This is the post that I've been impatiently waiting for since Christmas. I have been saying that I was going to open a bottle of Stronghold wine for the last couple of weeks, and last night I finally did.
For those of you who don't know, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards is the winery that is owned by former Tool and A Perfect Circle lead singer, Maynard James Keenan. I really wanted to get a tasting in on one of the wines that I bought in December before Blood Into Wine, the documentary about Keenan and his Arizona winemaking adventure, premiered on February 19th.
The wine that I am reviewing is the 2008 Stronghold Vineyards Nachise blend. This is a Rhone style blend, make up of 52% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourverdre. This wine weighs in at 14.7% ABV, and will cost about $20 for a bottle. This wine also has a really interesting artificial cork closure.
The color on this wine is a darkish garnet color, light enough that you can still see your hand a little through the glass. The nose on this wine is all Southern Rhone, with a lot of earthy, barky, forest floor type aromas. I also get some blackberry and a touch of blueberry on the nose. On the palate, I get some blackberry and more earthiness. There are some nice tannins on this wine, and a really nice lingering finish that really hits me with some beautiful blueberry flavors, a little black olives, and of all the crazy things to get in a wine, I even get some grape. The finish on this wine lasts for quite a while, and really hits you with some interesting flavor evolution.
I have really wondered whether this wine was going to live up to the hype that I've built up for it. I have been so excited to try it, and have blogged a few times about it. I really think that it has lived up to my hopes for it. This is a nice wine, and really has a lot to offer for $20. It's exciting to see good wines being made in another unlikely location. I would recommend this wine, and I would recommend that you pair it with a little Tool music, probably from the Lateralus album.