2010 Arizona Stronghold DALA Cabernet Sauvignon
This week’s wine is an Arizona Stronghold 2010 DALA from Graham County, Arizona. Eric Glomski (Founder of Page Springs Cellars and previously Winemaker at David Bruce Winery) and Maynard James Keenan (Owner of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards & Orchards and lead singer for Tool and A Perfect Circle, among others) created the winery in 2007. The winery relies primarily on grapes from the Arizona Spring Vineyard and the Bonita Springs Vineyard, both located in southeastern Arizona near the town of Willcox.
Countless real estate developers and tech company founders have become winery owners, but the number of heavy metal lead singers who have done so is considerably smaller. But then again, as is often the case when comparing someone to their occupational stereotype, “Keenan the human” is much more diverse than “Keenan the stereotypical heavy metal lead singer.” According to Keenan “So in a nutshell, for me, this project is about reconnecting. It’s about rekindling a relationship with the Earth, to our community, to each other.” Tough to argue with, especially on Earth Day!
So how’s the wine? It’s good, maybe even one step above good. While it won’t beguile you with its complexity or extraction, it will certainly impress you with its balance and overall quality. The flavors are perfectly integrated; nothing is out of place. Cherry, cassis, licorice and a hint of tobacco with a smooth, albeit slightly short, finish make for a versatile, and I dare say almost refreshing, Cabernet Sauvignon. And for $20, it is an incredible value. Sure, you can find plenty of mass produced California Cabs for less, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that taste as natural and balanced as the DALA. The 2011 vintage is currently available at the Arizona Stronghold website.