Jeff’s Corner 5-11-17

Hello and Hello

Years ago, Kathy and I were enjoying one of many great conversations we had with Ned Simes, the founder of Grape Creek. Ned was a visionary and a pioneer in the diaper years of the Texas wine industry. (One of my favorite writers said you can tell a true pioneer because he’s the one with arrows sticking out of his butt, and Ned certainly suffered lots of attacks in the early days.)

I was half-joking and asked him why he was giving the very first wines produced in the Texas Hill Country French names. Many of these (Cuvee Blanc, Grande Rouge, and Cabernet Trois) are still mainstays in our portfolio. In true Ned style he answered “Well, the way I see it, I own this vineyard and I can name the damn wines whatever I want.” That ended that question.

Anyway, this is a very roundabout way to introduce the new 2015 Cabernet Trois. (It should be released in about a week!) I’m about to pull the cork, and once again Brian and Jason’s forecasting for the year is uncanny. Last year I wrote about the 2014 on May 18.

Our Cabernet Trois, vintage after vintage, always ranks at the top of my favorite GCV wines, and before I even get it in a glass, my crystal ball is telling me the 2015 won’t be an exception. It carries a Texas appellation, and marks the Silver Anniversary of this outstanding wine. (1991 is the oldest vintage I could find in our library.)

True to its roots and moniker, the ’15 is a meld of “The Big Three” Cabernet grapes. Jason and crew have crafted an awesome blend of 55.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28.7% Cabernet Franc, and 15.8% Ruby Cabernet. The alcohol by volume is a reasonable, yet respectable, 13.8%.

The color is a dark, dense garnet with a ruby undercurrent. The rich inkiness of this wine is in part due to a relatively high percentage of Ruby Cab. Visually, it’s beautiful.

Like the ’13 and ’14 Cab Trois, the 2015 is dense and complex. Right out of the bottle it shows dark aromas of black fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, licorice, cocoa, and leather. Sensible amounts of oak are well balanced with fruit and spice on the palate, and for a young wine they are well integrated with rich tannins and high-spirited acids.

The finish is elegant and lingering, with great symmetry between flavor and structure. This wine will develop beautifully over the next several years, and is a fitting tribute to celebrate 25 vintages of Cabernet Trois.

Kath and I really enjoyed this last night with a simple grilled tenderloin, sautéed creminis, and baked spud. In fact, I’m going to finish Kathy’s steak while she’s snoozing on the couch. See ya…