Kuhlman Cellars Calcaria, 2013
Who Likes It:
Philippe Place, the General Manager of Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery in San Antonio. Originally from the Loire Valley of France, Place came to San Antonio fifteen years ago via the hospitality industry in London and Paris. He recently joined chef Jeff Balfour to open San Antonio’s Southerleigh, a fine dining brewpub in the city’s historic Pearl Brewery, which will open as Hotel Emma in the fall. The Southerleigh produces fifteen beers and offers a small selection of local, domestic, and international wines both by the bottle and on tap.
The 2013 Calcaria is a blend of Chenin Blanc (77 percent) and Sauvignon Blanc (10 percent) grapes from the Escondido Valley in West Texas, and Semillon (15 percent) from the High Plains region.
Why He Likes It:
“These grapes come from soils that are rich in calcium and calcaire that bring a real minerality to the wine that reminds me a lot of the wine I grew up drinking in the Loire Valley—only there’s a lot more sun to it,” says Place. “It shows the finesse and savoir faire of French winemaker Benedicte Rhyne and her ability to produce an excellent wine from Texas’ challenging climate. I was so impressed with this wine, that I put it on tap at the restaurant. It’s perfect with our seafood-driven menu.”
“The citrus notes and chalky minerality make this wine a perfect pairing for our shrimp boil and warm homemade pretzel,” says Place.
On Down the Road:
“When I came to Texas fifteen years ago, there were maybe five or six wineries that people were really talking about,” says Place. “Now, I have a hard time keeping up with all of the new wineries opening up. The quality of wine being produced has improved immensely and I think Texas will be a major player in the international wine market in years to come.”
Winemaker’s Note: Benedicte Rhyne, Kuhlman Cellars
“The Calcaria is a proprietary blend that will be released under this namesake in each vintage. While maintaining consistency of style, the varietal selections may vary in each unique vintage to reflect the fruit that was most successful in the terroir,” says Rhyne. “‘Calcaria’ means limestone, and it could not have been a better name to express the minerals found in the Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc grown in West Texas. They are the driving force of this blend. The harmony of those two varietal along with the Semillon from Lubbock area are defining what a great marriage can be expressed with grapes into a glass of wine.”
Winery and some select restaurants in Texas, including Southerleigh.