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Continuing our previously stalled examination of Arizona Nebbiolo (which began with the Lei Li Rosé from the same cellar, or, arguably with our examination of the Arizonalady Red Blend from Oak Creek), we’re moving onto the 2013 Naugal de la Paciencia which was recently released into the tasting room here in Jerome. (Apologies in advance, there will likely be two Caduceus reviews this month, since I seem to be also heading in the direction of exploring Arizona Mourvedre as well, and the Lei Lea Augustina was also released recently)
The Wine: Nebbiolo, for those who are unfamiliar with the grape, is quite famous in Italy for creating Barolo, a wine affectionately known as “The wine of kings; the King of wines.” Barolos are often so tannic that they need to be aged for years in order to be properly enjoyed; it is for this reason that I have two bottles stashed away, aging, for me to enjoy if I ever finish paying off my student loans (or if the apocalypse happens and student loans don’t matter; whatever comes first). The Naugal de la Paciencia gets its name from the patient waiting that often is involved in waiting for a Nebbiolo-based wine to be ready to drink. The 2013 vintage is a blend of 80% Nebbiolo from Bonita Springs and 20% Barbera from here in the Verde Valley, from a private vineyard located near the Marzo block; previous vintages were apparenly 100% Nebbiolo. The wine was made both via open top and submerged cap fermentation. A modifided cold carbonic masceration was used. I also suspect the 2013 Lei Li may well have been a saignée of the Nebbiolo in this vintage because, as Arizona nebbiolos go, this is a pretty dark one, and Barbera usually doesn’t provide much in the way of color, being usually very light bodied here in Arizona. It’s a dark, almost mahogany-purpleish red.
Nose: This wine has a pretty complex and wild nose: A good strong cup of Chai is the opening note of this particular vintage, along with aromas with curry, cinnamon, black currant, cassis, vanilla, basil, and earthy strawberries and juniper berries. As the wine opens, floral notes of cliff rose, lavender, and white chocolate emerge from the glass, intermingling with the creosote petrichor so common in our Arizona reds.
Palate: Chai once again is the opening note on the palate. Cardamon and vanilla notes also intermingle with vanilla, cedar, cassis, plum and forest floor. As the wine opens, notes of Kentucky wrap tobacco, and basil also emerge. The finish has this very interesting earthy gravely ashy taste (like licking a piece of basalt, almost–thank you Geology 101). This wine is a tannin bomb. The finish of this wine, when it opens up lasts for 50 seconds; when just out of the bottle it ends at 37 Seconds. I strongly reccomend decanting this wine for three hours or more at this period for that reason.
Pairing: I feel like this wine would be paired quite well with elk steaks, or a grilled portobello mushroom (with no balsamic vinegar–just plain salt and pepper). You definately want food that the tannins and flavor profile will play well with; something very fatty will also work well.
Impressions: As I mentioned before, definately decant this wine for at LEAST three hours before you drink it now. This is also, I think, a nebbiolo that could age like a barolo, so it should age for up to 20 years or so quite easily if you were patient enough. It’s the most Italian-like Nebbiolo I’ve encountered in the state so far, despite the 20% Barbera (which by the way is a grape that comes from the same region as Barolo, in case you were wondering.)
This wine is dark, brooding, and masculine. He has dark secrets, and a twisted mind, and prefers to wear old-fashioned clothing. He is over-fond of tweed, and upper-class. This could be the wine equivelant to H.P. Lovecraft.