Inwood Estates – Fredericksburg Review
Address: 10303 Hwy 290 East Fredericksburg,Texas 78624.
Phone Number: 830-997-2304
Tasting Hours: Mon 12:00-6:00, Wed-Sun 11:00-6:00
Region: Texas Hill Country AVA, Texas
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Review Date: 8/22/2015
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Visiting a winerys second location is always an interesting experience. Being familiar with the wines, you have an idea about what to expect, but its still a new place, with new people and a new vibe.
The Place: Inwood Estates has been making wine for 30 years, but the Fredericksburg location is new. Its right on the main highway in the middle of Texas Hill Country very hard to miss and very attractive and appealing from the outside. The exterior is a warm yellow-tan, with a stucco texture reminiscent of the adobe thats so prevalent in New Mexico.
When you approach the facility, the first thing you see is a sign declaring that a wine must say Texas on the label to truly be a Texas wine. This is something Inwood prides itself on making Texas wines from Texas grapes. As you approach, you are greeted with the choice of proceeding into the tasting room or the bistro. We chose the bistro, where there was a smaller crowd; there is a second tasting counter in the bistro, and the wine offerings seemed to be the same.
The bistro is a bit reminiscent of the winery facility in the manufacturing district of Dallas. The floors are polished concrete and the pipes are exposed above, just as in the Dallas tasting room. Of course, the big difference is, theres food here! There was a cheesecake in the display case that called my name very loudly.
The People:  Im sad to say I didnt get the name of the lady who waited on us in the bistro that Saturday afternoon. Nor did I get the name of the very affable gentleman manning the tasting room on the other side, which I visited to inquire about a particular vintage of Cornelious Tempranillo (I was sent by my wine connoisseur companions, so I took the opportunity to take a picture!). We were well served in both places, although our tasting did seem to go at a slightly more rapid pace than I prefer.
The Wine:  We only tasted one white wine, a Blanc du Bois called Aura produced from Williamson County grapes. I would describe its nose as old, meaning it smelled a bit musty, and it was served at room temperature, which I thought was odd. But it was a deep, very pleasant white wine.
The reds are clearly Inwoods strength. Dan Gatlin, the Inwood winemaker, was one of the first to note how well Tempranillo grows in Texas, and he capitalizes on that discovery. We tasted a Tempranillo and Cabernet blend that is a smooth drinker, with very little tannin. Fortunately, we were able to taste two versions of the Cornelious Tempranillo, the 2012 and 2012 reserve. The former actually smells like port but tastes of cherry; its a big, wine. The Reserve is similar but made from a 1.5-ton harvest rather than a 2.5-ton harvest.
I really enjoyed the Magdalena, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. Another fan favorite among our group of six was the Mericana, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, which Inwood only makes twice in 10 years. It has an odd nose but is SO good. The only one I didnt care for was the Rubyna.
The only downside to these wines is the price; they start at $39.50 a bottle. Considering the quality, though, its still a good purchase. We were assured the wines would age very well. My friends are testing that theory with a bottle of Cornelious obtained during our visit to the Dallas winery two years ago!
The Experience:  Inwood really is the quintessential Texas wine experience. Thats what Dan and his team emphasize making quality Texas wine. It may not be the prettiest facility on the inside, but its a great stop on the Fredericksburg wine route.