Winery: Caduceus Cellars
Wine Name/Vineyard: Primer Paso
Wine Category: Syrah based blend
Grape blend: 91% Syrah 9% Malvasia Bianca
Bottle size: 750 ml
State or country: Arizona
Cases produced: N/A
The Barrel Cellar Score: 93 points
Review date: Aug 2, 2019
About the Winemaker: Caduceus Cellars based in Jerome Arizona has it all. It sits in a beautiful and historic community, on beautiful mountain, in an area blessed with volcanic soil and it’s surrounded by a vibrant farming community. Winemaker Maynard James Keenan is hitting a groove in the quality and consistency of his craft at a time when his newly remodeled Jerome tasting room is celebrating its 10th birthday. He is making some beautiful wines. The other regional wineries should not be overlooked either, Arizona is great place to spend a weekend wine tasting and Caduceus Cellars is a must stop along the way.
Color: Up Maroon
Nose: Perfectly ripened cherry and floral notes
Taste: Cherry pie filling, mild earthiness, and a hint of apricot.
Assessment: I have been buying at minimum a bottle of this every year since it has been released. In fact, I often buy archive release bottles as well. The 2011 version is particularly special as evidenced by the wine maker’s designation to label it as a Velvet Slippers Club exclusive wine club offering. The balance of tannins and fruitiness really is a work of art. The majority Syrah portion of this blend provides a bold presence and strong backbone. The addition of Malvasia Bianca serves to lighten the body, soften the character, and add a touch of brightness. The wine has a medium body, a silky-smooth mouthfeel, and a sustained finish that will leave you wanting another glass. Ready to drink now.
Pairing recommendation: Grilled Rib eye, dark chocolate