December 2019

Musings from the Wine Press

Crush 2019 is now in barrel. Harvest was marked by heavy May rains, cool spring and early summer till extreme heat beset the vineyards from late June through mid-August. Having been through four RLV harvests, no two have been similar and 2019 again was unique and no exception.

With the unceasing heat, sugar concentration in the berries was slow to evolve, posing a challenge in finding a compromise be- tween sugar level, acid retention, and flavor development in the skins. Never- the- less we managed a successful harvest and believe the 2019 vintage holds great potential. Our immediate access to the winery from vineyard has allowed RLV to capture the highest potential of our harvested grapes for premium wine production.

With this wine club release, we offer a look back to the opulent 2017 vintage with the last red wine bottled, Syrah, as well as the 2018 III Especial.

2017 Syrah

The 2017 RLV Syrah was bottled in March of 2019 with a scant 150 cases made for the wine club. This wine is 100% from the Texas High Plains AVA. The Syrah was sourced from Lahay and Newsom vineyards providing the underlying wine structure with black cherry, cassis, coffee, and cola notes. To bring added complexity and a core of brighter red fruit, a small blending of Reddy 2017 Tempranillo was added. Being the last 2017 red wine bottled, it spent 18 months in neutral and French oak barrel.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – August 2017
Blend – Syrah 80%, Tempranillo 20%
Vinification – 18 months in barrel, 30% new French oak and remained in neutral
Finished Wine – ABV 14.6, pH 3.76, RS <0.01 g/l
Case Production – 165 cases

Tasting Notes

Well -balanced and harmonious full-bodied red wine with earthy ripe dark red and black fruit character punctuated with Morel mushroom.

2018 III Especial

The III Especial is a departure from our normal approach to white wine making. Usually, a paucity of oak or none at all is used with our white wines. However, with the III Especial we went all in. The Especial unlike the usual III was formulated from 4 French oak barrel ferments, 2 Marsanne, 1 Roussanne, and 1 Viognier. The wine went through partial malolactic fermentation and was aged for 6 months in barrel.

This elegant wine is reminiscent of a Condrieu. This unique wine is sure to please with only 100 cases produced.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – End of July, early August 2018
Blend – Marsanne 50%, Viognier 25%, and Roussanne 25%
Vinification – New French Oak Barrel ferment, 100%
Case Production – 100 cases
Finished Wine – ABV 12.5%, pH 3.66, RS <0.01 g/l

Tasting Notes

This Rhone style blend with oak influence is subtle with accents of crème brulee and toasted coconut. A bright beam of white peach, apricot, Asian pear with tropical fruit elements shine through.

With this current release of wines, we conclude the 2019 wine club activities. As always, we thank for your love and support of RLV. We wish you memorable Christmas holiday and look forward to an exciting 2020.

Our Holiday Wine Gift Offerings

Remember those very special people in your life a gift of RLV wine. Check out our Holiday Special Offerings with free ship- ping by going to our website: www.rlv.wine, Shop Gift Packs

  • I Am Dreaming of a White Christmas: 3 Pack of white wine
  • Have a Holy Jolly Red Christmas: 3 Pack of red wine
  • Twelve Wines of Christmas: Mixed case of wine

As always, Cheers!

Ed Brandecker, MD
RLV Wine Program Director



September 2019

Musings from the Wine Press

The third wine club offering for 2019 offers something for everyone! At this moment we are in the midst of our 4th vintage. Several exciting developments have occurred since the last Musings.

RLV had a successful relocation of our wine production facility immediately adjacent to the vineyards in the Texas High Plains. This enables us to immediately begin the controlled fermentation process when the grapes are ready without any delay, or need for transportation, especially important during harvest in the hot summers of Texas.

RLV is opening a second tasting room in Fort Worth, Texas this fall! A similar urban chic tasting room atmosphere will be our second home at 411 S Main in Ft Worth. Stop by when you are in the area for a glass of wine with friends.

Finally, Republic National Distribution Company, has decided to carry RLV wines in their premium wine category! RLV wines will be available from Lubbock to Dallas, and Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

As RLV grows, we value our relationship with each and everyone of you. I am particularly passionate about this 3rd quarter offering of 2019 as they each have very special qualities in their own right—just like our Wine Club Members

2018 Impish

The 2018 Impish harkens back to the 2016 Small Lot Muscat with its off dry sweetness. The Impish is very refreshing and clean on the palate with a sense of elegance and grace. Its subtle sweetness balances well against crisp acidity and modest alcohol, creating a perfect summer wine/ aperitif- wine reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has an unmistakable orange blossom fragrance upon first approach, followed.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – Early to mid-August 2018
Vinification – Immediate press, 24-48 Hour settling, 60˚F stainless fermentation, aged in stainless, dominant blend of Orange Muscat with Marsanne
Finished Wine – ABV 12.7%, pH 3.71, RS 0.5%
Case Production – 200 cases

Tasting Notes

Orange blossom nose, off-dry, with zesty tropical and citrus notes, refreshing acidity, and lithe body and mouthfeel.

