This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Flat Creek Estate, a winery in the Texas Hill Country approximately 40 minutes outside of Austin. Established in 1998, the estate sits on 80 acres of beautiful hills and is a perfect setting for weddings (there was one later in the day when I went) or a quiet meal at The Bistro on the property. The tasting room offers a touch of Texas with rich wood accents and large windows. Greeting you as you enter is a saddle donated from the George Bush Presidential Library, which is fitting as you’ll want to hold on tight while tasting Flat Creek Estate’s bold wines. The winery offers two tasting options, the Portfolio (five wines) for $7 and the Diva (seven wines and your very own Flat Creek Estate wine glass) for $12. I chose the Diva and it did not disappoint. The free wine glass helped me with the decision too.
Flat Creek Estate Pinot Grigio 2010 ($17.95): While very crisp and clean, this pinot grigio does not offer a lot in the way of acidity. The nose is ripe with grapefruit and lemon while it sits lightly on the palate with apricot and honeysuckle. Of the seven wines I tried, this was my least favorite. Perhaps it was too subtle. It is worth noting that this wine is the winner of the San Francisco International Wine Competition 2011 (SILVER) and Lone Star International Wine Competition 2011 (BRONZE). Suggested pairings are sushi, shrimp, and roasted chicken. Drink this wine now.
Flat Creek Estate Pinot Blanc 2010 ($17.95): This wine is from the premium and limited release Flat Creek Estate wines and is only available for the Diva tasting. Aromas include papaya, pineapple, and mango with a more acidic tasting of grapefruit and guava. Definitely fruit-forward. The acidity made it more well-balanced than the Pinot Grigio before it, in my opinion. Suggested pairings are seafood, pasta, and brie. Drink this wine young.
Buckin’ Horse White ($17.95): Remember what I said about the saddle greeting you on the way in? Yeah, this is why. Classified as an off-dry white, this wine is packed with fruit such as pineapple and apricot on the nose and honeysuckle and pineapple on the palate. Since it’s not too sweet or too dry, this wine can please a number of people. It’s the wine you would want on a hot Sunday afternoon sitting outside with friends, chilled just right so it keeps you cool under the sun. This wine is made up of 100% Viognier 2008 grapes and has won the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition 2009 (GOLD), San Francisco International Wine Competition 2009 (SILVER), and Jefferson Cup Invitational 2009 (SILVER). Suggested pairings are spicy Asian dishes or salty-sweet snacks/appetizers. Drink this wine now.
Flat Creek Estate Sparkling Raspberry ($15.95): The sparkling wines are produced annually from imported grapes (Woodbridge, CA). Classified as a demi-sec, this is a sweet sparkling wine with a raspberry punch. Also has hints of pear, green apple and vanilla. Very crisp and can be enjoyed during special occasions or everyday.
Buckin’ Horse Red ($17.95): This wine reminds me of my favorite season, Fall. It’s like spiced apple cider but in wine form. Absolutely delicious! It’s sweet on the nose with raspberries, medium-bodied with light tannis on the palate and hints of spices, black pepper, and berries. It’s the winner of the Lone Star International Competition 2007 (SILVER) and can keep your warm on chilly Fall days. Suggested pairings are a meal of braised beef, thyme-rosemary potatoes, and baked beans. Place in your cellar for three years before enjoying.
Flat Creek Estate Super Texan 2009 ($19.95): Flat Creek Estate terms this one “the wine that made us famous!” Bolder than the Buckin’ Horse Red, this is a wine to enjoy with meat, meat, and more meat. It sits on the nose with aromas of cherry, raspberry, and cranberry. This full-bodied red has a similar spice palate as the Buckin’ Horse Red but heavier tannins. It’s an award-winning wine dating back to the 2003 vintage, and this particular vintage is crafted from California grapes due to uncooperative weather in 2009. Suggested pairings are classic Italian cuisine, lamb, wild game, pasta, or Texas BBQ. Place in your cellar for three years before enjoying.
Flat Creek Estate Meritage 2008 ($24.95): This is the first release of the Meritage, which Flat Creek Estate proudly classifies in its premium and limited release wines. A dry red with a sweet nose (cherries, spices, vanilla, and berries), you will be chewing these powerful tannins for a while. It’s full-bodied and dry, yet beautifully balanced with toasted oak at the end. Suggested pairing is a thick cut steak. Cellar this wine for five or more years.
After an enjoyable tasting, I purchased a bottle each of the Pinot Blanc 2010, Super Texan 2009 (to hopefully drink if the Texans make it to the Super Bowl in the next three years), and Buckin’ Horse Red. I can’t wait to share these with friends. You can bet I will make a trip out to Flat Creek Estate again.
Ries’s Rating: 5 paws