I normally stick with grapes grown exclusively in the state of the winery being reviewed, but decided to make an exception tonight. The 2006 Chupacabra from Merkin Vineyards (Page Springs, Arizona, southwest of Sedona) is the creation of Maynard James Keenan, the frontman for Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer. Purchased from Whole Foods for $19.99, the red blend is predominantly produced from Paso Robles Syrah and Cabernet. A rich, full-bodied wine displaying black fruit, tobacco, and smoky notes on the nose. A balanced effort, with black cherry, currant, spice, and oak in the mouth. Only a few hundred cases were produced, so if you’re lucky enough to locate, I suggest picking up a bottle or two. Cheers!
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