Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite wines from Page Springs Cellars and Vineyards

After interviewing Paige Springs Owner/Vintner Eric Glomski, I happily moved on to tasting their wines.

Luke Bernard poured my wines, and acted as my attentive and informative guide.  He did however, miss out on a game of pick up basketball that was happening just outside the tasting room window.  They had a company staff meeting just before I arrived, so the place was crawling with employees, some of which killed time before their next task but shooting some hoops.  I thought is was great!  While Luke joshed them for being lazy, he also said with all sincerity, that everyone loved to work for Glomski because he harbors the type of work environment that allows for his employee to have fun.  "We are all a big family,"  says Luke.

Page Springs currently produces 8500 cases of wine a year, which is just where they want to stay, as a boutique winery.  They currently have a little over 1,300 people in their wine club, which serves a mostly Arizona clientele, but does have plenty of national fans.  The wine tasting menu changes frequently, but is always served up in five different flights, white, red, combo, Arizona, and members only.  I, being the lucky girl I am, got to taste all 25 offerings.  Yes, that is allot of wine, but hey I am professional now, and yes I spit.  You would have to be a moron not to.

Each flight is $10, and you have the option to buy your favorite wine by the glass or bottle.  I am going to give you my notes from the wines I found to be the most impressive.  To type in 25 different tasting notes would not only be boring to do, but boring to read.  So here you go, my top 10 favorite wines from Page Springs Cellars and Vineyard.  They are listed in no particular order.

1.  2010 Gimme some skin Malvasia  100% Malvasia from AZ $28
Malvasia is poised to be Arizona's signature white grape, namely because it loves our climate down in Southern Arizona, and produces some excellent wines.  Since we have a climate that you could easily drink white white 12 months out of the year, Malvasia is an excellent pick.  This one was left on the skins for three days before being pressed which led to some awesome flavor.  The nose was amazing with jasmine flowers, very pretty and tropical as well.  The taste was nice and round- kinda like a Pinot Gris, but very bright and fresh.  The acid levels where balanced with a great kick of lemon/lime soda (minus the sweetness) on the finish.  Lovely wine.

2.  2010 PSC Arizona Stronghold Vineyard Chardonnay, 100% Chardonnay all AZ $35
This is an unoaked Chardonnay which I was excited to taste.  The Chardonnay I tasted at Arizona Stronghold was very nice, and I was not disappointed here.  The clean fruit flavors come through and do a nice dance on the palate.  "Let the fruit do the talking," says Luke about the philosophy behind the making of this wine.  I loved the green apple rush at first, with an amazing round and cream brulee finish. A solid wine, but pricey for sure.

3.  2010 Mules Mistake Blend of 56% Barbera 11% Pinot Nior (CA) 10 % Grenache, 10% Cabernet Pffefer (CA), 10% Couniose, 3% Viognier.  $18
This wine is served Beaujolais style, as in it is best slightly chilled below room temperature.  This is a "story wine" as in, a wine made by mistake, but a mistake that ended up producing a great wine.  And Luke will tell  you a little story about the wine if you ask, something about a mule.  It's on the third vintage now, and the wine has become quit popular, and worth repeating the mistake every year.  I really enjoyed the freshness of the wine, a very pretty nose, with big berry fruit jumping out at you.  This is a very approachable wine, great for picnics and the perfect BBQ sipper.  The Barbara plays the biggest role and really shines in this wine.

4.  2010 Colibri Vineyard Grenache Late Pick 100% AZ Grenache from Southeaster Arizona $39
This wine packs a punch, and could even provide a knock out if allowed!  The alcohol was over 15% due to the ripeness of the grapes at harvest.  The nose had wonderful sweet black cherry, with a warm and inviting cozy sensation.  I like this wine, but it is not your typical Grenache either.  Loads of berries, and finished almost like a sweet cherry pie, very candied.  Yummy, but it would love nothing more than a big juicy piece of meat as a sidekick.

5.  2009 MSGP 42% Mourvedre, 28% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 9% Petite Sirah (CA) $28
Loads of that yummy dirt and Arizona dust, wrapped in a blanket of cherries in this wine.  Some of my favorite grape styles in this Arizona version of a Rhone red wine.  The mourvedre plays a beautiful role in this wine, very tongue drying, yet nicely balanced.  Yummy, wine for sure.  Remember yummy is my code word for an outstanding wine experience.

6.  2010 SGMP 47% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 13% Mourvedre, 9% Peite Sirah (CA) $28
More vanilla on this blend than the previous wine with some oak, and Arizona dust again.  This one was more complex than #5, with a every changing long, long finish.  I was impressed with this wine.  Very pretty, round with soft tannins.  This wine is more feminine, and soft.  I loved how the Syrah played around in this blend, very elegant and bold.  And yes, yummy.

7.  2010 PSC Arizona Stronghold Vineyard 100% Arizona Syrah Clone 383  $30
A yummy Syrah and you know how much I adore Syrah!  Arizona is doing such wonderful things with Syrah and Page Springs is no exception.  The wine is made in the old world style with grace and elegance.  Leather, tobacco, wrapped up in a blanket of plum fruit.  Yummy.

8.  2010 PSC Arizona Stronghold Vineyard100% AZ Mourvedre Tablas Clone $38
Luke told me this guy had a chocolate cake type taste on the finish, and I know I looked at him funny.  Mourvedre and chocolate cake are not two things I would put together, but you know what, he was right.  If he did not say that, I would have picked up a familiar smell and taste but would have been unable to put my finger on what it was.  So thanks Luke, because I loved that quality in this wine.  It was also very round, with a sweet berry quality, and again some Arizona dust around the middle.

9.  2010 El Serrano 45% Mourvedre, 40% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah all AZ $30
This is the winery's flagship wine, as it is in it's 8th vintage.  Heavier on the Mourvedre this year, which adds to the spicy and earthy flavors.  The nose is very perfumy, but nice.  This one will dry out your mouth like an Arizona summer.  It finishes with big, round stone fruit.  The Petite adds a nice kick at the finish with some pepper.

10.  2010 Vino De La Familia 82% Petite Sirah (CA), 9% Syrah (CA), 5% Malbec (CA), 4% Roussanne $21
This is not really an Arizona wine, if you read the blend label most of the grapes come from California, but I did really like this wine, and it recently won a Jefferson's Cup award, so I thought it was fitting to include it.  This wine drinks like a Pinot Nior, in that it is very silky and has a velvet like quality however, it is a big boy wine.  Big tannins, giant flavors, with a nose that you could smell all day long, but that would be stupid because you should drink it.  The finish was very smooth, and long with great spice and stone fruit.  A yummy wine for sure and one of the few that are close to the $20 mark.

So that is it!  Lots of good wine to try when you visit this winery.  But keep in mind it is a busy, busy tourist stop.  This winery fills to the brim on the weekends, and has a very steady flow of traffic on the weekdays. Best time to visit is during the week, and during the summers when all the snow birds have flown the coup.  There is something for every palate, but you will find nothing sweet and sticky.  Glomski makes high quality wine, and it is worth the trip to his gorgeous tasting room and vineyards.  Check out the website for further information about the winery operation, and the events they are hosting.

If you would like to know more about my visit to Arizona Stronghold please click here
If you would like to know more about Carlson Creek please click here

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Thank you and enjoy!

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