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We continue our exploration of Arizona Nebbiolo with a discourse of the 2014 ASV Site Archive Bonita Springs Nebbiolo, which is currently found in the tasting room at Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, in Cottonwood.

Sidenote, as I’ve noticed, it seems that there are only four Vineyards growing this grape in Arizona: Bonita Springs, Maynard’s Judith Block, Dragoon, and Sand-Reckoner (formerly Sunsites Vineyard). I’ve been told also that there are some vines on site at Oak Creek, but I have no idea offhand if the Arizonalady blend is estate or Dragoon fruit.

Enough of the digression. Let’s drink.


The Wine: The 2014 Nebbiolo is 100% true to varietal. This wine was aged in neutral French oak, unlike the 13 Paciencia which came from the same vineyard. (I wish we weren’t as phobic of new oak here in much of Arizona, but that’s another discussion). It’s also a great deal lighter than the Caduceus version; looking akin to a dark rosé with its… well, rose-red color.

The Nose: On the nose, this wine has that sort of “nebbiolo funk” you get from some Italian versions of the grape: a mix of earth, forest floor, smoke, teriyaki sauce and huckleberry aromas, intermingled with black pepper, plum, and nutmeg. As the wine opens, notes of cherries and nutmeg emerge.

The Palate: Notes of sour strawberry, and cherry intermingle with pine nuts on the opening of the palate. As the wine opens, notes of vanilla and earth also appear, with some subtle baking spices. The wine is pretty light in tannins but quite acidic. The finish of this wine lasts for approximately 32 seconds.

Pairing: My first instinct is to pair this wine with lamb or rabbit, but it’s delicate enough to pair with quail or duck as well. For a vegetarian pairing, go with a mushroom risotto.

Impressions: This nebbiolo is lighter than our other explorations into this varietal. Not nearly as light as the rosé made by Hammelman (which while I’ve drank multiple times, I never seem to get notes on) or the one from Caduceus (it’s darker, and more tannic than both), but it’s almost there. You could drink this like a rosé, or treat it as you would a lighter-bodied red.

This wine in particular is a court poet.

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