By Connor Brown at The Grapevine
Gruene is a wonderful little historic district known for its honky tonk history and has served as the setting for unforgettable moments creating fond memories for generations of Texans. February is especially unique to our area as love dominated the air making special opportunities to take advantage of the season and create memories that last a lifetime. Fortunately, this humble town has been around longer than I can count after a glass of wine, so we can luckily always return for a visit. But wouldn't it be nice to take these feelings and bottle them up for a later time? Well, the masterminds of Gruene and Llano Estacado set out to do just this with some brand new and exclusive wines specially crafted and designed to invoke such a feeling when in need.
It all started with a big idea from the sommelier in charge at The Grapevine and his desire to start something big to make people think of Gruene when drinking Texas wine. A strong relationship with Llano Estacado created a Valentine's month miracle when the fling got serious and this idea became a project. For months, various teams of wine nerds and wine makers worked tirelessly to fit as much of the town into a bottle as possible before realizing it was no simple task. No single bottle could hold the history, beauty and energy of this town that flows from the historic water tower and into our hearts. Therefore, the compromise became two unique styles of wine that could capture most of the awe-inspiring details that create the experiences we all return for time after time. A rugged bourbon barrel aged Cabernet Sauvignon and a delicate yet headstrong un-oaked Chardonnay to personify what the town is about to anyone ready to fill a glass.
With specially selected grapes from the high plains of Texas, our special edition Cabernet needed to be bold like the visionaries responsible for the restoration and operation of our picture perfect town. Most importantly, the flavor needed to match the love that was poured into creating the vision, with nothing other than award-winning Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels to give the most excellent bourbon expressions while maintaining the best essence of Texas Cabernet. With every little detail as important as every brick in the H.D Gruene building, this Cabernet does not fall short of excellent. Admire its beautiful rich color, luxurious aromas of brown sugar and toasted walnut before greeting an eager palate with complex notes of dark fruits and caramel. The soul of bourbon comes through on the finish with subtly spicy notes of oaky vanilla that melts into a memory of warm firepits and good times under the stars in The Grapevine Garden.
The un-oaked Chardonnay represents the more delicate and detailed side of town, where any experience never fails to be amazing. This wine was created to be innovative and unique with its full body and oak-less flavor allowing for more delicate expressions of fruit to take center stage around crisp and bright acidity. A beautiful nose of white peach and apricot briefly dissolves into a kiss of honeydew before approaching the palate. Upon first sip, the drinker is mesmerized by round flavors of toasted almond carried by Chardonnay before bright notes of citrus from Chenin Blanc take the reins and gallop away from an impressive Hill Country sunset, only to turn around for another glance at its beauty. The delicate complexity of this Chardonnay is unmatched by most attempts at this varietal in our great state, displaying the wine maker's prowess and commitment to excellent tasting Texas wine, only attainable from a great partnership.
And good partners are made to last, especially in the month of love as these wines are becoming more popular every day through loyal locals and curious connoisseurs. So, stop in for a sip and step out with a story!