One of the things I’m most interested these days in regard to wine is wineries outside the states that a lot of people associate with U.S. wine production – California, Oregon and Washington.
I'm talking about wines from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Mexico and North Carolina, just to name a few states that are producing great wines.
I like buying these wines for a couple reasons. First, I like supporting the wineries themselves, since most are small, independent operations – as opposed to the giant, corporate-owned wineries whose products take up the bulk of shelf space in many wine retailers. Second, I want to encourage retailers to put more of these wines on their shelves.
Wines from Long Island or Virginia don’t exactly leap off the shelves. People tend to buy what they know.
So, when I discovered a local retailer carrying wines from Texas, I immediately picked up a few bottles. I'll admit I was not familiar with Texas as a wine producing state, but I should have known better.
Texas was the site of the first North American winery established by Franciscan monks around 1662. Today, Texas has 4,000 acres of vineyards, eight American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), 350 bonded commercial wineries and ranks fifth in U.S. wine production.
There will be more Texas wines in my future, but here are my thoughts on one.
McPherson Cellars Tre Colore 2015 Texas Red Wine
50% Cinsault/50% Carignan/10% Viognier, 13.9% ABV, $12.99 @ Bottles
Tre Colore is bright and fruit forward without being cloying. It’s light-bodied with notes of cherries, raspberry, cinnamon and hint of floral/honey owing to the small amount of viognier. It’s food friendly and would pair well with so much. It would definitely be the perfect red to pack for a picnic.
The McPherson family has a history in the Texas wine industry that goes back over 40 years. Kim McPherson started the McPherson label in 2000 and opened McPherson Cellars in 2008 in a converted Coca-Cola plant in downtown Lubbock.
All the grapes for McPherson wines are sourced from the Texas High Planes AVA, which is in west Texas – south of the panhandle region. The grapes for the 2015 Tre Colore came from the Castaño Prado and Lost Draw vineyards.
This is the kind of wine I want to drink more of: small production (1988 cases), from a family-owned winery and full of character.
Eric Asimov recently wrote about buying wine like you would food. It’s worth a read.