Sandstone Cellars V

There’s something to be said for a wine that makes itself smelled even from across the table. I poured a glass of this, sat down at the computer, and at no point forgot that it was there: it positively exudes perfume. The color is remarkable: rich and deep, dark red with a slightly watery rim, at first giving the appearance of an older wine but somehow it’s all very youthful at the same time.

One smell of this and I’m transported: this does not smell like any wine I’ve had before. All kinds of random associations come to mind: the crisp, dry, crinkly skin of fresh tomatillos; dusty corridors in government buildings in distant counties, dessicating in the summer heat; the smell of the upstairs closet with Mom’s college papers, reel-to-reel tapes and all; a warm summer’s night in the house where grew up in the San Joaquin valley, crickets and trains on the night breeze, the warmth never fully gone from the hay bales outside. It’s remarkable.

Trying to think more traditionally about this for a minute, there seems to be a dry, dusty mint or basil note hovering over dry baker’s chocolate on the nose, wet earth, dried meats (not smoked), and (remarkably) something like dried violets. In all honest, I find it absolutely fascinating: so many different smells, such odd suggestions of things that really don’t have tastes or smells. If a mark of a great wine is that it somehow manages to remind you of things in your past that you’ve forgotten, well, then this wine’s a great one.

The first thing that strikes me about this wine in the mouth is the texture: it seems much richer, unctuous, fat, wide than most others do. Taking a minute to experience the physicality of the wine, I sense that it seems to slip away quietly, somehow vanishing towards the middle-back of the mouth while leaving that same impression of fullness behind. There’s good acidity here, which I suppose guarantees the soft disappearance; the tannins are finely checked and leave a lingering sense of elegance.

As far as the flavor of the thing goes, it again doesn’t really taste like any other wines I know. There are fleeting hints of typical syrah and zinfandel – snatches of deep, plummy fruit and smoky bacon fat – and yet there’s some other flavor dominant which (and I do apologize for the suggestion) somehow reminds me of mucilage or packing tape: it’s definitely not the usual thing. At times I find it challenging and not quite welcome; at other times, especially when paired with some soppressata-style salami, it calms down into something more conventionally agreeable, with flashes of comforting sweetness amongst rich smoky earth and ripe red fruits.

I have absolutely no idea what Don Pullum and the rest of the folks at Sandstone Cellars are doing, but it’s some of the most interesting wine I’ve ever tasted. If there ever needed to be proof that Texas makes serious wine, this is it.

Sandstone Cellars
Price: $25
Closure: Cork

28 thoughts on “Sandstone Cellars V

  1. You, Chris Pratt (is it Sir or Ma’am), have strayed way beyond the permissible borders of fanciful faggotry in coining your odd phrases to ironically offer your description of the only one thing that stands out in your legendary Sandstone Roman Numeral V wine: called brettanomyces, a bacteria that has not only permeated this wine but, apparently your mind and perceptions as well. Why couldn’t you just say it reminds of a “loaf of sourdough that’s gone sour and is gasping for air? Your prose is offensive; I’m sure you are not known in France…

  2. Sounds like some of FullPour’s readers may be taking offense that a Caifornia wine writer has turned is eyes (nose and palate) to a quality Texas wine.

    It should be realized that one cannot venture into the lion’s den without fear of getting chewed up and eaten.

    I have followed Sandstone Cellars and their winemaker (Don Pullum) for years and they have a track record of making quality wines. These are wines true to their local terroir of Mason County in the Texas Hill Country.

    Also, I would like to note that the classic Brett descriptors are:

    Band Aid (plastic)
    Horsey
    Creosote
    Medicinal

    none of which were noted in the tasting.

    For more on Sandstone Cellars go to:

    http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=802

    • “Taking offense” would be an understatement in this particular case, which is a damn shame because this is really good wine. What’s going on over there in Texas?

      For the record, I bought this bottle at the winery in Mason, TX, at the full retail price.

  3. Question Chris: Are you a man or a woman? If the latter, that might explain a few things.
    First, you admit you “have absolutely no idea of what Don Pullum and the rest of the folks at Sandstone are doing.” No wonder you’ve carried on so about a fatally flawed wine: You and Sandstone already have something in common: They don’t know what they’re doing either.

