Lewis Wines, Texas Hill Country AVA, Texas, USA

Wine: I get an "Old World" (less flashy, neutral or subtle oak, terroir-driven, fruit not too ripe, some earthiness) vibe from Doug Lewis's wines. He is working with grapes known in France and Spain for centuries, such as tempranillo, cinsault, mourvedre, viognier, syrah, malbec and cab sauv and cab franc.

In 2014, Lewis planted some of the 100 acres on their Hill Country AVA estate with the Portuguese varietals touriga nacional, alicante bouschet, tinto cão (all red) and arinto (white). Plus tannat, a thick-skinned grape from southern France and widely planted in Uruguay that makes robust, smoky wines (BBQ!). It will be a few years before these vines will be ready to produce wine. I am excited Lewis decided to fully explore the terroir connection to Alentejo/Portugal this area so wondrously has. Cannot wait to try those wines!

Tasting of 6 wines, made from 100% of grapes from either Hill Country AVA or High Plains AVA. 1. Swim Spot: blanc du bois, muscat, viognier (spritzy, citrusy & light, like a vinho verde!) 2. High Plains Rosé: cinsault, mourvedre, cab sauv (tropical & melon) 3. Mourvedre Rosé: 100% mourvedre (strawberry) 4. 2012 TX Red: Mourvedre, syrah, cab franc (raspberry, black cherry, earthy, cinnamon) 5. 2012 Newsom Reserve: malbec, cab franc (dark fruit, cloves) 6. 2012 TX Tempranillo Reserve: Tempranillo, grenache, graciano (plum, chocolate, vanilla). 

My take: I loved it. Delightful wines and the huge, covered back porch is such a pretty place to taste and dream of a trip to Portugal (or Luckenbach!)...Reserve in the tasting room with Victoria, who knows her stuff (outside of TX wines too). A must during a day of vineyard visits along Hwy 290. More on Lewis Wines.