Category Archives: Bitter Creek Winery

Bitter Creek Winery

Bitter Creek Winery

Bitter Creek Wines reflect our ability to take the unique

flavors of Willcox, Arizona varietals and evolve them into one wine that unites them for a more expressive taste!

John McLoughlin revels in asserting what each new vintage brings and he is renowned for his renegade style of

winemaking. Creating a wine for the distinguished palate can be likened to accessorizing the “little black dress”. On its own it is an icon, but the perfect accessories can make a breathtaking statement.

As resolutely as we believe in Arizona terroir, we equally

believe in supporting our local artists. Bitter Creek’s Tarot Card labels by Rick Wyckoff were selected to express the unique meaning and emotion evoked by the wine, the artist, and Tarot. Every wine in this collection is done in limited production. When a Tarot wine is gone, it will never again be produced. The card is retired and a new Tarot wine is created.

Wait. That label is not a Tarot card…

Through the Bitter Creek Winery collection our winemaker has gained notoriety with his renegade wine making style and of course, the Tarot labels. Over the last decade, the Rhone heritage has  become more prevalent through Willcox, Arizona’s distinctive terroir as the vineyard matures. Both wine-making and the Tarot are spiritual in nature, and the Theme cards endure this expression. Through the Theme cards the Rhone-style wines from Willcox continue to forge ahead on their destined path.

Available only through the Cellar 433 tasting room

in Jerome or online.


The Emperor

Bitter Creek Winery: The Emperor

Bitter Creek Winery: The Emperor

Wine Name: The Emperor

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 14.0%

Blend: 70% Grenache, 10% Pt Sirah, 10%Marselan,

5% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Blaufrankisch

Description: Aromas of cherry, spice and earth with a hint of maple syrup precede a mid-bodied and balanced red with

flavors of cherry, plums and spice.

Winemaker’s Notes: One would expect Grenache to be

playing a supporting role, but in this wine its high alcohol and berriness are fleshed out with with the desired qualities of the other grapes’ known earthy and spice notes and fuzzy tannins.

Pairings: Pomegranate marinated lamb olive tepanade and chevre crostini, or Spanish Roncal cheese.

Read about The Emperor on


The World

Bitter Creek Winery

The World

Wine Name: The World

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 15.11%

Blend: 66% Zinfandel 34% Pinotage

Description: A new frame of reference for spice! This big red blend displays a wide array of dark berry fruit from black cherry to ripe raspberry with pronounced ginger and baking spice notes and a lasting warm finish.

Winemaker’s Notes:  Notable firm tannins and good

acidity. Blending is thought to be a way of fleshing out a known varietal. Here, Pinotage works to broaden the

experience of a known Zinfandel. On a painter’s palette, it would be the equivalent a working a basic red into a vibrant magenta hue.

Pairings: Tandoori chicken, roasted vegetable pizza, fried eggplant, aged dutch Roomano or Spanish Valdeon cheeses.


Bitter Creek Winery: Crusader


Wine Name: Crusader

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 14.68%

Blend: Distinct Varietal – 100% Mourvedre

Description: A bountiful nose of German Himmelberries, bay leaf and soft nutmeg. Blood red hue with a lovely brick-ish rim. Lighter bodied with balanced fruit and acidity deliver a mouthful of perfectly herbed-roasted turkey and cranberry.

Winemaker’s Notes: Arizona’s wine industry is an open book. John McLoughlin avails himself to make wines that

reflect the true expression of the fruits grown in Arizona soil. Mourvedre is a great example of Arizona terroir and the wine demonstrates a commitment to creating wines that

extol a balance of site influence and known typicity.

Pairings: Rosemary encrusted lamb with a hint of Thyme, Wild brown rice and Shitake mushrooms, or Ubriaco Prosecco.

The Devil

Bitter Creek Winery The Devil

The Devil

Wine Name: The Devil

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 14.12%

Blend: Barbera, Tempranillo

Description: Aromas of violets & dry autumn leaves with a hint of smoke. Delicious black cherry and currant join savory spices for a mid-bodied experience that rewards the palate with a dry fruit finish.

