Category Archives: News

Minimal Intervention Wines – Our Natural Winemaking Approach

Winemaking using a minimalist approach is not a new concept, but minimal intervention wines have become more popular among wine drinkers.

Using minimal sulfites, native yeast, and utilizing a more naturally-driven process is something we believe in. Add in our desire to be as natural as we can at our family vineyard and the passion to create the best quality local wines. The result? A consistent quality of wines we are proud to put our Lescombes family name on, and an elevated experience for those who enjoy our wines.

What is Minimal Intervention Winemaking?

At Lescombes Family Vineyards, we use the term “Minimal Intervention” winemaking to describe the process we use for a few of our wines. We have found this process results in excellent wines when we allow them to naturally ferment and bottle without some common winemaking treatments. In addition, we have processes utilized at the vineyard that affects every varietal we produce. These processes add up to reach the pinnacle of quality that our grapes and wines are capable of achieving.

As of today, we use a number of Minimal Intervention techniques for a few of our white wines that we believe elevate the quality and desirable fresh fruit aromas and flavors.

Minimal Sulfites (SO2)

Before we can talk about minimal sulfites, it is necessary to mention that sulfites are a naturally occurring byproduct of winemaking. It’s also important to know that sulfites are added to wines to stabilize and preserve the fruit and limit oxidation. So despite the legally required “Contains Sulfites” disclosure on labels and the many myths floating around, the mere presence of sulfites is only of large concern if you are part of the 1% of the population that has a sulfite allergy.

Any wine sold in the United States is legally required to have the “contains sulfites” disclosure if it contains more than 10 ppm of added sulfites. Even “sulfite-free” wines have some amount of naturally occurring sulfites in amounts below 10 ppm.

In contrast, the United States Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB), which is the agency responsible for rulemaking for the wine (and other) industries, limits the sulfites in wine to 350 ppm. The average content is likely somewhere in the 70-120 ppm range.

Minimal sulfite use is a fine balance between using just enough SO2 to keep the wine from degrading and using so much that would make the wine taste, well, degraded. Too much sulfite addition can cause a wine to taste metallic, burnt, or have a generally unpleasant flavor. But using none at all would cause premature oxidation or allow other bacterial growth, both of which affect flavor and quality. Wine aging also requires sulfites because, without their addition, the wine would turn to vinegar in a shorter amount of time instead of aging for years.

For us, we utilize sulfites on a case-by-case basis as needed for natural flavor retention. And since the minimal intervention wines we craft are white and rosé, they are not meant to age, but rather enjoyed fresh. So in this case, keeping sulfite use to a minimum makes sense.

Native Yeast or Wild Yeast

Just like naturally occurring sulfites in grapes, there are also naturally occurring yeasts, often called native yeast, indigenous yeast, or wild yeast. These natural yeasts are present on grape skins in the vineyard.

Prior to the 1950s, native yeast was the only way to ferment wine and beer. Today, a majority of winemakers use commercially available yeasts chosen for stability and reliability. But there is a tradeoff in adding yeast.

Using added commercial yeasts can give winemakers a choice to direct their wine to a specific style and promise a reliable fermentation. It will also cause the one strain of yeast used to quickly take over fermentation. Native yeasts involve a variety of yeast strains that, especially early in the fermentation process, will add different aromas and flavors that will add complexity to the wine in various ways.

Since native yeasts ferment slower, these complexities build often over the course of weeks. And because it’s a slower fermentation, it also happens at cooler temperatures which better preserves the fresh fruit flavors that are highly desired in a lot of white wines.

We elected to ferment with these native yeasts in a number of our white wines for these reasons.

Cold Stabilization – Mining “Wine Diamonds”

In modern times, cold stabilization is a common winemaking practice that occurs only for aesthetic reasons. If you’ve ever pulled a cork covered in crystals, or seen these same crystals at the bottom of a glass of wine, you’ve witnessed what are commonly referred to as “wine diamonds.”

These crystals are actually formed by tartrates (potassium bitartrate, specifically) which are a normal product of wine. Cold temperatures cause tartaric acid in wine to bind with potassium and crystallize.

Many consumers raise concern at the sight of tartrate crystals. Are they sugar crystals? Or worse, glass shards?

Sometimes, out of an abundance of caution, a person will not drink wine with tartrate crystals due to safety concerns.

