Houston for the Hill Country Road Show!

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    • Liz, I apologize PROFUSELY for the delay, but when I “compiled” the app on Android, it was HORRIBLE. I started over and am developing a NATIVE Android version of Texas Wine Traveller that will take advantage of the Android platform fully instead of a compromise between iPhone and Android. Both platforms deserve their own code because they look and act differently. It will have the same features (actually more on the initial release) as the iPhone version, just customized for Android.

  4. Great review! Now I am even more excited to head out there! I hope to try the Tannat. Been reading so much about it and have yet to try any. I think I could spend hours there! Thanks!

    • They don’t have any of the Tannat left, and this years’ crop are blended with his Cab S. The Cab S. / Tannat blend will be so much worth the wait, IMO.

  5. Jim, Julie. Sorry if we were late. Hope you enjoyed your time, and we’ll be letting you know about future projects as they become happy enough to find a new home in a bottle. Many thanks for your kind words.

  6. Thank you guys so much for all your help this last weekend. It was really nice to have you there taking note of all that was going on if only so that I can remind myself… I was so busy, the whole day is just a blur in my memory!

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  8. We visited Valley Mills back in the early spring (around Valentine’s Day) and I totally agree with you. We enjoyed everything we tasted! I’ve “lost” my notes but we too loved one of the Viogniers (one more than the other) and the Tempranillo Rose was amazing! Neither of us care for sweet wines and tend to lean to the bolder dryer reds, so anytime we are out we really try to find whites we like. No offense to the wine makers, they are just few and far between. I want to go back and get some more and taste the next round.
    We got to meet and visit with Dr. Peper before he had a date with his wife for Valentine’s Day. He was so very patient and answered our questions even when we made him “late” for his date! He took us back and gave us a taste of something out of a stainless barrell that was amazing at the time and could only get even more incredible as time passes. I sure wish I had access to my notes, but I don’t guarantee I wrote anything down as they were our last stop on a very long day of tasting. lol
    Excellent review!!!

  9. We look foreword to the ap! Keep me posted. Thanks again for coming to the dinner. Let me know when y’all want to come stay the b&b is yours. Had a great evening.

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  13. Novel idea! A prior instructor of mine often described wines in colors and shapes. What is interesting here in your approach is the dynamism, the change in profile over time. Clearly that aspect is difficult to convey in a point score, but a good taster, (even one trained in a Sommelier program), can get at it verbally… tasting a glass or a bottle over the course of an evening, and said bottle/vintage through the years. Which, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of wine criticism… attempting to impart the full experience the wine is capable of creating. Most wines are just for today, so the stakes aren’t as high. Others, investment grade wines, will last decades. Perhaps you will continue to evolve your approach to recognize these differences. At the end of the day, wine is pleasure. Your colorful description adds to the effort. Bravo! Miguel

    • Miguel,
      Interesting that you should say that… before I noticed your comment, I had already posted the article about Alamosa Cellars’ Texacaia, in which I have TWO drawings: One for the initial opening, and one for the second day.

      I agree wholeheartedly that there needs to be a way to convey the evolution of the wine as it is poured over time. One approach that I did think about and would work well with your idea is to split the canvas visually (although not necessarily *apparent* to the viewer) where the nose is conveyed at the top, flavor in the middle, and residual sugar, acid, tannin toward the bottom. With this approach it would be easier to demonstrate the change in structure over a continuous time period. For separate tastings, I would use separate canvases.


      • Why not? Wine tasting, wine criticism, wine notes — at their best, they provide an impression. Your visual tool is actual Wine Impressionism. Perhaps even a signature at the bottom conveys the finish. Abbreviated, long, with a flourish. Like that.

        A visual way to represent often-used adjectives:
        – Complex
        – Balanced
        – Fresh
        – Deep
        – Persistent

        All of these would seem to offer a different visual cue.
        Art is art, it’s not science, and interpretation of art can be every bit as engaging and challenging as wine tasting.

        I like everything about this.

    • i have heard that many people who have “perfect pitch” are synesthetic, seeing the tones with each one having a distinct color.

    • Don,
      You inadvertently played a HUGE hand in this along with Manny and Scott. Here’s part of the comment I left on Russ Kane’s article on it:

      “The inspiration for “painting” the tasting came largely from the Sandstone Cellars IV itself. The label of the bottle has a painting by Bill Worrell, and the flavors were too lush – yet startlingly complex – for me to find words to accurately describe. I was left with color, so with stylus in hand and Fresh Paint on the tablet, I started my experiment.

