When we think about Texas, wine is probably not the first thing that comes to our mind. Those postcards clichés of cowboys, horses, plains and desert don’t seem to be welcoming for viticulture. If they would grow grapes under the Lone Star legendary heat, that would probably transform into freshlessness wines. That way of thinking would be limitative and quite frankly misleading. Case in point : Reddy Vineyards.
Situated in the heart of the Texas High Plains AVA, the Reddy’s family vineyards have been providing premium grapes for local wineries for 25 years, thanks to the savoir-faire of Vijay Reddy at the helm of the family business. His son Akhil, who graduated from dental school decided, while still practicing dentistry, to complete the UC Davis Wine Executive Program to help develop the winery’s strategic plan. After building the winery, he then decided to develop the vineyard. Today the family is managing 300+acres planted with 37 different varitals besides cabernet sauvignon, the first vines they planted to start the business.
The key here is the vineyard’s elevation. At 3305 feet, the grapes can benefit from a long growing season with warm days and cool nights, which is ideal to get great freshness and complexity. Located South-West of Lubbock in Brownfield, they manage to create a wide range of different and surprising wines. Here are some of the most interesting ones.
Petals and Clay, Dry White, 2021, Texas High Plains AVA
This zippy Sauvignon Blanc will definitely surprise your taste buds. Again the elevation provides the grapes with great freshness. Vinified in stainless steel, this light-bodied wine is a perfect companion for this summer’s salads and seafood. A very good example of this aromatic grape with those tropical fruits, melon aromas and a crisp finish. At $20, this is a very good buy for this quality.
Gewurztraminer, 2020, Texas High Plains AVA
This Alsatian and German varietal is actually delivering some pretty interesting results at Reddy Vineyards. Fighting against extreme heat sometimes, this grape needs some protection like canopy management in the vineyard to avoid excessive residual sugar. Aged in barrel on its lees, this Gewurz is bursting with apple, pear aromas with some litchi notes. With that usual mouthcoating texture, this white wine will be a good match for some Asian spicy food. ($35)
Riesling, 2020, Texas High Plains AVA
The king of white grapes according to the purists is offering some interesting results in those Texas High Plains. With ripe apple and yellow stonefruit at first, this Riesling has a minerality finish thanks to the local terroir and the sandy loam soils. Adding some floral notes, this white wine seems to be lingering in the mouth for quite a while. ($35)
Field Blend, 2020 The Circle, 100% Estate, Texas High Pains AVA
Definitely full of ripe black fruits, this blend will be the perfect companion for your favorite barbecue with your friends. Full-bodied, this muscular red is laced with sweet spicy tones. Quite intense on the nose, its palate is consistent with the plummy aromas. Quite velvety in the mouth, this red will reward the ones who likes that type of oaky finish. (35$)
Reserve Pinot Noir, 2020, Texas High Plains
Texas could be pretty harsh for this finicky grape. Usually thriving in Burgundy, the Pinot Noir needs delicate care and all the winemaker’s talent. I have to say that I was flabbergasted by this New World Pinot. Knowing the Texas heat, I wouldn’t have expected that velvety wine with some reminiscent notes of sous-bois. Fresh with pure aromas of red berries this wine is nicely balanced. And the winemaker has managed to keep that fruitiness with some delicate notes of tobacco thanks to a subtle use of oak. Brilliant ! (60$)
Reserve Cabernet Franc, 2019, Texas High Plains AVA
I have to admit that Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite grape. Originating from the Loire Valley in France, this varietal is thrivig in the Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur appellations. The Texan twist here is quite obvious with those more ripe aromas of black cherries and plums. The spiciness of the grape is present with a long finish of dark fruit and toasty notes. Please honor that luscious wine with some lamb chops or a nice piece of medium rare steak. Great aging potential. (75$) Cheers !