This is one of an occasional series detailing Texas wineries. The complete list is here.
This Dallas winery, soon to add a location in Fort Worth, is the leader in a Texas trend: a winery that is more wine bar than winery. It’s similar to the brewpub phenomenon that was was popular 15 years ago, but seems (in Texas, anyway) to have more staying power.
It’s not unusual for a winery to sell the wine it makes. At Times Ten, though, the business is more than tourists passing through for a couple of tastes before going to the next stop. Its customers are people who stop in for a glass or two of wine on their way home from work or who meet for an evening of sipping and chatting.
How does Times Ten do this? Mostly because it’s located in Dallas’ upscale Lakewood neighborhood, where it has quickly become a fixture. The tasting room is quiet and tasteful, just the sort of place that appeals to its Gen X and Baby Boomer customers. Most restaurant and bar owners could learn a thing or two from the way co-owner Kert Platner (the fellow on the left in the picture) oversees the retail side of the business.
And how is the wine? Professionally done, though a bit pricey. Winemaker Chris Lawler has struggled with Texas’ weather and poor harvests the past couple of vintages, so he must depend on grapes and juice imported from California to fill out the wine list. Still, everyone, Lawler included, would prefer to make Texas wine.
Among the highlights:
• A grenache from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. This is much less fruity than the Spanish and French versions of the wine, which is an odd thing to say about something make from California grapes.
• A carignane from Lodi. Nicely done, with lots of cranberry fruit. This would work well at Thanksgiving.
• A rose from Lake County. This wine demonstrates Lawler’s improvement as a winemaker. The first vintage was OK and they have steadily improved since. His current effort is fruity and dry, just the way a New World rose should be.
Full disclosure: The Wine Curmudgeon does tastings as part of the Two Wine Guys at Times Ten, and I like them.