Tastes Like A Cabernet

Take a look behind the scenes at the making of our new Maynards Red Wine!

I’ve been communicating with Todd Hanley (Maynards General Manager) and the winemaker for our Maynards Red Wine. We’re getting low on the Maynards Red and need to make some decisions about what we will blend for the next vintage. Rob Hammelman (owner/winemaker for Sand Reckoner vineyards) was letting me and Todd know what would be available from the 2017 season. We’re thinking that a medium bodied Cabernet/Petite Syrah blend would be more pleasing across a wider spectrum of our guests. We would use Cabernet as the base and blend in a little petite Syrah for color and structure. This will be the first time I’ve ever been involved with the actual decisions on what the final product will be. I’m super nervous and excited to be given this opportunity, and I hope the end product is pleasing to all!

I wanted to talk about I’m thinking and expecting from the wine before about before I even go for the barrel tastings and it gets blended and bottled. This will take us back to the last blog about tasting for a minute. So, I’d say to you that the profile should be New World, but softer than, say, a BIG California Cabernet. To me that is:

Sight
Color: moderate ruby, maybe leaning towards deep ruby
Rim variation: purple fading to light purple at the edge
Staining: moderate
Tears/viscosity: medium

Nose
Fruit: baked plum and cherry
Floral: purple flowers
Herbal: thyme, tobacco, rosemary
Oak: sawdust, dill, vanilla

Palate
Residual Sugar: dry
Tannin: medium
Acid: medium and hoping for med plus
Alcohol: medium
Finish: medium to long
Complexity: moderate and hoping for moderate plus

This all says to me (without me writing the above description) that I’ll get a moderate Cabernet. It may look lighter because the fruit wasn’t over extracted, and the staining is moderate. It’ll be lower alcohol because of medium tears/viscosity. Baked fruit from the Arizona sun, herbal notes from the terroir, and sawdust/dill/vanilla from the oak aging (hopefully some new barrels). It should be dry (Arizona is dry, right?) and if you read that New York Times article a while back about the water in the surrounding areas, you can bet they very minimally irrigate. I’m really hoping that we get  some elevated acid, which will help deliver a more complex wine.

Really, though, I’ll be letting the expert (winemaker Rob Hammelman) drive the bus. I’m just along for the ride!

So…. while it’s still around, you may want to stop in and try what remains of the Maynards Red! It will be pretty similar to what I’d like to see out of the new wine, but one thing I’d like to see change is the level of alcohol — it would be more approachable if it was lower. Higher alcohol creates that “hot” characteristic and makes the wine more difficult to match to a wider range of foods. I still want the acid higher (think California Cab or Nebbiolo) for better structure.

Maynards Arizona Red   $24
Willcox, AZ
Grapes: Tempranillo, Syrah, Graciano
Juicy red fruits and herbs, softer on the palate

Maynards Arizona White   $24
Willcox, AZ
Grapes: Marsanne, Rousanne, Malvasia, Picpoul
Citrus and a distinct mineral nose. Fresh melon to finish

Cheers,

Will Olendorf, Maynards Market & Kitchen Sommelier
will@maynardsmarkettucson.com