Oct 12

Friuli Wine Show

Friuli Wine Facts:

Years of wine production:

Before the phylloxera epidemic, the winemaking history of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia was strongly influenced by the Byzantine Empire’s trading routes to the trading center of Venice. During the Middle Ages, travelers passing through this area brought grapevines from Macedonia and Anatolia. Under the Hapsburg reign, the French grape varieties were gradually introduced, until more than 350 grape varieties were grown in the region. During the 19th century, the region served as a major Mediterranean port for the Austro-Hungarian Empire which brought a Teutonic influence to the area. There are still traces of all of these influences right up to the present.

After phylloxera, production in this region was stunted; it did not start to hit its stride until the 1970s as far as quality wine production is concerned.

Size of Friuli & Placement:

Friuli–Venezia Giulia is Italy’s most North-Eastern region. It covers an area of 7,858 km and is the fifth smallest region of the country. It borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east. To the south it faces the Adriatic Sea and to the west its internal border is with the Veneto region.

Grapes produced:

Over 30 different grapes varieties are grown in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia including international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot as well as local varieties like Refosco dal peduncolo rosso, Schioppettino, Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Verduzzo. Although this region is most famous for white wine production, Merlot is actually the most planted grape in the region.  Here is a list of some of the most produced varietals:


  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigo
  • Sauvignon Blanc “Sauvignon”
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Riesling
  • Pinot Bianco
  • Frilulano (Tocai Friulano)
  • Ribolla Giallo
  • Verduzzo
  •  Malvasia
  • Riesling Italico
  • Moscato Giallo


  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Pinot Noir
  • Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso
  • Schiopettino
  • Pignolo
  • Pinot Nero
  • Moscato Rosa

A Bit on Wine Law

These are the EU changes to the DOC system starting in 2008… and continuing to be shaped today.

Italian Wine Classifications:

  • Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) /  Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP)
  • Donominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) /  Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP)
  • Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) /  Indicazione Geografica Protetta (IGP)
  • Vino (formerly Vino da Tavola)

Friuli’s Main Growing Regions:

There are 9 Denominazione di origin controllata (DOC) and 4 Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area. The region has 3 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designations: Alto Livenza, delle Venezie and Venezia Giulia. Nearly 62% of the wine produced in the region falls under a DOC designation.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia DOCGs (DOP)


  • Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Province: Udine
  • Communes of Production: Nimis, Tarcento
  • Denominazione (Bianco): Ramandolo
  • Varieties: 100% Verduzzo Friulano (Verduzzo Giallo)
  • Minimum Alcohol: 14%
  • Minimum Planting Density: 3,000 vines per hectare
  • Maximum Yields: 8 tons/ha, 52 hl/ha
  • DOCG Established: 2001

Colli Orientali del Friuli-Picolit-

  • Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Province: Udine
  • Communes of Production: Nimis, Tarcento, Cividale del Friuli, Prepotto, Attimis, Faedis, Torreano, Manzano, S. Pietro al Natisone, S.Giovanni al Natisone, Buttrio, Ipplis, Corno di Rosazzo, Trigesimo, Premariacco
  • Subzones: Cialla (produced in the commune of Prepotto)
  • Denominazione (Bianco): 
    • Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit
    • Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit Cialla
    • Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit Cialla Riserva
  • Varieties: 
    • Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit: Minimum 85% Picolit, maximum 15% other white grapes of Friuli, excluding Gewürztraminer
    • Cialla: 100% Picolit
  • Minimum Alcohol:
    • Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit: 15%
    • Cialla: 16%
  • Aging Requirements:
    • Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit: May not be sold until September 1 of the year following the harvest
    • Cialla: May not be sold until September 1 of the second year following the harvest
    • Cialla Riserva: Minimum 4 years aging from November 1 of the harvest year
  • Minimum Planting Density: 3,500 vines per hectare 
  • Maximum Yields: 4 tons/ha, 22 hl/ha
  • DOCG Established: 2006