Winemaker’s Notes:  Barbera is known to have lighter

tannins and higher acidity and Tempranillo sits about mid on both, but the time spent in neutral oak casks brings balance and broadens the experience of the dark fruit without

overwhelming it with aggressive oakiness.

Pairings: Roasted lamb chops with sage, carne asada street tacos, aged manchego or Abbaye de Belloc cheeses or a

simple chunk of dark chocolate.

Queen of Swords

Queen of Swords

Queen of Swords

Wine Name: Queen Of Swords

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 14.20%

Blend: Marsanne ~ Roussane

Description: Fresh melon and citrus peel with compelling minerality. Refreshing; cool and clean. A beautiful

example of a more youthful blend, Quite capable of aging into a more nutty, spicy expression.

Winemaker’s Notes: This classic blendcelebrates the most noteworthy characteristics of each: affable texture and vivid aromatics. Marsanne flaunts Willcox ,Arizona’s mineral – soil qualities & harmonizes with Roussane’s known complexity, richness and florals.

Pairings: Fettucine Carbonara,slow cooked root vegetables or a cheese plate of earthy
Fontina, Camembert and a Swiss Vacherin Fribourgeois.

Read about the Queen at


The Sun

The Sun

The Sun

Wine Name: The Sun

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 13.75%

Blend: Chenin Blanc, Symphony, Marsanne

Description: As it is named this blend is beautifully golden with soft aromas of roasted nuts, warm honey and melon. A bountiful body with flavors of melon, white peaches and


Winemaker’s Notes: Rhone varietals reach great expression in Willcox and Marsanne is a testament to that. While other regions practice the early harvest of Marsanne to retain its acidity, at Dragoon we have learned that patience & hang time better serve this fruit. Symphony’s unmistakable

perfume elevates the nose.

Pairings: Lobster bisque, linguine with creamy pesto and soft aged cheeses like Brie or Italian Taleggio

Angel of Death, 2nd Bottling

Angel of Death, 2nd Bottling

Angel of Death, 2nd Bottling

Wine Name: Angel of Death, 2nd Bottling

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 13.75%

Blend: Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho

Description: Beautiful aromas of white flowers and hints of lemongrass. The second bottling brings forth a new Angel rich with tree fruit and stoney minerality for a solid finish.

Winemaker’s Notes: Viognier was introduced to this blend to brighten the nose and bring florals to a gently oaked

Sauvignon Blanc’s recognizable grassiness.

Pairings: Freshly shucked oysters, a variety of tapas or a

simple afternoon sip with friends.

2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition: Bronze


Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Wine Name: Joan of Arc

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 13.04%

Blend: Symphony, Chenin Blanc, Muscat.

Description: Fruity and refreshing with aromas of ginger, oranges and spice with a luscious mouth-feel and flavors of cantaloupe and citrus. Theclean finish begs another sip.

Winemaker’s Notes: Dry Muscat comes together with a succulent Symphony varietal for a most
graceful bouquet. A vibrant, fruity Chenin Blanc expands the flavor profile and the balancing of the acidity and the alcohol levels makes this wine a playful, but only sensory version of “sweet”.

Pairings: Broiled Sea Bass, spicy Thai food with ginger, Havarti or warm apple pie.


Bitter Creek Winery: Strength

Bitter Creek Winery: Strength

Wine Name: Strength

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 13.50%

Blend: Viognier, Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc

Description: A delicious citrus delight that melts into a rich, creamy walnut finish; an achievement in balance of body and acidity.

Winemaker’s Notes: Typically vinified as a sweet, the goal of Viognier in this blend is to permeate the earthy notes of Sauvignon Blanc with its glorious perfume. The Viognier makes good fellows with an expertly aged and delicately managed Vermentino.

Pairings: Rich roasted duck with tarragon, creamy havarti with apricots and pears, and warm spiced apple pie.