Inwood Estates Vineyards Palomino Chardonnay 2005
Wine Recommendation: Inwood Estates 2005 Palomino-Chardonnay Varietal Notes: The Palomino grape is one of the most widely planted white grapes in Spain, where it is typically used for Sherry production, although it is also made into rather simple table wines that are rarely exported to the U.S. By contrast, this grape becomes a stellar Texas wine where it gains a paradoxical combination of crisp minerality from Texas high mineral terroir and very uncommon intensity from low yields of less than one ton per acre. A Note on Terroir: The French term "terroir", meaning the land or soil, but more widely known in the wine industry as the flavors conveyed from the soil and site elements to the wine, is critical in understanding our wines. In this case, it is important to note that there is a difference between acidity and minerality although it is often blurred by even the best wines and palates. It is this factor that makes this wine an anomaly in the wine world where it is widely believed that a great white wine cannot be made in a hot climate. Winemaker's Tasting Notes: The dominant flavor is still the nectar-like varietal character of the Palomino which is mostly never before tasted anywhere. Even to describe the initial aromas as honey, vanilla, pear and melon still leaves out the exact factor unique to this fruit. The Chardonnay (30%) is there to add complexity but mainly reduce the thickness of the Palomino which might be interpreted as excessive in a market unaccustomed to white wines this big and expansive. Return to Inwood wine list
External Reviews for Inwood Estates Vineyards Palomino Chardonnay
For years, I’ve wondered why someone hasn’t grown the Palomino, one of the great grapes of Spain, in Texas. After all, the stretch of land from Fort Stockton to El Paso looks identical to the area around Jerez de la Frontera. Dan Gatlin’s family has a long history of fine wine sales in the Dallas area, and when his family sold the shops, Dan devoted himself to making great wine. He spent 25 years of his life growing vines, experimenting and then ripping them out to plant new ones, until he found the perfect place for the grape in Texas, just east of Dallas. Despite the lack of name recognition for the Palomino, Dan feels it has huge potential, if you know where to grow it and what it requires. In his advocacy of the variety, he point out that, “although Palo is only an occasional blender in California, here in Texas it becomes a completely different wine. I <i>believe</i> that we are the only US winery that produces a wine with it as the primary ingredient.”Yes, Dan’s Palomino is expensive. It’s also a completely unique version of the grape, unlike its character anywhere else in the world. The reason is that the grape is a terroir sponge. No matter where it’s grown, Palomino takes on the effects of its environment. Inwood Estate’s has honeyed melon aromas and rich mouthfeel. The 30% Chardonnay simply adds a little complexity. Gatlin only sells this wine to restaurants (mostly steak houses) but it is one of the most fascinating white wines to come out of Texas.