4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery – The Reds

To finish out our road trip – we stopped at 4R Ranch and Winery (website). You can read about the adventures getting there and all about the whites we tried in this post. 4R is just a little outside Muenster, TX – so a very short drive from Elm Creek Manor (website). Although, 4R Ranch does offer mountain bike trails, camping areas, RV parking and a Gasthaus. So, it makes for a great weekend getaway.

This flight is all reds, and just like the whites, I did try all of these. As you can see with 6 options, obviously the group leaned more toward reds than white.

2020 Merlot

Their Notes: Notes of red berries and plum with soft tannins. Pairs well with pork and lamb dishes.

My Notes: A solid Merlot for a Thursday night, despite a light (almost no) bouquet to us. It had a great flavor, that tapered off while we sat and talked – so this is definitely to be drunk with food and not just sit around and sip it.

2020 Tempranillo

Their Notes: Dark fruits and ripe blackberries with a subtle touch of oak and light tannins. Pairs well with tacos, pepperoni pizza and barbecue dishes.

My Notes: This is a great everyday red wine. It has flavors of dark cherry and clove which start soft in flavor and then warm from there. We decided it would be a Thursday since you’re rewarding yourself for almost making it to Friday.

2020 Malbec

Their Notes: Notes of dark red fruit and plum, accented with a subtle tobacco finish and medium tannins.

My Notes: If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know that Daddy Jay and I are fond of Malbecs. This had a black raspberry and blueberry scent, where you could smell the alcohol. It was Welch’s Grape Juice smooth and finished super spicy dry finish. It’s not one for Sunday dinner with Daddy Jay*, but I would definitely have it on Wednesday night with meatloaf or leftover roast.

*Daddy Jay still prefers Argentinian Malbecs. I don’t blame him but the Texas High Plains (up to 4,500 ft) are nearly 1,000 feet higher in elevation than Mendoza (2,500 feet), where most Argentinian Malbecs are grown. So, look for more and more Malbecs from Texas

2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

Their Notes: Rich dark red fruit flavors accented with subtle oak and a smooth finish. Pairs well with steak, lamb and grilled meats.

The Website: Great example of a medium-bodied, Texas Cab.

My Notes: Overall, a good cab. The website description hits our description on the nose. It has a tart scent, with some spice to it. It starts out dry, but has a fruit finish. We thought it would pair well with goat cheese, especially once spread on a grilled portobello. One of the members of our party said it was the “best Texas Cab I’ve had” – and he’s had a lot of Cabs – from Texas and elsewhere. So, I will agree with his Friday night rating.

2020 Petite Verdot

Their Notes: Notes of dried herbs and leather with prominent fruit flavors and a dry finish.

My Notes: Leathery smell with a good scent. My comment was that the taste reminded me of stuffing. I got blank stares from my tasting companions. I figured stuffing made more sense than yeast and sage – but apparently I should have just said that. We decided this needed to go with flank steak with a chimichurri sauce on a Friday night.


Their Notes: Blended from multiple vintages of Texan-grown Touriga Nacional grapes. Tawny and full-bodied with round sweetness.

The Website: This tawny beauty warms the heart with round sweetness and a finish that lasts until long after sunset.

My Notes: After having tasted a Portejas at Arché Winery and Vineyard, this was sadly a disappointment. It lead to a great debate on what it tasted like…. and finally the group settled on Sugar and Campbell’s Tomato Soup. So sugary, but very acidic with a metallic taste.

It wasn’t until weeks after this trip that I learned that Portejas is not a grape type. It’s the name Texas wineries have given their port wine. In 2006 only wines made in Portugal can carry the name port. Recognizing this, the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association developed the new name “Portejas” (Port + Teja) that its members can license and use on selected bottlings. Although, if you read it as “Por Tejas” the literal translation is “for Texas.” (Read more about it on Texas Wine Collective here.)

Final Thoughts

All in all, the reds were a bigger hit than the whites, but then the group skews to reds.

We will definitely have go back to try some of them again, and to try the others that we skipped on this trip (about 9 wines). Just might wait a couple weeks for the trees to start changing colors. Or if the Texas weather is too rainy, we’ll head to downtown McKinney to their tasting room.

Overall, 4R Ranch and Winery is worth a try – you might not like everything, but I’m pretty sure you will find at least one you will take home with you.

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