    Secondly, inferentially at least, you admit the wine is subject to being confused. You suggest it’s the alleged Mataro in the wine. How do you know there’s any mataro in the wine, in the first place? That aside, since when is Mataro a poster child for “brett” (as you have so affectionately dubbed it)? The clear implication you give is that Mataro is often carte blance “confused” with your beloved “brett”. Tell that to Domaine Tempier.

    Thirdly, without knowing who I am or what my qualifications and experience are, you have the self-proclaimed arrogance to suggest it’s me who’s confused about this wine. What is it you call yourself? “Wine Trade Professional Certified”? Just what (or who) is that Chris? Who certified you? Based on what rigorous protocol? Does your letterhead say, “WTPC”?

    Come to think of it, who the hell is Don Pullum? Regale us with his winemaking resume. That’s right. Isn’t he the guy that was quoted as saying, “In 50 years, Napa will be the Mason County of California.” Chris, have you even asked yourself, what does Mason County, Texas have to do with California? Indeed what does Texas or California have to do with France, Spain, Italy, South America or any other winemaking region in the world. That’s right, Chris. They have nothing to do with each other. Tell that to your new-found idol, Don Pullum (whoever that is).

    Finally, for now anyway, tell the truth. You didn’t pay for that bottle of Sandstone Roman Numeral V. They gave it to you, right? If you do claim you paid for it, tell us Chris. Where did you get it and how much did you pay for it? By the way, did you get so carried away in the attic smells that you drank the entire bottle in one sitting? If not, did you finish it later? If so, did it continue to both whisper and roar to you as you claim it did when you first opened it. Where there any witnesses to the phenomenally etherial, “out-of-body” experience you claim this once in a lifetime bottle of wine brought to you?
    Early on, I said you’re being a woman might explain a few things. You probably don’t know what it’s like to have made it with a really hot, “soppresata” style woman (forget the salami, Chris). Were it otherwise, you’d realize that this Sandstone Roman Numeral V wine that reminds you so much of “mucilage” (Elmer’s glue) is not only just a wine, it’s a bad wine. For you to go on and on over it only points up how much time you’ve got on your hands and how bored you must be. Shame on you for offering up such PRETENTIOUS garbage to your readers. This has been lengthy but you richly deserve the “reprimand.” THUS SPAKE THE SUPER GURU!”

  4. Russ, you’re not the most objective person when it comes to Texas wine. You have launched an outright campaign for the acceptance by consumers of Texas wine. One only has to read your Texas wine site “Vintage Texas” to know you rarely offer any criticism where matters of “Lone Star” wine are concerned. You’re a cheerleader of sorts for them. Good for you but, your ability to be completely objective here cannot withstand much scrutiny. What you wrote here, in and of itself, shows your blind, knee-jerk reaction to the suggestion you could be off where quality in Texas wine is concerned. I’m not saying you are unintelligent. You are just plain wrong this time. Allow me to demonstrate that your argument for this particular Sandstone Roman Numeral V wine is as flawed as the wine is.

    You remind us of the classic brettanomyces symptoms:
    “Band Aid (plastic)
    Horsey
    Creosote
    Medicinal”

    You go on to say, “none of which were noted in the tasting.” Presumably, you were referring to Chris Pratt’s tasting, not yours. If so, you’re dead wrong, Russ. Once you wade through all of Pratt’s panty-waisted jargon, that’s exactly what he’s describing: An commercially unacceptable overload of brettanomyces. Quoting Pratt’s notes, after detecting smells of _/”reel to reel”/_ tapes, he writes:

    “…somehow reminds me of _/mucilage or packing tape/_: it’s definitely not the usual thing.”

    Did he say “horsey”? No, not outright (probably because he doesn’t know what it is he’s describing). He DOES say it reminds of “mucilage” which boils down to “Elmer’s glue”. Guess what glue is made from, Russ? Horses? Is that “horsey” enough for you? That’s not all, Russ. Doesn’t the “reel to reel” tapes and “packing” tapes (plastic) sound to you like “Band Aid” (plastic), another of your dead on descriptors for brettanomyces? Pratt even goes off into the smell of “trains in the night breeze.” This train of descriptors makes stops at “Creosote” and “Medicinal”, don’t you think, Russ? In short, this “Wine Trade Professional Certified” (WTPC) guy Pratt has managed to get FOUR OUT OF FOUR of your tell-tale signs for an overload of brettanomyces.
    Russ, I’m not saying Texas wines can’t be excellent, even thought provoking and leading the imagination wonder off into places like “attics” and “dusty corridors of government buildings in distant counties”. Apparently, this is what happened to Pratt when he tasted the wine. However, this wine is not the one, Russ. Take a close look at Inwood Estates and what Dan Gatlan is doing. There’s your stronghold, not this Sandstone plonk. I wouldn’t use it for paint thinner.