The reaction is understandable, but there is no need for concern. Modern days have erased these misunderstood wine diamonds from most mass-produced wines. It’s a lot rarer to see today. Understanding wine diamonds is a part of understanding the natural winemaking process.

Why would we want to allow tartrate crystals to potentially occur?

The easy answer to this is flavor and aroma. Any process that removes anything from wine, will also change or strip away some amount of the wine’s natural flavor.

A gentle cold stability process like we normally use will affect the flavor in a very minimal way.

For our minimal intervention wines, we didn’t want to affect the fresh flavor at all. So, we don’t cold stabilize these wines. We want the full, fresh, natural aromatics and flavor to shine through.

So enjoy the treasure if you see “wine diamonds,” and fear not. The only consequence is a better, more flavorful wine.

Heat Stability – Protein in wine?

Next is heat stability, which is quite different although related to the cold stability process. A wine that is heat stable isn’t heated up to allow the removal of crystals as cold stabilization does.

Heat stability requires the use of a natural compound called bentonite. Bentonite is an absorbent clay that is added to wine to remove proteins that may become unstable.

So why is it called heat stability, and why is it used?

Some proteins in wine have the potential to cause a haze in white and rosé wines if they are subjected to certain warm temperatures. The temperature needed to cause the haze depends on a variety of factors including pH, alcohol, and the concentration of protein itself. A room temperature of 75 degrees could be enough to cause a wine high in proteins to turn a bit hazy. Similarly, a delivery truck on a hot summer day could cause the same.

Why would we want to allow proteins to remain in wine?

An easy guess would be aroma and flavor. But it’s not that the proteins themselves have desirable aromas or flavors. On the contrary, the proteins themselves don’t hinder the quality of a wine. It is that the protein removal process itself—similar to cold stabilization techniques to remove tartrates—has the ability to also remove desirable qualities, such as aroma and flavor.

Our normal process for heat stabilization includes the use of bentonite in concentrations of just enough to bind and remove proteins with limited effect on the positive qualities of the wine.

In contrast, the wines that are crafted with our minimal intervention process do not have any heat stability processes used on them. This removes any chance of removing any fresh fruit aromas and flavors. After all, these are the wines in which we desire those properties the most, unoaked dry-leaning white and rosé wines.

Minimal Intervention Wine – The Result

There’s always a trade-off when it comes to something as dynamic as wine and the winemaking process. Some elective processes omitted can pay off in spades, without a doubt. But it can be risky as well. A stuck fermentation or oxidation problem could be the difference between a great wine, the initiation of a ‘plan B,’ or worse.

Other potential visually aesthetic consequences are less of an issue in quality and more of an educational opportunity. With a choice between pure aesthetics and heightened quality potential, we chose the latter.

We believe highly in the increased quality of our wines using this process. Rather than starting with one wine, we went head-first for those that are best aligned with a very fresh fruit character and naturally aromatic style.

Try the new “Minimal Intervention” labeled 2022 vintages of our 631 Signature Chenin Blanc, Heritage Pinot Gris, Heritage Semillon, and Heritage Rosé. These wines are great examples of minimal intervention wines that express wonderful fresh fruit aromas and flavors.

Christmas Dinner Prime Rib Roast & Wine Package

Christmas is a time to enjoy family and friends as we gather in celebration. Whether your gathering is large or small, Christmas Dinner is a tradition that cannot be overlooked. Make it easy this year! Available at our locations in Alamogordo, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces.

Prime Rib & Wine Pairing Package

Enjoy the simplicity of a take & bake prime rib roast, paired perfectly with our 631 Signature Cab-Sangio. Simply follow the oven roasting instructions and add your own simple sides and you’ll be ready for the perfect Christmas dinner. Only $97

631 Signature Series Cab-Sangio

Our 631 Signature Cab-Sangio is perfect with a juicy prime rib roast. Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Sangiovese, this off-dry red wine is fresh and fruit-forward with no oak. On the nose, pomegranate and light pepper with undertones of jam unfold onto the palate with black cherry, subtle earth, and a savory finish reminiscent of black olive. Between the savory and the jammy fruit, this wine is an absolutely perfect pair.

Take & Bake Prime Rib Roast

How easy it is to prepare our take & bake prime rib roast! Simply follow the instructions below and allow the roast to cook itself.

