New Mexico Winery D.H. Lescombes

By Tom DiNardo

Outstanding wines available at desert-hot prices!

In the past New Mexico has been known for picturesque vistas, green chiles, and desert. Very few people know that there is actually a thriving wine industry in the Southwest's Land of Enchantment known as New Mexico. For those few oenophiles in the know, the New Mexico winery that most have lauded previously has been Gruet which is known for their sparkling wines. In the past, the majority of other wineries just couldn't or wouldn't focus on producing finer wines, other than novelty wines like chipotle merlot or habanero mead.

Today, New Mexico s wine landscape is changing with dramatic speed, and the national wine drinking public is becoming acutely aware of this fact. Sophistication and quality are now the primary focus of these entrepreneurial Southwest winemakers who are presently creating both superior red and white wines that appeal to all palates.

In July of this year I had the pleasure of meeting both Florent and Rebecca Lescombes of D.H. Lescombes Winery at the Fourth Annual Toast of Taos Wine Festival. Their wines were simply amazing! I was surprised and also admittedly embarrassed that I had not been previously aware of their superior wines. I just had no idea that superior wines such as these were being produced in New Mexico. My ignorance had been demolished by a New Mexico freight train carrying a heavy cargo of reality terrific wines.

The Lescombes, with Florent s fellow family members, Herve and brother Emannuel, are the collective owners and wine makers of Southwest Wines. The winery was founded by Florent s father in Deming, New Mexico in the late 1960 s and sits at just over 4,500 feet in elevation, situated on loamy soils that allow for terrific drainage. The vineyards can experience hot, sunny days and very cool evenings with temperature swings of as much as forty degrees. The winery currently has over 180 planted acres with plans to expand to 220 acres before the end of this year. There are 1,000 vines per acre of grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Muscat, Malvasia Bianca, along with a sprinkling of others that collectively produce over 200,000 cases a year for the winery.

Southwest Wines and the Lescombes produce four distinct labels.
D.H. Lescombes
is their flagship wine, and equally important are the St. Clair Winery, Blue Teal Vineyards, and San Felipe Winery labels. Southwest Wines also produces four secondary labels such as Plum Loco, Summer Peach, Wine-a-Rita, and Chocolate d Vine which cater to more of the novelty and/or sweet palate drinkers. For those wishing to pair the Lescombes outstanding wine offerings with a terrific meal, St. Clair Winery also features two bistros in both Las Cruces and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

D. H. Lescombes 2008 Cabernet Franc Limited Release (New Mexico) $80
Wine from New Mexico? Move over Gruet, D.H. Lescombes is hot on your heels! Enticing aromas of cassis, vanilla and herbs make up the nose of this beautiful red. Dry, fruit forward, flavors of black cherry, licorice and spice are to be anticipated. Balanced structure and elegant tannins assist in creating a memorable finish. The D.H. Lescombes Cabernet Franc won the Best of Class in the 2009 San Francisco Wine Competition.

wine-glass-clipart33D. H. Lescombes 2007 Mourvedre Limited Release (New Mexico) $32
D.H. Lescombes does it again, creating another phenomenal New Mexico red wine. A fragrant bouquet of black cherry, plum, spice and vanilla comprise this wine s nose. Dry, unctuous, flavors of black cherry, umami, and licorice make up the palate. Elegant tannins and incredible balance create a very long finish. The D.H. Lescombes Mourvedre won a Gold Medal in the 2009 San Francisco Wine Competition.

wine-glass-clipart33D. H. Lescombes 2005 Merlot Limited Release (New Mexico) $21
D.H. Lescombes is a phenomenal New Mexico winemaker! This Merlot offers a bouquet of blackberry and licorice. Dry, fruit forward, flavors of cassis, plum and umami are prominent. The palate of this particular red is still young and offers moderate tannins and a slightly higher alcohol level. Expect a long finish. Drink now or hold for more bottle aging.

wine-glass-clipart33 D. H. Lescombes 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release (New Mexico) $38
Cassis, mint and toasted oak make up the nose of this enticing Cab. The palate is dry, mature, and balanced with elegant tannins in its delivery of a long finish. Dry, fruit forward, flavors of black cherry, cocoa and licorice are ever present. Drink now

wine-glass-clipart33 D. H. Lescombes 2008 Petit Verdot Limited Release (New Mexico) $38
The nose of this beautiful red is comprised of blackberry, licorice and herbal notes. The palate is dry, with soft tannins and it delivers an incredibly long finish. Fruit forward flavors of black cherry, umami and herbs are to be anticipated and enjoyed. Enjoy now or hold.

wine-glass-clipart33D. H. Lescombes 2008 Petite Sirah Limited Release (New Mexico) $38
The nose of this red offers up a bouquet of cherry and tobacco notes. The palate is dry, slightly hot with elegant tannins in delivering a savory finish. Flavors of black cherry, anisette and umami make up this Petite Sirah s flavor profile. Drink now or hold for additional bottle aging.

wine-glass-clipart33D. H. Lescombes Imperial Kir NV (New Mexico) $13
This sparkling wine is absolutely delicious and fun! The sparkle comes from the tank or Charmat method (injected CO2) and is not made in the traditional methode champenoise. The wine is made with Chenin Blanc French Colombard and a touch of raspberry. The nose is complex and offers aromas of berry fruits. The mousse is comfortably enticing, but obviously not as soft as a fine French Champagne. The palate is semi sweet and well balanced in delivering and very long finish. Delicious flavors of tropical fruits and berries accentuate the typical flavor of a fine sparkling wine. I loved this wine.

wine-glass-clipart33D. H. Lescombes Royal Kir NV (New Mexico) $13
This wine follows the French tradition of the Royal Kir (Champagne and a touch of cr me de cassis). This sparkling wine is produced by tank or Charmat method (injected CO2) and is not made in the traditional methode champenoise. Chenin Blanc, French Colombard and a touch of cassis are used to produce this festive sparkler. The nose offers a bouquet of subtle cassis. The mousse is enticing. The palate is semi sweet, well balanced and delivers a long finish. The typical flavor of a fine sparkling wine (bready, citrus) with a provocative hint of cassis will surely please the drinker. I crave this wine.


wine-glass-clipart33Blue Teal 2007 Muscat Canelli (New Mexico) $13
The nose of this white wine is filled with scents of honeysuckle and other tropical flowers. The palate is sweet, but well structured in its balance between sugar and acidity. Delicious flavors of tropical fruits, melon and granny smith apple deliver a wonderfully long finish. Drink now.

Recently, the D.H. Lescombes 2007 Cabernet Franc won the Best of Class in the 2009 San Francisco Wine Competition. The accolades and awards received by Southwest Wines and the Lescombes are numerous and their reputation as a truly fine winemaker is quickly drawing the attention of the public eye. Take a tasting tour of Southwest in your own home by taking advantage of these terrific wines made available at desert hot prices.

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Tom DiNardo, The Wine Zealot , is a freelance wine writer for Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Sant , and a regular contributor to Tom is also a renowned charity wine auctioneer, sommelier, wine educator, and certified master appraiser. 2009 Tom DiNardo. All Rights Reserved. For more information visit:

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