There were some surprises when we finished the 26th annual judging on Tuesday, and pleasant ones at that. Several wineries that usually don’t get high medals did, and I was especially impressed with the efforts of wineries from places like Pennsylvania and South Dakota. The complete results are here. Among the highlights:
• A gold medal for McPherson Cellars’ grenache-mouvedre blend. This wine will go a long way to show what Texas can do with red grapes that aren’t cabernet sauvignon and merlot.
• San Martino Winery in suburban Dallas won a gold for a tempranillo. This was an interesting wine, with a fruity, New World style appeal. I’m not sure it tasted exactly like tempranillo, but it impressed the judges.
• Of course, just to show how little I know, Kiepersol Estates in East Texas (East Texas, of all places) won a gold medal for a merlot. Kiepersol winemaker Marnelle de Wet Durrett does a terrific job and is too often overlooked when we discuss Texas wines.Driftwood Estates won two golds for cabernets, and Red Caboose, a new one to me that is southwest of Fort Worth, also got a gold for a cabernet.