Home > Fair, ModGood, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Albania, New Mexico (by way of Arizona), and Texas

Albania, New Mexico (by way of Arizona), and Texas


I am naturally curious about many things and as this blog is chronicle of my daily interest in wine, rather than a focused critique, I found myself purchasing three wines from Albania, New Mexico, and Texas. I do know that I might be better off at times purchasing my favorite $13 Cotes du Rhone but my curiosity is driving.  Of the three wines in this post the 2011 Kantina Arbëri, Kallmet, Mirdite, Albania has the most potential. I liked the dark fruit, tar, and minerals.  The 2012 Caduceus Cellars, Merkin Vineyards, Chupacabra, New Mexico is another effort from Maynard James Keenan’s Arizona based Caduceus Cellar.  The firm fruit, acidity, and structure all go hand in hand but it needs some short-term aging to open up.   I do not know how it will develop but it tastes like it was intended too.  Finally, the 2013  McPherson, Tre Colore, Texas keeps with previous vintages by being a soft wine to drink right away. The Kantina Arbëri was purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the other wines at Sherry’s Wine and Spirits.

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2011 Kantina Arbëri, Kallmet, Mirdite, Albania – $16
Imported by  Winebow.  This wine is 100% Kallmet. Alcohol 13.9%. The nose bore dark fruit and tar. The flavors in the mouth were black, fresh and dry with both a leather note and earthy hint. The wine became lively towards the finish with noticeable drying structure. With air the wine develop black minerals, texture, and a little tart flavor that went with the salivating acidity. An enjoyable wine but in the end the structure might soon overpower the fresh, black fruit. ** Now-2017.

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2013  McPherson, Tre Colore, Texas – $18
This wine is a blend of 49% Carignan, 40% Mourvedre, and 11% Viognier that was fermented and aged in stainless steel.   Alcohol 13.9%.  The wine had a rounder mouthfeel with initial flavors of tart red and black fruit. The flavors became sweeter with integrated acidity and minimal structure. What structure there was became noticeable in the back end. * Now.

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2012 Caduceus Cellars, Merkin Vineyards, Chupacabra, New Mexico –
This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 14% Petit Sirah that was aged in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 13.7%.  This carried firm fruit, good acidity and length. The cranberry red fruit had an integrated structure of spiced tannins. The oak is still noticeable with its barrels notes and tannins on the gums. There was a bit of an aftertaste. ** Now-2018

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