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
As we get closer to the winter season, we must all give thought to what wines we want to enjoy as the weather cools. Sangiovese, named for the king of the gods, is also the king of Italian grapes and the grape that makes Chianti. This beautiful red varietal, though of vital importance to the Italian wine market, is starting to make its mark on the Arizona wine industry as well.
I had the pleasure of trying the 2016 Sangiovese from Flying Leap Vineyards and was delighted by the rustic aromas coming off the wine. Its earthy nose balanced well with the bright cherry and juicy plumb notes that arose from my glass. The soft palate was rife with fresh red berries that complemented the cedar and baking spices that the wine displayed. The 30-second finish was substantial without being over-long. All the flavors this wine displayed swept me away with thoughts of Tuscan soils and Arizona sunshine. This Sangiovese would pair excellently with a Caprese Salad as an appetizer or Spaghetti Bolognese as a main course. If you are looking for a wine that will warm you this upcoming winter, the Flying Leap Sangiovese will keep your thoughts off the cold!
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’.
The holidays may be over, but the weather outside is currently frightful!
This time of year, can be very challenging for tour companies and guests. With heavy rains and sometimes even snow, it’s important when thinking about booking a wine or beer tour, that you consider protection from the elements and be nice and toasty. In the summer, when temperatures reach 100, having air conditioning can make the difference between a wonderful experience or a miserable one. All of Sedona Wine and Beer tours are offered in a comfortable, climate-controlled vehicle, to keep you dry and warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Our vineyards can be very muddy and slippery this time of year, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the dozens of remote tasting rooms we have along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and beyond. Remote tasting rooms are located in Jerome, Old Town Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Sedona and Cornville with a plethora of award-winning wines and beers.
As you think about booking your next private wine tour, make sure to consider the weather, and we’ll whisk you off to remote tasting rooms for a unique experience.
This year, The Southwest Wine Center won a Gold medal again at the Jefferson Cup and they recently won a Bronze and Silver medal for a Malvasia Bianca /Viognier blend and Syrah/Tempranillo blend respectively.
Their 2017 Viognier ML+, Yavapai College Vineyard, is an award winner in my book also. It has a clear pale lemon color and a delightful aroma of apricot, pear and Kiwi. On the palate you’ll find delicious flavors of honeysuckle, tangerine, almond and butterscotch. Though this viognier went through Malolactic fermentation, it still displays a nice acidity and balance. It is dry, complex with a light to medium body. The finish lingered for about 28 seconds and the wine is 12.2% alcohol by volume. I paired it with a garlic chicken, and it was an excellent combination.
This Viognier is still available for purchase at the Southwest Wine Center. Make sure to try this delightful viognier from our award-winning Wine College, which is located along the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
With this wine you’ll be tempted to Viognier all day!
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.
The Verde Valley Wine Consortium has been working hard on our AVA (American Viticulture Area) paperwork. The new AVA will include business operations within the Verde Valley and when approved will become the 3rd AVA in Arizona. The two other AVA’s in Arizona are Sonoita and Wilcox.
The Verde Valley Wine Consortium had its first meeting in June of 2008 and published its articles of incorporation on January 7, 2011. They have been diligently working to remove antiquated laws off of our State books. As they move forward in procuring our AVA, the by-laws have been updated to be more specific as to what is referred to as Verde Valley Wine. They have been working with the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce in developing our Verde Valley Wine Trail site. We have so many wonderful vineyards and remote tasting rooms along our Verde Valley Wine Trail, which we hope visitors will visit when in Sedona and the Verde Valley.
Sedona Wine and Beer Tours by Sedona Delivers, LLC is pleased to be a member of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium.
Sue Schurgin, CSW, (Certified Specialist of Wine) is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She loves education and is also a Level 1 Sommelier.