Pillsbury – Cottonwood Review
Address: 1012 North Main St. Cottonwood,Arizona 86326.
Phone Number: 928-639-0646
Tasting Hours: Sun-Mon 11:00-6:00, Tues-Thurs 11:00-5:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-8:00
Review Date: 12/13/2013
Sam Pillsbury Owner and Winemaker of Pillsbury Wine Company had a dream to create distinct, high quality Arizona wines. In the year 2000, he planted 20 acres on the high desert plateau in Cochise County at 4,300 feet and gambled that this location would be perfect for Rhone varietals. Based on the number of awards that Sam has won for his 100% Arizona wines, it seems that his dream has come true!
Place:  Among wineries from the Wilcox region of Arizona, having a tasting room in Old Town Cottonwood is becoming a popular trend. More visitors and tourist make their way to sample wines ordinarily not available unless you drive many hours to the actual winery. Pillsbury has a tasting room in both locations, but I visited the Cottonwood location. The tasting room was spacious and cozy with leather sofas, interesting artwork, and a smiling Sara to give me a warm welcome. Many other guests were coming and tasting, and Sara was swift and gracious, accommodating everyone at once.
Wines:  I chose a flight of five assorted red and white wines.
My first sample was the delightfully fragrant 2012 Wildchild White. The wine is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling and Symphony. Although dry, the wine’s ripe fruit gives the impression of a slightly sweet wine. It has a touch of spice and a short finish making it refreshing and easy to quaff.
The 2011 Private Reserve Viognier, only 64 cases made, is ripe and juicy with high acids rounded out by a tropical flavor punch and a clean finish.
Pillsubury’s 2011 Rose, called “One Night Stand,” is a unique Zinfandel blend with 6.5% Riesling. It’s amber rose in color and has a distinct Provincial style on the nose. With floral and herbaceous geranium hints, it’s a bit green around the edges with a delightful strawberry mid-palate finish.
Pillsbury also produces a Wildchild Red. The 2012 Wildchild blend, 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot, has a cranberry nose with bright acid on the pallet. Soft Merlot tannins and earthy Sangiovese flavors combine with a mocha cola finish .MUMMM need I say more!
Next the “Roan” Red, 2011. This Rhone-style blend contains 46% Grenache, 46% Mourvedre and 8% Syrah. It has a cherry sourball candy nose and flavor with a delicate touch of acid. It is nicely balanced, but is definitely a style of its own.
Hitting it off with Sara my host we quickly became friends and she offered me a sneak peek taste of the yet unreleased 2012 “Diva.” This 92% Syrah and 8% Petite Sirah was a special treat indeed. Reminiscent of Chateauneuf du Pape, with smoky tobacco, black berry, mint and tart cherry flavors, the Diva was delicious. It’s no surprise that the Diva is considered their flagship wine.
Wine flights are $10 for 5 pours; all the wines were available for purchase at reasonable prices ranging from $20 to $38. Wine Club members enjoy complementary tastings and receive wine deliveries 4 times per year with 15% to 20% discounts.