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 dusty fine grained tannins.
Mercury Rising, Cinnabar’s most popular wine, is a Bordeaux-style red cuvée. Vineyards are chosen for their favorable climate and soils, effective cultural practices, and history of producing quality fruit. In 2008, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec were sourced from Paso Robles, Lodi, Lake County and Monterey County.
The percentage of varietals used in Mercury Rising is fine-tuned with each vintage based on the character of the individual components and how they contribute to the synergy of aroma, flavor, structure and mouthfeel. Lots are fermented and aged separately, then blended before bottling to create a dark, complex and elegant wine.
The 08 growing season started with heavy rain in January and February. Skies cleared in March, opening the door for considerable morning frost. The freeze didn’t cause visual damage, but it disrupted the growth cycle by delaying budbreak, bloom and berry set. May and June brought hot, dry gusts that triggered some 1,400 wild fires throughout California. The wind, in conjunction with variable temperatures during bloom, reduced fruit set by creating small clusters with many shot berries while the smoke obscured sunlight and slowed grape development. Heat spikes in July and August countered those processes and helped vines recover maturation. Harvest was delayed 7–10 days due to the erratic weather and haze, but the high skin-to-juice ratios of the small crop intensified wine flavors.