Jeff’s Corner

Howdy, Hola, and Hello,

Two Saturdays ago we released the new 2017 Cabernet Trois and guess what: it’s been stealing the show every single day. Our longest tenured red wine (produced first in 1991), this Texas beauty is very true in style to all the great wines that have come before it.

I’m a little fickle from vintage to vintage about my favorite GCV wine, but for the duration Cab Trois is by far my best-loved. It sneaks into my glass almost every night after work when I’m not looking, and the ’17 is the first vintage to feature the sleek new Black Label.

I want to turn back the clock to the diaper years of the Texas wine industry. Fall Creek Vineyards, Llano Estacado Winery, Grape Creek Vineyards, and Sister Creek Vineyards were early pioneers and felt consumer pressure to produce “California style” varietal wines.

Each of these wineries, however, produced a proprietary blend that was a better wine at a lower price than the varietals. There was Fall Creek Vineyards’ Granite Reserve, Llano Estacado Winery’s Signature Red, our beloved Cabernet Trois, and Sister Creek Vineyards’ Proprietary Cabernet Blend. These are all still being produced at a reasonable price, and represent the early evolution of Texas being known for creating great blended wines.

Now, let’s check out the exciting new 2017. I posted these tasting notes two weeks ago, and have tasted it multiple times since and it continues to develop nicely.

It is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Ruby Cabernet, and 20% Cabernet Franc with an ABV of 13.8%. The 23% Ruby Cab is atypically high, and the first time I can remember it being greater than the Cab Franc.

The color is a densely extracted ruby/garnet. Aromas are incredibly complex, with layers of blackberry, black cherry, black plum, and cassis supported by dark cocoa, cracked black pepper, leather, espresso, and fresh tobacco.

For a young wine, the ’17 Cab Trois is extremely accessible. There is a seamless progression across our palate with the dark fruit in perfect harmony with sweet tannins and toasted oak. The finish is rich, elegant, and lingering. I suggest serving between 60-65*.

For a food pairing, I’m going to turn back my memory to a comfort food my Dad would cook when I was very young. I haven’t thought about Swiss Steak in decades until a few minutes ago.  

Swiss Steak is tenderized round steak slow simmered in a brown gravy (I’d add red wine) with bell peppers, onion, maybe mushrooms, and diced tomatoes. Dad served it over egg noodles, but mashed potatoes would be just fine. Recipes abound on the internet.