Best Wine of the 2010 Dallas Wine Trail

It was fun, although too many wines were from California in ambiguously-labeled bottles at this weekend’s Dallas Wine Trail. The highlight for me was:

2006 Inwood Estates “Magellan”, Texas. This wine is a blend of the five Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot) and Tempranillo. However, Cabernet Sauvignon, being two-thirds of the total, dominates the blend. I first reviewed this wine a year ago, at which time I found it closed and unyielding. What a difference a year makes. Now it displays a pungent nose of dark fruit and a mouthful of jammy intense blackberry flavors. It has simultaneously fruitiness and minerality, a combination that is emerging as a characteristic of West Texas Cabernet. The wine is ndoubtedly New World–it is  fruity but does not have the lushness of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It is aged in oak which produces more of a cedar than vanillin character.

After the ambiguity of last year, the Magellan is emerging as a well-rounded and complex wine. It will be interesting to see how it continues from here. It can be drunk now, ideally with fatty red meat such as well-marbled steak, but will soften if kept another 3-5 years.