One of our many superstar red wine grapes in Arizona is Malbec. I had a bottle of the 2017 Carlson Creek Malbec in my collection and thoroughly enjoyed it this past week. This Malbec had a garnet hue in the glass and though only 13.5 % ABV, great legs. The aroma of raspberries, dried cherries, and stewed fruit were most prevalent in the glass. The palate displayed cranberry, raisin, plum, and vanilla. It was nicely balanced and had a finish of about half a minute. This Malbec made me think of cozying up to a warm fire and enjoying a richly flavored glass of velvety smooth wine.
Malbec is probably best known by consumers as an Argentinian grown grape, but it actually originated in the Bordeaux region of France. It is one of only six varieties that is used in Bordeaux red blends. It has been grown in Bordeaux since the time of the Romans and continues to be a favorite with modern day red wine drinkers. In Arizona, it stands tall on its own as a single varietal as well as being used in many red blends.
Though this wine variety is grown from Europe to South America, and beloved worldwide, it loves our Arizona climate and soil, especially in the Kansas settlement area of Wilcox, Arizona where Carlson’s vineyard resides. Malbec, being a more full-bodied wine, tends to pair very well with full bodied foods. Spiced lamb, rich mushroom sauces, cheeses like provolone and blue cheeses, and spices like sage, rosemary, and cumin pair excellently with Malbec. So, when someone asks what red wine I’m having tonight, my answer is often, “Malbec is on deck”!
Mimi Mahl, Guest Blogger
#malbec, #AZwine, #arizonaMalbec, #bordeaux, #wineinArizona, #sedonawinetasting, #sedonawineries, #verdevalleywinetrail, #verdevalleywinecountry, #oldtowncottonwood, #carlsoncreekvineyard, #wilcox
This past week, Arizona winery Deep Sky Vineyard wowed me once more with their 2015 Eclipse. This Malbec and Granache blend was an absolutely incredible wine drinking experience. Its dark purple color invited you to inhale a pleasant aroma of cranberry, raspberry, mocha, and plumb. The palate was rife with exquisite notes of espresso, black cherry, and prune as well. The alcohol percentage though 14.1% was well integrated into the wine and balanced well with the other flavors on the palate. The finish lasted about 23 seconds but it showcased a lovely tannic note that made you want more.
Deep Sky Vineyard usually names their wines for astrological phenomenon such as the Aurora Viognier or the Big Bang Malbec. This inclination to name their wines for such phenomenon, always makes me curious as to why they chose that name and how it will be reflected in the glass. I usually find, after reading the back label that the name does indeed perfectly describe the wine I am enjoying. They claim that at first sip, the Malbec in the Eclipse will cover the Grenache, but like its namesake eventually the Grenache will shine after the initial sip. A better description of this wine could never be found! As someone who works in the wine industry, I have the privilege of trying many unique and wonderful wines. This beautiful blend by Deep Sky thrilled me, as it managed to eclipse most wines in recent memory!
Mimi Mahl-Guest Blogger
#Deepskyvineyards, #2015eclipse, #malbec, #grenache, #azwine, #elginaz, #azwineries, #azwinetrail, #verdevalleywinecountry, #malbec, Verdevalleywinetrail
Arizona produces incredible Malvasia Bianca and last night I was able to enjoy a fabulous Malvasia that was great like its AZ counterparts. The 2018 Laramita Cellars Malvasia Bianca was a magnificent example of the high quality Malvasia that Arizona produces. The nose was rife with notes of stone fruit, elderflower, gardenia, and green apple. The palate also held stone fruit notes as well as hints of lychee, honeydew, and tropical citrus. The flavor was a refreshing, absolute delight to enjoy and though the ABV was 13.8 % the alcohol was well integrated into the wine. The finish lasted about 20 seconds; it came in like a wave of abundant flavor and receded promptly. The 2018 Laramita Malvasia Bianca paired extremely well with the Alaskan Pollock fillet in a white wine, cilantro, and garlic sauce.
