Wine & Travel

Snooth User: VegasOenophile

Arizona Wineries Day

Posted by VegasOenophile, Feb 27, 2013.

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:

2010 Sauvignon Blanc

Mesa Blanca

2011 Pinot Grigio

2011 Viognier

2011 Rosé

2010 Mourvedre

2010 Confluence IV

2009 Merlot

Grand Rouge Asencion/Zabibu A Amani

2010 Zinfandel

2009 Sangiovese

2008 Syrah (CA)

2008 Nebbiolo

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Moscato

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. 

2011 Red Canyon Rosé of Merlot

2011 Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Tempranillo

2010 Sangiovese

2011 Syrah

2011 Arizona Zinfandel

2010 Syrah

2011 Merlot

2011 Estate Zinfandel

2011 Barbera

2011 Legacy Estate Reserve Zinfandel

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:

2009 Chardonnay 

2010 Barbera

2009 Syrah

2009 Tempranillo

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:

2010 Malvasia Bianca

2010 Sangiorose

2008 Ray's Red

2008 Petite Sirah

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. 


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 27, 2013.

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, 2013.

Thanks, VO.  It's great, now, to have Snooth participant in AZ tracking the progress of the local industry.

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