Messina Hof Winery and their Riesling, see it here.
As the story is told on their website, Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo studied winemaking in Bordeaux for a while. They patterned this release after the wines they tasted during their afternoon "research sessions" at wineries in St. Emilion.
Aged for 18 months- first in French oak, then American - the Messina Hof Merlot Private Reserve Double Barrel 2011 retails for $22 and carries a 13% abv number. It's a 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon blend from grapes grown in their Fredricksburg and Lubbock vineyards.
Rich, deep color leads to a nose of cherries and pretty oak spice. The oak shows on the palate, too. It abets some very nice fruit flavors - red currant and cherry, mainly. There's a touch of graphite showing through, thanks to the Cab. While the use of wood isn't exactly sparing, it is not overdone, either. A nice, even hand was used in this wine's oak treatment.
This Bordeaux blend surprises me in that I expected a Texas wine - especially one with the phrase "double barrel" in its name - to be a little bit rowdy, and a little boisterous, and a little rambunctious. This is not the case. This wine is no high plains rancher - it's extremely smooth and elegant. Maybe it's really from Dallas.
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