The new vintage of Maynards AZ Red is in, just in time for our 10 year anniversary! I have to say that the process of picking the wines to create the blend for our new edition was one of my best experiences to date! Rob Hammelman at Sand-Reckoner Vineyards guided me through the process. The “hard work” was certainly done by Rob and his team of grape growers. I just had to walk around his barrel aging room while dropping tastes from the barrels. After we tasted several, we decided on what would be the blend. To get a first taste, Rob made a sample of our blend by taking a certain percentage of each barrel that would ultimately make our new wine. With a pipette he extracted the correct amount from each barrel and combined them. He then swirled it around, and we tried it… and it was amazing! We pivoted a little this year from the last blend — Tempranillo, Syrah, and Graciano — to a more approachable blend of Tempranillo, Primitivo, and Sangiovese.
Try and think about which grapes would do well in the hot arid climate of Southern Arizona. Tempranillo is grown in Spain, which has a similar climate to us, and Primitivo is grown in the boot heel of Italy, which also has a similar climate to Southern Arizona. These climates are characterized by hotter days and cooler nights. This is called a diurnal shift: the difference between the highs and lows of any given day. The grapes get a chance to relax at night, otherwise I’m sure they would just shrivel up and die. It was so great to realize that the addition of a small amount (10%) of Sangiovese helps take the sometimes overly tannic character of Primitivo and makes it rounder and more approachable. This thoughtful change makes the wine more pleasing across a wider range of tastes.
This new vintage of our private label red is a real food wine. Try it with grilled meats, heartier pastas, chicken, salmon, and even chocolate based desserts! See what I’m saying? It matches well with tons of different foods. That is important when we are purchasing 224 cases of this wine. You want to get it right! Over the years, we have invested over $100,000 in producing our private label wines, showing our commitment to growing our local economy.
I look forward to sharing our new wine with you! Next time you’re dining at Maynards Kitchen or our sister restaurant, Cup Cafe, enjoy a glass! You can also pick up a bottle to take home for $29 at the Maynards Market Wine Shop or at the Hotel Congress front desk.
Will Olendorf, Maynards Market & Kitchen Sommelier