    • Cheers Jeremy, there is some good wine out there. Shame it never makes it out to California, though!

      BTW, the aforementioned wanker is alas posting under multiple pseudonyms. Bear with me while I do some IP address banning, etc…

  5. dear karl…. Obviously your stupidity is speaking very loudly in this instance. I have tasted Inwoods wines while living in Dallas and there is nothing to talk about. You are probably on of those idiots who think Opus 1 and Jordan wines are in the top tier. Another question can you even describe a wine in it’s entirety? Or do you use the words “jammy” or “it’s a baby,” just like every other wine idiot that you hang out with.
    My back ground is that I have a level 3 sommelier degree and with my experience with Texas wine’s Don Pullum is without a doubt on of the finest wine makers. This is why Sandstone Cellars is making some of the best wines in Texas. So go back to drinking your mad dog and do all of us a favor and keep you mouth shut, and let us pro’s do the critiquing.

    yours truly,
    someone more intelligent than you

  6. I have found Texas wines that are not up to snuff, but they do not make it on my blog. Also, there are wines from California, Spain and other places that are not up to snuff and they do not make it on my blog.

    Frankly, there is too much good stuff to spend valuable time wasting my time and that of others on the bad stuff.

    Godd banter here, but it would be better if Karl could keep it on a civil professional level and not stoop the the gutter. But, perhaps this is where he is most comfortable.

  7. Wow. Do other wine blogs get this nasty? Karl’s comments are almost parodies of FreeRepublic.com comments about ObamaCare… but about wine. The faux intelligence and the homophobia — all in one place!

    Congrats, Chris! You know you’ve made it when a loopy troll obsessed about your similes.

  8. “Hey there, more intelligent. What is a “level 3 sommelier degree”? Does that mean you’re sort of like a “brown belt” in karate? I encourage you to go for your “Master Sommelier” degree. That’s what I have, plus a pair good-sized brass ones. I made it the first time out but, if you don’t, by all means, keep trying. More to the point: I don’t think words like “jammy” or “just a baby” is the flip side of Chris’ coin (words like “reel to reel tapes”, “packing tape” and “mucilage”). Armed with all your superior intelligence, you should know that “mucilage” basically means adhesive glue. So, tell us, is that what you “brown belts” look for in a wine: Close your eyes and pretend to be held hostage in plastic plant, covered in Elmer’s glue and wrapped in packing tape? What would you pair with that, my little enological genius? Grilled, wet cardboard over sawdust? The truth is coming to light: Russ has most recently taken a somewhat reasonable position, though not addressing my confrontation directly but rather passing it off as “godd (sic) banter.” The rest of you who are against me are either die-hard Texans out to blindly protect your own or faggots from Australia AND NONE OF YOU HAVE GROWN A PAIR BIG AND LOGICAL ENOUGH TO REFUTE WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING……….AND WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING IS DIRECTLY BASED ON CHRIS’ “TASTING” NOTES (TN), IF THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL TASTING NOTES. By the way, another question for you “level 3″ brown belt: Have you ever described a wine as smelling like a train in a summer breeze? If so, don’t worry about growing a pair large enough to deal with me. Yours have already shrunk down to the size of a pinhead…
    Karl.

  9. Dear Chris:

    It’s me again, Karl. In a sense, I apologize for having offended you. My idea of relevant wine tasting notes are a far cry from yours. Frankly, I was utterly exasperated the seemingly boundless recesses of your unbridled imagination where something as simple as wine is concerned. It’s nothing personal, really. It’s just that your style of writing irritates me.

    Apologies having been offered for that aspect of it, I still think I’ve got some VERY STRONG points out there. A serious forum is just that: a place where issues are confronted, if not resolved. There’s no forum when you simply ignore points well taken or, worse yet, flush someone away by blocking them out. Would you do that just because someone doesn’t agree with you, challenges or confronts you, or, God forbid, gets a little irritated with you. I said I was sorry for that. If you a serious about wine, your blog and you really believe what you said about this Sandstone Roman Numeral V wine you wrote about, then please address these issues that are still out there:

    1. What does “Wine Trade Professional Certified” mean?

    2. I say, once your notes are broken down, perhaps without even knowing it, you have managed to describe ALL FOUR of Russ’s tell-tale signs for an unwanted brettanomyces note in wine. I’m sure you saw what I replied to Russ. If you disagree, then kindly explain what you meant by the smell of “reel to reel ” tapes (that’s a plastic smell), packing tape (that’s a plastic too) and the smell of “mucilage” (glue or adhesives, sounding somewhat “medicinal”, plastic and perhaps getting into the forbidden “creosote” zone).

