Wine of the week: Homestead Winery Don Gabriel Zinfandel 2007

Texas winemakers and grape growers are slowly moving away from the traditional European varietals, like cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, in favor of lesser known grapes that are better suited to the state's hot, dry climate.

The favorites of the moment are viognier, a white grape from the south of France, which several wineries have turned into an attractive alternative to chardonnay, and the Spanish tempranillo, which has produced some fine wines in limited use. I'm not as sold on tempranillo as many others in Texas are, for it can be a difficult grape to work with in the winery and it may have ripening problems in the state.

All of which is a roundabout way to get to the Don Gabriel. Zinfandel is a grape that has been overlooked in Texas, which is kind of surprising. It's a warm climate varietal that has enjoyed great success in California, and we know much more about growing it in this country than we do tempranillo.

Because, based on the Don Gabriel ($13, sample), we should be growing more of it in Texas. Winemaker Gabe Parker makes some very interesting wines, and I've even had a pinot noir blend (unheard of in Texas) that was quite pleasant. The Don Gabriel is a fruity — yes, the traditional blueberry — with low alcohol and black pepper. It's not as jammy as California zinfandel, but that's not necessarily a problem. Unfortunately, the Don Gabriel doesn't have retail distribution, but it is available through the winery. Pair this with fall barbecue and tomato sauces.

4 thoughts on “Wine of the week: Homestead Winery Don Gabriel Zinfandel 2007

  • By Denise - Reply

    I love Zinfandel so will have to get my hands on this wine.

  • By Bobby Cox - Reply

    Full disclosure, I consult with this grower and like the wine BUT Zinfandel is a pain in the A**S. Zinfandel up on The High Plains has been tried since the very first plantings back in the 70’s. It has problems, BIG problems. Crop management is next to impossible. The old girl just wants to put on WAY too much fruit and when we do what Segisio does in CA i.e. heavily green harvest. The fruit does not get better it EXPLODES! And the free juice from this explosion ROTS! This wine is good but it’s not the future. It’s very nice because of the altitude and the light we get up here at 3700 ft. but we are not planting any more!

  • By Don Gabriel - Reply

    Is Don Gabriel the name of just one wine, or of the whole company?

  • By Jeff Siegel - Reply

    Just the wine — it’s made by Homestead Winery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.