For the third installment of the best Texas wines of 2015, we present the top three Cabernet Sauvignons and Tempranillos. Regarding the latter, it is fast becoming the lead Mediterranean red varietal for which our great state is known.
These rankings come from Texas Wine Journal, which relies on consensus, rather than the opinion of a single taster, to make objective recommendations. Wines are scored from 75-100 and rated as average, good, very good, excellent, and extraordinary. Only wines scoring 80 points or higher are published.
On the previous two lists of the best Texas wines, we included information about where to buy. In the case of these Cabs and Tempranillos, all but one is sold out; Lewis Wines Tempranillo is still available, at the winery only. However, you can still get a taste of what these producers can do — and what future vintages to watch for.
Texas Legato Winery, Texas, Hoover Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011
93 points, $25
“A standout,” writes Margaret Shugart in her tasting notes, with “layers of complexity that show some age.” Shugart also calls it “well-balanced with integrated tannins and acidity.”
Flat Creek Estate, Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
92 points, $34.95
TWJ panelist and CultureMap contributor Matt McGinnis writes, “It’s a mouthful of blackberry and plum” that “shows great complexity with fruity, floral, and herbal aromas.” He goes on to say this Cab is a pleasure to drink now, yet will age well for up to eight more years.
Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
91 points, $20
Miguel Lecuona calls this Cab “cool and collected” with “dark fruit, underbrush, plum, and well-integrated oak.” He goes on to write in his tasting notes: “I am a fan.”
Flat Creek Estate, Texas High Plains, Los Draw Vineyards, Tempranillo, 2011
91 points, $34.95
Sam Hovland writes this is a very good wine, to drink or to hold, with a “ripe nose of black fruit and plum, leading to a more toasty roasted coffee/mocha note.”
Times Ten Cellars, Cathedral Mountain Vineyard, Tempranillo, 2012
90 points, $19
“This wine is reminiscent of old vine Tempranillo from Toro, with very intense aromas of black cherry, anise, and spice,” Mark Rashap says. He goes on to call it “full-bodied,” “luscious,” and “velvety.” It’s a solid choice for those who like full-bodied California Zins and Petite Syrahs.
Lewis Wines, Texas Hill Country, Parr Vineyard, Tempranillo, 2011
89 points, $32
“This wine is highly attractive with good structure, balance, and length,” writes Miguel Lecuona in his tasting notes. Hold onto this special wine, he says.
Coming up next: dry rosé and Blanc du Bois.