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Current Vintage Tasting Notes

Enjoy our wine tasting descriptions, compliments of Jeff’s Corner.

Grape Creek Vineyards

White Wines

2018 Cuvee Blanc

A somewhat different blend than the ’17, the ’18 Cuvee is 60.1% Viognier, 20% Pinot Grigio, 9.3% Muscat Canelli, 6.2% Sauvignon Blanc, and 4.4% Trebbiano (the ’17 had less Viognier and more Muscat). The ABV is 13.8%. The color in the bowl is a very pale yellow with a hint of green, and the rim sparkles in its clarity. The aromas show a delicate balance of fruit and floral notes. White peach, mandarin orange, and ripe cantaloupe dance with wild honey, magnolia, and carnation. The delicate aromas, however, belie an aggressive, full-bodied palate. Brisk acidity carries the fruit to a well-integrated, tantalizing finish. Very crisp and clean, it has a more round mouthfeel at a warmer temp. Let’s serve this between 45 and 50*.

2018 Pinot Grigio

The color is a bright, very pale yellow with a crystal clear rim and a quaffable ABV of 12.4%. The aromas are aggressively tropical and show lots of pineapple, banana, lemon, lime, tangerine, and melon. There is an undercurrent of butterscotch that adds an intriguing complexity. The palate has a lively texture featuring brisk acidity that is well-integrated with the fruit to yield a bright, pristine finish.

2018 Rose of Malbec

100% Malbec. The color is a vibrant, classic rose with brilliant clarity. The aromas are enticingly fresh, with bushels of sweet strawberry, cherry, and watermelon singing harmony with pink carnations and passion flowers. The palate is clean and bright, with brisk acidity accenting the fresh, youthful expressions of fruit. Here we have another lovely GCV wine showing great balance with an enticing, delicate finish. To me, serving temp is important with this wine, maybe between 43-50*. It will be more crisp at a colder temp, more fruity at a higher one.

2019 Viognier

Our new Viognier is a brilliant pale straw/yellow with a subtle hint of chartreuse. With a food-friendly, sensible ABV of 13%, this is a perfect summer wine for red wine drinkers. The nose shows an undercurrent of an intriguing aroma of musk flower, delicately layered with a tapestry of tangerine, lemon grass, stone fruit (peach and apricot), kiwi and citrus. These subtle, yet complex aromas explode on our palate as a very full-bodied, aggressive wine. A “richly textured” mouthfeel is in delightful contrast to the wine’s crisp backbone of acidity, and the finish lingered.

Red Wines

2017 Bellissimo

This is the 13th vintage of this, our best-selling and signature Super Tuscan. It is 61.6% Sangiovese, 28.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9.9% Merlot. The ABV is a healthy 14.8%. The color is classic for Bellissimo, a rustic garnet/ruby with moderate extraction. The aromas are an earthy potpourri of cherry, raspberry, and dried red rose petals complimented by red licorice, cinnamon, clove, cigar box, and allspice. For a relatively high alcohol wine, it is in no way “hot” in the nose or on the finish. The palate is incredibly well-integrated for a young wine, with Bellissimo’s textbook bright acidity complimented by the fresh fruit and earthy spice. An elegant and graceful wine with a soft, lingering finish, we can expect this to develop into one of our greatest Super Tuscans ever.

2017 Invention

Dark, brooding, and mysterious, Invention (100% Texas Petit Verdot) is the newest addition to our GCV portfolio. An impenetrable purple and dark ruby hue, dense aromas of ripe currant, cracked black pepper, black plum, cinnamon toast, and dark cocoa are supported by rich layers of vanilla and oak. With a very aggressive palate, lush tannins deliver a wine with great structure that is built to age. ABV 14.5%

2017 Merlot

This 2017 Texas wine shows graceful complexities that yield an easy-to-drink, perfect summertime red. It is 87.5% Merlot and 12.5% Malbec with an ABV of 13.5%. The color is medium garnet with moderate extraction and a clean rim. Primary aromas of red plum, cherry, raspberry, and blueberry are enhanced by subtle hints of cedar, cinnamon, caramel, and toffee. The aroma and flavor ripens and gains intricacy after 30-40 minutes in the glass. Soft and supple on the palate, the ’17 is medium bodied with playful acidity and soft oak and tannins that are well-integrated with the fruit. Let’s serve this around 60*.

