11 Texas Wines Take Gold in 30th Annual Dallas Morning News/TEXSOM Wine Competition
Thu March 27, 2014 11:01 am

In February we reported on the Dallas Morning News/TEXSOM Wine Competition, when judging was well under way. This week, the results of the heralded competition were released. Of the more than 2,700 wines entered from from around the world, the total tally of gleaming medals included 227 gold, 629 silver, and 852 bronze—meaning roughly 60 percent of the entries walked away with a "tip of the hat" from a distinguished judging panel made up of Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, wine journalists and wine makers.  

The good news is, Texas wines made a good showing as well with a total of 98 medals awarded to Texas appellation wines from 30 different Texas wineries. (All of these wines were made with a minimum of 75 percent Texas fruit, rather than fruit from other states.) Of the 98, eleven of them took gold (see below for the list of winners). 

Nabbing a medalespecially a goldis no small feat. The panel of judges selected to size up wines from the Texas appellation was made up of two Master Sommeliers and two Masters of Wine. These are people who are regularly tasting wines from around the world, and whose palates can quickly ascertain which wines are hitting the mark, and which ones are not. 

“Texas wines do well when produced in an "Old World" style. Interestingly, most of the great Texas wines are made from European grape varieties that often don't travel outside their home territory,” says Texas panel judge and Master of Wine Christy Canterbury. “I was absolutely blown away by the [Duchman Family Winery] Sangiovese I tasted this year. I don't know if it was the vintage, the vine age or the winemaking confidence, but that was a particularly motivating flight. When the DMN/TEXSOM results for Gold were published, I was tremendously excited to see two Sangiovese wines—both Texan. And nothing from Italy.”

But let’s not forget silver and bronze medal winners. Often people overlook these, but it’s important to note that these wines still fall in the upper tier of more than half the wines submitted to the competition, not to mention the credibility they receive from this particular panel of judges. 

James Tidwell, Master Sommelier and co-founder of TEXSOM contends that there’s not much point in having silver and bronze medals if they don’t actually mean something. 

“Just because someone put effort into making a wine, doesn’t mean it gets a bronze medal,” says Tidwell. “It should have style and depth.” 

As Tidwell explained before judging began: Gold medals represent a classic style that are showing up there with the best in the world for typicity and character; Silver medals represent outstanding wines with superior character; Bronze medal wines exhibit unique character and distinction. Tidwell tasked the competition judges to be mindful of not being too lenient in bestowing bronze medals, or too stingy in awarding gold medals. 

For Canterbury, silver and bronze winners had to have a few key factors, “Gulpability. Complexity. Harmony. And a must-have-more quality.” 

“In my book, Tempranillo is the red variety Texas should hang its hat on. Tannat has been getting more exciting in the last few years as well,” says Canterbury. “For whites, Rhône varieties (Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier) rule. There's also a rock star Pinot Gris this year and some solid Vermentino.” 

Here are the lists Texas winners: 

Gold Medal Winners

Bending Branch Winery, Texas, Tannat 2011
Brennan Vineyards, Texas, Tempranillo 2011
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Martin Vineyard, Sangiovese 2011
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Reddy Vineyard, Sangiovese 2011
Eden Hill Vineyard, Texas, Roussanne 2012
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Semi-Sweet, Blanc du Bois 2012
Lewis Wines, Texas High Plains, Viognier 2012
Messina Hof, Texas, GSM, Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre NV
Spicewood Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, Estate, Tempranillo 2012
Stone House Vineyard, Texas Hill Country, Reserve, Claros, Norton 2012
The Ranch Wines, Texas High Plains, Reserve, The Grey Ghost, Pinot Grigio 2012 

