The State Fair of Texas is proud to continue celebrating all things Texan – including the growing Texas wine industry. As part of State Fair from Home, the Blue Ribbon Selection Tasting series will feature twelve different wines, curated by Texas wine experts, that showcase the variety, quality, and value of Texas wines. A limited quantity of mixed cases will be available for purchase and delivery directly to your house.
These ribbon-winning wines represent 12 different wineries from across the Lone Star State. The 2020 Blue Ribbon Selection wines are:
McPherson Cellars Winery, “Sparkling Chenin Blanc” (Sparkling)
McPherson made their first traditional method Texas wine in 2016. This Chenin Blanc is whole cluster pressed into stainless steel and fermented until dry. The second fermentation starts in tank to preserve the wine’s fruit and varietal characteristics. Once it reached dryness, it is then chilled and allowed to rest on its lees in tank for six months before bottling.
The Grower Project, “2019 Albarino” (White)
This fresh white is made from a Spanish variety traditionally grown in the Galicia region. The semi-arid climate and sandy soils of the Texas High Plains AVA has proven to be a great environment for the vines and shows enticing flavors of fresh citrus and herbs on a refreshing palate. Only 200 cases were produced.
Fall Creek Winery, “2019 Sauvignon Blanc” (White)
Succulent lemon, white peach and a hint of candied lime peel continue to be the hallmark taste profile of Fall Creek’s much sought after 2019 Sauvignon Blanc from Escondido Valley. Layers of crisp, zippy aromas redolent of Fuji apples with a hint of honey provide a mouth-filling medium bodied wine which finishes softly but begs for one more sip.
William Chris Vineyards, “2019 Skeleton Key White Blend” (White)
Stylistically, this wine showcases a different approach to the traditional William Chris wine. Skeleton Key gives the winemakers the chance to express themselves creatively using more blending techniques and oak aging, thus defining an approachable introduction to Texas wine. In addition, the variety of grapes used in this blend translates to greater production capacity and allows William Chris to further support Texas farmers.
Dandy, “2019 Dandy Rosé” (Rosé)
This vintage is lively and pleasantly dry with soft floral aromatics & friendly soft berry fruit. A silky texture & pale pink hue are complimented with notes of strawberries, white cherry, and bright stone fruit. Pair this with soft cheese, salmon, or a nice picnic.
Lewis Wines, “2019 Red Blend” (Red)
2019 Grenache/Mouvedre” consisting of 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre. The Grenache was grown at high elevation on the west side of the High Plains, near Seminole, TX, was destemmed, fermented, and aged in stainless steel. The Mourvèdre was hand harvested by our crew in Blanco County in the Hill Country, destemmed, and aged 2 months in neutral French Oak Puncheon (very big barrels) before being blended with the Grenache, lightly filtered, and bottled.
Pedernales Texas, “2017 GSM” (Red)
GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. In 2016 we expanded to a GSM Mélange and incorporated Carignan and Tannat. With this blend, we continue to embrace Rhone blending traditions, and enhance the identity with varietals that excel in our Texas soils. Carignan is a traditional Rhone variety that lends acidity and vibrant fruit flavors to the blend. Tannat is a rising star in Texas that year after year can lend color, tannin, and structure. The GSM Melange is a very food friendly wine, pairing with dishes ranging from spiced or cured meats, dried cheeses, kale and sausage soup, arugula and fennel salads, roasted vegetables, to meats and fishes such as salmon or pork.
C.L. Butaud, “2017 Tempranillo” (Red)
Winemaker Randy Hester was raised in Texas and cut his winemaking ‘chops’ studying in many of Napa Valleys’ finest facilities. This wine is silky, polished, and mouth filling. A perfect balance between ripe fruit and savory influences. Flavors of plum, blackberry pie, pencil lead, and tobacco harmoniously blend with well-integrated French oak influence. The rich and silky tannins lead to a finish that is fresh, lively, and persisting on the palate. Best paired with a marbled cut of meat or traditional Texas BBQ.
Duchman Family Winery, “2017 Montepulciano” (Red)
Montepulciano has been in the Duchman portfolio almost from day one, and it remains one of the most popular wines in our lineup. Duchman Montepulciano fills the senses with aromas of ripe plum, pipe tobacco, and vanilla. Rich flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and a hint of spice please the palate. The balanced acidity of this wine pairs nicely with savory dishes.
1836, “2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend” (Red)
On April 21st, 1836, in a part of Northern Mexico known as Tejas, a band of rugged pioneers won the historic “Battle of San Jacinto.” Shortly after this decisive victory, peace treaties were signed, and the independence of Texas was established. This wine has a deep opaque red color, extraordinary fruit extraction that includes hints of currant, black cherry, black pepper, and licorice. Medium tannins add to a lush, lengthy finish. Enjoy it with your favorite cut of steak and premium cigars.
TEXAS Reddy Vineyards, “2019 Red Blend” (Red)
The 2019 Grand Vitis is an approachable blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. This wine is smooth, displaying juicy red fruit and a soft finish. It is the perfect casual weeknight wine…
Bending Branch Winery, “Texas Tannat” (Red)
Rich cherry-tinged fruit and grippy tannins come wrapped in scents of vanilla, cola, and sweet pipe tobacco in this Texas High Plains Tannat. Perfectly pairs with chipotle grilled pork chops, spaghetti Bolognese, crumbly aged cheddar cheese, and classic Texas barbecue!
In addition to the wine selections, the Fair will host weekly virtual discussions and tastings with winemakers. The tastings will feature three bottles from the above Blue Ribbon Selection wines, and discussions on the Texas wine industry. Below is a schedule of the tasting sessions and the accompanying wine experts.
|Date of Tasting||Wine Experts|
|Wednesday, September 30||Rae Wilson, owner & winemaker, Dandy Rose|
|David Lulkhen, executive wine maker & owner, Pedernales|
|Wednesday, October 7||Eric Sigmund, owner & winemaker, Reddy Vineyards|
|Sergio Cuadra, winemaker and Susan Auler, owner, Fall Creek|
|Kim McPherson, owner, McPherson Cellars Winery|
|Wednesday, October 14||Bob Young, owner, Bending Branch|
|Tony Offill, winemaker, William Chris Vineyards|
|Wayne Rogers, regional market manager, Llano Estacado|
|Wednesday, October 21||Tommy Wellford, general manager, Duchman|
|Randy Hester, owner, CL Butaud|
|Doug Lewis, owner & winemaker, Lewis Wines|
The virtual tastings are free, and purchasing the wine is not required to participate. The tasting sessions will be moderated by the State Fair of Texas and Heather Queen, from the Queen of Grapes. Registrations for the tasting sessions will open on Monday, September 21. For more information, and to buy your mixed case of wine, please visit BigTex.com/fairfromhome. In addition to our Blue Ribbon Selection Tastings series, we hope you pair your Texan wine with Fair food favorite at the Big Tex Fair Food Drive-Thru. For more information on the drive-thru, please visit BigTex.com/DriveThru.