In honor of Regional Wine Week 2009, Dave McIntyre suggested a post about this fantastic white wine we tasted today from Arizona. What?! Arizona makes wine? Sure, they make wine in Arizona. And why not? High-elevation vineyards at roughly 4000-5000 feet above sea level. Warm days. Cool nights. Sandy soils with good drainage. Sounds a little like Mendoza, Argentina, which is also a high-elevation desert. And who hasn't heard of Mendoza, Argentina with regard to wine production?
Earlier today, during a class on Australian wine, I popped out the Arizona Stronghold Vineyards 'TAZI' White Blend from Cochise County in Southeastern Arizona. This is a bit of a celebrity wine as its one of the projects fostered by Maynard Keenan of the rock band TOOL.
TAZI is a blend of white varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Malvasia Bianca. It's a stunning wine too--big and lush aromas--think mandarin orange, ripe Anjou pear, juicy white peach and honeysuckle petals all wrapped up in a very smooth, medium-bodied package with lush texture and a lingering finish. The wine sorta reminds me of the Conundrum white from California, without the sweetness.
And if you want to run out and grab a bottle and you live in the Washington, DC area, there are a few retailers of note where you can purchase the wine:
Planet Wine Shop in Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia
Whole Foods Market Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia
Wine Underground, Baltimore, Maryland