Upon trying the 2017 Red Storm, I was transported back to the semester that several students and I worked at the Southwest Wine Center on this wine. I remember on the day this wine was blended. I thought it was the best red wine we produced that day. Three years later the quality of this beautiful Storm hasn’t lessened at all. The Red storm exhibits a beautiful garnet color while the nose showcases notes of strawberry and current, (not surprising as the predominate variety in the Red Storm is Grenache). There was a slight green note to the nose as well as hints of dill. The palate was beautifully balanced with flavors of strawberry, rhubarb, and tomato leaf. This wine was balanced but zingy with bright acidity harmonizing with the fruit and herb flavors, a 13.7 ABV, and a lovely 22-second finish.
The Red Storm is over 40% Grenache, but the Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Mourvèdre also shine through on the palate. Though we paired this blend with a beef stew, I could easily see the Red Storm pairing well with lamb or veal dishes as well as some less-spicy Asian dim sum dishes like beef Bao and pot stickers.
The fact that the wines of the Southwest Wine Center are made by the students of Yavapai College makes some individuals a little wary, however, the wines are incredible! Their award-winning wines have included Gold and Double Gold medal winners at the Jefferson Cup and San Francisco Chronicles Wine competition, and the Best in Show white wine at the AZ Central Grand Wine Competition. The 2017 Red Storm blend is hardly a storm you would want to shelter from. It is the one meteorological event I would welcome into my home anytime!
Guest Blogger, Mimi Mahl
This past week I had the pleasure of tasting the 2015 Keeling Schaefer FarmersMouvedre. Mouvedre is perhaps a grape that many new to wine have only tasted in a GSM blend, but Arizona is proud of our Mouvedre and we produce many single varietal Mourvedres wines as well as GSMs. The color of this wine was a very dark garnet and had a tantalizing aroma of wood smoke. Other notes in the nose were mesquite, pipe tobacco, sage and plumb. On the palate were delicious flavors of dried cranberries, plumb, cassis, and more wood smoke. The ABV of the 2015 Mourvedre was 14.2% and the finish lasted for about 23 seconds. This Mourvedre was quite bold and once it opened up, showcased extreme complexity.
My mother and I had the good fortune of having opened up a 2015 Spanish Monastrell, (the name for Mouvedre in Spain) the night before and decided to try the two side by side. The Soul Monastrell from Jumilla had won 91 points from James Suckling and was a well-received wine. However, upon tasting the 2015 Soul Monastrell next to the 2015 Keeling Schaefer Mouvedre, the Monastrell seemed a little one-note. The Monastrell was pleasurable drinking, but the one flavor that over powered everything in the wine was, baking vanilla. When compared to the complexity and multitude of flavors the Keeling Schaefer Mouvedre showcased, the Monastrell just seemed like easy drinking. Arizona wine is still a small-production scene. We are walking behind the footsteps of giants when it comes to how MUCH we produce, but we are never dwarfed when it comes to WHAT we are producing!
Mimi Mahl, guest blogger
#mourvedre, #monastrell, #keelingschaefer, #arizonawine, #spanishwine, #GSM, #rhonevarietals, #mimimahl, #farmersmourvedre, #cochisecounty
I recently had the pleasure of trying Golden Rule Vineyard’s 2013 Cobra Loma. This beautiful blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Mourvedre checked all the boxes I’m looking for when searching for a complex wine. Its garnet hue had traces of mahogany and the nose was extremely aromatic. Cobra Loma had lovely notes of black cherry, cedar smoke, and anise on the nose, while the palate displayed flavors of raisins, earth, cassis, cocoa, red bell pepper and a 27 second finish. There was so much going on in my glass that catching all the flavors took quite a few sips… well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
When enjoying beef many individuals’ go-to is Cabernet Sauvignon, however I often enjoy Syrah with my steak. I find the meaty quality that many Syrah-dominant wines showcase pairs as well with beef as peanut butter pairs with chocolate. This wine, being predominantly Syrah, paired very well with the beef stew I enjoyed for dinner that night. In the end, I found Golden Rule Vineyard’s Cobra to be quite striking!