  • Remove roast from the fridge, allowing 1-1.5 hours at room temperature
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place roast on the center rack, uncovered
  • For Rare (115-125 degrees in center), cook approx 50 minutes
  • For Medium-Rare (125-135 degrees in center), cook approx 60 minutes
  • For Medium (135-145 degrees in center), cook approx 70 minutes
  • For Medium-Well (145-155 degrees in center), cook approx 80 minutes
  • For Well Done (155-165 degrees in center), cook approx 90 minutes
  • Allow the roast to rest for 15-20 minutes prior to slicing and serving
  • Enjoy!

Order by Thurs, Dec 22nd | Pickup on Dec 24th, 11am-5pm

New Year’s Eve Dinner

Celebrate the New Year with a four-course New Year’s Eve Dinner and Champagne toast!

Appetizer Choices:

Baked Brie or Coquilles St. Jacques – we suggest adding our Heritage Brut to pair

Soup/Salad Choices:

French Mushroom Bisque or Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing – we suggest adding our Heritage Chardonnay to pair

Entree Choices:

Rack of Lamb or Surf & Turf ( 6 oz Filet with Shrimp and Scallop Hollandaise) or Eggplant Parmesan – we suggest adding our Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon to pair

Dessert Choices:

Tiramisu or Chocolate Torte or Cheese Plate – we suggest adding our St. Clair Kiva to pair

Toast Choices:

Heritage Brut, Imperial Kir, or Bellissimo (can be served at any time during the meal to your preference.)

$75 per person
4 pm – Close

Contact your local D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro location to make a reservation. New Year’s Eve Dinner available in Albuquerque, Alamogordo, and Las Cruces.

Veterans Eat Free

At D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro, we are continuing our Veterans Day tradition of Veterans Eat Free! The Lescombes family will proudly honor all U.S. veterans and active-duty military at our D.H. Lescombes locations in Alamogordo, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces, and our Hervé Wine Bar location in Santa Fe on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, 2022.

Each location will be offering a complimentary meal as a small token of gratitude to the brave men and women who’ve served our country in the armed forces.


Our special Veterans Day menu at our D.H. Lescombes locations includes a selection of some of our most popular items.

Veterans in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Alamogordo may choose one complimentary entrée below.

Isabelle’s Chicken Salad
chicken salad + avocado + heritage blend lettuce +
toasted almonds + local mesilla valley pecans + cranberries
Fish & Chips
wild-caught haddock + crisp breaded + thin-cut fries + lemon-basil aoili
Pasta New Mexico
sautéed chicken + hatch green chile + linguini +
cream sauce + sun-dried tomato +
red pepper flake + provolone
Southwest Meatloaf
ground beef + pork + mango-chipotle glaze +
shoestring onions + hatch green chile +
yukon gold mash + vegetable medley
Country Pot Roast
braised in merlot + carrots + celery +
yukon gold mash + brown gravy


At our Santa Fe location, Herve Wine Bar, we’ll also be hosting Veterans with a special menu.

Veterans in Santa Fe may choose one complimentary entrée below.

Harvest Chicken Sandwich
grilled chicken breast + fresh apples + triple creme brie + fig jam
Caprese Sandwich
fresh mozzarella + tomato + pesto + balsamic
Apple & Goat Cheese Salad
granny smith apples + herb-infused goat cheese + grilled chicken + mixed greens + apple cider vinaigrette + candied legacy farms pecans

To claim a complimentary “Veterans Eat Free” meal at D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro veterans and enlisted servicemembers simply need to show proof of military service. This can include a U.S. Uniformed Services ID Card, U.S. Uniformed Services Retired ID Card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214), veteran organizations card, or by proudly wearing their uniform.

Due to limited space, reservations are recommended.

We raise a glass to the brave men and women of our armed forces, past and present.

Signature Wine Dinner – November 2022

Lescombes Wine Dinner in New Mexico

Six Delectable Courses with Perfectly Paired Wines
Limited Availability

We invite you to join us for our Signature Wine Dinner. Showcasing a Lescombes family collaboration between our Executive Chef and our Winemakers, this experience will highlight a symphony of perfectly paired flavors.


