After a long Texas summer, the heat is finally beginning to ebb, replaced by crisper nights and sub-100-degree days. But while the dog days have stopped barking so fiercely, there’s still enough bite in the air to enjoy some of our favorite warm-weather wines.
Kuhlman Wines 2014 Sauvignon Blanc
This Sauvignon Blanc has sentimental value for winemaker Benedictine Rhyne. He drew influence from his time making wines in Bordeaux, France, formulating his own traditional white Bordeaux, a blend of 90 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 10 percent Semillon grapes. While his version is a more restrained style of Sauvignon Blanc, typical characteristics of lime leaf and tart grapefruit intermingle with faint floral notes and a linear acidity that make the wine perfectly food-friendly.
Lewis Wines 2014 Swim Spot
As the same suggests, this is wine meant to be paired with your favorite spring-fed river, languid lake, quiet strip of coastal beach, or backyard pool. Swim Spot is made in a Vinho Verde style, a low-alcohol wine with a bit of effervescence, light body, and strains of yellow peach, apple blossoms, and a clean citrus finish.
Lost Draw Cellars 2014 Cinsault
Cinsault, a red grape grown in the Languedoc and Southern Rhône Valley of France, is known for adding softness and bouquet to wine. When blended with varietals such as Syrah and Grenache like Lost Cellars does, the resulting mixture is elegant and smooth, a red wine for warmer days and patio sipping. Soft and light-bodied with notes of cherry, strawberry, cream and plum, this is a very approachable wine that will work well with barbecue.
Spicewood Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Rosé
Located just west of Austin, Spicewood Vineyards has become known for producing stellar Tempranillo and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Soon enough, Mourvèdre will also be on that list. This light salmon-pink rosé offers fresh aromas of strawberry, cherry, ripe mango, and lemon zest. With a fresh vibrancy, the rich fruit gives way to bright acidity, a combination that gives an alluring persistence that begs you to drink another glass.
William Chris Vineyards Texas Mourvèdre
While many have made the claim that Tempranillo is the best red grape to grow in Texas, I’d argue that Mourvèdre is a serious contender as well. This William Chris bottling epitomizes why. Lush with red raspberries, cranberry, plum, and brambly blackberry, this wine offers a layered interplay with fresh tobacco, dusty red earth, and a touch of cocoa dust. And while it’s Texan through and through, sipping this wine is an instant ticket to the rustic hills of Southern France.
Yellow City Cellars 2014 Dead Flowers Rosé
A passion project for Yellow City Cellars Bo Salling, this rosé was a collaboration with noted winemaker Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars. Cinsault and Mourvèdre grapes make up the bulk of the blend, but it also includes Grenache, Syrah, and a handful of other red and white varietals. With its subtle stone fruit notes, light minerality, and mouthwatering acidity, this wine reminds me of some of the wonderful blends from Provence, France.