Lison (shared with Veneto)-

  • Region: Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia
  • Province: Venice (Veneto), Treviso (Veneto), Pordenone (Friuli)
  • Communes of Production: 19
    • Classico Zone: Lison, Pradipozzo and Summaga (fraziones of Portugruaro); Belfiore, Blessaglia, and Salvarolo (fraziones of Pramaggiore); Carline and Loncon (fraziones of Annone Veneto); Cinto Caomaggiore; Santo Stinto
  • Denominazione (Bianco): 
    • Lison
    • Lison Classico
  • Varieties:
    • Min. 85% Tai (Friulano)
    • Max. 15% other non-aromatic white grapes suitable for Venice, Treviso, and Pordenone
  • Minimum Alcohol:
    • Lison: 12%
    • Lison Classico: 12.5%
  • Aging Requirements: Wines may not be released before March 1 of the year following the harvest
  • Minimum Planting Density: 3,000 vines per hectare
  • Maximum Yields: 
    • Lison: 11 tons/ha
    • Lison Classico: 10 tons/ha
  • DOCG Established: 2010

  Rosazzo –

  • Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Province: Udine
  • Denominazione: Bianco
  • Grape Varieties: 
    • Min. 50% Friulano (Tai)
    • 20-30% Sauvignon Blanc
    • 20-30% Pinot Bianco and/or Chardonnay
    • Max. 10% Ribolla
    • Max. 5% other white varieties suitable for cultivation in Udine
  • Minimum Alcohol: 12%
  • Aging Requirements: Rosazzo must be placed on the market by April 1 of the second year after harvest
  • Minimum Planting Density: 4,000 vines per hectare
  • Maximum Yields: 8 tons/ha, 56 hl/ha
  • DOCG Established: 2011 (formerly a subzone of Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC)
  • The Rosazzo DOCG was created amid a flurry of wine administration activity in 2011, as Italy prepared to hand over wine-legislation powers to the EU.


Friuli’s DOC’s (DOP)


  • Rosso: min. 70% Terrano
  • Varietal Wines require a min. 85% of the stated variety

Collio Goriziano/Collio-

  • Bianco and Rosso wines may be comprised of any blend of the approved varieties (Müller-Thurgau and Malvasia combined may not account for more than 15% of the Bianco blend)
  • Wines labeled “Cabernet” require 100%
  • Combined Cab. Franc, Cab. Sauvignon and/or Carmenère; all Varietal wines require a min. 85% of the stated variety
  • White wines may be labeled “riserva” with a min. 20 months aging, red wines may be labeled “riserva” with a min.
  • 30 months aging, including at least 6 months in wood

Friuli Annia

  • Rosso, Rosato, and Bianco wines may be comprised of any blend of the approved varieties.
  • Spumante Bianco: min. 90% Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco.
  • Varietal Wines require a min. 90% of the stated variety
  • Rosato wines must be made by saignage.
  • Spumante wines must be brut or demi-sec.
  • Rosso and Varietal red wines may be labeled “Riserva” with a min. 2 years of aging (including at least one year in wood).
  •  Bianco, Rosato, and some varietal white wines may be produced as frizzante.

 Friuli Colli Orientali

  • Rosso and Bianco wines may be comprised of any blend of the approved varieties.
  • Wines labeled “Cabernet” require a min. 85% combined Cab. Franc, Cab. Sauvignon and/or Carmenère.
  • All Varietal Wines require a min. 85% of the stated variety
  • All wines may be labeled “Riserva” with a min. 2 years of aging.
  • Dolce wines have a min. 50 g/l of residual sugar.
  • There are five legal subzones: Cialla, Ribolla Gialla di Rosazzo, Pignolo di Rosazzo, Refosco di Faedis and Schioppettino di Prepotto. Each subzone has its own requirements and varieties.

 Friuli Grave-

  • Rosso, Rosato, and Bianco wines may be comprised of any blend of the approved varieties.
  •  Cines labeled “Cabernet” may be Cab. Franc and/or Cab. Sauvignon; Varietal Wines require 90% of the stated variety.
  • All wines except Rosato may be Superiore with an additional degree of alcohol.
  • All wines except Rosato may be labeled “Riserva” with a min. 2 years of aging. Rosato and some varietal wines may be frizzante.

 Friuli Isonzo / Isonzo del Friuli

  • Bianco and Rosso/Rosato wines may be blended from any approved white and red varieties, respectively, except Moscato Gialla and Moscato Rosa.
  • Wines labeled “Cabernet” require 100% Cab. Franc and/or Cab. Sauvignon.
  • Varietal Wines require 100% of the stated variety.
  •  Chardonnay Spumante may include up to 15% Pinot Nero
  • Pignolo wines must be aged for a min. 2 years.

