Time for Texas wine

If you’ve been around Texas for a while, you know Dr. Clinton McPherson (“Doc”) as father of the modern Texas wine industry.

If you’re new to Texas, you’ll know “Doc” as father of the leading Texas winemaker, Kim McPherson.

Start tasting his wines.

"Doc" founded Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock, Texas, in 1975, the first post-Prohibition winery bonded in Texas.

After graduating from Texas Tech University, studying winemaking at UC Davis, and working in Napa Valley, Kim returned to Lubbock and became winemaker for his father at Llano in 1979.

Kim left Llano in 1985 to work in the wine industry in Texas and in California until 1990, when he was named winemaker at Cap*Rock Winery in Lubbock.

Continuing as Cap*Rock's winemaker, Kim started producing his own wines under the McPherson Cellars label to honor his father, and in 2000 released his first wines: the 1999 McPherson Sangiovese, the 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 1998 Merlot.

Using grapes grown in Sagmor, Doc McPherson's vineyard located southeast of Lubbock, Kim produced about 450 cases of wine.

Early in 2004, Kim introduced his first white wine, the 2003 Viognier. Later in 2004 he added a Rhone style blend, the 2003 Tre Colore: 54% Carignan, 26% Syrah, and 12% Viognier.

The Viognier, Carignan, and Syrah vineyards are in far West Texas in the Dell Valley, at the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains.

Look for Syrah and a Rosé of Syrah in spring 2005. In the meantime, drink a toast to Texas.

Tasting notes
McPherson Cellars Sangiovese 2002 – approximately 265 cases
Dry, soft and mellow with bright flavors and aromas of ripe cherry, plum and spice with only a hint of oak. In blind tastings with wine experts around Texas the wine is most often identified as Italian in origin. Grapes: grown in Sagmor Vineyard, harvested in September 2002. Aged 12 months in medium-toast, 2- to 3-year-old French oak barrels.

McPherson Cellars Viognier 2003 – approximately 165 cases
Dry, but expresses all the aroma and flavor elements of this French Rhone grape varietal including melon, pear, peach, citrus, mango and honey. Grapes: grown in the Dell Valley, far West Texas, harvested August 2003.

Background and tasting notes courtesy of John Bratcher.
Karen Silverston, Oct. 2004