2017 Mosaic

It is once again a classic Bordeaux-style blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. The ABV is a ubiquitous 13.9% The color is a well-extracted garnet/ruby with a vibrant rim and a rich intensity in the bowl that begs for further exploration. There is indeed a complex mosaic of enticing aromas and flavors, with blackberry, black cherry, cassis, cinnamon, dark cocoa, and well-oiled leather weaving a delicate tapestry. The palate is seamless from front to back, with lush fruit and spice complimenting well-integrated sweet tannins and playful acidity. There is a lovely round, creamy mouthfeel that contributes to a refined, lingering finish.

2018 Bellissimo

The 15th anniversary of our flagship Super Tuscan is a vibrant ruby/purple with complex aromas of red plum, dried cherry and roasted red pepper supported by earthy aromas of damp cedar, cinnamon and clove. The palate is bright and lively with a soft, clean finish. 58% Sangiovese, 22% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

2018 Cabernet Trois

The twenty-eighth anniversary of our legendary Cabernet Trois, the 2018 is 65.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 9.5% Ruby Cabernet, with an ABV of 13.9%. Aggressive, rustic aromas of ripe raspberry, black cherry, roasted red pepper, and licorice are layered with tobacco, cedar, leather, cocoa, and black pepper. The palate is luxuriously assertive and well-integrated, with dark fruit and firm tannins providing a vigorous, edgy finish. A decant time of about one hour with a serving temp around 60* will round out the mouthfeel and balance the complex fruit with the wine’s rich structure.

2018 Petite Sirah

15.5% ABV and a blend of 95% Petite Sirah and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The extraordinary color of this wine is an impregnable purple/black (like squid ink) that captures our eye even before it hits the bottom of our glass. The aromas are incredibly complex, with layers of ripe blueberry, black plum, blackberry jam and licorice, laced with cracked black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso and sweet vanilla. The palate is well-balanced with firm tannins and a bright acidity that give way to a lush, lingering finish.

2018 Prosperity

A classic blend of Prosperity, the 2018 is 66.9% Cabernet Sauvignon with 33.1% Syrah and an ABV of 14.2%. The color is a rich medium+ ruby/garnet with intricate primary aromas of ripe blueberry, cassis, blackberry and black olive in harmony with lilac, lavender, white and black pepper, anise and cigar box. The palate is sophisticated and stylish, with a velvety mouthfeel and a lingering, well-balanced finish. Subtle hints of sweet oak are supported by judicious amounts of acid and tannin to create an extremely elegant, old-world style wine. Our 2018 Prosperity is worth watching, and shows potential to be one of our best Cabernet/Syrah blends ever.

2018 Rendezvous

A brilliant ruby/garnet, this 100% High Plains wine is a winsome blend of 33.3% Cinsault, 24.9% Mourvedre, 24.6% Syrah, 11.6% Tannat and 5.6% Petite Sirah with an ABV of 14.3%. Delicate and enticing aromas of raspberry, cranberry, Bing cherry, cinnamon, and red licorice flirt with floral notes of lavender, red carnation and rose petal. The palate is charming and bright with soft tannins and lively acids supporting this delightfully fruit-forward wine. Great balance leads to a clean, fruit-driven finish that lingers with us for a remarkably long time. Let’s serve this with a slight chill, about 55*.

Sweet & Semi-Sweet Wines

2018 Grand Rouge

Our 2018 Texas Grand Rouge is 53.8% Tempranillo and 46.2% Sangiovese, with a residual sugar of about 3.5% and an ABV of 13.6%. The color is a bright ruby/purple with brilliant clarity and light to moderate extraction. It has delightfully strait-forward aromas of red plum jelly, blueberry, cinnamon, Luden’s Wild Cherry cough drops, and Welch’s grape juice. At warmer temperatures, delicate floral notes of violet and lilac emerge. On our palate, this wine is well-integrated with moderate acidity which showcases its sweet fruitiness for a very clean finish.

