Saturday, October 15, 2011

ARIZONA Stronghold 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

ARIZONA Stronghold 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $22.49,-$24.99, 87 points.

The color is a deep cranberry-violet, the aroma is Redwood and strawberry (Very nice) with hints of horse-hair, the mouth is light bodied, and the flavor is a spicy Aussie chewy strawberry candy (Not like any Cabernet I have ever tasted). The Arizona Stronghold is, to me, a "sweet red wine" (13.6% alcohol) with a very long finish which is similar to over-all palate.
If you like "Big Tannin" wine, this isn't it. 
This is a rather unique Cabernet experience which I enjoyed, and thanks to Paula from Bella Vino (Now Closed) for letting me know of its availability. 

Some of you may know Maynard James Keenan who is the musician-businessman who began this wine endeavor. Here on "Wineweek" you can hear and see an interview by Brad and Danny with MJK: wineweekArizonaStrongholdwine Wineweek has stopped blogging!


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  1. Can't say I'm familiar with a chewy and spicy strawberry Aussie candy, Den, but what a vivid mental picture you painted for me! Great photo work on this one, I actually had to go make some chips with salsa right after seeing this. Too bad I didn't have the Stronghold of Arizona to accompany the dish.

  2. Horse-hair?? I've never heard (or read) anyone describe that to describe wine.

    I've tried some of the Stronghold wines, but I most remember Mangus. I liked that it's interesting - I could tell it was from somewhere other than CA or Italy. Other than that, it's been over a year since I've tasted it, so I don't remember.

  3. Claire, when I was a little boy I spent sometime around horses, and as the very last tastes of this Cab faded, an ascending, back of the mouth, aromatic memory came to life; horse hair was as close as I could come to identifying it.
    I don't think I've found that anywhere else in my descriptors.
    Over two days I enjoyed this wine, and I didn't buy it thinking I was buying a $25.00 Cab, but rather I was trying something different; I wasn't disappointed.

  4. Claire, how's this for a wine description?

    "Psychotic stuff, deep garnet color, nose of burnt rubber, molten graphite, and high-toned dark red fruit reduction. Palate is full-bodied with excellent length, mouth-coating ripe red fruit, slate, berry, scorched earth, and herbal spice. Doesn't get much better than this."
    From Cellar Tracker

  5. I love reading notes like "horse hair" that evoke an old memory like yours. I had a similar reaction to a Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli many, many years ago. It smelled to me just like the early morning fog that used to encompass my uncle's S. Georgia lake house. Brought back a scent I hadn't experienced in 20 years. Every once in a while I still get a hint of that "early morning lake fog" and it makes me smile.

    That's part of the magic of wine, imo. Little moments like that make all the innocuous crap worth drinking.

  6. Bill, your comment is rich with the better part of humanity (Hope I'm not reading to much in there), our child-like adventure and its proper awareness is truly worth "sustaining".

  7. Great post UGA Wino. The sense of smell is one of (if not the most)the keenest memory-producers of all the senses.

    Sometimes it's hard to put a finger on exactly what smells are produced from but they're always accompanied by memories.. hopefully good ones :)

  8. Your explanation of the horse hair makes sense, & I agree that those kinds of memory-evoking scents are very cool.

    For what it's worth, I have smelled burnt rubber, tar, etc., in wine, but if I were trying to actually sell that wine, I'd very likely leave those points out. Obviously, it doesn't make it a bad wine, but...well, you know what I mean. While we're on the subject, I have described a wine as "psychotic" before, but I'm sad to say I don't remember what it was.

  9. What notes would a wine need to possess to deserve a "psychotic" description? :) Very intriguing.

    Anxious to see some more outlandish descriptors in the future, Den !

  10. Ben, I think that would just be an over-all description of an over-all great wine; just my guess.