I got pulled into something else yesterday, so instead of Texas Tuesday, it is Texas Wednesday. Which works since it is #TexasWineMonth!
We’ve had a lot of rain here in Central Texas this fall. I mean A LOT. Like crazy, dangerous flooding amounts. So when schedules aligned with the forecast, two friends and I decided to head west to pick up our wine club shipments from William Chris Vineyards.
There was a time when we couldn’t get away during the day. Nap schedules, pre-school pick-up, etc. Then there was a time when the kids were in school but so was my fellow member friend. Her nose was in the books rather than the wine glass. But that changed this year. Our mutual friend is the kind of girl who likes a little adventure. She will say just the right thing to make me put on some make up and jump out of my comfort zone. She said just the right thing and we jumped. This was the first time we’d been able to have a Mom’s Weekday at the Wineries.
If you have been reading for any amount of time, or if you’ve asked for referrals on Hill Country Wine experiences, you know my fondness for William Chris wines. I’ve written about my love for Enchanté here and on Snooth. I’ve shared photos and recipes and how they incorporate art into the labels and beyond.
This has been an exciting year for them. Accolades from around the country, a new line of fun, canned wines, more sponsored events and opportunities for education. They’ve championed Texas winegrowers and have more placement in stores. Things are blooming in Hye.
Another new addition is an in-house wine educator. D Thompson started the day before we arrived. It was an honor to learn from him and teach him about some of the history of the winery while we poured through and pored over the current selections which were as follows:
2017 Mary Ruth-(Malvasia Blanca, Muscat Blanc, Blanc du Bois)-This perennial white blend is named for Bill’s mother. Grapes are sourced from around the state, Farmhouse Vineyards, Bingham, and Enoch. Notes of orange blossom, tangerine, and a long honey finish. A versatile, easy white.
2017 Roussanne-Bingham Vineyards-Some love went into this Rhone variety. 75% neutral oak, 25% spends time in Eastern European oak. Buttery baked pear, nuts and spice, long honey finish balanced with acidity. Perfect Thanksgiving wine.
2017 Malbec Rosé-Hye estate-I loved this wine. Aged it concrete tanks which gives it a unique mouthfeel, keeps the fruit fresh, and softens the acidity. Cherry sweet tart, watermelon perfectly balanced and refreshing.
2017 Cinsault-Lost Draw Vineyards-High Plains AVA-Another favorite. Tart red cherry, touch of watermelon, dusty tannins. This wine is fermented in the concrete egg. Constant movement means constant contact with the lees which yields a silky mouthfeel. Delicious.
2017 Artist Blend-Nearly equal parts of Mourvedre, Syrah, and Grenache with a dash of Tannat to add color and body. Nearly equal red and black fruit, acid and spice, a versatile lovely wine. Submissions being taken for next year’s label. See below.
2016 Enchanté-Granite Hill Vineyard-This Merlot dominant blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot begins with Bing Cherry, plum and fades into purple flowers, cocoa, pepper. Always a favorite.
2016 Hunter-80% Malbec from Gilliam Gap and 20% Merlot, this wine begs for braised meats, demi-glace, or if you’re in my boat, rich mushroom dishes. Bing cherry, violet, dusty tannins. So dang good.
As usual, I loved the wines. Loved the service. Loved my time with my gals. We picked up our wine and a few more bottles and had just enough time to pop into Lady Bird Café for a sandwich before heading back to meet our littles. It was a perfect mid-week escape. Many thanks to Eva and D for being wonderful hosts. Cheers y’all!
A reminder…October is Texas Wine Month and the perfect time for the winery to hold their Artist Blend Label Contest. Here are the details from their press release:
In honor of Texas Wine Month, William Chris Vineyards (WCV) is excited to announce submissions for their 2018 Artist Blend label contest are open on Monday, October 1, 2018. Each year, WCV Hye Society members choose a new label from a collection of art submitted in an open contest.
Co-owners Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett see a connection between art and winemaking and the Artist Blend honors that connection. Ever since the first vintage label featuring work by Mary Ruth Blackmon, Bill’s mother, who was an artist by trade, this annual celebration of creativity has become a mainstay at William Chris.
“The Artist Blend brings another layer of artistic talent into what we stand for. The contest is one of my favorite things we do because it really opens us up to a broader audience and lets us share William Chris wines with new people and the creative community,” says Bill Blackmon.
Entries for the 2018 Artist Blend Label contest are accepted between October 1-20 via Instagram by using the hashtag #ArtistBlend18; follow and tag @WilliamChrisVineyards, then submit the official entry form online.
In addition to being featured on the 2018 Artist Blend label, the top 10 finalists will be able to display and sell prints of their work at a series of wine club events where members cast their votes for the winner. The winner will have the opportunity to fill the Hye Society lounge with their artwork to sell and perform live-painting at one of WCV’s spring events among many other perks, including a case of wine featuring their artwork.
Kara J. Shaw won the 2017 Artist Blend Label contest (#ArtistBlend17) with her oil and gold leaf painting entitled Flow Residence No. 4. Guests can purchase prints of Kara’s artwork with a portion of proceeds from all art sales benefitting Protect Our Water, an organization that protects the Texas Hill Country Waterways.
For more information, please visit www.williamchriswines.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram @WilliamChrisVineyards.