syrah

Wine review: Arizona Stronghold

I recently tasted these 4 wines from Arizona Stronghold at the famous Wrigley Mansion.  See my article on that event HERE.

“Tazi” 2008

The Blend: 52% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Chardonnay, 19% Riesling and 8% Malvasia

Aging: Stainless steel and neutral oak

Production: 1,967 Cases

Alcohol: 13.7%

Price: $17.99

This was the first wine of the evening, and I think it is perfect for that purpose.  A good balance between the crispness of the Sauvignon Blanc and the sweetness of the Riesling.  It’s not to dry and not too sweet.

“Dayden” 2009

The Blend: Zinfandel, Grenache, Sangiovese, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc –no information on the exact percentages yet

Aging: Stainless Steel

Production: 872 Cases

Alcohol: 11.9%

Delicious!  That is my single tasting note.  Light, crisp and refreshing.  The fruit is predominantly Strawberry and Cherry with a hint of terroir vaguely French in nature.

“Mangus” 2008

The Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Sangiovese and 9% Merlot.

Aging: Neutral Oak

Production: 1,359 cases

Alcohol: 14.7%

Price: $19.99

Another interesting wine, I found it to be quite powerful.  If you like the bigger bolder reds this will be the wine for you.  The style is a lot more subtle than an Australian fruit bomb or a highly extracted Napa Cab.  A dry red wine, the fruit is predominantly cherry with earthy components and a strong backbone of acidity.

“Nachise” 2008

The Blend: 52% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah and 6% Mourverdre

Aging: Neutral Oak

Production: 2,009 cases

Alcohol: 14.7%

Price: $19.99

This is a wine a could drink all night long, without having to switch to something else.  Why?  Great dark fruit, blackberry blue berry, very smooth fine tannins and a very interesting component that can only be described as Juniper and or pine.  The wine is French in nature, more specifically Rhone.  Once again, not a highly extracted fruit bomb, which is a welcome change for my palate.  Great supple mouthfeel and nice long lingering finish.  At 14.7% I would have expected more heat from the alcohol but I was pleasantly surprised, the heat is kept in check, and the alcohol provides plenty of lift for the aromatics.

Wine review: Bonterra Vineyards 2006 Syrah Organic Mendocino County

I always scan the Costco wine departments for “Markdowns”.  On a recent trip I found Bonterra Vineyards 2006 Syrah Organic from Mendocino County.  It was $9.97.  I don’t know what the original price was but $10 bucks seemed like a good idea at the time.  I don’t know enough about Organic or biodynamic farming, at this point, to talk confidently on the proof of that.  I can talk about the taste and how it makes me feel, and how I am going to look into that, later.

So some technical stuff:

The Blend: 97% Syrah, 2% Petit Sirah, 1% Grenache

Aging: 18 months in French and American Oak.  44% New, 22% once used, 22% twice used.

Alcohol: 14.4%

Production: 6,500 cases

Price: $9.97 on markdown at Costco.  Normal retail is $17.99

On the Nose: berries, not a heck of a lot going on in the nose for me

The Palate:  The palate is a nice surprise.  Fruit forward. Dark berry fruit.  Cocoa, black pepper and nice strong tannins on the finish.  There is a fair amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle.  I like to see that in a Shiraz/Syrah.

The verdict: 88 points.  There is nothing about this wine that I find out of balance or unpleasant, it would be a very decent daily drinker.

If this doesn’t sound like a glowing review, it isn’t.  But that’s not because I don’t think the wine is good.  I’m just guessing however you found this article, you’d probably appreciate the honest truth.  It’s good.  It’s something I would drink again, probably serve at a party, and will buy again if I see it in the $10 range.

Aging: