Maynard's Own: Tasty Locally-made Wine You Can Afford

If you pay even the slightest attention to local booze news, you probably know by now that Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has taken up winemaking right here in AZ (check out Michele Laudig's 2008 feature story if you're out of the loop).

But what you may not know is that the juice is actually pretty good; in fact, Arizona Stronghold's Nachise is among Wine Spectator's highest rated Arizona wines ever. Since February 19th marks the world premier of Blood Into Wine, a documentary about Keenan's journey into winemaking, we figured it was about time to try it for ourselves.

We purchased a bottle of 2008 Nachise (one year later, but similar to the one Wine Spectator suggested), a red blend of 52% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah, and 6% Mourverdre.

From somewhat of a layman's perspective (and palate), we found the Nachise to taste relatively light (for red wine, anyway) and earthy with hints of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry. It's a medium to full bodied blend that even a predominantly white wine drinker (read: us) can appreciate...and afford (we paid $18.99 at Tops).

The Arizona Stronghold wines are significantly less expensive (about $10 less) than Caduceus, the vineyard's other wine collection. AZ Stronghold-brand also contains a higher percentage of Arizona-grown grapes, whereas Caduceus wines are made with larger quantities of grapes from California vineyards.

Having enjoyed the fruit of his loins, so to speak, we sought out the trailer for Blood Into Wine. It's fairly safe to say that whether you like Maynard, Tool, wine, etc. or not, this star-studded documentary looks hilarious as well as educational. Check it out below.

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Adriane Goetz