How far has Texas come as a wine producer? Let’s find out with these two recently released bottlings.
2018 Aire y Sol Viognier Texas – Not immediately recognizable as viognier; I probably would have suggested a funkier, greener sauvignon blanc had I tasted this blind. Fairly astringent with ammonia notes, the wine is pungent with an overbearing floral character, bordering on grandma’s perfume, plus notes of almond nougat, cut grass, and gooseberries. There’s a lot going on here and it doesn’t always come together all that well, but things do improve considerably as the ammonia blows off a bit. C / $30
2019 Bent Oak Winery Sauvignon Blanc Texas High Plains – A big rush of vanilla and coconut on the nose set the stage for an unusual expression of sauvignon blanc, lacking the intense mineral and grassy notes that this varietal is known for. A gummy gooseberry note and more coconut push through on the palate, where a somewhat vegetal character lies in wait on the finish. C+ / $28