"Exceptional value-per-dollar ratio" is how Cinnabar, or at least their publicist, promotes their wines. Based on our tasting of their 2008 California Mercury Rising "Bordeaux-style" wine, we see substance in the statement.We taste wines blind-ish. We don't brown bag and mix them up to confuse ourselves, but we do taste without wine-maker notes, price, or press materials. In this case, we concluded that Mercury Rising "drinks like" a wine priced $38 or less. Once we pulled the spec-sheet, we were happy to find a suggested retail of $21.
"Bordeaux-style wine" is a francophile way of saying "blend," or at least type of blend -- blends, actually -- common to Bordeaux.
Mercury Rising incorporates all five primary varietals of the grapes that the French allow in Bordeux reds. These include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, in this case all sourced from four different NorCal regions.
Inside Tip: If they were to say "Meritage" instead, they would have to pay a fee, as Meritage is a name created, marketed and licensed by a company.