The Mariner is a pretty fearless dude. The label of this Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage shows an old salt with a sporty moustache bravely steering the ship’s wheel while waves threaten to overwhelm him.
Sail on, brave captain. At the end of your voyage you might be lucky enough to get a bottle of this righteous wine!
The Mariner is a premium Bordeaux-style blend with 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are grown in red, iron-rich soil and the wine is aged for 24 months in French oak.
Fans of single vineyard wines should take a big sip of The Mariner. If you have a single vineyard Cabernet, for example, you miss the magic that the winemaker’s expertise in blending can impart. This proprietary blend debuted in 2004 and is the culmination of years spent working with different vineyards (including the estate’s own DCV9 vineyard).
The wine has a complex earthiness with deep currents of blackberry and black cherry shot through with vanilla. The oak brings a nice toastiness to the wine. The finish is smooth sailing into a calm harbor.
The firmness and dark fruit reminded our tasting team of Cab Franc (although only 5% is present). Unlike the ship’s captain, our team members had both hands free to signal two thumbs up for this impressive wine.
This is a wine with character and suitable for a special occasion or an evening with good friends. A treasure chest is not required to pay the suggested retail price of $45.
Full Disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.