Tag Archives: Lone Star International

Is Texas wine at a crossroads?


Texas wineTexas wine may be approaching a crossroads, something that was evident during the 31st annual Lone Star International wine competition this week. That’s because some of the best wines at the competition weren’t Texas, but included California wines sold by Texas producers. Which is not supposed to be the point of what we’re doing here.

Years ago, when a lot of Texas wine left much to be desired, what happened this week wasn’t unusual. Or, as I told the competition organizer when I first judged Lone Star in 2005, “Give us better wines, and we’ll give you gold medals.”

Given the revolution in Texas wine quality and production over the past decade, I had hoped those days were gone. But the uneven quality of many of the wines I judged, this year and last, has me wondering. Has Texas wine reached a plateau, where quality isn’t going to get any better given the state’s resources and climate? Or is something else going on?

After the jump, my take on what’s happening:

Lone Star International Wine Competition 2013

We saw the future of Texas wine during one of the championship flights at the 30th annual competition this week, where there wasn’t a chardonnay in sight. The five wines competing for best white from Texas were all outstanding, and each was worthy of winning — two Rhone blends, a viognier, a roussanne, and an albarino.

Can I write, finally and after 20 years, that Texas producers and growers have figured this thing out? More, after the jump:

Lone Star International Wine Competition 2012

FlightOfColorLSWineCompThe first day of judging in the 29th annual event, which focuses on Texas but includes wines from other regional states, California, and the world, was not much fun. The quality of the wine was uneven at best, and many of the judges I talked to wondered if the 2011 competition, perhaps the best ever, had been a fluke.

Not to worry. The second day, when we judged best of class, reaffirmed my faith in the quality of Texas wine. In many ways, it was a landmark for the state’s producers. The wines that earned top honors were distinctive and reflected Texas’ terroir, demonstrating that wineries here finally seem to have figured out that they should not make chardonnay and merlot, but wines better suited for our climate and soil.

More, after the jump:

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