2018 Muscat Canelli

With our new Muscat, Jason continues his trend of decreasing the residual sugar in his sweet wines; the’18 is 1.8% compared to 2.8% in the 2017 (when I came to Grape Creek in 2009, it was well over 5%). The ABV is 12.1%. There is very little color, with a brilliant, clear rim and a delicate pale yellow hue in the bowl. The wine exhibits classic varietal aromas, with a spicy muskiness dominated by orange zest, lemon-lime, and apricot entwined with hints of rosewater, honeysuckle, and gardenia. This is all supported by an undercurrent of butterscotch and burnt caramel. The ‘18 is a very complex and elusive wine; every sip changes and reveals new secrets. The palate is aggressive like the nose; crisp acids intertwine with the fruit in perfect harmony and end in a long, fruit-dominated finish. A cold serving temp of about 45* is just about perfect.

2018 Riesling

It is only 1.1% residual sugar, down from about 2.9% the last two years. At 1.1% RS, we have only 2.06 grams of sugar in a 6oz glass. The ABV is a very food friendly 12.0%. The color is a bright, pale yellow with a crystal clear rim. The aromas are refined and delicate, with floral notes of white carnation, passion flower, and gardenia intertwined with apricot, pineapple, peach and mandarin orange. This wine explodes on our palate, boasting a vibrant acidity that’s well-integrated with the fruit; and there is a subtle hint of petrol and slate minerality that adds a rich texture. It finishes clean and crisp, all the while seducing us into sip after sip. Should be served cold at about 45* for the best balance of fruit and acid.

2019 Cab Blanc

True-to-style, our 2019 is a lovely salmon/pink with an ABV of 13.5%. Dependably our sweetest still wine, the residual sugar is 4.3% (consistent with previous vintages), which equals about 8 grams of sugar per 6 oz glass. This is sweet, but not near as sweet as, say, Kool-Aid which has 18.75 grams per 6 ounces. Sweet, fruity, and fun, bright aromas of cherry, strawberry, and red raspberry flirt with pink carnation, honeysuckle, and passion flower. It starts out sweet, but then its crisp acidity smoothly transitions the wine across our palate for a clean, refreshing finish. Let’s serve this delightful wine cold, between 40 and 45*.


This fortified dessert wine is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is a rich reddish brown edged in garnet, and the initial aroma is one of sweet, bright cherries After about 45 minutes, complex aromas of almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews mingled with the fruit. The alcohol (18.2% ABV) showed on the nose, but not the palate. The flavor is all about holiday spice, with layers of vanilla, cinnamon, clove and allspice. The finish is elegant and creamy in texture, with perfectly balanced flavors that linger for a long time.

Club Member Wines

2016 Serendipity

Cabernet Sauvignon (68%), blended with 20% Merlot and 12% Syrah. The alcohol-by-volume (ABV) is a sensible 13.8%. The color is a deeply extracted purple/violet, with deep, dark clarity at the rim. Aromas are ripe and intense, with nuances of oak accented by black cherry, cassis, cigar box, and leather. Delicate layers of lilacs, roses, toffee, and chocolate contribute to a very complex nose. Loaded with youthful exuberance, fruit, tannin, acid, and oak are very well-integrated for a full-bodied wine barely in adolescence. The finish is rich and enticing, with lots of fruit to balance a soft, elegant texture.

2017 Serendipity

The 2017 is 68.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15.7% Merlot, 8.4% Petit Sirah, and 7.5 % Syrah. The ABV is 14.0%. The color is a well extracted violet/purple with a dark rim and no transparency in the bowl. Intriguingly rich primary aromas of black cherry, blackberry, black plum and cassis are complimented by secondary aromas of leather, cedar, and dark cocoa. The palate is lean, elegant, and austere. Young and introverted, dense fruit flavors wait to emerge supported by well-integrated acid and tannin. This wine shows incredible promise, and should drink best in 2-5 years. If you want to enjoy it now, I recommend decanting for about 1.5 hours.

2018 Serendipity

Our new 2018 Serendipity is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, and 11% Syrah with a sensible 13.9% ABV. This blend is extremely consistent with the previous four vintages and lends itself to the consistency in style we have seen from Serendipity since 2014. The color is a densely extracted purple/garnet, with complex, tightly packed aromas that are richly supported with generous layers of sweet toasted oak. Ripe raspberry, black cherry, blackberry and plum dance in harmony with crushed black pepper, leather, tobacco, cedar and eucalyptus. On our palate, the fruit is youthful, lean and austere with a firm backbone of acid and tannin that promise years of graceful bottle aging. The finish is structurally aggressive, and I would suggest a serving temp around 60* with a decant time of about 60-90 minutes.