2018 Trés Rosé

Christened by Texas Monthly as “checking all the boxes for a Provencal Rosé, in its summer edition of Texas wines to enjoy, the 2018 Trés Rosé is another stellar Rosé produced by RLV. It presents a pretty salmon color appearance, with delicate red raspberry, currant and strawberry fruit, and roses. It is framed by cleansing freshness and lively flavors on the palate. This Rosé is a blend of nearly equal parts Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault. Trés Rosé, Trés chic.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – Mid to late August 2018
Vinification – Hours of skin contact, immediate press, 48 hour settling, stainless fermentation and aging.
Case Production – 225 cases
Finished Wine – ABV 13.7%, pH 3.66

Tasting Notes

This Rhone style rosé blend is Provencal style in color and character. A dry rosé offering strawberry, raspberry, guava and red roses with a lively acidity and vibrant fresh finish.

2017 The Tempter

The Tempter is a reserve red wine from the impressive 2017 vintage producing fruit with long hang time during a temperately warm summer. The 2017 Tempter follows the double gold award winning 2016 Tempest, having the same blend of Tempranillo, Merlot and Tannat although in slightly differing proportions (Tempranillo 50%, Merlot 35%, and Tannat 15%). The Tempter has opulent fruit ranging from dark red and black fruit to coffee and tobacco, offering pleasing complexity and depth. Aged for 18 months with 30% new French oak.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period – Early August to early September 2017
Vinification – Small lot fermentation in 2-ton fermenters, twice a day punch downs, 30% barreled in 2-year-old French oak and the remainder in neutral barrel, aged 15 months.
Case Production – 650 cases
Finished Wine – ABV 15.8%, pH 3.80, RS 0.16g/L

Tasting Notes

This bold wine is an interpretation of a Texas Bordeaux style blend with light purple color and moderate tannin structure.
The nose evokes forest floor and earth while the aromatics bring forward black currant and cassis with accents of smoky tobacco and spicy earth competed with a long juicy finish, complementing its name.

As always, Cheers! We will be thinking of you during Harvest 2019.

Ed Brandecker, MD
RLV Wine Program Director



May 2019

Musings from the Wine Press


Now that spring has arrived and our vineyards are beyond bud break, a new grape growing season is well underway.  Grapevine shoots are bursting forth with new grape clusters heralding the 2019 vintage.  First, let us enjoy the fruits of past labor as we are very pleased to introduce two new wines for our wine club members only! We hope these wines mark enjoyable wine occasions and memories for you.

 2017 Valera

This is the heir to the successful debut of the 2016 Valera with a similar blend of Syrah, Tempranillo, Mataro, and Garnacha.  The 2017 growing season was marked by uncommonly cooler days and nights than the typical West Texas summer, influenced by atypical weather patterns from Hurricane Harvey. As a consequence of the reprieve from relentless heat, grapes had long hang time on the vine prior to harvesting allowing for greater maturation and development.  One notable change in the 2017 Valera from the 2016 is the noticeably rich fruit forward character of the wine which bursts forward immediately on the palate, complemented by darker fruit notes and a higher alcohol level as well.  This wine was bottled in December 2018, but would benefit from decanting over the next several months prior to consumption.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period– Mid August through mid- September 2017

Vinification– 15 months of barrel aging with 30% new French oak, remainder in neutral barrel

Blend– Syrah 50%, Tempranillo 25%, Mataro 20%, and Garnacha 5%

Finished Wine– ABV 14.4%, pH 3.74

Case Production– 650 cases

Tasting Notes

The 2017 Valera is an elegant blend with deep ruby color, dark red and black fruit ranging from black cherry to cassis, with accents of tea and clover. The oak is well integrated and restrained with a gentle lingering finish.

Food pairing would be best with hearty roasts, chops and grilled meats including lamb, veal, fillets or tenderloin.

2018 Marsanne

Marsanne is a white grape varietal whose lineage stems from the Rhone Valley of France.  It is commonly produced as a single varietal wine in northern Rhone wine regions and is frequently blended with Roussanne or Viognier in the southern Rhone Valley near Avignon.

You have tasted the Marsanne grape previously as part of our RLV III wine, where it was blended with Viognier, and Roussanne.  For the first time, in 2018, we made a single varietal wine from 100% Marsanne.  Marsanne is less aromatic than its III siblings. It can present with honeysuckle aromas with pear or quince, and almond on the palate.

The 2018 RLV Marsanne received no oak barreling and was fermented in stain steel and aged on the lees prior to bottling. If you appreciate unoaked Chardonnay, you will likely enjoy this wine.

Harvest Notes

Harvest Period– August 15, 2018

Vinification– Stainless steel fermentation and aging on the lees without malolactic fermentation

Case Production– 250 cases

Finished Wine– ABV 12.3%, pH 3.69

 Tasting Notes

The 2018 Marsanne, pale straw in color, with lemon citrus, Asian pear and almond, with flinty minerality and pleasant acidity on the palate. This is a versatile white wine complimenting hard cheese, shellfish, pasta with butter white wine sauce or poultry.

Cheers and have a great summer! We will be thinking of you during Harvest 2019.


Ed Brandecker, MD

RLV Wine Program Director