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Kuhlman Cellars

Christopher Cobb
June 3, 2020 | Christopher Cobb

Concours International de Lyon Gold!

The Concours International de Lyon wine competition announced earlier this week Kuhlman Cellars won two Gold Medals and three Silver Medals!  

We are obviously honored to win these medals; however, these medals are significant, not just because they are Gold and Silver, but also because of the competition itself.  

Concours de Lyon is one of the largest wine competitions in France.  Most of the entries come from France, though wineries around the world enter, with over 6,000 wines entered for this competition.  No more than one third of the entries earn medals, making it one of the most competitive wine competitions.  French wines, grapes and winemakers (Vignerons) are the focus and soul of the competition.  We aren’t just competing against the entries of the year, but generations of experience growing grapes in their ancestral homelands as well as generations of winemaking experience.

The winning wines:

Gold Medal Winners:

2018 Estate Kuhlmanation White:  A beautiful blend of Marsanne and Roussanne grown right on the Estate in Stonewall, Texas.  We dug the holes, planted the vines and grew these vines since 2015.  This is our second vintage and the wine perfectly captures the fresh, lively, brilliant ideals we envision for our white wine program.

2018 Texas High Plains Viognier:  2018 saw perfect ripeness in the grapes allowing for nearly ideal varietal characteristics to blossom!  Ripe, rich, structured fruit grown for us by our vineyard partners, Bingham Family Vineyards.

Silver Medal Winners:

2016 Reserve Merlot:  Grown by Flache Vineyards in Brownfield, our 2016 Reserve Merlot is our first reserve bottling.  It spent a total of 30 months in French oak barrels, providing sufficient time to fully express the beautiful old world style of the best Merlot in the world.

2017 Marl:  A new wine named after the clay and limestone soil of the estate (and found in Bordeaux), the 2017 vintage is a blend of Merlot and Petite Sirah - a blend never to be found in France, but certainly in Texas!  The Merlot comes from the Flache vineyard while the Petite Sirah comes from Lahey vineyards.

2017 Sangiovese, Newsom Vineyards:  100% Sangiovese of the Brunello Clone.  A special wine and our first ever Vineyard Designated!  Neal Newsom, the legendary grower in Plains, Texas, tended the vines and grew this beautiful fruit for us showcasing classic varietal characteristics.

To further expand on the meaning of these awards: 

Roussanne, one of our Kuhlmanation Estate White grapes, is thought to have originated in the Rhone Valley of France.  It is one of only four white grapes permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape and is also found in the Northern Rhone.  These areas are just south of Lyon and wineries and Vignerons have made wine from these grapes for generations.  It is no exaggeration to say they have hundreds of years experience in growing, harvesting and making wine with these grapes.  This same experience applies to other French grapes - Marsanne, Viognier, Merlot, and Petite Sirah.

We planted our estate Marsanne and Roussanne in 2015.  The 2018 Vintage is only our second harvest.  

We sent our wine to this year’s competition knowing it would be blind-tasted, side-by-side with all the other entries and judged by French wine professionals, many winemakers themselves, who know the best expressions of the grapes and wines.

We won Gold.  

Great things are happening in quality Texas wine.  There is no doubt:  Texas Wine belongs on the world stage.


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