    3. Why would you suggest that I’m confusing the smell of Mataro with an overload of brettanomyces?

    4. Who is Don Pullum? What is his background, wine making experience, etc.

    5. I asked what you paid for the wine. You didn’t answer me but told Russ you paid full retail at the winery. The price you put down was $25. Is that what you paid for it at the winery? That’s a simple “yes” or “no” question.

    6. Do you honestly feel like you know what brettanomyces is? Stated another way, have you ever found a wine disagreeable because of an overload of it, in your assessment?

    7. Did you drink the wine over a period of time? If so, how did it stand up to the extended aeration? These are legitmate questions, Chris.

    8. Did you know that Russ Kane before you wrote your article and did you know he head of something called “The Wine Society of Texas”?

    9. If I told you this Don Pullum guy was quoted as saying, “in 50 years, Napa will be the Mason, County, Texas of California”, what would be your reaction to that? I’m from California too, Chris. For my part, I take offense at this statement. Not out of any blind sense of loyalty to California or Napa (I prefer French wines, on the whole, myself) but rather because it’s just not a relevant statement. California wine is California wine (or that’s what it’s supposed to be). French wine is French wine. Texas wine is Texas wine, etc. etc. Don Pullum seems to think his wine is “better” than what’s coming out of Napa or France, at least from what my research has led me to.

    10. You seem to have been incredibly impacted by this Sandstone Roman Numeral V wine, a wine that I’ve tasted myself (coming to a different conclusion that yours). That’s OK. That’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla. I’m just curious, did you order any more of this wine?

    I encourage you, Russ, Jeremy or Andrew to respond to this. I don’t mind if you gang up on me. I think I’m right on this one, or at least have points, based on Chris’ notes about this wine. If you disagree, by all means, I’m willing to listen to what you have to say.

    Karl

    PS
    Chris, quit [comment edited] with the First Amendment. It’s my right in world of wine to speak my mind, especially since I’m right and you are wrong. And that goes for the rest of your little insignificant [comment edited]…

    [This comment was edited for language by the authors of this blog.]

  10. WOW!!! you did some research!!!!! The only reason I used the term level 3 is because I did not give you the credit of even understanding what a Master Sommelier was. I’m going to get straight to the point the only reason you smell this “glue” as you so call it is because [comment edited]. Out of the thousands of wines I have ever tasted I never come across a glue style wine.

    Karl you sound just like a very jealous wine maker in Texas or maybe even California. Come clean and just tell us the truth, the truth that you tried making wine and it turned out like [comment edited] and you could not even sell it for bulk juice. Maybe even better you are a winery owner and are just plain envious of Don Pullum and would love just to have the opportunity for Don to [comment edited]. Ya here is my first amendment.

    ONCE AGAIN DON’T BASH WINES THAT YOU DON’T HAVE A [comment edited] CLUE ABOUT OR THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THEM. [comment edited]

    [This comment was edited by the authors of this blog]

    • Timo – whoa there, don’t take the bait. I’ve taken the liberty of editing your comment; yes, Karl is obviously very upset about something, but I’d really prefer to keep things relatively cool around here. I’ll be banning his IP addresses as they come up; please be patient and hopefully things’ll calm down around here soon.

  11. Oh, whatever.

    It’s a mighty interesting wine, and one I couldn’t put my finger on at all. New World, yes, but… some odd South Australian blend? A weird Chilean mix? Something newly imported from an old winery in the Eastern Cape?

    It was intriguing, and once I found it was from a few hours out of Austin it made it even more so–as an armchair climate geek that ‘eastern slope’ of the continent, inland from the Gulf, temperate and arid but with good rain in certain months–has always seemed like an interesting place for growing, depending on the soils and aspect of the site, of course.

    This wine shows the potential for all that country–and I’m interested to know more, and meet the wines and people that explore that potential.

    That is what interests me about this wine: not that it’s made, and made well, but that there’s (potentially) more out there like this.

