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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

Carl Hudson
 
September 11, 2019 | Carl Hudson

What to do with Leftover Wine

What is “leftover” wine? For some, it is hard to imagine such a thing. This is a subject that has been addressed previously, but we still often get questions about it from customers at the 4.0 Cellars tasting room. So, here is my take on Leftover Wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
August 28, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club September, 2019

4.0 Cellars Merlot 2017 TX High Plains (by Lost Oak Winery) R/M • Grape(s): Merlot 100%, Bingham Family Vineyards, Meadow, TX, Terry County • Harvested in Aug-2017; fermented in SS tank; barrel aged 11 mo. in French & American oak; bottled at 14.2% ABV, <0.1% RS (DRY) • Dark ruby color; black cherry & ripe persimmon fruit mingle with vanilla, tobacco, & peppery notes; hints of smoke on the well-balanced finish with sturdy, ripe tannins; pairs well with Texas steaks & most grilled meats  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
August 15, 2019 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Grape Harvest 2019

Those of you who have visited or even driven by 4.0 Cellars probably noticed grape vines growing near 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 partner/owners, and were intended to be a “show” vineyard, a garden really, so that visitors could see and appreciate grapevines.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 31, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Black Spanish Grapes – Update Aug-2019

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. This is the grape variety growing in the small 4.0 Cellars Vineyard, that will soon be harvested and used to produce a Portejas.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 17, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Dirt Can Make Wine Better

After spending time in the vineyard these past two weeks, irrigating, spraying, clearing weeds, and watching the grapes begin to turn from vivid green to soft pink and purple colors (veraison), I began to once again think about the upcoming harvest and the many tasks that will be required to convert these 2019 grapes into a wine and put that wine into a bottle. It is certainly true that the dirt in which the vines are planted plays a role in generating the quantity and quality of the fruit, but there is another type of “dirt” that plays a role in making quality wine. That dirt is an activated clay material (a special kind of dirt) known as bentonite. Bentonite is used in winemaking to clarify wine by attaching to particulate materials and to protein molecules that come from grapes. Bentonite has myriad other uses, including: moisture absorbent in cat litter, thickening agent in drilling muds, binder material in metal casting, water-barrier sealant layers for ponds and landfills, and, with its powerful absorbing properties, a purification & decolorizing agent for numerous liquids, like vegetable oils, dirty water and many beverages.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 3, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Yeast Selection Criteria

One of the most intriguing issues facing a winemaker is the choice of a yeast strain to convert the sugars in sweet grape juice into wine. Simplistically, there are two basic choices – natural or native yeast that is present on the grapes themselves when harvested, or a designed commercial yeast strain. Both types of yeast will convert sugar to alcohol, but the choice of yeast can, and usually does, impact the aroma, flavor, and texture of a wine, as well as the conditions & rate of fermentation.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 20, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Summer in the Vineyard - 2019

This has been an unusual spring and early summer for the Texas Hill Country. The much greater than normal amount of rainfall has certainly been different, and made for one of the most abundant, colorful, and longest lasting wildflower displays folks can remember. The temperatures have also been moderate, typically below 90 degrees until just this past week. The rain and moderately warm temperatures not only inspired the Texas wildflowers as Hill Country vineyards have also seen a burst of growth, not only on the vines, but with the weeds, insects, and fungal diseases that tend to plague grapevines during humid conditions. The grapevines have flowered, set the fruit, and are now showing clusters of hard green grapes that will race forward to veraison (color change) in just a few weeks. It is an exciting time in the vineyard, but also one filled with lots of work.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 5, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Alicante Bouschet - A Really Red Grape

Alicante Bouschet (“alla kahn tay boo shea”) is one of only a very few varieties of teinturier grapes of the Vitis vinifera species that have both red flesh and red skin. The dark color of Alicante Bouschet provides winemakers with some advantages which can be important here in Texas.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 22, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club June, 2019

Rain, Rain, Rain! It seems like we have experienced more than our share of rain in May, even though it is historically the wettest month in the Texas Hill Country. This moisture and high humidity is keeping the grape growers busy as vines are growing at a rapid rate and fungal disease pressure seems to increase with each rainy spell. As we often say, Texas weather is weird. Temperatures are climbing and soon it will routinely hit the 90 degree mark which, to me, is a signal to chill, open and drink some delicious Texas white wines. The next 4.0 Wine Club Release parties are scheduled for Sundays, 2-Jun, 9-Jun, & 16-Jun. If you, as a Wine Club Member, would like to join the party and share time with lots of other club members, check the website (www.fourpointwine.com) and make your reservations. We would love to share your company, and remember that you can enjoy the 30% discount on wine purchases on-site on Club Sundays or online during the week-days in between.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 8, 2019 | Carl Hudson

What does Reserve mean on a wine label?

When a wine is offered for tasting at 4.0 Cellars that includes the word “Reserve” on the label, customers and tasters typically recognize the designation and are curious as to what it means. In the United States, and several other key wine countries (Australia, New Zealand, Chile), the term Reserve has little or no meaning, at least that which is defined. The following explores this issue and will hopefully inform the reader about the term Reserve on a U.S., especially a Texas, wine label.  Continue »

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