One of the things I love about visiting vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, is that they ask where you’ve been – and make suggestions on where to go. Since we like big bold reds, we were directed to Inwood Estates Vineyards (website).
We choose to do the tasting with the winemaker – Dan Gatlin – which turned out to be one of my favorite tastings the entire trip. Dan is not shy with his opinions, nor does he hold back on information. The tasting was lovely, but the lessons he imparted on wine growing, making and selling were invaluable to me.
After a tour of the barrel room and a look into the equipment (never do a wine tasting with an physics major/engineer if you don’t want to delve into optical scanning) we got down to tasting wine. Don’t misunderstand, I loved the deep dive into the equipment – I just love tasting wine more.
2021 Tempranillo – Cabernet
Their Notes: The classic Ribera style wine that made Inwood famous. Harvest Rate: 1.5 tons per acre
My Notes: This wine had a good fruit scent and a deep flavor that lingers. There was no astringency to it and I found it really drinkable – meaning it didn’t need food.
I know what you’re thinking – surely you didn’t just taste one wine. No, we did not – but I’m a horrible student and I was so wrapped up in Dan’s explanation of tonnage per acre and other growing tips, that I took really bad notes on the wines. He was kind enough to let me taste the unreleased 2020 Magnus and 2020 Colos – which is really fruit forward with a somewhat dry finish. My notes say ‘yum.” The 2017 Chateau Marie La Rose was really nice with some spice to it.
I’m sure if Mr. Gatlin is reading this I sound like a absolute novice and like I have no wine knowledge what so ever – but the truth is that I was so overwhelmed by his willingness to share his knowledge and the deep organic chemistry concepts being discussed (phenolic counts) that I was simply mesmerized. Anyone interested in Texas wines should visit at least once.
All in all, if you are a fan of old world, complex reds, then I highly recommend visiting Inwood. If you want to absorb knowledge on the Texas Wine Industry then splurge for the winemaker’s tasting. I can promise you it’s worth it.