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C.L. Butaud Represents Texas as a Wine Region Through and Through

Image Source: WS-Studio / Shutterstock

Over at C.L. Butaud in Texas, vintners Randy and Brooke Hester are committed to the same objective as those in more renowned wine territories: crafting top-notch wine that proudly showcases grapes solely sourced locally. Now in its seventh vintage, and with numerous accolades under its belt, C.L. Butaud serves as evidence that Texas deserves recognition as a wine country.

Randy, a native of Houston, always harbored a desire to delve into winemaking, a passion that blossomed during his tenure in the Fine Wines sector of a leading distributor. Together with his wife Brooke (formerly the CFO at Patz & Hall winery and currently spearheading finance at Garrison Brothers Distillery), they devised a decade-long strategy to establish a premium wine brand originating from Texas. In 2006, the couple relocated to Napa Valley, where Randy kicked off his winemaking journey as an intern at the age of 36, immersing himself in the craft at the highest echelons. Working in collaboration with acclaimed vintners like Andy Erickson, Michel Rolland, Mike Hirby, and Helen Keplinger in various esteemed ventures including Colgin, Caldwell, Realm, and Marciano, Randy honed his skills across all facets of the wine industry before launching his own range of Grenache-based wines.

After undertaking multiple harvest seasons in Texas while tending to their Lightning Wines label, the Hesters returned to Texas in 2017 to lay the foundation for C.L. Butaud (a tribute to Randy’s great grandfather Clet Louis Butaud, also known as Frenchy). Embracing a minimalistic and experimental approach, Randy marries his artistic intuition with the empirical insights of fermentation science. While continually broadening the assortment each season with offerings such as Pinot Gris, Ramato, Mourvedre, a Cease & Desist blend, a Blanc de Noir, Carbonic Counoise, and Carbonic Sangiovese, the focal point remains on the label’s top-tier Tempranillo, a concentrated, opulent, and intricate varietal that Randy contends thrives best in the Texan terroir. Complementing this is the more budget-friendly range, Pa Pa Frenchy, presenting approachable table wines in white, red, and rosé, with a label illustrated by the distinguished artist DeerDana. Presently, C.L. Butaud crafts 13 diverse wines from seven distinct vineyard locations.

The wines from C.L. Butaud have been lauded for their excellence by Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, Decanter, Austin American-Statesman, VinePair, and other publications. Notably, the 2017 Tempranillo clinched a commendable 91-point rating from Decanter, while the 2019 Desert Willow Mourvedre was honored as one of VinePair’s Top 50 Wines of 2021.

The C.L. Butaud Friends & Family Wine Club stands out as one of the most sought-after memberships in the state, providing exclusive wines and privileges. This membership encompasses four shipments annually (inclusive of complimentary ground delivery), allowing for customization of wine preferences. Members can opt for either 3, 6, or 12 bottles of the latest releases to be dispatched upon launch. Benefits include a complimentary glass or tasting of choice at the C.L. Butaud Tasting Room in Austin, 20% off flights for additional guests, invites to exclusive events and club gatherings, and access to library wines that are typically unavailable to the general public.

C.L. Butaud retails directly through its website and is distributed statewide via the Republic National Distributing Company. For a list of outlets stocking C.L. Butaud wines, please refer to the website’s “Find CLB” section.

Image Source: WS-Studio / Shutterstock

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