Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dry Creek Vineyard 2012 The Mariner, Dry Creek Valley

Just as a mariner navigates his ship, so too must a winemaker navigate his way through a vintage.

Finally, A Perfect Harvest

The Mariner from Dry Creek Vineyards is one of our favorite red blends. When our friends hosted a New Year’s Day gathering with football, food and drinks, we grabbed The Mariner and away we went.

Each year the blend for The Mariner varies, depending on the growing conditions and the intuition of the winemaker. In Sonoma, the 2010 and 2011 vintages were challenging. Patience was rewarded with the 2012 vintage, considered one of the finest in recent history.

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Waves Of Refreshment

On the television, the crowd-favorite Ohio State Buckeyes football team finally began dominating Notre Dame. Meanwhile, The Mariner was dominating in the wine glass!

The Mariner is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Malbec,  8% Petit Verdot and a splash of 3% Cabernet Franc. The percentage of Merlot is the lowest in four years, but despite that, the Merlot shone through to provide a lush softness.

Upon opening, the wine is a little tight – but swirling and chatting with friends allowed it to open to a pleasant fullness. Cranberry and dark cherry flavors abound. There are also threads of herb. The wine is well-balanced with a smooth and supple body.

This is a wine easy to like. It is polished and complex with an approachable price of $45 SRP. The tannins are present to enable aging for another five or so years. Or, you could push away from shore and begin “navigating” right away.

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