Wine Dinner Menu & Pairings

Courses and Pairings subject to changes
Amuse Bouche

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs w/ Gorgonzola & Walnut | Heritage Brut Cranberry Mimosa

Soup

Mushroom Bisque w/ Crispy Mushrooms & Gruyere Toast | Heritage Chardonnay

Salad

Asian Pear & Arugula Salad w/ Goat Cheese | Heritage Pinot Gris

Sorbet

Apple Cider Sorbet

Main

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb w/ Mustard Shallot Sauce, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus | Limited Release Mourvèdre

Cheese Course

Variety of Cheeses | Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon

Dessert

Chocolate Caramel Tart | St. Clair Port

November Wine Dinner at D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro and Hervé Wine Bar

Schedule

Alamogordo – November 1st, 6:30 pm – Alamogordo Tickets
Las Cruces – November 2nd, 6:30 pm – Las Cruces Tickets
Santa Fe – November 8th, 6:30 pm – Santa Fe Tickets
Albuquerque – November 9th, 6:30 pm – Albuquerque Tickets


$85/person | $75/club member (excluding tip)
RESERVE SEATS

It’s Harvest Season

Harvest season has started Lescombes Family Vineyards! The winery has received its first few trucks of grapes and from now until about the end of September, all hands are on deck helping in any and every way possible.

Early Morning Harvesting


At 200 acres, we own the largest family vineyard in New Mexico. Each acre produces about 1,000 vines which leads to an average of 7-10 tons of grapes. Our Viticulturist, Emmanuel Lescombes, cares for the crop ofCabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, and dozens of other varietals. Caring for the vineyard is more than just watering – it’s keeping an eye on the weather, pesky animals, pests, flowering timing, and so much more. Fun Fact: Paper from the office at Lescombes Family Vineyards is used to make compost for the vineyard!

Sample grapes are pulled from the vine and taken to the lab to test for sugar, acidity, and more. Certain varieties are harvested at specific times, depending on the wine it’s going to be used for. Once the samples test at the desired numbers…the vineyard is given the green light to begin harvesting. The earlier grapes are harvested the more acidic, while later harvested grapes contain more sugar.

Though the New Mexico climate is ideal for growing grapes, the sun is harsh for grapes off the vine – which is why our mechanical harvester runs through the night until early morning. As grapes are collected, they’re then delivered to the winery to be destemmed and gently crushed. Then, red grapes are sent to New Mexico’s largest fermentation tanks and white grapes are sent to be pressed.

First Sémillon of 2022


Interested in seeing the vineyard for yourself? Click here for more info on our Vineyard & Winery tours!

Signature Wine Dinner – August 2022

Six Delectable Courses with Perfectly Paired Wines
Limited Availability

We invite you to join us for our Signature Wine Dinner. Showcasing a Lescombes family collaboration between our Executive Chef and our Winemakers, this experience will highlight a symphony of perfectly paired flavors.

August Wine Dinner Menu & Wine Pairings

Soup

Smoked Tomato Gazpacho | Heritage Brut

Appetizer

Coquilles Saint Jacques | Heritage Pinot Noir

Salad

Pickled Watermelon & Frisee Salad | Heritage Rosé

Main

Chilean Seabass w/ Basil Pesto, Fregula, Spinach, Roasted Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, and Grilled Summer Squash | Heritage Semillon

Cheese Course

Variety of Cheeses | Limited Release Petite Sirah

Dessert

Mango Tartlet w/ Blueberries & Chantilly Cream | 6-3-1 Signature Malvasia-Riesling

Schedule

Alamogordo – August 16th, 6:30 pm – SOLD OUT
Las Cruces – August 17th, 6:30 pm – SOLD OUT
Santa Fe – August 23rd, 6:30 pm – Santa Fe tickets
Albuquerque – August 24th, 6:30 pm – SOLD OUT

$85/person | $75/club members
RESERVE SEATS

Superstitions come in many different forms, from seeing a black cat to a date landing on the wrong weekday. In Western culture Friday the 13th is considered bad luck and to some, the day is even scary. It’s unknown when the superstition began but the popular 1980 film Friday the 13th popularized the belief. On the other hand, some people (often horror film lovers) favor the day as they consider 13 a lucky number! So if you’re superstitious, keep reading to learn about some crazy international drinking superstitions.

Italy | Spilling wine isn’t just messy, it’s bad luck. So to be on the safe side, it’s said you should dab it behind your ears. 

