Thursday, February 12, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - New Mexico Red Blend - 2014 Merkin Vineyards Tarzan

Please forgive me, for I have snobbed. I am very much against everything snobby in the wine world, yet I have turned my nose up to the wines of my home in Arizona.  Only after reading an article shared by a friend in Chicago did the wife and I drive a couple hours north of us to visit Caduceus Winery.  The owner and winemaker of Caduceus is Maynard Keegan of the band Tool.  You may have heard his name in association with another Arizona winery - Stronghold. Well that partnership is over, and that leaves Mr. Keegan free to focus on his Caduceus winery. Merkin (hee hee) is the second label for Caduceus - and most everything we tried was quite stellar.  Today's wine was one that was not available for tasting the day we visited, but Tarzan??? I couldn't resist the name, and the fact that it was made from Tempranillo - the grape of the Spanish regions of Rioja and Ribera del Duero (and Toro if you are keeping score).

 Wine: 2014 Merkin Vineyards Tarzan

Region: New Mexico
Grape Varieties: Tempranillo, Primitivo
Obtained from: Purchased at Caduceus Winery
Price: $30
Wino4Life Category: Weekend Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.
Cork Condition: Natural cork - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear, dark red, pink rim.

Aroma: Red fruit, along with old school Rioja aromas - dusty, earthy and a little bit floral. 
Taste: Awesome fruit, great finish, superb balance. 

The Grade: I give this one an A+.  Not a cheap wine for a second label offering, but for $30 this wine is absolutely rockin' (Tool references aside).  Stellar - not just a fantastic New Mexico wine (for you other Arizona or New Mexico wine snobs out there), but a fantastic ANYWHERE wine.  Sound of footsteps running out to the car, car starting, and tires screeching on the way back to get more of this wine... back in a few hours!

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