My friends moved recently to Phoenix, so on my first visit there, we ventured out to some of the wine country in Arizona. I wasn't able to get notes from every winery, but the ones I did are included here. Some tasty surprises and some are near Sedona, which is a beautiful destination to visit.
We began at Alcantara Vineyard. Nice property with a great patio so we could taste in the room or outside from a small bar they had set up. We tasted their:
We tasted next at page Springs Cellars, but they had nothing to write on and were busy so we rather rushed through our tasting. I did like a Syrah of their enough to bring home.
Then we went to Javelina Leap. This was one of our favorite stops. They do tours, but we didn't get to take one. Friendly staff and some really tasty wines. I brought back four or five.
We visited the old town of Jerome. Fun place, I definitely recommend checking it out. We stopped in Jerome Winery. I realized later there are no vintages on the tasting sheet and I can't recall whether all their wines are NV or if they just didn't note them and as such, I couldn't review them online. These were all rather mediocre. Nothing horrible. All scores were between 82 and 88. Nebbiolo got 87 and I gave the Metro (50% franc, 25% cab, 25% primitivo) an 88. I freaked me out a bit that the guy in the tasting room mispronounced nearly every varietal except the mainstream ones. Skippable in my opinion, but they do offer a port tasting which my friend enjoyed.
We also visited Caduceus Cellars, which is Maynard James Keenan's (Tool) winery. Everyone in the area recommended his place for Bordeaux blends and such. Also no tasting sheets, but nothing wowed me enough to purchase it. Nothing bad, but nothing really remarkable or my style. Nice facility though and easy to check out when in Jerome.
We finished at Dionysian Cellars which had a fun tasting room. I brought home a couple of these as well. We tasted their:
The last two were sourced from El Dorado County, CA. I bought one of each Syrah and Temp. Very nice. This room was also tasting wines from Freitas Vineyard. We tried the:
All in all a fun day of tasting. The wines were collectively pretty pricey, being between $25 and $60 or so. I imagine it's the small production and sales volume that determines prices in this range, but still, I need to really enjoy it to shell out $40+. THey must do alright to still be in business. At first I thought not much impressed me, but I came home with 7 bottles of the better stuff I really enjoyed, so there ya go!
I'd be curious to hear anyone else's thoughts who'd been there.
Arizona Wineries Day
- Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 27.
Lots of wine tasted! Thanks for sharing your notes, all of which are new to me. Sounds like the wines have come a long way since I last tasted in the state, which was probably a bit over twenety years ago!
- Reply by EMark, Feb 27.
Thanks, VO. It's great, now, to have Snooth participant in AZ tracking the progress of the local industry.