Deep ruby color; plum, blackcurrant, smoke on the nose; black plum, licorice, blackcurrant, blackberry, cardamom, spice on the palate.
Dry; assertive tannins—this is made with tannat grape, one of the most tannic grapes there is—and decanting is recommended. After decanting, becomes much smoother and approachable. Full body. Rich, dark fruit. Medium balancing acidity. 13.5% ABV
Tannat is the national wine of Uruguay. It also has found a home in Texas. The grape is easy to grow in dry climates and less likely to be attacked by vineyard pests, mold, and fungus. Part of that is due to its extra thick skin. It has unusually hight seed count—often five seeds per grape; the standard is two or three. The thick skin and abundant seeds contribute to robust polyphenol compounds—antioxidants—making it a “healty wine.”
Extended oak aging helps oxygen tap down tannins, and this was aged 36 months in neutral oak. There is some oak, but the neutral barrels—meaning they have been used before—keeps oakiness in check. There is only a little chocolate and tobacco, for instance.
Jim and Ranae Mills relocated to Stonewall, Texas to plant vines and start a winery in 2013. The vineyard is four acres. The soil is sandy loam. Grapes are harvest both by hand and mechanically. The spurs featured on the label of this wine, and the name, come from Gramps Mills. Gramps went to college and became a design engineer with 13 patents on farm equipment. The spurs are his spurs, passed down through the family since Gramps’s passing in 1997.
Rustic Spur Vineyards Gramps 2018 is well-done Texas expression of Uruguay’s signature grape. Load of dark fruit and tannat’s legendary tannins. Decanting smooths things out. Rustic wine built for pairing with red and other rich meats. Pair with high-protein, high fat meat; beef sausage; roasted lamb; baby back ribs (pork); duck confit; grilled steaks; slow-cooked brisket; barbecue; spicy tapas; wild game stew; salami; smoked chicken skewers. Cheese—tannat is rustic wine that needs to be balanced with strong cheeses; double or triple cream camembert or brie, roquefort, parmesan, chaumes. $48
Rustic Spur does not have a website, so there is no link or photos to include in this review.