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Carl's Corner

Carl Hudson
 
April 12, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Black Spanish Grapes in Texas

Black Spanish grapes are common to southern states that tend to have hot growing seasons with higher humidity. Here in Texas, Black Spanish has been planted extensively from the Hill Country eastward to the Louisiana border, and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. The grape, also known as Lenoir and Jacquez, is relatively hardy and disease resistant, making it popular in areas where more traditional vinifera grapes are difficult to grow. Since this is the grape growing in the small 4.0 Cellars Vineyard, it seems a good time for an update.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 17, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Vermentino – Quality White Grape in Texas

More and more, Italian grape varietals are showing up in wines at Texas wineries and tasting rooms. Probably the key reason for this is that these grapes prosper in hot, arid, sunny areas of Texas that are similar in climate to important Italian growing regions that are hilly, if not downright mountainous, limited in rainfall, and blessed with maritime influenced, rock-strewn, sandy, calcium-rich soils.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
December 6, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Sparkling Wines –Holiday Treats

With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, this seemed like a good time to highlight sparkling wines. Sparkling wines can be produced by a number of different methods, from essentially any grape, be white, rosé or red, and range from sweet to totally dry. And, they usually conjure up visions of celebrations and special occasions.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
October 11, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Piquepoul Blanc – A Rising Texas Star?

White grapes indigenous to the Rhône Valley in France were the subject of a previous Carl’s Corner in May-2017. Because these Rhône white grapes originate in hot, arid climates, such as the southern regions of France near the Mediterranean Sea coast, Texas grape growers and wine makers are having success in growing and vinifying them. The best-known of these include Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne. But, that previous post focused on lesser-known varieties of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino (Rolle) and Piquepoul Blanc. Piquepoul Blanc, a grape with much potential in Texas, will be highlighted in this post.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 27, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Muscat – A Lot of Options for Texas

Varieties of Muscat represent some of the oldest and most widely planted grapes in the world. It is estimated that over 200 different grapes claim the name, or at least a heritage related to the primary members of the Muscat family. Only a few of these grapes are widely used for wine production in the world’s major wine regions, primarily Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Fleur d’Oranger, Moscato Giallo, Muscato di Scanzo, Muscat of Hamburg and Muscat Ottonel.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 13, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Montepulciano vs. Montepulciano

Recently, while hosting cheese and wine pairings, I have had several guests at 4.0 Cellars get excited when served a Montepulciano wine because they, at some point in the past, visited the village of Montepulciano in Tuscany, Italy. However, the Montepulciano grape that makes the wine is quite different from, and not connected to Montepulciano, the place. Read on to understand this interesting point of confusion in the wine world.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 5, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Nero d’Avola – A Sicilian Connection

Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese) is an important and widely planted red wine grape variety on the island of Sicily. The name literally means “Black of Avola”, highlighting the grape’s extremely dark color. Although the grape may have originated in the Calabria region of mainland Italy, its strongest presence today is in Sicily. The primary growing areas are located in the countryside near the town of Avola on Sicily’s southeast coast – a key trade region in the Middle Ages. Since that time, and up to the present day, Nero d’Avola has most often been used in blends to add color and body to lesser wines, especially those from mainland Italy.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 21, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Symphony Grape Variety

Since 4.0 Cellars currently offers a bright, fresh summer white wine that contains the Symphony grape, it seems an appropriate time to tell you about this little-known grape. The wine of interest is the 2014 Lily by Brennan Vineyards. Symphony is a Californian crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris developed in 1948 by the late Harold Olmo, professor of viticulture at UC-Davis. As its pedigree suggests, it is an aromatic variety with aromas of peach, apricot and lychee with slightly spicy flavors. Symphony is mostly used in white-wine blends, where it contributes to the aromatic profile of the final product. A few varietal examples of Symphony are made in California, typically produced as off-dry or late-harvest wines.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 25, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Rhône White Grapes in Texas

Texas grape growers and wine makers are planting and vinifyingt more white grapes that originate in hotter climates, such as the southern regions of France near the Mediterranean Sea coast. The best-known of these include Viognier, the key grape in the northern Rhône appellation of Condrieu; Roussanne, an important component of white blends in the southern Rhône appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and Marsanne, a primary grape in white blends from the famed northern Rhône appellation of Hermitage.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
March 15, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Roussanne – Richness from the Mediterranean

Roussanne (roos-ahn or roos-ann) is believed to be native to the Rhône Valley near the Mediterranean Sea in Southern France. Although most of the world’s Roussanne is today grown in the Rhône Valley, other regions, especially Texas, are beginning to show interest in the variety. In the Southern Rhône, Roussanne is one of six white grape varieties permitted in the famous wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (blanc & rouge). It is often blended with Grenache Blanc, which adds richness and crisp acidity to Roussanne’s pear and honey flavors. In the Northern Rhône, Roussanne is frequently blended with Marsanne to provide acidity, minerality and richness. Limited plantings have been made in Australia, Italy, and the U.S., particularly in CA’s Central Coast, WA’s Yakima Valley and Texas.  Continue »

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