The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 76 of 152

VARIETALS Raymond Haak of Haak Vineyards produces several expressions of Texas's Blanc du Bois grape, from sweet to dry to fortified. A Signature Texas White by Anthony Head / photo by Kirk Weddle HAAK VINEYARDS EXPLORES THE VERSATILITY OF BLANC DU BOIS B lanc du Bois is one of Texas's premier white wine grapes. Although it was developed in Florida, the non-vinifera hybrid thrives in the hot, humid climate of the Lone Star State. Raymond Haak, owner and winemaker of Haak Vineyards in Santa Fe, near Galveston, was one of the first in the state (and the country) to champion the grape. Although Haak produces many different wines, he has built a strong reputation—and a loyal customer following—with Blanc du Bois in various expressions. Here are my tasting notes on his most recent releases. Haak Vineyards 2012 Blanc du Bois Dry, Texas ($15) This is medium-bodied and generous with flavors of citrus and herbs, and a subtle tingle of minerality at the back of the palate. The lingering finish makes the mouth water for more. Haak Vineyards 2012 Blanc du Bois Semi-Sweet, Texas ($15) Texans have an affinity for off-dry wines, and this is an elegant example. Peaches, apricots and citrus fruit flavors dominate, with an engaging undercurrent of honey. Haak Vineyards 2010 Blanc du Bois Madeira, Texas ($40) This is the only Texas Madeira, and one of a handful of legally labeled American Madeiras. Aromatic, sumptuous and mouth-filling with stone fruit, caramel and warm honey—it can stand on the world stage with the great Madeiras of Portugal. Haak Vineyards 2009 Blanc du Bois Port, Texas ($17) One of the most provocative white ports out there. It's a passionate alloy of vanilla custard, peaches and walnuts. Rich and mellow at the same time, the full-flavor finish lasts until tomorrow. 76  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_066-107.indd 76 9/23/13 10:34 PM

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