Those of you who have been reading this blog already know that I was in Arizona over Christmas, and that I had launched into a quest to procure some Stonghold Wines while I was there. I posted on my failure to find any in the infamous town of Tombstone, where I had vowed to continue searching when we went into Phoenix.
Although it would be more fun to drag this out over several stops and make it look like a bona fide quest, I decided to just give the winery a call and find out where I could get their wine in Phoenix. Yeah, I really know how to suck all of the drama out of a quest. I found out that AJ's Fine Foods, an Arizona food and wine heaven, carried Stonghold. I thought that was perfect, what better way to buy Arizona juice than at an Arizona market. The localness of the whole thing made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I bought a bottle of the Nachise, which is a Rhone style blend, and of the Tazi, a white blend of 52% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Chardonnay, 19% Riesling, and 8% Malvasia Bianca. Both bottles were the 2008 vintage.
Now, a little about Stronghold wine, for those who don't know what it is. Stronghold is the winery owned by Maynard James Keenan, who was the lead singer for the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle, and is made from Arizona grapes. Keenan has another winery called Caduceus Winery, but those wines are currently being made from California grapes. There is a documentary coming out in February about Keenan's Arizona winery project, called Blood Into Wine. There is also a great article about Keenan and the upcoming movie on Sacre Bleu Wine (if you aren't reading Sacre Bleu Wine (Twitter @SacreBlueWine) yet, you should be).
I've been really impressed with how serious Maynard James Keenan is about his wines. This isn't just some vanity project where a famous person buys a winery and then stamps his name on them. Maynard seems to be actively involved in producing quality wine, and in an area that you don't normally think of when you think of quality wine. I'm really curious about the Tazi white wine. The blend that they used for this seems really intriguing. I'm excited to try these wines, and will be posting reviews on them as soon as I've tasted them. Cheers!