Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Merkin Vineyards - Wine Review

Merkin Vineyards is a winery from Maynard James Keenan who is the lead singer of Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, and a few other bands.  If you are wondering about the label merkin is a term that originated in the 1600s for a pubic wig.

I'm a big fan of his music so I really wanted to love the wine, but it is made from grapes with the general term of California which usually means Central Valley so I wasn't expecting much.

The 2006 Chupacabra exhibits a dark garnet color which was a good start.  It started off really well with aromas of cherries and blackberries and a bouquet of dusty earth, cinnamon, and slight hints of clove and nutmeg.  Once on the palate the bouquet dies and there is just a nice essence of sour cherries and general red wine flavors.  The tannin content is low leaving this as a light to medium bodied red wine with a short finish.  This is a very drinkable wine, but there isn't much to it.

I will give them this though, they have the coolest looking website I've ever seen from a winery. It features great music, animation, and information.

In conclusion, this is a very drinkable wine, but there is nothing stellar about it.  There aren't any flaws so its not swill, but its not delicious either.  At $20/bottle I expect to get better quality, but there are certainly worse wines to buy for more.  If you find it for $15 then go for it.  So basically you are paying an extra $5 for the celebrity and the name.  I'd be interested to try their Malvasia Bianca as its made with Arizona grapes (I've never had Arizona grapes) and I always like to see that rare (for California) grape.


  1. Also a fan of Maynard / Tool. I did not know he owned a vineyard. Glad to find out what a merkin is...