      “I didn’t expect that anyone would “get it” – especially those who don’t taste colors, because the colors that I taste aren’t always the color of the berry, fruit, etc. that is closest in flavor. Surprisingly, though, many are, or are pretty close. NOTE: Apples don’t taste red, but grass most certainly does taste green.

      “What made me decide to post the digital painting was Julie’s ease in understanding what I tasted just by looking at it. You never know, maybe it will help someone else.”

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  15. Pingback: Guest Blog: Visual Wine Tasting (The Baker Method) | Vintage Texas Blog

  16. I agree that the wineries did not bring their A games!! I was never so disappointed in a festival’s showing as this one. If it wasn’t for the amazing group of people we met and hung around with it would have been a borderline bust!! I’m anxious to read your “why”. My first six tickets were wasted on mediocre to not good wines. And I’m not the only one that thought that way, I heard others around me with the same opinion. OH!! And TWO and FOUR tickets for a taste?!?!?! (Breathe, girl…breathe!!)
    We are always anxious to “visit” wineries at festivals that we will probably never be able to get to because of their location, Val Verde for one.
    We did enjoy the Crump Valley Merlot as well! We did not come home with any because we could not figure out how to purchase the wines!!! The first time we have left a festival empty handed…

  17. Really enjoyed the post. I had no idea there was such a large wine community so close by. I would love to combine my love of photography and wine, so if you need photos for the website or app, let me know.

  18. Pingback: Bending Branch 2011 Estate Tannat – An Unexpected Preview | Texas Wine Geek™ - Drive. Taste. Talk. Write.

  19. I was born and raised in lamesa. I went to school with the delaneys, i remember everyone thought they had lost their minds, imagine raising french grapes to
    make wine, in the high plains cotton country. i even remember the hiring of people to plant the vines. One thing for sure, Texas Rose is our favorite wine. We cant get it down here in Eden, Tx., but when i go to Lamesa i always bring back 6/7 bottles. Purchased at Claibournes Groc. Our friends enjoy it as much as we do. We are very pleased to see the website up and running. Dont stop making Texas Rose !!!!!!!!!!

  20. Pingback: Pontotoc Vineyard Tasting Hall and Winery - Press - Located just North of Fredericksburg, Texas, the winery will open to the public during Texas Wine Month, October, 2013.

  21. I tried all the wines today, and mirror your assessment to a degree. I think the new Temp is still in a little bit of bottle shock, so I’m going to taste it again in a couple of weeks and see it if calms down a little and comes together. I preferred the unoaked Viognier, as I believe it allows the honeysuckle and floral qualities to show more. I would drink any of the 2011 Temp I had on hand PDQ, as I don’t believe there’s enough acid and structure to hold up long-term. It was an excellent wine young.

    Overall, I think Eric and Neldy are doing some great things, and I think these new releases are really going to shine this summer.

    • Richard,

      I don’t disagree. I think that the “balance” of The Temp will turn into “smooth”, and I agree that the naked Viognier is shining the best right now; however, I tried both of the Viogniers last week and the oaked is undergoing change must faster than the naked, so it may well outshine the naked in a short time. I got to taste the Pedernales Viognier this morning with the Hilmy still fresh in my mind, and I have to say it is currently IMO the best showing Viognier in the bottle that I have tried to date; however, I had barrel and vat tastings of the Hilmy before they were bottled and if they return to that glory, we’re looking at awesomesauce.

      This is going to be a great summer for Texas wine, IMO.

  22. I have not yet tried their Tempranillo, thought I do enjoy the style. Pedernales used to have a Stonewall Reserve Merlot that was excellent many years back (I believe they operated by the name Stonewall at the time). They also have some pretty solid whites though i’m a red wine fan myself. I’ve been meaning to venture back out to Fredericksburg again soon and will have to check this one out.

  23. hi don
    saw you on the taste and my wife cringed when you mentioned your wife’s als for she has als as well and i feed her by tube. i to am a fairly good cook and process the same food i eat for her and we eat together. you are right this is a nasty ailment. will keep watching you on the taste. and FB

  24. Just loaded the app. I was checking out wineries I like. Crump Valley does do wine tastings. The app says No. Please fix that.

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  28. To JCBaker,
    I appreciated your explanation of “For Sale in Texas Only” and would like to use it in the newsletter of the San Antonio Regional Wine Guild (SARWG). Let me know if it is OK. I will make sure that you receive full credit as author and acknowledgement as you wish.
    Charles Suehs,
    SARWG Secretary