I recently attended a free wine tasting at the Phoenix Public Market in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Every Wednesday starting at 5pm the Public market pours local Arizona wines for the public to sample. The wines being offered this particular night were Oak Creek Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay, Rancho Rossa 2006 CSM and Canelo Hills 2009 Sauvignon Blanc.
First up was the Canelo Hills 2009 Sauvignon Blanc. The first thing I noticed was a very crisp acidity and tartness. This wine is not for people who can only drink the ripe fruit forward styles of Sauv Blanc. Personally I thought the crispness and tartness were quite welcome considering it was at least 106F outside! The tart fruit is along the lines of green or Granny Smith apples mixed with a bit of lemon. There is a hint of grassiness along the lines of what is commonly produced in New Zealand. The alcohol came in at 13.7% which was pleasant, no heat on the finish. This is a dry Sauvignon blanc. $22 a bottle retail. Canelo Hills was one of the vineyards almost completely destroyed by a violent wind and hail storm this summer. So there might some sort of collectability to this vintage as their 2010 vintage will most likely have to be sourced from alternate growers.
Next up was the Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery 2008 Chardonnay. This wine is made in the Burgundian style with no oak. It underwent malolactic fermentation. Unfortunately I found this wine to be a little on the flat side. The fruit was lacking in something that I could really grasp and say “Ah thats it!” To be honest I would say Chardonnay is the wine of which I am most critical, it takes a lot for me to be wowed by a Chardonnay. This Chardonnay did not wow me.
Last but not least was the Rancho Rossa 2006 CSM. This wine is a blend of Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot. This wine was the most interesting of the three. Full-bodied with solid tannins throughout. There is a predominant smokiness that I think could use a little toning down, but there is a decent complexity to make up for that. The fruit is along the lines of blackberry and cherry, and plum. Standard fare for red wine.
After the tasting I enjoyed a fabulous sample platter paired with a brand new wine from Dick Erath…