What happens when you grow Italian grapes in Texas? Un bel vino. A beautiful wine. The more I am learning about Texas wine, the more I am convinced that growing Mediterranean varietals are the way to go. Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Mouvedre all thrive in this climate and the vintners that have figured this out are doing beautiful things.
After our visit to Salt Lick Cellars a couple of weeks ago, we decided to also visit Duchman Family Winery while we were in the vicinity. I had tried some of their wines in previous years, but I had been reading a lot about their Vermentino and the multiple accolades it was receiving. Pear dominated the nose. Crisp and green in the front, the citrus and pear create a long, and clean finish. I was getting something floral but couldn’t determine specifically. They describe it as “white flowers.” Perfect. No surprise it has been so well received. The Trebbiano had a sweeter nose, tropical fruits and citrus, and less of a finish. My favorite white was, no surprise, the Viognier. A bit more acidic than some, the fruit was alive. Bright and balanced with a lot of stone fruits: apricot, peach, and some citrus to make it dance. Super yummy. I brought home one bottle, but should have gotten more. Fortunately, it can be easily found in the area. We then tasted the Sangiovese. I love the bright red fruit of this wine. Light on tannins, and easy on the palate. The Dolcetto had more of the black fruits, a bit richer than the Sangiovese, but still medium bodied. We brought home one of each.
Since we were suffering from the BBQ hangover, I made a vegetarian Antipasto for dinner. Grilled and fresh veggies, olives and cherry peppers, and a couple of cheeses. The Sangiovese complemented it perfectly. I enjoyed the wine at the winery but, by the end of the bottle, I adored the wine. As it opened, what was bright and more acidic became round and luscious. If we’d had more, we would have opened it. Instead we dove into the Dolcetto. My Father-in-Law from Sonoma has always been skeptical of Texas wines. Duchman made him a believer.
I have spoken about how your host at a winery can make or break the experience. In full disclosure, on my previous visit to Duchman, the men helping us didn’t seem to interested in helping. It soured the experience. As much as I had enjoyed the wine, I didn’t enjoy the visit. This time, the people could not have been nicer. Jordan was friendly and knowledgeable. The women in the office were great with my children. I can see that we will be going out to Driftwood more frequently. The wines are delicious, the prices are more than reasonable, and the facility is lovely. What more could you ask for? Grazie, Duchman Family.