 Friuli Latisana

  • Bianco: Min. 60% Friulano, max. 30% Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco
  • Rosso and Rosato: min. 60% Merlot, max. 30% Carmenère, Cab. Sauvignon and/or Cab. Franc
  • Wines labeled “Cabernet” require a min. 85% combined Cab. Sauvignon, Cab. Franc, and Carmenère
  • Varietal Wines require a min. 85% of stated variety
  • Rosso, Bianco, Red Varietal Wines, Passito, and Friulano Varietal Wines may be labeled “riserva” with a min. 2 years of aging.
  • Many varietal wines can also be released as superiore or frizzante


  • This DOC is located in both Friuli and Veneto


  • This DOC is located in both Friuli and Veneto

 Wines On Today’s Show:

Marco Felluga:

MARCO FELLUGA is situated in Gradisca d’Isonzo, province of Gorizia. Founded in 1956, the estate is both a pioneer in quality as well as innovation and today comprises 250 acres of vineyards of which production is roughly seventy five percent white grapes and the remainder red. All of the wines come from vineyards within the most important DOC known as Collio Goriziano, or Collio.

The white wines are filtered before being fermented at controlled temperatures in stainless steel vats. A certain proportion of the wine is refined in wooden casks, as are some of the red wines. The equipment used in the winemaking is of the latest technology updated through continual experimentation and in order to obtain the ideal results in harmony with respect for tradition.

The property today is managed by Roberto Felluga, son of the prominent Marco Felluga, the inheritor of the founding Marco.



Marco Felluga Molamatta Collio Bianco DOC  2009

Blend & Oak: 40% Friulano, 40%Pinot Bianco 20% Ribolla Gialla. Pinot Bianco is fermented in small oak barrels, the balance is fermented in stainless steel.


  • Color:  Bright yellow to watery rim
  • Brightness: Brilliant
  • Viscosity: Medium
  • Age/Conditions: Youthful/Healthy/No Gas/No Sediment

Nose: The nose is youthful and highly aromatic. There are strong notes of Meyer lemon, Kefir lime, and ripe peach, laced with herbal notes of Thai basil, fresh cut grass, and cucumber, and high notes of jasmine, and Lilly, and a slight trail of lucky charms marshmallows.


  • Acid: High
  • Sugar: Dry
  • Body: Medium +
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Complexity: High

Primary Notes: The citrus, and floral notes carry to the pallet. Along with a silky vanilla note.

Oak: Subtle new oak.

Quality: High

Finish: Lingering and exciting.

Possible Pairings: Creamy cheeses such as Robiola Bosina, spicy Thai dishes such as Rama, or Panang.


Borgo Magredo:

Borgo Magredo is located in the “Grave del Friuli” appellation. The characteristic gravelly soil of this area is created by the Meduna River, which flows down from Carnic Pre-Alps, bringing along pebbles and stones. The soil is so “meager” (hence the Italian word “Magredo”) that the vines appear to be planted in a streambed.

These stones have always been part of a local tradition: the art of mosaics! History tells us that the mosaic in the cathedral of Santa Eufemia was composed, in the VI century, with stones taken from the area where Borgo’s vineyards are now located. Borgo Magredo has chosen a mosaic as its symbol and tribute to the cultural achievements of the school of mosaic art in Spilimbergo.

Piero Totis – The particular microclimate of its location contributes substantially to the distinct style of Borgo’s wines. The stones in the soil capture heat during the day and release it at night, protecting the grapes from the low temperatures. The warm draft then flows towards the mountains and its low-pressure draws cooler breezes from the snowy peaks. The cool-warm temperature cycles span over 4 square miles of Grave vineyards and contribute to the unique aroma, flavor and fragrance of Borgo’s wines.

Borgo Magredo, with its 250 hectares of vineyards (almost 620 acres) and a production capacity of one million bottles per year, is the largest estate in Friuli. Owned by the insurance company “Generali”, Borgo Magredo is equipped with the most modern technology as the innovative vacuum-press that crushes the white grapes very gently.