Malvasia Bianca is a Mediterranean varietal originally believed to come from the island of Crete, however according to the Swiss grape geneticist, Dr. Jose’ Vouillamoz, the Malvasia Bianca that we grow in Arizona actually has its origins from predominately Italy and California with no Greek origins. Malvasia Bianca is an ancient and well-renowned grape that is even mentioned by the name Malmsey in Shakespeare’s Richard III. Arizona is a noted producer of Malvasia. In fact, if you look up regions that produce Malvasia, Wikipedia does indeed mention AZ, which is a great feat considering our small production tendencies in this State. If you try Arizona Malvasia, I can pretty much guarantee you will be swept away and become biased toward Bianca!
Mimi Mahl, Guest blogger
#Malvasia, #Malvasiabianca, #drjosevouillamoz, #Italiangrapevarieties, #laramitacellars, #AZwine, #Arizonawine, #verdevalleywinetrail, #verdevalleywinecountry, #azwinerocks, #arizonavineyards, #thingstodoinsedona
Many people have had the opportunity to try delicious wine varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, or Viognier, but how often do you have the opportunity to sample the grapes they are made from? One of the advantages of having a local wine college which teaches enology (the study of making wine) and viticulture (the study of growing the vines), is sampling local wine grape varieties during harvest time. When I visit the Southwest Wine Center during harvest and my wine tour guests sample the wine grapes, they are amazed at the delicious fruit! It also astonishes them how different the grapes taste from the wine. Our Wine College grows a variety of unique wine grapes including Refosco, Malvasia Bianca, Tannat, Piquepoul Blanc, Viognier and Barbera. It’s a wonderful time of year to be in Arizona and have the chance to sample our local wine grapes.
#winegrapes, #verdevalleywinetrail, #enology, #viticulture, #azwwine, #arizonawinegrapes, #malvasiabianca, #viognier, #Tannat, #Piquepoul Blanc, #Refosco, #barbera, #southwestwinecenter
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’.
Anyone who knows me, knows that Malvasia Bianca is one of my favorite wine varietals. I had a wonderful tour of Page Springs Cellars and was able to purchase their 2016 Malvasia Bianca which was grown on their Dos Padres Vineyard in Yavapai County. 55 cases of this lovely wine were produced.
The color was a pale lemon and the wine had 14.1% ABV. The nose had delightful aromas of Lychee, honeydew melon, mango and honeysuckle, while the palate offered additional flavors of papaya, minerals and grass. I enjoyed this dry medium bodied wine which had a finish at around 15 seconds. It presented pleasant aromas and flavors and was not overpowering as many Malvasias could have been with my spicy, mustard and honey salmon!
I’m excited to announce our Exclusive, Private, Helicopter Winery Tour with Sun State Helicopter Tours, LLC!
Sun State and Sedona Wine and Beer Tours are rated 5 Stars on TripAdvisor! Fly over majestic Sedona with Sun State Helicopters, departing from and returning to Sedona's beautiful airport in the clouds. Then tour by private ground transportation with Sedona Wine and Beer Tours by Sedona Delivers, LLC, visiting a variety of vineyards or remote tasting rooms tailored to your taste preferences. Sample the best wines along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and beyond.
Your aerial tour of the Verde Valley is designed to give you a comprehensive perspective for understanding the size & layout of each winery, their grape varieties, and terroir as well. Experienced, professional pilots take you over the Verde Valley’s best wineries & point out the red rock formations along the way.
Travel from the Scottsdale Airport, and alternative landing locations can be arranged for an additional fee.
This unique wine tour combination is the experience of a lifetime!
Visit https://www.sunstateheli.com to learn more or call Sun State Helicopter Tours at (480) 993-3223.
To book your private, customized wine tour call Sedona Wine and Beer tours at 928-963-1866 or visit:
https://www.sedonadelivers.com/helicopter-tour-combo.html to learn more.
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.