Mercury Rising 2009
Cowden Center Street Grill has started up its Thursday night wine flights for the spring and summer months. Before having dinner at this lovely restaurant recently, I enjoyed a tasting of Cinnabar wines.
Three different Cinnabar wines were being poured—a Chardonnay, a Merlot and their well-known Mercury Rising. After tasting all three, I bought a bottle of the 2009 Mercury Rising to have with dinner. In the winery’s most popular red—a full-bodied wine with a smooth and structured finish—the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc come together well. The nose has lots of dark fruit and toasted oak—and flavors of berry jam, vanilla, spice, tobacco and sweet oak fill the mouth with a pleasing aftertaste.
A highlight of the evening was having expert winemaker George Troquato there to talk about the wines of Cinnabar, founded in 1981 by the late Tom Mudd, a research civil engineer at Stanford Research Institute. Center Street Grill plans on inviting local winemakers every Thursday to impart knowledge of their craft.
Mercury is extracted from cinnabar, giving this purple-red wine its catchy name of Mercury Rising. At around $20, it is one of the best-selling wines around, and can be found in many local wine stores. I saw it recently on sale in New Leaf for about $16.
Cinnabar Winery’s tasting room is at 14612 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, (408) 867-1012. Cinnabarwine.com. Center Street Grill, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz, 423-4745. Thecenterstreetgrill.com.
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