    • No worries Timo, I hear you loud and clear. If the edits I made are problematic, please let me know and I’ll change them. Thanks for reading!

  12. First of all, I have banned and will continue to ban all IP addresses used by Karl. Why? Simple: I’m not a fan of abusive language, gratuitous homophobia, general meanness, etc.

    Second of all, I will respond to Karl’s questions because they are interesting, albeit sadly bracketed by a whole lot of uncalled-for vitriol.

    Here goes:

    1. What does “Wine Trade Professional Certified” mean?

    The Wine Trade Professional Program at Central Washington University is an academic program designed to give individuals basic knowledge of the wine industry, from grape growing to winemaking to marketing and so on. It is not the same as a proper degree from UC Davis or Roseworthy. It also isn’t even remotely equivalent to a MW or sommelier certification. It was, however, a lot of work and a good experience; Prof. Mumma knows her stuff and worked really hard to share her knowledge with her students. I did it because I wanted to make sure I had a basic grasp of the subject matter at hand.

    2. I say, once your notes are broken down, perhaps without even knowing it, you have managed to describe ALL FOUR of Russ’s tell-tale signs for an unwanted brettanomyces note in wine.

    You obviously read it that way, but I don’t. In the house where I grew up, there was a musty drawer with reel-to-reel tapes and other things in it that I was reminded of; that wasn’t a plastic smell, just old and dusty (the cardboard box that contained the tapes is the emotional trigger for me). Similarly, I was talking about old, 1950s style packing tape, not modern plastic tape – the old paper kind that flakes off those old boxes. It was, I think, held on with mucilage (not Elmer’s glue), which dries to a strange, clear substance that has a faint smell of something like rosin.

    I’ll get back to brett in a minute.

    3. Why would you suggest that I’m confusing the smell of Mataro with an overload of brettanomyces?

    Mataro/monastrell/mourvedre sometimes has a weird, gamy smell that is reminiscent of brett. If you’re sure you smelled brett and not mataro, though, then that’s your call. For me, it was just mataro, like Tempier or Old Telegram.

    4. Who is Don Pullum? What is his background, wine making experience, etc.

    I have absolutely no idea. I know pretty much nothing about Texas wine; the subject (for better or worse) is terra incognita for Californians.

    5. I asked what you paid for the wine. You didn’t answer me but told Russ you paid full retail at the winery.

    I was driving back to Austin from San Angelo and decided to stop in the winery. I asked if they had anything that had been grown locally because I wanted to buy a bottle if they did; they said it was $25 and I balked at the price. I asked if I could taste it before buying some and they said yes; after a taste I spent that $25 right away. It was miles better than the other stuff I’d tasted around Fredericksburg earlier in the week.

    So yes, I did pay $25.

    6. Do you honestly feel like you know what brettanomyces is?

    Yes, I honestly do. I’ve attended panels at the Washington state grape growers’ conference talking about wine faults, smelled it before, occasionally bought some wine with brett in varying quantities (some acceptably low levels, some unpleasantly high levels), you name it. I didn’t find this wine bretty; if I had, I would have said so.

    Have I sent wine back because I thought there was too much brett? Definitely. December 2007, for example.

    7. Did you drink the wine over a period of time?

    Nope! I finished the bottle in about two hours. I’m not in the habit of spacing it out over a day or two.

    8. Did you know that Russ Kane before you wrote your article and did you know he head of something called “The Wine Society of Texas”?

    Nope! Again, I’m ignorant about the Texas wine industry. I’m doing my best to change that, but limited distribution makes it difficult. I’m also trying to understand New York wines, but it’s the same story: can’t get ‘em here, for better or worse.

    9. If I told you this Don Pullum guy was quoted as saying, “in 50 years, Napa will be the Mason, County, Texas of California”, what would be your reaction to that?

    Sounds like good marketing to me. If you’re not proud of what you’re doing, why do it at all?

    The technical term for this is ‘puffery.’ Have you ever seen the Californian T-shirts that say “Harvard: the Stanford of the East?” Same thing, different business.

    10. You seem to have been incredibly impacted by this Sandstone Roman Numeral V wine, a wine that I’ve tasted myself (coming to a different conclusion that yours). That’s OK.

    Yes, I was impacted by this wine: some wines make you remember people, places, and times you haven’t thought about in a while, and I’m always happy when that happens.