Russia | *clink, clink* That’s the sound of toasting off the demons. Not just any demons either. The ones that enter your body through your mouth and turn you into a bad drunk in trouble.

The Philippines | The first shot of a newly opened bottle does not belong to you, it belongs to the evil spirits and the devil. The belief is that by offering them the first pour, they are kept happy and will leave you alone. 

Rome | There’s no dabbing spilled wine behind your ears to ward off the bad luck. The people of Rome believe spilling wine is an omen of disaster. So be careful…

Cuba | On a more extreme note, Cubans believe that declaring your last drink is a way of tempting fate and are likely to die soon after. 

Germany | Like Cuba, cheers can lead to death. In Germany, making cheers with water is said to be wishing death upon the people you’re drinking with. 

Whatever your superstition is, we have many wines to offer for your toasting! Shop the collection here

How To Host The Ultimate Brunch

Mimosas and brunch go together like PB&J…so since it’s almost National Mimosa Day, we want to share how you can host the ULTIMATE brunch + our favorite Mimosa recipe. There’s one rule to remember about brunch: There are no rules. You can start the meal at 11 a.m., 4 p.m., or anytime in between…it’s truly up to you!

What’s the brunch vibe?

You don’t want to forget the theme! Any brunch is a good brunch, but having a theme can add that extra flair for a memorable event. Sometimes the mimosa is the theme, like a DIY mimosa bar. Other times, the theme can be a holiday, color palette, or something funky like 70s disco. Get creative with it! 

An easy way to display the theme is through the table decorations. The tables are where people will likely spend the most time chatting. Personalized glasses, unique china, and fresh flowers are just some ways to spice it up. Name cards are also a simple way to add a layer of thoughtfulness for your guests. 

What’s served at brunch?

Mimosas aside, the most important element to a brunch is the menu. Once you know the theme and time of your brunch, you can create the menu! Earlier brunches lend themselves to breakfast classics while later brunches can have a lunch style menu…or even better, a mash-up of breakfast and lunch. Basically, the food is there to compliment the orange juice and sparkling wine

Mimosas and…?

Ugh, we love to think everyone loves mimosas…but we know it’s not true. Some other delicious drink options to serve are Sangria, Bloody Mary’s, or Greyhounds. A variety of fruit juices are also ideal as they also pair well with the bubbly. Don’t forget to keep guests hydrated…elevate water by adding lemon, mint, or cucumber slices! 


Our Favorite Mimosa

What you need | 8 servings 

1 (750 ml) ENMU Eastern Sunrise (Chilled)

3 cups Chilled Orange Juice (Freshly Squeezed is best) 

½ cup Grand Mariner, optional

Fill the champagne flute until half full with ENMU Eastern Sunrise then top off with orange juice. If using Grand Mariner, use slightly less orange juice and add 1 tablespoon to each drink. 

If you don’t want to make your own mimosas, order our bottled Soleil Mimosa available in Classic, Mango, Pineapple, and Pomegranate

How To Make Sparkling Red Sangria

Sangria is a rich drink with an even richer history that can be traced back to the Romans. Original Sangria was simple – just wine, fruits, and some cinnamon. With time, the drink evolved into regional variations or to keep up with trends. 

Let’s talk about the Sangria details first. 

It’s important to pick your wine base first. We suggest using a 631 Canyon Five, 631 Merlot, or 631 Cab Sangio. Once you have decided on the wine you will use, decide which fresh fruit would complement the flavors of your wine. Tip: The sturdier the fruit, the better it will last in the pitcher! Some of our favorites are:

Citrus | Apples | Peaches | Pears | Cranberries | Strawberries | Oranges

The fruit will add sweetness to your Sangria, but you can still add honey, agave, sugar, or orange juice. Below, the recipe will use sugar & orange juice. 

INGREDIENTS

1 (750-ml.) bottle of 631 Signature Series Red Wine

1 c. orange juice

1/2 c. brandy

1/4 c. granulated sugar (optional, to taste)

1 orange, sliced

1 apple, sliced

1 c. blueberries

1 c. sliced strawberries

1 (12-oz.) can seltzer

In a large pitcher, mix wine, orange juice, brandy, and sugar. Stir in oranges, apples, blueberries, and strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably for 2 hours. Top off with seltzer before serving. TIP: For richer flavor, leave in the fridge for more than 2 hours and top off with seltzer before serving to keep the bubbles crisp.