Gusto, the organization that recently held a “Texas vs. The World – Roussanne” tasting in Dallas is back on December 9th with a “Texas vs. The World – Syrah” tasting at Times Ten Cellars. As I said in my report of the Roussanne tasting, these events are a fun way to learn about wine and come Crave Recommended. Details from the press release:
Lost Oak Winery will be the featured winery at the Texas vs. The World Syrah wine tasting on Monday, December 9 at Times Ten Cellars in Dallas.
Despite growing up in Abilene, where alcohol could not be sold, Lost Oak Winery owner and grower, Gene Estes always had a heart for making wine and even tried to make it out of Concord Grapes. One explosion later, Estes started as a microbiologist for the Baylor School of Medicine in Houston Texas. Wine was always in his heart and he maintained it as a hobby throughout his long and successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. After retiring in 1998, Estes began growing grapes. He bought the winery known as Lone Oak Vineyards near Valley View and moved the wines and equipment to Burleson in 2006.
Estes has a passion for Texas wines and particularly in introducing Texans to quality Texas wines. “Texas has one of the highest wine consumption rates in the U.S., but they’re not drinking Texas wines.” He believes that making a quality wine is the key to increasing its popularity. Lost Oak Winery focuses on making quality wines from Texas fruit. Estes is meticulous about growing his grapes to ensure that they are growing the right grapes for the climate and that the fruit is in the best environment to thrive.
Estes has found that Syrah grows exceptionally well in North Texas. It likes the heat and soil that is similar to the soil of the Rhone region in France where Syrah originated. The grape also needs special attention that is difficult to achieve in high-producing vineyards. “If you let it hang long enough you can get a lot of intensity and color that you won’t get otherwise.” Estes said about allowing Syrah to ripen longer on the vine before harvesting.
Estes started growing Syrah in 1998. “ The Estate vineyards tend to do better than any other vineyards we source from.” Said Roxanne Myers, General Manager for Lost Oak Winery. “Gene is meticulous and a perfectionist when it comes to his vineyards and he nurtures the vines more than you might see in a commercial vineyard.”
“Syrah has a great chance in Texas. I wish more growers were growing it.” Estes said that he has tasted a lot of Texas Syrahs that are equal to and better than those he’s tasted from Temecula, Central Coast, and Napa Valley in California.
Texas vs the World attendees will get to meet Gene Estes and taste his 2011 Syrah called The Sheriff at the Dec 9th tasting. Due to the drought in 2011, the Syrah grapes that were harvested that year were very small; about the size of peas. “It is very intense and dark and fruit forward because of the ratio of juice to pulp and skin is so much less than normal,” Estes said.
GUSTO | GUSTO Tastings, a wine event production company, produces the Texas vs. The World tasting series in Austin and Dallas. The tasting series is produced for the Texas Wine and Food Consortium (the Consortium); whose mission is to inform, educate and promote local wines and culinary efforts to prospective industry partners and consumers.