Borho Magredo Mosaic Pinot Grigio, Friuli Grave DOC, 2010

Production:  Estate bottled 100% Pinot Grigio. Temperature controlled fermentation in new stainless steel vats.


  • Color: Dusty light peach to a silver rim           
  • Brightness: Star bright
  • Viscosity: Medium
  • Age/Conditions: Healthy/ Youthful/ No Gas/ No Sediment/ Possible Skin Contact

Nose: This is a healthy nose with a bit of development and or lees aging. It leads with tropical notes of banana, green mango, and bruised apple, followed by notes of short bread, and saline.


  • Acid: High
  • Sugar: Dry
  • Body: Medium
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Complexity: Medium

Primary Notes: There are more citrus notes of tangerine & Meyer lemon, followed by the same tropical notes from the nose. The yeasty and salty notes carry to the pallet which confirm my suspicions of lees and skin contact.

Oak: No Oak

Quality: High

Finish: Lingering

Possible Pairings: Garlic cream sauces & fatty fish such as Sea Bass.


If you are looking to visit the region here are some fun resources:

Discover Friuli Wine Tours:

Aimed at anyone with a love and appreciation of fine food and wine, you’ll enjoy special visits to leading wine estates as well as boutique wineries. You’ll meet the wine-makers, share their knowledge about the wine-making process and taste lots of wine!


Private Friuli Wine Tour:

During our day, we will visit prestigious wineries that are renowned for both the high quality of their wines and the historical value of their estates. Combined with scenic drives through the delightful countryside and the visit of a charming hill town, a very special day awaits you.



Hope this is has been fun and informative!


Oct 12

Drinking Inside The Box

I am aware that boxed wine has a stigma, and based on some examples that are out there it is with good cause. However, I would like to help tip the scales in the other direction, as the technology is great!!! And the value is amazing… especially if you use wine when you cook.

I have been aware that box wine was breaking into the fine wine market for a few years now. Two Christmases ago in Chicago, there were many distributors pushing wooden boxes as a fun gift alternative. Among some of the more successful offerings were Domaine Le Garrigon, Cotes du Rhone, Ch du Chatelard Bourgeon Blanc, & Ch Les Maines Bordeaux Blanc. These were all offerings from WineBerry Imports. The packaging was stylish and the whites even had a wooded slat that would slide up so that you could place an ice pack inside for picnics, parties and the like. As a wine drinker I was impressed, but as a professional wine buyer at the time, I was not on board as the stigma of boxed wines was huge, and these offering were usually $40 or more, which is a deal for 3000 mL, however still a costly and a hard sell to a wine buying community that still scoffed at screw caps.

Times have changed though. From 2009 to now I have seen tap systems go into many bars across the USA, which is basically a big pressurized box (or keg) of wine. And I have even seen and ordered boxed wine off of restaurant menus. In the summer and fall of 2010 Big Bowl in Chicago, a Lettuce Entertain You outlet, offered a boxed Rose produced by Yellow and Blue, an organic producer. It was a perfect pair for the spicy Asian dishes on the menu, and I am not ashamed to say that my fellow wine enthusiast friends and I put away more than one box… especially on ½ price bottle (box) Tuesday.  It is clear that the educated wine community is jumping on the Go Green initiative, and is more and more willing to look past the vessel to what is in side.

I believe that boxed wine has great potential for success. The trick is how to get the average consumer on board. And since my temporary relocation to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas I have been buying wine like an average consumer, so I believe I have sussed out how box wine is every man’s best friend. I have been living on Bota Box Chard since July due to the lack of drinkable wines available in my immediate surroundings.

Budget: There are now many decent boxed wines on the market for $15-$30 a box. A box fits the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine. That puts it at a $3.75- $7.50 per bottle, and most of these are highly drinkable table wines…. Much better than many $3-$10 bottles I have had in my life.

Freshness: Boxed wine stays as fresh as the day you tapped the nozzle for over a month. This is due to the double valve in the nozzle keeping oxygen from getting in. The bag is also protected from light as it is inside a box. This is great to ensure that you always have something to sip on, and it is perfect for cooking. Most chefs would agree that if you are cooking with wine it has to be good drinkable wine, and this is a handy and affordable way to make sure you always have a fresh supply on hand.