Mimi Mahl, Guest Blogger
I just love Mourvèdre, which is used as a blending grape in Southern Rhone and known as Monastrell in Spain. I seek out different vintages and winemakers both from Arizona and across the world. Arizona Mourvèdres typically have strong pepper notes, however the Keeling Schaefer 2014 Mourvèdre was different from many of Arizona’s Mourvèdres and others they produce. These grapes are grown in Southern Arizona at a 5000 foot elevation in their Rock Creek Vineyard by the Chiricahua Mountains, (one of my favorite hiking areas in Arizona with gorgeous blue spruce trees!) This 100% Mourvèdre had a beautiful garnet color with a touch of mahogany. The nose showcased lovely notes of plum, prune, earth and spirits. The palate offered additional notes of cassis, raisin, chocolate and baking spices, but surprisingly, not the usual pepper notes you’d expect from an Arizona Mourvèdre. This delicious dry red wine from Cochise County, was complex with a medium body and had a finish of around 18 seconds. It had 15.4% ABV, was very food friendly and thoroughly enjoyable! You don’t have to keel over to try this delightful Arizona wine; their wines are available at many locations across the state including their tasting room in downtown Wilcox!
#keelingSchaefer, #mourvedre, #monastrell, #Mataro, #Arizonawine, #ArizonaMourvedre, #ChiricahuaMountains, #RockCreekVineyard, #CochiseCounty, #WillcoxArizona, #PearceArizona, #SouthernRhone, #Spain
It’s time to smell the roses, and the 2017 Rune Rose’ is an excellent Arizona Rose’. The color is a beautiful rose gold salmon. The nose is very inviting with aromas of rose, apricot, strawberry, minerals and lychee. The palate showcases additional layers of strawberry, apricot, vanilla, almond and a freshly mown lawn. It was crisp and refreshing but also had a soft mouth feel. This dry rose had a nice finish at around 30 seconds. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Petit Sirah and has 13.8% ABV. The fruit was sourced from the Pillsbury Vineyard in Wilcox. I paired it with a delicious arugula and avocado salad that created an umami experience. If you’re up in the Verde Valley, you can now purchase the Rune Rose’ at Carlson Creeks tasting room in Old Town Cottonwood. So stop to smell the Roses and drink this delicious Rose’.
Last night, my daughter and I decided to have an Old World vs. New World varietal contest. We chose Monastrell vs. Mourvedre. The Monastrell was the Honora-Vera 2016 from Jumilla DOP, Spain and the Mourvedre was the Hart 2015 from Temecula Valley, California. Interesting to note the Old World was 14.5% alcohol and the New World was just 12.8% alcohol. The Honora-Vera had a lovely purple/ruby color which was darker than the Hart. It was fuller bodied, had minerals, green pepper, unsweetened chocolate and dried herbs on the nose with additional flavors of dark cherry and dried cranberry on the palate. The Old world was bush trained in limestone at a 2300 foot elevation with low yields. The finish was longer than the Hart at about 31 seconds.
The Hart had a nice color of Garnet/Mahogany with aromas of berries, cherries, leather, oak and red pepper. The palate had additional cherry, mocha, oak and tannins. It was VSP trained and was medium bodied. Both had some earthy notes while the Hart was much more fruit forward.
We paired the wines with brisket, rice noodles and steamed broccoli. The Honora-Vera was an excellent, complementary, pairing for the brisket, while the Hart was too fruit forward and oaky for the pairing. Though in the case the Old World wine was higher in alcohol, it still was the better choice for food. In my studies, I frequently find the Old World wines complement food, while the new world wines are better drunk on their own.
I was hoping to have my contest with one of our delicious Arizona Mourvedres, but alas, in my wine storage, they were all drunk! This Old World- New World contest was a blast and I look forward to doing it again soon.
Sue Schurgin, CSW, (Certified Specialist of Wine). WSET II, is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She loves wine and beer education and is also a Level 1 Sommelier.