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2008 Mandola Aglianico

The 2008 Mandola Aglianico from Duchman Family Winery, is a 100% varietal wine sourced from fruit grown in the Reddy Vineyard in the Texas High Plains. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and then spent 10 months in American oak. The wine started with very brambly, jammy raspberry aromas up front accompanied by plum aromas and light, cocoa-like oak notes. In the mouth, cranberry flavors with a candied edge were the dominant flavor. A faint hint of rose petals was also detectable. Medium-bodied, with slightly dusty, but not bitter, fine grained tannin texture, good acids. The wine became a bit dry and a bit lean or thin-feeling towards the back. The finish was quite long, with berry flavors and some cranberry notes. This wine did better with the brisket better than the BBQ ribs which overwhelmed it. This wine did not hold up well overnight. Aromas of melted butter and kefir dominated with the latter persisting into the flavors. (12.5% ABV, 1 bottle tasted, production volume unknown)
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2008 Mandola Spino

The 2008 Mandola Spino, from Duchman Family Winery, is a 100% varietal wine sourced from fruit grown in the Reddy Vineyards and the Mandola state vineyards in the Texas High Plains and Texas Hill Country. Temperature-controlled fermentation was followed by nine months in French oak. The wine starts with aromas of bright, fleshy strawberry, a faint floral hint, and a slightly funky edge. Cranberry and strawberry flavors dominate this light-bodied wine with, light fine tannins, some heat and lower acids. The finish is a bit hollow feeling. On the second day the faint funky aromas persisted, taking on a more vegetal character, but were dominated by fleshy macerated strawberry followed by a floral/oaky note. In the mouth, strawberry dominated cranberry and a slight mineral-like astringency. The structure took on more definition with taut, fine, slight tannins, vibrant acids, good body and balance. The medium-length finish was juicy with cherry/cranberry flavors and a vague floral hint. The rustically-styled wine blended in well with a mushroom pizza but clashed aromatically with blackened salmon. (12.5% ABV, 1 bottle tasted, 662 cases made)
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A Consumer’s Guide to Fine Native and Hybrid Wines

The heritage of the grapes that make our favorite wines has always been European, but will it remain so? Are there currently legitimate rivals to the vinifera monopoly that has ruled our palates? “Drink American” could be the slogan for the United States’ fairly recent class of vanguard winemakers and vintners declaring that there are.