2011 McPherson Cellars Les Copains
I had intended to review a Virginia wine this week, but after publishing an article on Virginia Cabernet Franc and Viognier last week, I decided that I needed to spread the love. The U.S. wine section at the local wine shop contained wines from the big three: California, Washington, Oregon; a good selection of local Virginia wines; and a single, lonely wine from Texas, the 2011 McPherson Cellars Les Copains. The wine is a Rhone-style blend of Texas-grown Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Roussanne. All the grapes are sourced from three Texas vineyards located southwest of Lubbock.
When I think Texas, I think “hot,” and when I think Viognier and Grenache Blanc from hot areas, I think ripe grapes, high alcohol and low acidity, i.e. thick, rich, and flabby. I figured that if the wine was as bad as I thought it had the potential to be, I could always revert to the Virginia wine.
As expected, the wine has an incredibly expressive stone fruit bouquet. What was unexpected, though, was the crispness. Yes, the wine has all the floral opulance of Viognier and the citrus notes of Grenache Blanc, but both are perfectly balanced by the acidity of the Roussanne. Pear and grapefruit flavors dominate, but there is also a touch of minerality. Your unoaked Chardonnay friends might think it’s a bit over the top, but it will almost certainly be a hit with all of the rest of your white wine drinking friends. At only $14 a bottle, it’s an incredible value. You can buy the current 2012 vintage online, and McPherson can ship to CO, DC, FL, MD, MI, MO, OR, TX, VA.
The McPherson Cellars label was created in 2000 by Kim McPherson, and the Lubbock winery was opened in 2008. Kim is a graduate of the enology and viticulture program at the University of California at Davis, and he worked in Napa Valley before returning to Lubbock as winemaker for Llano Estacado
from 1979 until 1985 and for Cap*Rock Winery from 1990 until 2007, where he also made McPherson Cellars. Kim’s father, Dr. Clinton A. “Doc” McPherson, is one of the “Fathers” of the modern Texas wine industry. In 1976 “Doc” and Bob Reed founded Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock, the first post-Prohibition Texas winery.
For those who have never tried a Texas wine, such as myself, this is a great introduction!