The Arizona Stronghold Dala (translates to one, or more to the point the concept of one in Apache) Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from two estate vineyards, the Arizona Stronghold and the Bonita Springs Vineyard located near the town of Wilcox in Cochise County in Southern Arizona. This is the wine project featuring Maynard Keenan of Tool and Eric Glomski, you might have seen their DVD, Blood into Wine. The vineyards are subject to extreme changes in temperature, with 50 degrees swings from day to night. The wine was aged in French oak barrel for 10 months, 80% in neutral barrels and the other 20% in new to 2 year old barrels. The alcohol content is 13.9% and the wine lists for $18.
The color is extreme purple. The nose is cherries and strawberries with a little sweet tea and a hint of vanilla. This is a smooth, silky Cabernet Sauvignon with a mouthfeel more like a Grenache than a Cabernet. It tastes of extracted blackberry and sweeter blueberry, chocolate fudge, creamy vanilla and black Twizzlers (but not sugar sweet). The mid palate brings some tart cranberry and sour cherry, along with a little curry spice. The tannins are well behaved and the acidity is balanced. The finish is strong and long.
The Arizona Stronghold Dala Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 is an interesting wine, it does not taste like a California, French or Chilean Cab (why would it, its from Arizona), but there is something very enticing about it. This is a wine that takes you by surprise, it may not taste like any other Cabernet Sauvignon you have ever had, but it just might become one of your favorites.