In keeping with the State Fair of Texas mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement, we are happy to introduce the Fair’s new Blue Ribbon Wine Selection program. Sponsored by GO TEXAN and in partnership with the Texas Wine Advocate, 12 of Texas’ best wines were selected from a pool of more than 100 entries. Not only does this program support local agriculture and educate visitors on the best Lone Star wine, but it brings communities of people together to enjoy a glass of great Texas flavors at the State Fair Wine Garden.
A panel of nine wine experts blindly judged 125 wines from across the Lone Star State and selected 12 of the best to receive the “GO TEXAN Blue Ribbon” distinction.
“I raise my glass and toast the winners of the inaugural GO TEXAN Blue Ribbon Wine Selection Competition. All Texans should be proud that the majority of winners were GO TEXAN members,” said Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner. “Congratulations to all the winners and remember… when you visit the State Fair of Texas this year, or your local retailer, look for these fine wines and taste the best of Texas!”
These ribbon-winning wines represent 11 different wineries across the state, with a mix of red, white, and sparkling wines – something for everyone. Selected wines showcase the best Texas has to offer and are available for tasting and purchase all 24 days of the Fair. The State Fair Wine Garden, located between the GO TEXAN Pavilion and Pan Am Arena, will have a special tasting station to showcase the 12 Blue Ribbon wines, which will be sold in two-ounce samples, by the glass, and by the bottle.
The State Fair of Texas is happy to announce the 2018 GO TEXAN Blue Ribbon Wine Selection winners.
FARMHOUSE VINEYARDS “WEST TEXAS BOYFRIEND” (Sparkling-Off Dry) Texas High Plains, non-vintage
A sparkling 100% Malvasia Bianca with lovely, light notes of lemongrass, gooseberry, and enticing hints of sage. The bubbles dance across your palate with warm flavors of lychee, apricot, and Asian pear. Pairs well with heavy cheeses and bubble baths. The Boyfriend was made to keep the housewife company on long harvest days, and this is one boyfriend your husband won’t mind keeping around.
BECKER VINEYARDS MERLOT 2016 (Dry Red)
A combination of three Texas High Plains vineyards and our estate vineyard produced this Reserve Merlot. The culture of Merlot in Texas, though not easy to farm, produces some of the most concentrated fruit in any American Wine Region. From the heavy canopy for shade in the heat of the summer to pulling leaves three weeks before harvest to ensure even ripening – our Merlot cultivation is one of detail, bringing to you a well-balanced and rich wine. Fruit driven with a very mature palate and rich tannin structure, the Reserve Merlot presents as a dry red wine, with lush red fruits, earthiness and fresh tobacco.
BINGHAM FAMILY VINEYARDS “FINE ‘N DANDY” 2017 (Sweet Red) Texas High Plains, Estate
This sweet red wine blend has the aroma of dark cherry and strawberry with a strong pomegranate flavor. Eddie Bingham, the grandfather of the family, was dearly loved and respected by all. This wine is dedicated to “Dandy.”
BRENNAN VINEYARDS “BUFFALO ROAM” 2016 (Dry Red)
This is a dry, medium-bodied red wine with fruit flavors of black plum skins and blackberries. Non-fruit flavors of leather, cigar box, and pipe tobacco give a nod to significant oak aging. The wine shows bright tannins that will complement any Southern fare.
L. BUTAUD TEMPRANILLO 2015 (Dry Red)
We chose the best 10 barrels from the 2015 vintage and are proud to share this C.L. Butaud Tempranillo with you. Over the past year, our previous release was exceptionally well-received, and this new selection takes our efforts to a whole new level. Still 100% Texas and 100% Tempranillo, and from our preferred source in the Texas High Plains, this 2015 Tempranillo shows the great potential of Texas wines. Fresh Japanese plums and sweet tobacco, dark vanilla bean, buttery pie crust, and baked cinnamon on the nose. In the mouth, a balance between ripe fruit and savory influences including plum and blackberry pie, graphite, and tobacco. The finish is a rich cocoa tannin with black currants and dried blueberries persisting on the palate.
TRILOGY CELLARS “KAB” 2016 (Dry Red)
Texas High Plains, Hockley County
A tribute to the relentless spirit that the pioneering Texas High Plains Winegrower embodies, this red blend masterfully intersects the spice of Malbec with the savor of Merlot. The nose is fruit-forward with hints of herbs and intense berries. In the mouth, the velvety texture balances the bite with the supple vanilla and spices. The relentless truly rivals the best of what a true blend should offer.
MESSINA HOF SAGRANTINO RESERVA 2016 (Dry Red)
Our Sagrantino Reserve is an exquisite, dark red wine with intense tannins and rich, jammy fruit flavors. Oak aging adds hints of vanilla and cinnamon with earthy undertones. Sagrantino is a grape with incredible structure, tannin, and flavor. Unique and exclusive, it is one of the first Sagrantinos to be grown in Texas. The grapes were grown at an elevation of 3,600 feet in the Texas High Plains. Aged for 20 months in hybrid oak barrels.
MCPHERSON CELLARS “LES COPAINS” 2016 (Dry White)
This bright and exuberant Les Copains fills the glass with subtle guava and mango aromas, highlighting the individual character of each variety coming together for a perfect balance. Our 2015 vintage blends Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Piquepoul Blanc. The wine is bright with flavors of lemony citrus, honeysuckle, and marjoram with a clean, refreshing finish.
MCPHERSON CELLARS “TRE COLORE” 2016 (Dry Red)
Our Tre Colore is a blend of the three Rhône varieties Cinsault (50%), Carignane (40%), and Viognier (10%). This light-bodied, easy drinking red wine has aromas of dried cherries, cedar, and herbs de Provence. We’d like to think the approachable qualities of the wine make it an easy match for both people and dishes.
LOST DRAW, LA PRADERA VINEYARD ROUSSANNE 2017 (Dry White)
Texas High Plains
Known as the “Texas Chardonnay,” our 2017 Roussanne is a full-bodied white with roots in La Pradera Vineyards in Terry County. This vineyard is a joint planting by Mike and Barbara Paddock and Andy and Lauren Timmons, both families longtime residents of Terry County. La Pradera meaning “the prairie” is one hundred acres of varieties that have been proven performers in the Texas High Plains.
KIEPERSOL VINEYARDS MERLOT 2013 (Dry Red)
With a deep and building nose of butterscotch, toffee, leather, and green peppercorn, this Merlot opens up to a delicate, yet complex and jammy dusty plum. The palate of early ripe spring blueberry, toasted coconut and grilled peaches leads to a warm and satisfying finish of baked pecans and dried red prune. This is a go-to Merlot that epitomizes the comfort of Kiepersol wines.
BENDING BRANCH WINERY “BRANCH” MALBEC (Dry Red)
Branch Texas Red is a blend of Malbec, Mourvédre, Petite Sirah, and Tannat. Acidity and structure strike a balance in this approachable full-bodied red wine. Branch Texas Red is Bending Branch’s first release of a wine made using Flash Technology.