    Did I order any more of this wine? Nope! I couldn’t find it at winesearcher.com, no one stocks it locally, and I didn’t see an online ordering page at the winery’s web site. With any luck I’ll wind up in Texas again someday and you can be sure I’ll buy some more then: if anything, I think it’s a good reminder that we Californians are not the be-all and end-all of good American wine.

    It’s also good value and really delicious.

  13. Disclosure:

    The Wine Society of Texas is a consummer memberhsip led 510c3 non-profit educational organization. It has not affiliation with Texas wineries or Texas wine industry.

    The WST had a short stint of about a year (around five plus years ago) where they affiliated with the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association as a consummer group, but this was not successful and terminated.

    My position with WST was unpaid and I chaired the Houston Chapter, was elected to positions of Board member, Vice President and President. Then, I volunteered to serve for two years as the Executive Director.

    During this time I organized five Texas wine competition. Each one included 5 to 10 non-Texas award winning wines as ringers with 90+ ratings. The judging was performed blind and awards given.

    My interest in Texas wine is as an emerging wine region struggling to find what grows well here (warm growing region that has siginficant issues with late Spring freezes and hail).

    I try hard to be a teller of the story and I try hard not to be the story. I write more about history, people and places than wine evalution. I drink wine from Texas and from many regions like Texas and from those unlike Texas. I look for context and sense of place and try to understand where Texas wines will be in about ten years. Therefore, I try to focus on what Texas is doing right, what wines and winemakers seem to doing it right. The weak ones will fall by the wayside.

    I just completed an article for My Table magazine: The Texas Wine Experience – The Best, Worst and Most Unusual.

    Russ

  14. After much discussion about whether or not the presence of Brettanomyces is in the Sandstone Cellars 2007 V, we sent a bottle from the tasting room shelf to an old, well respected TTB Certified Laboratory for verification. The results are as follows:

    August 25, 2009

    Sandstone Cellars 2007 V

    Culture for Brettanomyces

    None detected Microbiology

    4-ethyl phenol

    None detected HPLC

    4-ethyl guaiacol

    None detected HPLC

    A sample taken from the wine was cultured to see if Brettanomyces yeast colonies would grow. None did. As well, the wine was tested for the presence of the compounds 4-ethyl phenol and 4-ethyl guaiacol, which are produced exclusively by Brettanomyces yeast and are most responsible for the odors and flavors associated with a Brettanomyces infection. Neither of these compounds were found.

    “Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails.”
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

    Our blending style at Sandstone Cellars can create challenging wines. If one appreciates a challenging, complex, balanced wine, that is not easily categorized, give our wines a try. The nice thing about making wine on a small scale in an emerging wine region is that we can experiment with style. We will be in the pursuit of discovering Mason County, Texas terroir for some time. Perhaps some day we’ll hit upon some blend that says to us, “Aha! This is it.” Until then, the journey continues.

    I truly appreciate that Chris, Dan and Julian at fullpour.com are open to and appreciative of challenging wines. We are including the grape varieties used in our blends on the front label to disclose the challenge that the wine may present. We number the wines because we may never repeat that wine blend. When deciding the blend for the Sandstone Cellars 2007 V, we had one wine made from Syrah that had a strong bouquet and taste of cured pipe tobacco, interesting and overpowering. To soften that character we blended the Mourvedre (Mataro) and Grenache, both having concentrated berry character and a viscous mouthfeel. The Primitivo was added to bring in a bouquet and flavor of black pepper. Wine evolves throughout its life. Some of the character we blended for is not there now, but may show up at some point in the wine’s life. But other character develops along the way.

    When contemplating the Sandstone Cellars 2007 V, Chris described a dried, resin packing tape character that took him to his mother’s room when he was a child. A Texas food and travel blogger, Mariah at dininginaustinblog.com described several wines that she had tasted at this year’s Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival as men she had known. She wrote that the Sandstone Cellars 2007 V reminded her of the guy who hangs out at men’s clubs, smoking cigars and telling dirty jokes. When I drink the V, I am transported to the Kirkland House suite at Harvard that I shared with my friend, Bob. He smoked cigarettes and I smoked a pipe, Cavendish and Burley blend, or cigar while we watched, on a small black and white television, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. It’s satisfying that the V is a catalyst for journeying. Perhaps it should be paired with a good novel or an old friend.

    Best regards,

    Don Pullum, winemaker
    Sandstone Cellars Winery
    Mason, Texas

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