By Chris Gill
Merkin Chupacabra is produced by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, who, unlike most celebrities in the wine business, is an actual vintner. While Keenan is shifting production exclusively to grapes from his vineyards in Northern and Southern Arizona, the 2006 Chupacabra comes from a blend of 13 grapes (primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot) sourced from California vineyards. Concentrated and inky in the glass, it delivers spicy, earthy, Rhone-like flavors on the palate with hints of sweet tobacco and black currant on the finish. If you enjoy this economical daily drinker, consider it a “gateway” wine to Keenan’s more expensive Caduceus Cellars offerings.
For more information, visit Merkin Vineyards.