Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra 2006

Tool and Dream Theater are my favourite bands ever. So much so that I have Tool’s eye tattooed in my right arm and shoulder and DT’s logo tattooed in the back of my neck. So much so that when I heard from Fourth Eye that there was an Australian wine importer Sip & Listen would sell Merkin VineyardsChupacabra 2006 I immediately placed an order.

Merkin Vineyards, for those who don’t know, is Maynard James Keenan‘s (singer for Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer) winery. Apparently, wine making is to Keenan what visuals are to Adam Jones (Tool’s guitarist): the perfect complement for their musical selves.

I had no idea of how good the wine would be, but I had to try it. Its price is a lot higher than what I usually pay for wine (3 bottles for $100, 6 for $200, 9 for $300); I was cautious and only reserved 3. The Chupacabra was supposed to hit Australia in October last year so I was hoping to drink a bottle in my birthday, but it didn’t make it until January. Fortunately, I had a new excuse to celebrate with a bottle.

Last year I applied to uni. It was a long and expensive process, and finally, on January 18th I got an offer. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, and it needed a celebration. My sister came to our house for dinner, we had some steaks and I opened my first bottle of Chupacabra. It was exciting and scary at the same time, too. What if the wine was crap? Would I be able to tell or would I be biased by my musical taste? If I admitted it was crap, would I like Tool less than before?

I know, so much anticipation over a bottle of wine is a bit stupid. I swear it didn’t last more than the 30 seconds that took me to uncork the bottle (yes, it has a real cork). The Chupacabra’s colour is deep and much darker than what I was expecting for a 2006 wine. It has a very decent body and smell. Knowing it was a Cabernet/Syrah (Shiraz) blend I was a bit worried about not liking it to drink on its own (I find some Cabernets too dry and oaky, and most Shiraz too acidic) but the taste was amazing. It’s a wine with character and complexity but, at the same time, easy to drink. I could taste ripe fruit and warm spices. And it went perfectly with the steaks and Tool music in the background.

Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra

I’m looking forward for the next excuse to open bottle #2.

Happy Australia Day everyone!

8 thoughts on “Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra 2006

  1. Hi Gaby,
    Congrats on uni! will you be studying nutrition? :) so glad the wine didn’t let you down – it’s fascinating to learn about what our rock gods get up to in their free time. back stage at big day out a few years ago, i spotted a VERY well known rock star studying up on how to best grow his tomatoes :) love the artwork on the bottle too.
    Hope you had a lovely australia day,
    Chloe xx

  2. I prefer A Perfect Circle to be honest. I find the music more melodic and easier to listen to – although I do like Schism and Sober. I’m glad your wine was everything you hoped it would be!

    1. Also An APC fan :P here. Also like Schism from tool as well

      One of my friends introduced me to dream theater and found the songs quite lengthy!

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