If you’ve read Michael Pollan’s book, The Botany of Desire, you know about his theory that plants have made themselves desirable in order to trick us into helping them proliferate. Let’s face it: if you’re a grapevine, your progeny isn’t going to make it too far away from home unless you have some help. The acorn never falls far from the tree, and the grape- well, the same theory applies. As luck would have it for grapes, though, people like them, and they like wine as well. This month’s wine tasting theme is grape varietals that have strayed far from home. Grapes native to France or Spain or Germany have all made to vineyards clear across the world, and now you get to taste them. This Sunday, August 29th. At 3:30. For $25. With food pairings. Give us a call at 326-9363 and we’ll hold a spot for you.
2008 Page Springs Cellars Vino del Barrio Blanco, Cochise County
56% Sauvignon Blanc, 31% Malvasia Bianca, 7% Chardonnay, 6% Gewurztraminer. When Eric Glomski, former winemaker at David Bruce, came back to Arizona, he set up shop in the Verde Valley, making wine with California fruit until his own matured. The literal and figurative fruits of his labors are pretty tasty.
2009 Abacela Albariño, Umpqua Valley
Abacela’s north facing hillsides have proven ideal for Albariño because the cool autumn conditions there allow this beautiful grape to slowly ripen to perfection while retaining its lively acidity. This Galician style wine exhibits aromas and flavors of crisp golden apples, citrus fruits, fleshy peach, almonds, and delicate white flowers all carried on a frame that skirts the razors edge between creamy textures and steely minerality.
2008 Stony Hill Gewurztraminer, Napa
The 2008 vintage, which is pale straw in color, immediately captures your attention with its enticing grapefruit aroma. The mouth feel is very clean, fresh and dry with flavors of citrus and flintiness dominating. Stony Hill is renowned for its Chardonnay, but it was this Gewurztraminer that made my heart leap.
2008 Arizona Stronghold “Nachise,” Cochise County
52% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourverdre. Another one from the prolific Eric Glomski. The finished wine bears resemblance to a medium to full bodied Rhone blend. Spices and herbs typify this wine ranging from lavender to toasted sage to white pepper round out an earthy nose packed with blueberries, blackberries and aromas from the desert landscape, including tree bark, dried juniper berries, pine cones and dusty earth. Plush dark fruit gives way quickly to an exceptional, old world, drying tannin midpalate with dark dusty mocha notes that lead to a lingering black raspberry finish.
2007 Abacela Tempranillo “Umpqua Cuvee”’ Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley
A fruit forward, less tannic and earlier maturing Tempranillo. The fruit sources include predominately Abacela’s Fault Line Vineyards (85%) with the remaining 15% coming from McCorquodale and Delfino Vineyards. The beautiful aromatics, focused fruit flavors and lingering finish are already settling in and will continue to improve over the next four to six years.
2000 Amethyst “Vinalia” Nebbiolo, Carneros
Made in Amethyst’s tradition of “benign neglect,” this Nebbiolo, like good Barolo, is built to age. Also like good Barolo, it has a great deal of perfume as well as extract. This is an old fashioned wine in the sense that it needs the accompaniment of food to shine. It’s not a wine for casual sipping out by the pool. Made by Michael Richmond, co-founder of Acacia and creator of Dynamite Cabernet.