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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

Carl Hudson
 
April 10, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Pink Wines – Hot in Texas (Update 2019)

Warm weather is the time to enjoy pink wines, and Texas is now producing some of the best available. These pink wines can be dry, off-dry (slightly sweet) or medium-dry (even sweeter) to provide great warm-weather enjoyment for picnics, deck-sitting or lazing about the pool area. And, don’t forget, they can take the place of white wines and many lighter reds at the mealtime table.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
February 27, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Mourvèdre – Warm Weather Wonder

Mourvèdre (moor-ved), also known as Mataró or Monastrell, is an important grape in the warm, arid regions of Texas. It was back in 2016 when this grape was last discussed on these pages, so it’s time for an update. Mourvèdre is also grown throughout warm weather areas of Europe, especially along the Mediterranean Coast of Spain and France. There are plantings in Australia and other parts of the U.S., but the biggest current impact from Mourvèdre is here in the Lone Star State. Many styles of wine are made from Mourvèdre, ranging from rosés to lighter reds, and from dark, full-bodied reds to port-style wines.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
February 15, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Cinsault Variety Update, 2019

Cinsault (sin-SOH or san-SOH) or Cinsaut (without the “l”) has become an important contributor to the grape variety portfolio of Texas winegrowers and winemakers. Because Cinsault is heat and drought tolerant, it can be grown in most Texas wine regions, especially the Texas High Plains AVA. Cinsault produces relatively large grapes with dark skins which typically translates into medium-bodied, modestly colored red wines with a softer, less tannic character. With its softness, fresh fruit aromas, and spicy flavors, Cinsault is often used to produce easy-drinking rosé wines and as a blending grape with other varieties, like Grenache, Carignan (care-in-yawn), Syrah, and Mourvèdre.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 3, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Fortified Port-style Dessert Wines

Those of you who have visited or even driven by 4.0 Cellars probably noticed grape vines growing along Hwy 290, in front of the three Logo tanks at the entrance to the tasting room and patio area. These are Black Spanish, or Lenoir vines, a hybrid grape that grows well in the hot, more humid climates of Texas. The vines were planted in 2013 by folks from Lost Oak Winery, one of our owner/partners, and were intended to be a “show” vineyard, a garden really, so that visitors could see and appreciate grapevines.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
October 12, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Nero d’Avola Update 2018– A Sicilian Connection

With the recent release of a new bottling of Brennan Vineyards Super Nero 2016, it seemed appropriate to provide an update on the Nero d’Avola grape variety. 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
 
July 18, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Dolcetto – Light Red for Texas

Dolcetto is becoming a regular participant in the Texas Wine Industry, featured in red blends, as an easy drinking varietal wine, and as all or part of a rose’ bottling. This grape is widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The name literally translates as “little sweet one,” but that does not mean that the grape reaches high sugar levels at ripeness, or that it is generally used to make sweet wines. Dolcetto is relatively tolerant to drought conditions and produces fruity wines with moderate tannins and acidity. Dolcetto wines are typically meant to be drunk young, especially if made as a varietal or rose’.  Continue »

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 »

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