Back Door Man

Back to Arizona, and the Grenache in this jumps out at you in both color and nose. Heady perfume exudes, ripe and concentrated while maintaining crazy herbaceousness. Earthy oiliness–an almost diesel-like petrol mired down in gear-lube and asphalt areas unlike crisp ‘petrol’ typically descripted in Riesling or Gewurtz. Old-world cellar floor balances the toasty fruit–an almost Sierra Foothill type of warm rusticity.

Tasting it confirms the Grenache participant: round, sultry, lavish decadence sharpened by metallic angst and woody briar. Acid on point to the extent of peppery heat with tannin vague-to-non-existent, despite the Bordeaux inclusions. Really not picking up the Cab and PV quotient much at all, and would never have guessed it without reading. I suppose there exists a black vibrancy plumping up the Grenache, something akin to Mourvedre if I had to do it blind and were assuming more ‘classic’ blending components.

This wine feels FAR more ‘basic Arizona’–in other words: ‘Cottonwood’–than any other Callaghan I have tasted, presenting lollipop fruit graciousness surrounded by the peculiar chubby fruitiness this hi-elevation, arid saline presents in its own–trademark–style of ripeness. Warm and ‘brown-tasting’, it is a generous, full-bodied red blend, but my least-favorite to date from this producer–despite the web-site proclaiming it as their most-popular wine. Which makes sense–if you *get* my palate. Unlike other regions faced with increasing ripeness and resorting to WC for pseudo-chemistry or green-lignification counter-point, here it doesn’t lift it incredibly.

2019 CALLAGHAN VINEYARDS ‘Back Lot’ GR 63%/Graciano/cab/PV Sonoita Arizona 14.2

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