KINDRED (definition): affinity: closeness to somebody that is based on something other than a blood relationship, e.g. on similarity of character or interests
The new Arizona wine called Kindred has the wine industry abuzz. It was a four-barrel collaboration among some of the most notable vintners in the state: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Dos Cabezas Wineworks, Caduceus Cellars, and Callaghan Vineyards—whose operations are scattered from one end of the state to the other. Quite a task to manage, and a job well-done.
This group effort has gained national attention for Arizona wines. The Arizona winemakers of Kindred—Maynard James Keenan (Caduceus), Tim White (Arizona Stronghold), Kent Callaghan (Callaghan Vineyards), and Todd Bostock (Dos Cabezas) —were honored guests at the wine dinner kickoff to TAPAS 2013 Grand Wine Tasting in San Francisco this past June. The dinner concluded with the 2011 Kindred, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Tempranillo, comprised of one barrel donated from each winery. [TAPAS is the acronym for Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society.]
I’ve not had the pleasure to sample the Kindred. At $50 per bottle, it’s not likely I’ll get my hands on a bottle of this famed wine any time soon, since only 100 cases were produced and it’s available only at the tasting rooms of Arizona Stronghold, Dos Cabezas, Caduceus, and Callaghan. Sadly, I don’t often get the opportunity lately to venture much outside of the Willcox region. But I have learned that Kindred is “smoky and rich with red fruits and herbs… quite nice and different from any of its individual components,” as described by Arizona Stronghold’s Tim White in a Phoenix News Times article by Kate Crowley. Sounds like a beautiful wine.
Just last week, a very different sort of kindred gesture was made by another well-known Arizona winemaker in respect to a colleague. This deed was unsolicited, yet speaks volumes to the spirit of winemakers throughout the state.
Eric Glomski, owner of Page Springs Cellars, one of the most genteel and down-to-earth Arizona winemakers I’ve met, shared a copy of one of his newest wine labels with his pal Sam Pillsbury, one of the most high-spirited and passionate Arizona winemakers I know (and I get to work with him, too). This label is for the Page Springs Cellars 2012 Shiraz co-ferment from the Arizona Pillsbury Vineyard (Cochise County). On the back of the bottle appears this tribute:
On the north, just across the road from Arizona Stronghold, lies the beautifully and meticulously farmed Pillsbury Vineyard. Sam Pillsbury and I have been good friends ever since I started making wine in Arizona, and he continues to be an inspiration on many levels. His passion and energy as a human being is nothing short of miraculous. His commitment to Arizona wine (he pre-dates PSC by several years) and Rhone varietals in particular, is historic. And most importantly (to this wine), he grows amazing grapes.
Now how many of us go about pursuing our passions without ever getting peer recognition such as this—at least while we’re alive? Glomski’s observations of Sam are spot-on and well-stated; I could not have said it better. I’ve never known Sam to be so humbled; thank you, Eric.
A little more about this wine… it’s 97% Shiraz with 3% Viognier. Tasting notes read: This lovely wine has a silky texture and luscious purple and blue grapes—all accented with splashes of stone and tropical fruits from the addition of Viognier during fermentation.
Only 74 cases were produced. Yet I’m betting I’ll actually get to taste this kindred-inspired wine. And I will keep one bottle in my rack indefinitely (hopefully signed by the two winemakers), just to remind me how truly wondrous Arizona winemakers really are.