11 Texas Wines to Beat the Heat – Texas Monthly
It seems that the scorching days of summer have decided to appear much earlier than usual. As a celebration (or retaliation), spend the season lingering on a shaded patio or lounging around a body of water with a glass of something refreshing. These Texas wines have all the right notes — berries, citrus, honeysuckle — for sweating it out, dodging mosquitoes, and layering sunscreen. Naturally, the blazing temperatures make chilled whites and rosés a preferable pairing, but don’t worry, we’ve also found a few reds to satiate every palate.
This wine, from one of the largest families of Hautes Plaines winegrowers, highlights a grape variety typically grown in Germany, Alsace and Australia. The warm, sunny conditions here mimic those of Australia’s Barossa region. The result is a ripe, vibrant Riesling expressed through the prism of Texas soils. Beautifully hued, this wine offers aromas of lemon peel and orange blossom, leading to a dry, lemony mouthfeel with hints of ripe pear and wet stone and a tangy, sweet finish.
Hailing from the Italian island of Sardinia, Vermentino often glows with tropical aromas and a hint of sea spray. The Lyla stays true to the character of the strain, with an added kiss of viognier ushering in aromas of ripe peach and honeysuckle. The palate is lush and lemony, with a kiss of creaminess from a stage in the maturation process known as aging on lees. This wine goes perfectly with light grilled meats.
This classic Rhône Valley white showcases the beauty of what Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne can accomplish in a blend. Viognier dominates 62 percent of this wine, delivering a generous dose of floral aromas and flavors of ripe peach and honeysuckle. Equal additions of Roussanne and Marsanne bring bright citrus undertones and structure that enhances the palate. Try it with grilled salmon flavored with Provencal herbs. Contact the estate for availability.
For something a little unconventional, this blend of orange muscat and viognier is a great conversation starter. With a cloudy color due to its unfiltered finish, this wine offers rich aromas of orange blossom and citrus peel. The palate is juicy and savory with a slight saltiness, almost like a margarita-inspired wine, with an added salty edge.
Showcasing a deeper magenta color in the glass, this selection from Lubbock-based McPherson Cellars smells of raspberry jam and pomegranate, offset by a soft yet textured mouthfeel and bright finish. Enjoy with pepper-grilled pork chops. Contact the estate for availability.
This offering from this Hill Country estate is made from Sangiovese, Tuscany’s star grape. The varietal is known for its bright cherry aromas, which take center stage in this wine, accompanied by juicy navel orange and aromatic herbs. The palate is fruity and refreshing, with an elegant finish.
Some of the best rosés are made with Grenache, a grape native to Spain and southern France, and this wine is no exception. Shy pink, this rosé is slightly floral, with a bouquet of ripe strawberries and lemon zest. The palate has a pleasant medium weight, with a creamy texture that leads to a dry summer berry finish. Contact the estate for availability.
This hardy grape, native to the sunny soils of central Italy, has an equally potent expression in the red, dusty soil of the high plains of Texas. In the glass, this wine offers notes of dark plum, dried fig and black pepper. It’s big and bold, but not so big as to put your palate into overdrive. The finish is a little savory, with easy and fine tannins.
From a relatively new Hill Country winery, this Mourvèdre is a delicious offering made from a varietal native to Spain and southern France. With notes of cranberry and baking spice, the palate is fruity and juicy, with elegant structure and an easy-to-grip finish. Contact the estate for availability.
Barbera – a variety better known in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy – is not commonly found in Texas. Known for its lively notes of red fruits and lavender and its light tannins, this variety is well adapted to the hot and dry conditions of the high plains of Texas. This wine is light and approachable, with aromas of tart red cherry and tobacco, a lifted mouthfeel and an earthy finish. Serve slightly chilled with a burger from the grill.
A special blend from the estate of Westcave Cellars owner-winemaker Allan Fetty, this rich red is on the bolder style for a summer wine. The blend is a combination of petite sirah, malbec, syrah and tannat, each a robust variety to start with. But the time in bottle allowed the flavors and structure to integrate well, offering aromas of cranberries and barbecue smoke with an earthy mouthfeel.