Another seriously light-colored Arizona wine. But we’re on Grenache again–and from experience with the skins of this variety: the BEST versions ARE this color and density. If you’re drinking Grenache that looks like Cab or Syrah, you’re flat-out doing it wrong. I’m just gonna call you on that. I don’t care if you don’t like me or your allocation-list says otherwise. This one’s got a clear rim, but a definite amber glow to it throughout: I will stop short of calling it “bricking”–due to its age–but it definitely is a ruddy shade of garnet transparency. It smells SOOOO fucking ridiculously fruity. Like, fruit juice. Not wine. Straight toddler-juice-box fruit juice: apple and white grape, a little cranberry maybe, but not pithy or sharp, heading towards almost peach and apricot. Watermelon Jolly Rancher rides high on some dusty barnyard background, and blind? I might even head into Beaujolais territory. But there’s a *warmth* to it dispelling Bojo alignment. The overly-joyous fruit blows off to a certain extent, exposing a shrubby, leathery wine pretty much DEFINING good Grenache.

Tasting it will either dash all those opinions into conundrum, or align them seamlessly. It’s definitely not Capri-Sun in the mouth. The delicateness of the color is impossible to ignore on the tongue, where it also tastes clear and light–but by no means “thin”. A perfectly balanced entry sloshes the over-21 versions of all that fruit juice around with acid-tipped mops. It’s got a dirty core to it, but nothing in the *burnt* or *roasted* categories like we see regularly in Southwestern wines. The pinch of underlying briar provides a seedy crush smoothly transforming to light tannins which convey the steady stream of juicy fruit along–never over-powering it. It’s a little cloying–I’d like a tad more acid, but I’m not going to subtract too many points on this. It’s a beautiful grenache: perfect color, low alcohol, ridiculously fruited, structure on focus, all the creepy weirdness we grenache people love grenache for packed in all over. I’ve been harsh on this label in the past, but this is the best wine from Caduceus I have had–and fully endorse it.

2017 CADUCEUS ‘Airavata’ Garnacha Yavapai Co. Arizona 13.4

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