by David Donalson
Having recently been featured in the latest Chef for Farmers event by Matt and Iris McCallister, Inwood Estates is home to some of my favorite wines. These wines should be the benchmark of what Texas wine could and should be.
Upon finding the little wooden staircase that leads into the facility behind the Hotel Anatole in a warehouse facility, you can tell that Inwood Estates is more interested in their product than making an elaborate tasting facility. As you walk in, you are greeted with a small table with some information on the new facility in Florence and an open door on the right. Through the door are barrels and cases of wine. In fact, you have to turn the corner and walk another 50 feet just to get to the small tasting bar. This is where the fun begins.
Pouring today was Mark Moberg, assistant winemaker and the man in charge of this facility. During the conversations with Mark, he told me that he was from Washington and was in search of great wine away from the West. This led to a chance meeting between himself and Dan Gatlin and now a position within Inwood Estates. He was a great guide into the wines of Inwood Estates. Something that you quickly learn about at Inwood is the concept of terroir, a french word meaning something akin to where the wine comes from, its soil and climate in particular. Most grapes used by Inwood Estates come from the Newsom Vineyard in Yoakum County in the panhandle of Texas, along the border with New Mexico, which is known for quality grapes. Needless to say, the taste of the wines speak to the quality, beginning the tasting of 4 wines.
The first wine poured was the 2008 Palomino-Chardonnay, a crisp yet creamy wine with flavors of lemon, orange and a texture like tonic water. A very interesting white wine and the only one that Inwood Estates makes. Next up was the 2007 Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon, a fruit-forward wine with a mix of cherries, strawberries and raspberries on the palate, tempered with flavors of tobacco and leather. This was delicious but paled when compared to my personal favorite, the 2008 Cornelious, a 100% Tempranillo that had the red fruit flavors of cherry and strawberry with a background note of chocolate and spice. If there is one wine I would serve to people from outside of Texas to let them know that Texas was serious about wine, it would be this beauty. The tasting was finished with the current vintage of their Cabernet Sauvignon blend, the 2006 Magellan. While still young and needing more aging, this wine showed flavors of currants, strawberries as well as some earth notes. I cannot wait to try this wine in about 5 years to see what it might become.
Inwood Estates has proven to be one of the leading winemakers in the state and if you have not had the opportunity to try one of their wines, I highly recommend giving them a chance, especially at the winery location so you can get the full experience. Say hi to Mark for me.