Heath Vineyards

2016 Absolution

A dense purple/violet, this is a big, fully ripe wine driven by finesse and balance. Textbook flavors and aromas of blackberry, cassis, and black tea mingle with cedar, leather, mocha, and espresso. Barrel aging included 53% new French oak, yielding sweet, soft tannins with delicate spice.

2016 Captivating

Pale yellow with a brilliant rim, this is a dense, richly textured wine featuring a fruit bowl of aromas and flavors. Layers of grapefruit, melon, and citrus dance with tangerine, peach, and pear. Like its name, this is a seductive wine with a complex, lingering finish.

2016 Pinot Noir

A rich ruby/garnet, this wine is elegant, graceful, and true to its varietal character. Intriguing aromas of bright red berries, dried flowers, and rose petals flirt with clove, cinnamon, and hints of vanilla. The finish is well-balanced, with bright fruit balancing delicate oak and tannins.

2016 Syrah

An intense, impenetrable purple, this is a monster wine. Aromas of violets, blackberry, black currants, and black plum spar with white and black pepper, anise, and dark cocoa. Aged in 100% French oak (57% new), this is an aggresive yet graceful wine packed with intrigue.

2017 Captivating

A brilliant, pale yellow/straw with a hint of green in the rim, this is a very expressive, sensual wine. Layers of grapefruit, citrus, green apple and cantaloupe dance with butterscotch and hints of caramel. A touch of oak yields a delicate viscosity with ample fruit in a crisp, clean finish.

2017 Absolution

Aged in 100% French oak (over 50% new), the color is a textbook medium garnet. Complex aromas of blueberry, blackberry, and cassis weave with cigar box, pine nuts, dark cocoa, and Mexican vanilla. Aggressive, angular tannins are balanced with lots of indulgent fruit on the finish.

2017 Liberation

Brand new to our Heath Vineyards portfolio, this single block 100% Cabernet is an enchanting ruby/garnet in color. Aged in 100% French oak, graceful aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, and ripe loganberry mingle with leather, cedar, and a hint of mint. Picture-perfect structure and balance yield an intense, lingering finish.

2017 Pinot Noir

In contrast to previous vintages, the ’17 exhibits cooler climate characteristics in a New World style. A vibrant cherry/ruby in hue, this is a charmingly bright and fruity wine. Tart cranberry, raspberry, and candied cherry meld with clove and cinnamon that finish with a rich, yet delicate mouthfeel.

2017 Syrah

A dense purple/violet color with a touch of midnight blue promises a moody and mysterious wine. Aromas of black cherry, black currant, and plum are supported by black pepper, sweet smoke, lavender, fennel, and eucalyptus. Aged in 100% French oak (50% new), acid and tannin are well-integrated in a powerful finish.

GCV Estate

2014 Epiphany

A young, racy wine full of tension between fruit and tannin, exhibiting a rustic grittiness highlighted by a bit of limestone minerality. The color is a deeply extracted dark purple with a dark ruby rim. Aromas of black cherry, ripe plum, leather, cocoa, and coffee add to the full-flavored complexity of this wine. Abundant tannins that are well-integrated with a firm backbone of acidity promise lots of room to age.

2016 Epiphany

An impenetrable dark purple, this is a substantial wine built to age. Brooding and mysterious with tightly packed jammy aromas of ripe blueberry, black raspberry, black plum, and cassis; and flirting with hints of eucalyptus. Aged in 100% French oak (57% new), the palate is assertive from start to a lingering finish.

2017 Originalist

The Epiphany continues...with our newly named Originalist. Deep and well-extracted purple/ruby in color with complex aromas of cranberry, dark plum, black cherry, and cassis layered with violet, cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom. The well-integrated palate and finish highlight the beauty and versatility of our unique GCV terroir.

2018 Joyist

Our first ever Joyist is a 100% Estate-grown Albariño and is a richly textured, complex example of this intriguing varietal. A lovely pale yellow/gold with delicate aromas of pear, white peach, Meyer lemon, and honeysuckle are supported by a hint of chalky minerality. The finish is fresh and lively, with a subtle kiss of oak.