Fall Creek Vineyards Chardonnay Texas Hill Country 2011
Fall Creek Vineyards was established in 1975 by Texas businessman/rancher, Ed Auler and his wife, Susan. The vineyards are located eighty miles northwest of Austin in the Texas Hill Country where the sandy loam soil, warm days and cool breezes off Lake Buchanan provide an excellent microclimate for growing premium wine grapes.
Spent a few days in the Hill Country tasting wines from my home state. Most were still not very good, but this sub-$10 Chardonnay was a pleasant surprise. A tasty, straight forward Chardonnay with apples and citrus fruit, delightfully un-oaked. Went well with shrimp and crab gumbo.
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What does Texas have in common with France? Well, they are roughly the same size. Beyond that, it is hard to say. Nonetheless, winery owners Ed and Susan Auler, who founded their winery in 1975, were so inspired by their trip abroad that when they came back home, they decided to become vignerons. They started with French-American hybrid grapes and then later moved into <i>vinifera</i>, growing grapes on their ranch in the Texas Hill Country appellation. Situated on the northwest shores of Lake Buchanan, the vineyard receives cooling breezes, and has sandy loam soil. The combination works for a wide range of grapes. Bright straw yellow with golden highlights and fairly viscous, the wine has an intriguing perfume of honeydew melon, violet, nilla wafer, butterscotch pudding and butterscotch hard candy. On the palate the fruit is ripe and juicy with cantaloupe, banana, mango, pear and apple. Underlying caramel notes give depth. The wine is very well balanced, and has a long, clean, fresh finish.