Low Carbon Foot Print: Aside from WineBerrys wooden boxes, boxed wines are usually in recycled cardboard boxes. The shipping and production of these vessels uses MUCH less energy and resources than heavy glass bottles.  Also many boxed wine makers are also utilizing organic or Bio-Dynamic wine practices.

Style- Ironic is the current hip thing, so you can kind of look at boxed wine as a much tastier version of Pabst Blue Ribbon, if you are marketing to the millennial’s (IE: Anyone with a handlebar mustache, or Sally Jessie Raphael glasses… under the age of 40.) If your clientele is of the more sophisticated persuasion you can choose one of the nice wooden boxes of WineBerry’s line, or even go couture with a new line of wine purses being launched by Vernissage. They are starting a project where they are pumping French table wine in to Swedish-designed “Hand Bag Boxes”.

I hope that this positive trend continues. That being said, I feel that currently whites and roses are the tastier option in the boxed wine world. I have yet to taste a higher quality red out of one of these fun little nozzles… But I am always open to being proved wrong.

Below are the sites to producers I have mentioned:





Happy Drinking!

Oct 12

Sara Kay’s White Beans & Bacon

About: This is my take on a tasty fall time Medieval English dish. It is great as a meal, or a side, and if you follow a low-carb diet is surprisingly healthy.

 Prep Time:10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Difficulty : Easy

Serves: 2 meal/ 6 side

Best Pairings:

B&G Vouvray 2009 The silky pair and bruised golden apple notes are perfect companion to this heart warming dish, and the racing acidity helps cut the fat.

Game of Thrones!


  • Large Sauce Pan (I used at Le Cruset Cast Iron Pot)
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Tongs
  • Spatula


  • 4 pieces thick center cut bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (I used the bagged coleslaw mix w/ carrot shreds from the grocery store… it is a cheap tasty time saver)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups white beans/ rinsed (Cannellini, usually in the “ethnic” isle at the store)
  • Salt   (I always use Maldon Sea Salt!!)
  • Pepper



  • Cook bacon over medium to high heat in a large saucepan until crisp.(Tip: You know it is cooked when it starts to foam)
  •  Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towel to drain.
  • Add onion to drippings, and sauté till tender.
  • Add half the cabbage and cover pot, cooking until cabbage is wilted.
  • Add remaining cabbage and garlic, stir and cooked till endive is wilted.
  • Add beans and bacon, cooking until the beans are heated through, stirring often.
  •  Season with salt and pepper and serve.
 Let me know if this dish hits the spot!

Oct 12

Texas Wine Show:

Texas Wine Show Pic Texas Wine Facts:

Years of wine industry: 1650-present

Total area: 261,797 square miles (678,051 km2)

Size of planted vineyards: 3,200 acres (1,295 ha)

Grapes produced:

  • Aglianico
  • Blanc du Bois
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carignane
  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Gewurztraminer
  • Grenache
  • Lenoir
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Montepulciano
  • Mourvedre
  • Muscadine
  • Muscat
  • Canelli
  • Mustang
  • Noble
  • Norton
  • Orange Muscat
  • Palomino
  • Petit Verdot
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir
  • Primitivo
  • Riesling
  • Roussanne
  • Ruby Cabernet
  • Sangiovese
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sauvignon Musque
  • Scuppernong
  • Semillon
  • Syrah
  • Touriga Nacional
  • Viognier
  • Zinfandel


The earliest winemaking was by the Spanish missionaries in the 1600’s in the El Paso area. It is one of the earliest wine producing regions in the USA, however it has been plagued with diseases and climatic issues from the start, so Texas wine production as we know it today did not really take hold until the 1960’s with grafting and lots of experiments by Texas A&M.

Texas’s 8 AVA’s:

Mesilla Valley AVA (1985) – West Texas. Texas’ first AVA though primarily located in New Mexico with only small parts extending into Texas.

Bell Mountain AVA (1986)- Central Texas. First AVA completely within the state of Texas. Known for its distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon grown in northern Gillespie County.

Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA (1989) – Central Texas. Known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Texas Hill Country AVA (1991)- Central Texas. Located just west of Austin. With over 9,000,000 acres (3,600,000 ha), it is the second-largest AVA in the United States though less than 800 acres (320 ha) are planted in grape vines.

