Review: 2005 Caduceus Cellars Naga

I doubt I’ll be dropping by Caduceus Cellars any time soon. The wine is made in northern Arizona, far away from the Wine Country as I know it. Fret not: Caduceus is not trying to make wine from local desert grapes: M.J. Keenan brings in hand-picked grapes from Ranchita Canyon Vineyard, in the well-regarded Paso Robles area in California. (Odd that Paso Robles isn’t mentioned on the label, only “California.”)

Naga (or more fully Nagual de la Naga) is modeled after Italian Brunello, a big blend of 53 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 47 percent Sangiovese. It’s a very silky wine, with a solid core of fruit — cherries, plum, some raisin — and laced with nutmeg and baking spice. Really an exceptional wine, not something I’d have expected to come from such an odd production arrangement (and, it must be said, the frontman for the band Tool, which is one of Keenan’s other endeavors).

70 bucks is awfully steep, but Caduceus may be worth it for those looking for a story they can spin for their guests as they drink your primo vino.

A- / $70 / caduceus.org

caduceus naga Review: 2005 Caduceus Cellars Naga

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