C. L. Butaud Texas Mourvèdre, Texas High Plains 2021

Deep ruby color; blackberry, plum, black olive, sweet cherry, licorice, smoke on the nose and palate.

C. L. Butaud Texas Mourvèdre, Texas High Plains 2021

Dry; relaxed tannin, especially for a mourvèdre; rich and delicious. Mild-plus acidity. Full, meaty, savory body. Half of the grapes came from Farmhouse Vineyards and half from Desert Willow Vineyard; 100% mourvèdre. 14.5% ABV

Randy and Brooke Hester founded C.L. Butaud in Austin, TX in 2014. After learning winemaking working in Napa Valley, the husband-and-wife team wanted to create ultra-premium wines using grapes exclusively from Texas vineyards. Randy is the winemaker. He began his career as a 36-year-old intern at Cakebread Cellars and as a night student at Napa Valley College.

The website notes: “Hester credits his craft to the world class winemakers that he was fortunate enough to work with, including highly acclaimed winemakers such as Andy Erickson, Michel Rolland, Mike Hirby, and Helen Keplinger, at various distinguished producers including Colgin Cellars, Caldwell Vineyard, Realm Cellars, and Marciano Estate.”

The C. L. Butaud name honors Randy’s great grandfather, Clet Louis Butaud, known as “Frenchy”. Thus the name of this effort. The winery has been recognized as a top Texas winery by Texas Monthly, the Texas Department of Agriculture, Austin Monthly, Austin American StatesmanHouston ChronicleForbes. Its wines have been reviewed by Decanter, Wine Advocate, James Suckling, and VinePair, with inclusion in Vine Pair’s 50 Best Wines of 2021.

The best way to acquire this wine is through the winey’s website. There is distribution in Texas, but the winery chiefly depends on placement in restaurants, online, and its wine club. That is a standard, traditional arc of a winery’s distribution until it achieves production numbers and recognition for wider distribution by major players in our nation’s benighted three-tier system. This wine is tasty enough for you to jump through the hoops to obtain it.

C. L. Butaud Texas Mourvèdre, Texas High Plains 2021 is extravagantly rich and lush presentation of 100% mourvèdre from top vineyards on the Texas High Plains. Mourvèdre—also known as monastrell and mataro—is primarily part of a blend, most notably in southern Rhone as GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre) wines. This allows mourvèdre to shine on its own, and in this Texas wine, it does. Pair with rich, red meats—short ribs, ribeye; barbecue beef, brisket; wild game—venison, boar, rabbit. Cheese—smoked cheddar, edam, glouchester, manchego, muenster, aged provolone, parmesan, pecorino, smoked gouda. $30

C.L. Butaud website

There are no online photos of the C.L. Butaud operation.