We’ve already encountered two wines from Caduceus, from two out of the four vineyard blocks they control. Actually, the fact that Caduceus has access to so many different vineyards mean that a visit there is an excellent place to compare terroir in the state; for that matter, between parts of growing regions. Today we explore the 2012 Nagual del Marzo; while grown in the same valley as the Judith we previously explored, the grapes for this Super-Tuscan style blend were grown down in the bottom of the valley at the foot of House Mountain, versus on the heights of Cleopatra Hill. Different rocks for different blocks makes for different terroir notes in a wine.
(I promise to start that terroir series soon.)
The Wine: This wine is a blend, consisting of 55% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Barbera, coming from the Marzo Block here in the Verde Valley. Barbera here is the odd grape out for a Super-Tuscan style blend; the grape in question originates in the Piedmont region of Italy. Sangiovese, of course, originates in Tuscany while Cabernet Sauvignon has a long history of being used in blends of this style. The Nagual del Marzo was cask and puncheon aged for 18 months in new and neutral French oak. It is a lovely garnet color.
Nose: The nose of this wine is a little simple, but pleasant. Violet and cherry intermingle with cassis and the distinctive smell of Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader pipe tobacco; something that seems to be common in Sangiovese and Sangiovese-based blends made here in Arizona; recall this aroma note is in the Kitsune we previously mentioned, and is also found in the nose of the newly-re-released Specter blend at Passion Cellars (This is not a bad thing; that’s one of my favorite pipe tobaccos). The nose finishes with cedar smoke and nutmeg.
Palate: Despite the simple bouquet, this wine is far more complex than one would expect. Cherry, blackberry, and sour apple intermingles again with vanilla, cloves, iron and Virginia cavendish tobacco. The finish is reminiscent of cinnamon, intermingled with cassis, raspberry. There’s a great deal of tannins as well, which leads me to suspect that this wine would age quite well. The finish is long, and there’s a great deal of acidity which means it will pair well with many foods, particularly meat.
Pairing: Venison Carpaccio, with a side of parmesan cheese, or some smoked bison, slow-roasted. If you want to do a vegetarian pairing with this wine, I think a smoked and stuffed portobello mushroom would also do quite nicely.
Impressions: This wine is a quite well-balanced Super-Tuscan style blend. (We should probably come up with a better name for these style of blends in Arizona. And not something lame, like “Super-Arizona.”) It is perhaps a bit young, but it is quite drinkable now. The 2012 Naugal del Marzo is decidedly masculine, reclining in an overstuffed arm chair while wearing a smoking jacket, reading C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man while smoking a well-used briar pipe.
(No, this wine is not me; I don’t have a smoking jacket. In fact, in a recent poll among friends as to what grape I was, Sangiovese didn’t even make the list.)