Everyone knows Cabernet Sauvignon, but most people know versions that spend time in oak barrels or the equivalent. This wine expresses the purity of the grape because the wine is made in stainless steel tanks. No oak to muddle the message here.
Who Likes It:
James Tidwell, master sommelier of the Four Seasons Hotel Las Colinas. Tidwell grew up in a non-drinking family in Louisiana, but found his way through a business degree and a culinary degree on a long wine journey that has since earned him the credential of master sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. In addition to other wine certifications through the Society of Wine Educators and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, Tidwell was nominated as a James Beard Award semifinalist for his wine list at Café On the Green at the Four Seasons Las Colinas.
Why He Likes It:
The Texas wine industry has been exploring, and been successful with, Mediterranean varieties, so many wineries favor these over the traditional Bordeaux grape Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made from a readily-recognizable, traditional variety, rather than one of the trendier varieties. Also, this wine is not from the traditional grape-growing regions of Texas; it is from vineyards in Tyler. This wine proves that excellent wine can be made in many places in Texas and from many different grape varieties.
This wine has juicy succulence married to firm structure. The ripe fruit, Cabernet Sauvignon herbs and pepper quality, and dusty tannins make it a great match for braised or grilled meats, game dishes, and earthy mushrooms. Almost anything on the grill this summer would work with this wine.
On Down the Road:
Texas wines have a huge opportunity for exposure and success in the international market. Unlike most states, Texas does not suffer from lack of recognition in international markets. If Texas can continue to produce Texas-appellated wines of high quality, and the industry create a cohesive marketing and promotion strategy, then the sky is the limit for the Texas wine industry.
Note from the Winemaker:
Kiepersol Estates first opened in 2000 as the thirty-fourth winery in Texas. All of the wines come from estate-grown vineyards managed by owner/winemaker Marnelle de Wet Durrett. Having grown up in an agricultural family, Marnelle knew she’d want to grow a crop of her own once she graduated high school. While she originally settled on peaches in East Texas, it was her father that steered her in the direction of grapes—and she hasn’t looked back since. With 61 acres under vine, Kiepersol Estates grows sixteen different varietals including Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2010 Stainless Cabernet Sauvignon was really an accident, or as Marnelle likes to call it, her “favorite accident.” While touring a few visitors through the winery, her father let them all taste a sample of the Cabernet Sauvignon just as it was ready to put in barrel. The wine was so impressive that they realized they had to bottle without time in oak barrels.
“The fruit concentration in this wine is so lush and vibrant. It’s a real, true expression of terroir for this part of Texas,” says Marnelle. “Now we’re figuring out how to consistently make this wine from vintage to vintage.”
The Kiepersol Estates Stainless Cabernet has only 185 cases in production. It can only be ordered through the winery and online, but order quickly, as they are down to about forty cases.