Escondido Valley AVA (1992)- West Texas. About 32,000 acres (13,000 ha) along the Pecos River in Pecos County.

Texas High Plains AVA (1993) – North Texas. The Texas Hill country is considered the most promising up and coming AVA, specializing in the production of Cabernet Sauvignon. Covering an area of over 8,000,000 acres (3,200,000 ha), 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) are planted with 20 wineries currently producing wine.

Texas Davis Mountains AVA (1998) – West Texas. Only one winery in existence when granted AVA status in 1998. Specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Texoma AVA (2005) – North Texas. The Texoma region is where 19th century viticulturist Thomas Volney Munson discovered the cure for France’s phylloxera epidemic.

Wines On Today’s Show: Llano Wine: http://www.llanowine.com The simple mission of Llano Estacado, from its beginning in 1976, to its role as industry leader today, has been to embody the fabulous potential of Texas wine. This mission began with 1,300 cases of wine releases in 1977. Today, Llano Estacado is the largest, Winery in Texas.

Chenin_Blanc_4e9c999291cc0Chenin Blanc (NV) Escondido Valley

Oak: 100% stainless steel fermentation

Sight: Color: Pale straw-watery rim

            Brightness: Star bright

Viscosity: Medium Age/Conditions: Healthy & Youthful

Nose: It is healthy…. maybe a tinge of sulfur. Lots of lime zest, lemon chiffon, ripe pear, and crisp green apple, fallowed with a chalky, limestone mineral note, and coated in honey

Pallet: This is a dry wine, with a dollop of residual sugar. There is healthy acidity, and loads of honey and pineapple notes. There is not as much mineral present in the mouth as there seemed to be in the nose. It is closer to a South African Chenin then a French Chenin.

Finish/Quality: This is an ok wine. Not as scary as I anticipated, but not mind blowing either. I feel that the RS and acid are not as balanced as they could be. That being said it is not bad for a $7.00 bottle, and it would be a good bridge for dry and sweet drinkers.

Possible Pairings: Penang Curry, or a nice stink blue cheese like St. Angur.

Chardonnay_2010_4f035dace561cChardonnay 2007, Escondido Valley

Oak: None-8 Months in Stainless Steel

Sight: Color: Electric Yellow-watery Rim

            Brightness: Brilliant

            Viscosity: Medium

            Age/Conditions: Healthy & Youthful

Nose: This leads with sweet corn, and meyer lemon zest, and hey. It’s fallowed with a chalk & sea salt not that reminds me of Chablis. Although there is a trailing finishing note of plastic shower curtain that leaves cause for concern.

Pallet: Not even close to a Chablis. There is a plastic, chemical note. There is almost no fruit and tons of acid. This wine would have benefited from MLF or Oak.

Finish: Acidic and one note.

Possible Pairings: Nothing

Becker Vineyards: www.beckervineyards.com

Becker Vineyards was established in 1992. The vineyard was planted on a site of native Mustang grapes much prized for winemaking by German neighbors and their ancestors. A few years later the Beckers planted a three acre lavender field reminiscent of the wine country of Provence, France. The 46 acres of French Vinifera vines generate 14 different available varietals, including Syrah, Petite Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. claretClaret 2010, Texas Hill Country

Oak: It was carefully matured in French and American oak barrels.

Blend: 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 5% Malbec, & 1% Cab Franc. The grapes are sourced from Texas High Plains grape growers, Laverne Newsom, & Dorothy Cooper.

Sight: Color: Garnet- Salmon rim

             Brightness: Dull

            Viscosity: Medium plus

            Age/Conditions: Healthy & Developed

Nose: This starts with dried plum, violets, lavender, leather, and coco powder. This shows development.

Pallet : Dry, medium bodied, medium acidity, medium plus tannins, and a velvety finish. Loads of blueberries, plum, coco and violets. lovely layers.

Finish: Well done Becker estates, this reminds me of a cross between a Cahor and a Cab Blend from Paso Robles. It is fruity and elegant, with a refined rustic character.

Possible Parings: Lamb chops, Texas smoke house Brisket, or aged Gouda.

Planning a Trip: Check out the TX wine trail, it looks like a lovely wine country weekend with a touch of Southern Charm…. I’ll let you know what I think after I check it out. http://www.texaswinetrail.com/ Hill Contry