Silver Medal Winners

Arche, Texas High Plains, Yellow Rose 2012
Becker Vineyards, Texas, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Becker Vineyards, Texas, Viognier 2012
Bending Branch Winery, Texas, Tannat 2010
Blue Ostrich Winery Vineyard, Texas, Rosato Moscato NV
Brennan Vineyards, Texas, Lily, (Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache) 2012
Brushy Creek Vineyards, Texas, Oswald Vineyard, Roussanne 2010
Driftwood Estate Winery, Texas, Longhorn Red, Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah 2011
Driftwood Estate Winery, Texas, Sangiovese 2011
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Bayer Family Vineyard, Tempranillo 2011
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Bingham Family Vineyard, Vermentino 2012
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Limestone Terrace Vineyard, Sangiovese 2011
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Montepulciano 2011
Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, Meritus, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2010
Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, Salt Lick Vineyard, Tempranillo 2011
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Malbec 2012
Kiepersol Estates Vineyards, Texas, Bridge, Sweet Mengsel NV
Legato, Texas, GCP Mirtillo, Blueberry NV
Lewis Wines, Texas High Plains, 52% Viognier-48% Chenin Blanc 2012
Llano Estacado, Texas High Plains, Reddy Vineyards, Cinsault Rose 2013
Lost Oak Winery, Texas, Blanc du Bois 2012
Lost Oak Winery, Texas, Viognier 2012
McPherson Cellars, Texas, La Herencia 2012
Messina Hof, Texas, Barrel Reserve, Cabernet Franc 2012
Messina Hof, Texas, Double Barrel, Private Reserve, Cabernet Franc 2012
Messina Hof, Texas, Double Barrel, Private Reserve, Merlot 2011
Messina Hof, Texas, Double Barrel, Private Reserve, Reflections of Love 2011
Messina Hof, Texas, DRZ, Dolcetto-Zinfandel NV
Messina Hof, Texas, Private Reserve, Blanc Du Bois 2013
Pedernales Cellars, Texas High Plains, Tempranillo 2010
Pedernales Cellars, Texas, Kuhlken Vineyards, Reserve, Red 2011
Pedernales Cellars, Texas, Reserve, Tempranillo 2012
Red Caboose Winery & Vineyards, Texas, Range Rider, Tempranillo Blend 2011
Red Caboose Winery & Vineyards, Texas, Some of that Red NV
Spicewood Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Viognier 2012
Sweet Dreams Winery, Texas, 60% Honey, 40% Pear NV
Sweet Dreams Winery, Texas, Sweet Heat, Jalapeno NV
William Chris Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Mary Ruth 2012 

Bronze Medal Winners

Arche, Texas High Plains, Oswald Vineyard, Roussanne 2012
Becker Vineyards, Texas, Les Trois Dames, Claret 2012
Becker Vineyards, Texas, Reserve, Chardonnay 2012
Bending Branch Winery, Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyard, Tempranillo 2011
Blue Ostrich Winery Vineyard, Texas, Orange Muscat 2012
Blue Ostrich Winery Vineyard, Texas, Viognier NV
Brennan Vineyards, Comanche County, Newburg Vineyard, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Brennan Vineyards, Texas, Viognier 2012
Brushy Creek Vineyards, Texas, Sangiovese 2012
Brushy Creek Vineyards, Texas, Tempranillo 2012
Brushy Creek Vineyards, Texas, Texas Rose NV
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Bingham Family Vineyard, Viognier 2012
Duchman Family Winery, Texas, Kinsey, Canto Felice NV
Eden Hill Vineyard, Texas, Sweet Dessert, Roussanne 2012
Enoch's Stomp, Texas, Off Dry, Blanc du Bois 2011
Enoch's Stomp, Texas, Off Dry, Blanc du Bois 2012
Flat Creek Estate, Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyard, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Flat Creek Estate, Texas Hill Country, Reserve, Estate Bottled, Syrah 2010
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Blanc du Bois, Port 2011
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Dry, Blanc du Bois 2013
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Jacquez Port 2009
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Madeira, Blanc Du Bois Dessert 2011
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Madeira, Jacquez 2009
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Reddy Vineyards, Tempranillo 2012
Haak Vineyards & Winery, Texas, Reserve, Blanc du Bois 2012
Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Merlot 2009
Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Port 2005
Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Syrah 2010
Kiepersol Estates, Texas, Vit 201
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Moscato 2012
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Texican 2012
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Texas, Blanc du Bois NV
Lost Oak Winery, Texas High Plains, Bingham Family Vineyards, Texas Trio 2012
Messina Hof, Texas, Barrel Reserve, Merlot 2012
Messina Hof, Texas, Father & Son Cuvee, Limited Edition, Paulo, Zinfandel 2011
Messina Hof, Texas, Late Harvest, Angel, Heavenly Sweet Riesling NV
Pedernales Cellars, Texas, George Bush 25th Anniversary, Reserve, Tempranillo 2012
Pedernales Cellars, Texas, GSM 2012
Spicewood Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Tempranillo 2012
Sweet Dreams Winery, Texas, Pawpaw's Mayhaw NV
Sweet Dreams Winery, Texas, Summer T, Watermelon NV
Tara Vineyard & Winery, Texas, Dolcetto NV
Tara Vineyard & Winery, Texas, Tempranillo NV
Texas Hills Vineyard, Texas High Plains, Newsom Vineyards, Toro de Tejas, Tempranillo 2010
Texas Sake Co., Texas, Whooping Crane, Yamahai Tokubetsu Junmai NV
Valley Mills Vineyards, Texas, Vermentino 2012
William Chris Vineyards, Texas High Plains, Hunter 2012
William Chris Vineyards, Texas Hill Country, Block 500, Estate, Merlot 2012

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