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Cinnabar Mercury Rising Red 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
  • WE90
14.9% ABV
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Composed of the top five red varieties used in Bordeaux, this medium-to-full bodied blend demonstrates complexity on the nose and palate. Aromas of candied red and black cherry are underscored by a bouquet of warm toasted oak, rich loam, and dried brush. The flavors show mocha and black fruit up front, baked ham and open-flame grilling in the middle, and a persistent finish of ripe fruit, sweet oak, and freshly-ground baking spices. It has a lush, pleasing mouthfeel with smooth texture, lively acidity and tannins that are dusty yet fine-grained.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of the five major Bordeaux varieties, this is a deliciously soft wine. So easy to like for its rich blackberry, cherry, raspberry and smoky oak flavors, courtesy of 40% new barrels. Shows lots of class for the price. -Editor's Choice
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Cinnabar

Cinnabar

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Cinnabar, Central Coast, California
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Situated 40 miles south of San Francisco between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, Cinnabar overlooks Silicon Valley from the east rim of the Santa Cruz Mountains at 1,650 feet. Mild temperatures and clay-loam soils contribute deep fruit and earthy components to wines that express a unique sense of place. Winemaker George Troquato combines Cinnabar's small, intensely flavored grapes with meddle-free winemaking to produce complex, well-balanced wines.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

ALXCINMERC_2008 Item# 109975