We are back with Texas Wine Journal’s picks for the best wines produced in our great state in 2015. In the introduction to the series, we presented the top Viogniers and Syrahs. Now we’ve moved on to white blends and red blends.
As a reminder, TWJ relies on consensus, rather than the opinion of a single taster, to make recommendations. The goal: more credible and objective ratings.
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.
We are presenting the list of the best Texas wines of 2015 in four batches, with the top three in two varietals per batch. There are more to explore that rank among the best of the year on the TWJ website.
A caveat about where to buy and price information: Some of these are sold out, or they are available only at select locations of the retailers mentioned. Plus, the price can vary. But this gives you a good idea about where to start, and we mention wine retailers around Texas, not just Austin.
In cases where the wines received the same number of points, they are presented in alphabetical order. And each wine is accompanied by tasting notes from a member of the judges panel.
McPherson Cellars, Texas, “Les Copains,” 2014
91 points, $13-$15
This wine hits “all the key citrus notes,” writes Miguel Lecuona, who goes on to say that it’s “round, expressive, well-crafted, and balanced.”
Where to buy: Spec’s, H-E-B, Central Market, Whole Foods, Total Wine
William Chris Vineyards, Texas, “Mary Ruth,” 2014
89 points, $28
Scott Ota calls this a “fruit-forward summer wine that exudes freshness,” with flavors of ripe raspberries and peaches complemented by bright floral tones. “The acidity keeps the wine lighter on its feet,” he adds.
Where to buy: Austin Wine Merchant and East End Wines (Austin), The Empty Glass (Houston)
Wedding Oak Winery, Texas, Terre Blanc, 2014
87 points, $23
Rae Wilson notes this wine’s “crystal clear bright straw hue,” with clean fruit, freshly cut herbs, and chalky minerality.
Where to buy: Winery only
Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvédre), 2013
91 points, $46
“I want to come back to this in three years,” writes Miguel Lecuona, who notes the wine’s dark cherry, mahogany, and herbs.
Where to buy: Spec’s, Twin Liquors (Austin)
Llano Estacado, Texas High Plains, Reddy Vineyards, “Due Compaesani,” 2013
91 points, $20
Rae Wilson likes this wine’s full-textured body and deep burgundy hue. “Dried berries and concentrated plum notes follow on the palate with just enough lift from rounded preserved citrus notes,” she writes in her tasting notes.
Where to buy: Winery only
Pedernales Cellars, Texas, GSM, 2013
91 points, $14-$16
Blackberry and raspberry dominate the nose on this medium- to full-bodied wine, with notes of cocoa. “Great balance of fresh berry tones and rich texture ending with an elegantly persistent finish,” writes Rae Wilson.
Where to buy: Spec’s, Whole Foods