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Oak Creek Vineyards is part of the Page Springs road trifecta of wineries, tucked away near the shores of Oak Creek, located between Javelina Leap and Page Springs Cellars.  A small winery, they grow Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah, Tempranillo and Merlot on the estate, and recently planted Nebbiolo.  Serving wine since 2002, Oak Creek Vineyards also has one of the largest selection of wine merchandise in Arizona, as well as some of the latest hours, in summer being open until 8PM.  This makes it a great final stop on your jaunt wine tasting throughout the Verde Valley, where you can finish off with a cheese plate and port.

However, today we’re not looking at the port.  Today we’re looking at the ArizonaLady red blend.

Arizonalady Blend from Oak Creek Vineyards

Arizonalady Blend from Oak Creek Vineyards

The Wine: The Arizonalady red Blend is an American red table wine blend made from Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, and Syrah. It is 80 percent Nebbiolo, with 10 percent each of the other grapes.  This wine saw only neutral oak.

The Nose: The nose of this wine is tart, with a mix of cranberry and pomegranate on the opening.  These fade into a pleasant mix of huckleberry, sage, flint, plum, and cherry, with subtle notes of earth and mushrooms, intermingled with vanilla and oddly, a touch of cedar.  Tones of smoke, grass, and clove also emerge after the glass sits for a time.  It’s a brash, in your face bouquet.

Palate:  This wine is pretty tart, and loud on the palate, with some definite tannins on the edge. Pomegranate and huckleberry appear on the palate with unripe plums, cranberries, blueberries, fennel, sage, and latakia.  It’s a rather odd combination of flavors that can be hard to wrap your head around, but it is also very juicy, like biting into an over-ripe fruit. The finish of this wine lasts for about 15 seconds and filled with tannins and cranberry.  There’s a slight sweetness on the end too, which suggests to me the tiniest bit of residual sugar.

Pairing: Oddly for a red wine, my first inclination is to pair this with fried chicken and french fries.  I feel like the juicy nature of this wine would lend itself well to such a pairing.  For a vegan pairing, you could get away with an eggplant lasagne, thanks to the Nebbiolo influence.

Impression:  I admit, this was not my favorite wine at Oak Creek Vineyards, but it was fundamentally the most interesting to me from the lineup due to the fact this wine was largely Nebbiolo.  It’s a very strange blend that can be really hard to wrap your head around.  I really do feel like this wine might benefit from aging or possibly being decanted for a few hours.

She’s definitely a drama major, prone to acting extravagantly, and loudly.