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Dry Creek Vineyard The Mariner 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • RP90
  • WE90
  • WE92
  • W&S92
  • TP92
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Winemaker Notes

The 2006 Mariner exudes the qualities of a fine Bordeaux. At first swirl, this wine presents a beautiful mix of bright cherry, chocolate, and cassis elements framed by subtle notes of vanilla bean and coffee. On the palate, this classic blend comes together with fine tannins that support the dense fruit and structure of this full bodied wine. With more airing, hints of rose petal and earthy nuances provide balance, grace, and finesse. A long and memorable finish proves that this delicious young wine will age for at least a decade or more.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator

Sleek, tight and focused, harmonious, well-proportioned and complex, offering layers of ripe plum, black cherry, currant, black licorice, mineral and spice. Ends with supple tannins and a flow of dark berry flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2019. 4,588 cases made.

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Shows the edgy tannins that Dry Creek red wines invariably display, with a sandpapery texture. That makes the wine, which is a Bordeaux blend of five varieties, a little rustic. But the dryness and bite are a nice alternative to the riper, softer Napa style, and more versatile at the table. Good now, and should slowly develop in the bottle for years.

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Dry Creek Vineyard

Dry Creek Vineyard

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Dry Creek Vineyard, , California
Dry Creek Vineyard
In 1972, when David S. Stare opened the doors to Dry Creek Vineyard, it was the first new winery to be built in the Valley since Prohibition. Dry Creek created the first Sonoma Fume Blanc, originated the Dry Creek Valley AVA, and was an early advocate for Bordeaux-style blending.

Today, Dry Creek Vineyard is committed to vineyard diversity, vinifying individual lots of fruit separately, and then blending carefully for each final cuvee. Dry Creek Vineyard is also a leader in the stewardship of pre-Prohibition Zinfandel vines and vineyards, and has isolated a clone, called the "Heritage Clone," which is bottled separately from their "Old Vines" Zinfandel (containing wine only from vines no younger than 50 years old), and which has made very promising wines.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular and age-worthy wines at its best. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

CWW11597F_2006 Item# 105709

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