Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room Review
Address: 1023 N. Main St. Cottonwood,Arizona 86326.
Phone Number: 928-639-2789
Tasting Hours: Sun-Thurs 12:00-7:00; Fri-Sat 12:00-9:00
Review Date: 5/23/2013
Arizona is a serious wine growing region, the terrior (a pretty word for soil, climate and location) has its own unique characteristics and that is the romance of Arizona wines.
Owners Eric Glomski and Maynard Keenan started Arizona Stronghold in 2007 with the purchase of the 80 acre Dos Cabezas Vineyards in Willcox. They recently bought Bonita Springs with 40 acres under vine and the potential to plant another 120 acres giving them lots of room for growth. And growing they are!!
The Place:  With their tasting room in Historic Old Town Cottonwood we ventured in to find out more about the uniqueness of their wines. The quaint tasting room has a comfortable, inviting feeling. We were immediately greeted by Jason and offered the tasting guide to make our selections. There was a cozy sitting area with couches and a large table filled with guests sipping several different wines. My husband Dave and I bellied up to the bar and selected two flights, a white flight and a red flight to share.
Jason, our host, was personable and had in-depth knowledge of Arizona Stronghold. Even though the tasting room was busy and Jason was waiting on other guests, each time he returned to us he remembered exactly what wine was next; we were lucky to have him.
The Wines:  The most delicious and memorable white was the 2011 Riesling, jasmine perfume on the nose with bright acidity and minerality, proof that high elevation vineyards in Arizona can have great acidity. The 2011 Dala Chardonnay was also very good. Jason informed us that “Dala” is the Apache word for “one,” and Arizona Stronghold uses the term to identify its wines made from a single variety. There is no noticeable oak, and all the peach and apricot flavors are up front. The wine ends with a nice citrus finish.
The 2010 Sangiovese (a site archive wine only available in the tasting room or to wine club members) was lighter in color than expected. It had cassis and sour cherry on the nose, bright acidity, and a seamlessly integrated smoky finish. The wine is barrel-aged for 18 months and absolutely delicious. Another gem was the 2010 Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon (also a site archive wine). If theres any left, this is a must buy; aromas of menthol and licorice and flavors of black cherry all add up to an intense finish. A party on the palate. The 2011 Nachise is a Rhone style wine. Rhone varieties are perfect for hotter wine growing regions, and it definitely shows in this blend. Syrah, Petite Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache make this a spicy wine with juicy black fruit flavors and integrated tannins. Absolutely delicious, my favorite of all! At $22 a bottle, it’s also a great value.
Each tasting flight (5 tastes) was $9 with a complementary souvenir glass. Cheese plates are available for $14. The wines range from $12 to around $43. Members receive three select bottles quarterly at $60 to $80 per shipment.