This bottle of Arizona wine—yes, people are making the stuff in that arid land of intolerance—declares itself “big yet subtle and well balanced.” Kind of a bloodless description when you consider this 50/30/20 blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sangiovese is the handiwork of “M.J. Keenan, Winemaker.” You may better know M.J. as Maynard James, frontman of Tool, the ’90s art-metal act that still carves out time for concert engagements when its enigmatic singer isn’t stomping grapes in the cooler high desert north of Phoenix. Keenan ditched the loser rock-’n’-roll milieu of L.A. for the Grand Canyon State about a decade ago on a spirit quest toward vinting. In the process, he kind of sort of put ’Zona winemaking on the map—at least in the minds of diehard Tool-heads and a handful of Phoenix wine snobs. Keenan’s 2011 batch of Nagual de la Naga is a smooth, low-acid red with a pleasant caramel taste in the finish. It’s also $50 a bottle. To the sort who would pay more than that to see the inscrutable frontman perform a two-hour show obscured from the audience’s view, it must seem like a bargain. Not recommended.
SEE IT: Tool plays Moda Center, 1 N Center Court, with YOB, on Thursday, March 6. 8 pm. $40-$75. All ages.