Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sonoita/Elgin wine area coming of age.

For years, Callaghan Vineyards has been in a league of its own in the Sonoita AVA and perhaps in all of Arizona, producing wines to rival those of California, Oregon, and anyplace else. I dropped in to taste at a few wineries yesterday following a hike near Patagonia and found that things have changed; the Wilhelm Family Vineyards wines impressed me, and I'm not easily impressed by wineries. Their specialty is Albariño, from which they produce a very well-structured white, and they also make a heavily extracted but food-friendly oak-aged Sangiovese. Most of what is produced is labeled "Hawk's Flight" as it's made from sourced fruit. The first estate wines will be released later in the year; given the capability and good taste shown by the winemaker, I have high expectations.

Village of Elgin Winery, too, has quite a bit to offer--and probably the only bargains in the area--buried in its Chinese restaurant menu-like list of wines. Skip the sweet tourist fare and go for their dry reds made from Italian varietals and the perfect Spanish-style rosé.

An interview with Mike Ross, some semi-novel remarks on the budget crisis, and a report on the latest sure-winner lawsuit against Sheriff Joe (hatin' on spics brown people is expensive!) to follow in the next few days. Expect one of those three by the end of Sunday. And as soon as I get his permissions issues settled--does Gmail eat e-mails?--there should be a second co-'blogger.

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