Progressive and cult popular, William Chris Vineyards continues to impress me each time I visit the winery. I have come to love their dry Rosé program as well as the new stylish and classically produced sparkling Blanc du Bois, which is now available in the tasting room. All Texas grapes and a passion for exposing the best characteristics from each individual piece of terroir, this is the core of the William Chris philosophy.
The wine I chose to review is their Skeleton Key. Although young, this particular wine is drinking very well. Additional cellar time is not necessarily needed, but 6 months to a year on its side will most definitely help to integrate and open it up. The namesake of the wine and label photo are of a skeleton key found hanging on the wall in the century old house that is now the front tasting room at William Chris Vineyards. Rumor has it Bill Blackmon still has possession of said key. Now, on to the review shall we.
The simple label is straightforward and attractive, the bottle, Bordeaux in style. Once the cork is yanked from the bottle, the wine flows into the glass as a ruby red with a magenta rim. A forceful swirl to introduce some air reveals a complex selection of aromas such as campfire smoke, ripe blackberries, and saddle leather. The palate is different from the nose for me yielding flavors of red cherries, tart raspberries, plums, cigar box, and saddle leather.
- William Chris Vineyards Skeleton Key, non vintage
- Winemaker: Chris Brundrett
- Appellation: Texas
- Grape varieties: Aglianico, Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah from 3 vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ruby Cabernet, and Tannat
- Barrels: Up to 30 months in neutral French oak
- Clarity/Brightness: Clear/bright with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: Medium
- Acidity: Medium Plus
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Long
- Alcohol by volume: 13.5
- pH: 3.74
- Cases produced: 1111
I highly recommend this wine, as it is a well-made, nice example of a young wine that is already showing much promise and drinking very well. Stop by for a taste of it at William Chris Vineyards and experience a piece of their world in Hye, Texas.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.