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June 14, 2011 – Bar Z Winery

I was back in Amarillo, Texas for business and had the good fortune to attend a catered group dinner at the Bar Z Winery just outside of town.  I’d never imangined that I’d be having dinner at a winery in Amarillo, TX.  Just goes to show that life really is like a box of chocolates.

I had the opportunity to taste and drink two worthy wines.  The first was their 2005 Sangiovese.  Made from grapes grown about 100 miles south of Amarillo this wine had almost a creamy flavor to it.  It took a while for it to open up in my glass, but once it did it was a very nice, slightly fruity take on the Italian classic.  It made a very good partner with our dinner (more on that in a moment).

The second wine I had was the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon.  A decent enough wine, but it didn’t have the fruit and tannin punch that I would expect in a Cabernet.  This wine probably needs a couple of more years to truly reach it’s potential (or as Robert Parker would say, it is in an ungenerous phase). 

Typically, I don’t discuss wines (or beer or cocktails for that matter) that I didn’t drink.  However, the exception here is the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon at Bar Z.  My associate Brian had the opportunity to taste the 2005 right from the barrel with the owner (how I missed that is beyond me).  He reported that it was excellent, with a very good blend of tannin and fruit. 

View from the patio

Now, about that dinner.  The featured entrees were grilled whole beef tenderloin that was simply seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic.  It was excellent, very tender and a great complement to the wine.  The second entree, and the real star in my mind, was the grill seared ahi tuna that had been salted, peppered and marinated in a teriyaki based marinade.  It was fantastic, melt in my mouth good.

So, if you happen to find yourself in Amarillo, check out Bar Z – you won’t be disappointed!


  1. I have also had the 2004 Bar-Z Cabernet Sauvignon and found that it was still quite lively. Keep in mind that Cabernet in Texas is a bit riper than its counterparts in other (cooler) regions. Also, at 7 years old, it is actually a very mature wine for Texas. While I’ve had some Texas Cabs that have lasted to 10 years, only one had gone longer than that for me. It was from the old (now defunct) Blue Mountain Vineyard near Fort Davis, Texas.


    Russ Kane

    • Thanks for the insight Russ – Bar-Z was my first experience with Texas wines!

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