Friday, December 11, 2009

2005 Callaghan Vineyards "Padres" red blend

As I mentioned in my review of Callaghan's white blend below, this small winery located in a remote area of southwest Arizona improves with every vintage. There are several other wineries in the area, but in my opinion this one is by far the best. Kent Callaghan and his wife run the tasting room also, open 11 to 3 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

This 2005 "Padres" is a blend of 39% Tempranillo, 31% Petit Verdot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc. This is a muscular, full-bodied wine that manages to maintain a nice balance of ripe fruit, ripe tannins, good extract and refreshing acidity. This wine is drinkable now but it should benefit from several years in your cellar.

The price per bottle is a reasonable $28, or $25 per bottle by the case. If you can't find it in your market, you can buy it on line ( or by phone @ (502)-455-5322.

2008 Callaghan Vineyards "Lisa's" white blend

Callaghan Vineyards is located in the southwest corner of Arizona, near the small town of Sonoita. This would seem like a very unlikely place to produce good wine, but the 4,500 foot elevation and the volcanic soil make it all possible. Kent Callaghan has been experimenting with different red and white varietals for over a decade and he now knows what works and what doesn't in this macroclimate (surprisingly, Zinfandel just doesn't do well here).

This white wine is made from a field blend of Viognier, Riesling, Malvasia Bianca, Marsanne and Roussanne. Intense and complex aromas lead to a full-bodied, almost chewy mouth feel. Oak is just a background note. A long finish completes the picture. This medium-acid wine would pair beautifully with salmon or any other full-flavored dish.

This wine may be difficult to find in your market. You can order it on line at or call the winery at (520) 455-5322. The price is a reasonable $22 a bottle, or $19 a bottle if you order a case.