This week’s wine review is going to focus on a couple of first timers for me. I love finding new stuff! Maybe I am a nerd (well, I know I am a nerd), but there is a little sense of adventure when you open a bottle that you’ve never tried before. I have definitely got a few duds in my exploration. Hey, they can’t all be winners, right? The real payoff though is popping that cork on a new bottle, taking that first sip, then a switch flips in your brain and the “This is good!!” light bulb goes off. So, when I’m old and gray, and someone asks me about one of the simple things in life that make me happy, finding a new good wine is going to be high on that list. I generally find new wines one of two ways; I either hear about them from friends (I have good friends) or I know the winery name and want to explore their other labels. There is a third way that I find wines…dumb luck. The first wine for this week, 2013 Cinnabar Mercury Rising, was quasi-recommended by friends (Thanks Mo & Bron!). They had spoken very highly of the winery so I jumped at a chance to grab a bottle. The second, 2012 Roth Heritage Red Wine, is an example of a winery I like and wanted to explore. On a side note, prior to about two months ago I had not tried a Roth wine (Pinot party happened). I can tell you they have quickly made me a fan in a very short time. Anyway, enough of my editorial, let’s talk wine.

2013 Cinnabar Mercury Rising: ($23)
This was one of those wines that make me happy. The Mercury Rising is a red blend made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Petite Syrah…, that’s a lot of grapes, but it really works. It starts with a very nice blackberry aroma. As you taste it you get a very soft mouth feel, maybe even a little silky. The flavors of plum and blackberry are mixed well with vanilla, oak, and tobacco. It has a wonderful full body with a nice level of tannin, and carries a medium finish that blends together creamy vanilla with a cherry and oak. This was a very nicely balanced wine with a lot going on in a sip. It’s really fun to drink.

2013 Cinnabar Mercury Rising and Great Cheese!

2012 Roth Heritage Red Wine: ($20 on sale)
I said earlier I’m quickly becoming a huge Roth fan, and the Heritage didn’t disappoint. This is another blend, and boy is it a blend all right. It is 26% Zinfandel, 21% Syrah, 18% Merlot, 15% Petite Syrah, 10% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon (more grapes than the last blend, geez). It starts off with a soft plum nose with pepper and oak blended in. The flavor begins as currants layered with cherries, but they quickly gets dominated with black pepper. That same pepper flavor carries heavily into the finish, and as it rolls over your tongue it softens into a delicious cherry with a hint of cocoa that linger nicely. This is a really interesting wine in a good way. It screams Zin, and just when you think “okay, I get it!” it slides into that niceness you get from a really good blend. I got to say for the price point I really loved this wine. It might be a case buy.

Okay, enough of my BS for the night. Moral of the story, adventure is good, go try something new. One of the personal benefits I get from writing this blog is it almost forces to do that. It really gives me the opportunity to expand my own knowledge. My hope is that I can share it with you and help you along the way in your exploration.

Happy exploring!

P.S. If you try something I’ve written about in this or a past post leave me a comment. Even if you didn’t like it, I’d love to hear about your experience.

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