The Kindred Project is one in particular which very much intrigues me; it is the brainchild of four winemakers (at least, thus far) growing across the state, working together to make a fantastic wine. Each year, four different winemakers across the state band together, and supply a few barrels of their best wines from that vintage. These winemakers are Todd Bostock, of Dos Cabezas, Tim White from Iniquius Cellars (who also owns the Kindred label itself), Maynard Keenan from Caduceus/Merkin, and Kent Callaghan, from Callaghan winery. (We’ve reviewed wines from two of these winemakers here prior in this blog.)
The Kindred project is pretty fascinating in and of itself, actually. According to Tim White, his personal motivation to create the Kindred project was “to build and bridge strained, distant or non-existent relationships, to symbolically bring northern and southern Arizona together in a meaningful and lasting way, so as to create a project that could evolve and grow over time and to work with people that I have enormous admiration for and am constantly inspired by.” In essence, it’s a sort of Captain Planet style thing–by their powers combined, these Arizona winemakers can demonstrate the excellent world-class nature of Arizona Terroir.
This is a project I entirely approve of; anything that brings the industry together is always wonderful. I feel like we have to stand together as an industry if we’re ever to prove our mettle against more famous wine regions here in the United States.
2012 Kindred; it’s kind of like cuddling up to a spice rack, but far more snuggly than that.
The Wine: The 2012 Kindred is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Malvasia Bianca. The blend comes down to 50% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 25% Mourvedre, with a minuscule part of Malvasia Bianca as a result of a co-ferment in one of the barrels. Maynard’s contribution was 2 barrels of Syrah from the Al Buhl Memorial Vineyard in Willcox (one of which was co-fermented with Malvasia Bianca). Kent Callaghan’s contribution to the 2012 Kindred was 1 barrel of Grenache and 1 barrel of Mourvedre from his estate vineyard in Elgin. Todd Bostock’s contribution was 1 barrel of Syrah along with 1 barrel of Mourvedre from his Cimmeron Vineyard on the Willcox Bench. Lastly, Tim White’s contribution was 1 barrel of Syrah and 1 barrel of Grenache, also from the Al Buhl Memorial Vineyard, in Willcox. Therefore this wine forms a nice blend of combination from two out of the four growing regions in Arizona. The wine has seen oak; about 40% first and second year French Oak, with 10% first and second year American Oak. The remainder of the wine was aged in neutral French Oak.
The Nose: The nose of this wine is pretty complex. Rich notes of cedar, myrrh, violet, vanilla and frankincense intermingle with smoke, blackberries, cassis, prosciutto and pepper. Herbal notes of rosemary and sage also are present. The floral notes of the slight bit of Malvasia Bianca in this blend are also noticeable; notes of Jasmine and honeysuckle intermingle with the deep rich smell of the desert earth in springtime and of ancient seas, long evaporated and faded into the distant past.
The Palate: There are intense fruity notes of cherry, raspberry, and plum in the 2012 Kindred. Cedar is repeated on the palate, intermingled with much of a spice cabinet: clove, cinnamon, pepper, sage, rosemary, mint, and allspice. I also taste strong notes of jasmine (probably from the Malvasia once again), intermingled with smoke and, oddly, teriyaki sauce. There’s a slight hint of acidity, and the finish is quite luxurious, with a fair amount of subtle tannins.
Pairing: Pair this wine with smoked venison ribs, an elk steak, with a side of macaroni and cheese, strongly herbed, or if you want to go for something a little more traditional, a nice braised lamb with an herbed sauce.
Impressions: I’m quite fond of the 2012 Kindred; I feel it’s even better than last year’s vintage. It is a stellar example of the GSM blends which we do so well here in Arizona. This wine seems exceedingly comforting; and yet, a little exotic at the same time. Classy, but able to laugh and be goofy at the same time, and fond of baking spices. It’s someone you’ve known for a long time, possibly even loved, but they are now far away. You have fond memories of them. It’s the woman who got away; or the ex who you’re still good friends with.
Additional notes: According to Tim White, the basic plan in terms of winemakers involved with Kindred is it will likely remain the original 4 of them which will continue to work together and evolve the Red version. Furthermore, there are plans to rotate 4 winemakers for the white version initially starting with the 2013 or 2014 vintage with 4 specific winemakers. Tim also says there’s a lot more to come with the Kindred Project; as for myself, I’m looking forward to those future surprises.
You can acquire your bottle of Kindred at Four-Eight Wineworks in Clarkdale, or at Callaghan Winery and Dos Cabezas in Sonoita, for $50 a bottle. It’s well worth it to support a movement that brings Arizona winemakers together.