This month, we celebrate a red wine blend, the result of something you can get when you put a few different grapes together when there’s not enough to make a single-varietal wine. Sometimes wineries give these wines melodic, artistic names. In the case of Hye Meadow Winery, one of the latest to open its doors along the U.S. Highway 290 corridor, this wine got its name for the random assortment of grapes that brought together its approachable style. Try it slightly chilled for a refreshing summer pairing for grilled meats and patio parties. 

The Wine:
Hye Meadow Winery Junkyard Red, 2012

Who Likes It:
Certified Sommelier Steven Krueger, La Cantera Resort and Francesca’s at Sunset in San Antonio. “I’ve found great satisfaction in watching the Texas wine industry grow since the resort opened more than ten years ago,” Krueger said. “I love Texas wine and the dusty minerality they tend to pick up from the Texas soils.”   

The Grape Blend: 
The 2012 Junkyard Red is a blend of 55 percent Mourvedre, 38 percent Merlot, and seven percent Tempranillo.  The Mourvedre and Merlot are from a vineyard in Comanche County, and the Tempranillo is from Terry County.

Why He Likes It: 
“I enjoyed this wine from the first sip,” Krueger said. “With its soft tannins and juicy flavors of wild cherry and raspberry, it is easy to love. The fruitiness is balanced by smoky, earthy tones leading to a pleasant finish.” 

Suggested Pairings: 
This is a very versatile wine. “The richness of the fruit made for a great pairing with foie gras for a special wine dinner we hosted at Francesca’s at Sunset, but it would also be perfect for pepperoni pizza with jalapeño peppers,” according to Krueger.

On Down the Road:
Texas had a bad vintage in 2013 due to late frosts and 2014 is seeing some similar challenges. “But bad vintages will pass,” Krueger observed. “There will be great vintages again. The two things that Texas needs the most is figure out what we can grow better than anyone else. California is with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cab, and Merlot, but Texas is not. Instead of trying to emulate California, we need to focus on grapes like Viognier and Tempranillo. We also need to plant more vines. Texas grape growers are planting fast and furiously, but we could use more. The very thing that makes wine fascinating is the terroir and how the wines are different from other places.”

Note From the Winemaker: Jeff Ivy
” wanted to make a lighter bodied red that works within the cuisine and climate of Texas. One can chill it a bit in the summer, and the touch of residual sugar will be a match for spicy food, regardless of origin,” Ivy said. “Many customers have called the Junkyard a barbecue wine, and I think it is appropriate. It has some smoky tones due to a limited amount of aging in new American oak, but also has some red fruit from Merlot and Tempranillo. I think the Mourvedre provides the backbone of spicy, earthy aromas.”