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Wine Deal: NV Mercury Wine Geyserville Red, $8 (500 ml jug)

Melanie Wong Nov 30, 2009 06:11 PM

Saturday a friend and I took the slow way home after an afternoon of winetasting in Healdsburg with a 5pm cocktail chaser at Cyrus. We thought we’d catch Santa’s arrival in Geyserville and dinner at Diavola.

Right next door to Diavola (across the alley), a brightly lit tasting room was still open and crammed full of people. I didn’t remember seeing it before and asked how long it had been open. Turned out I was talking to the owner’s dad, and he answered, “One hour!”

Here’s a photo of the wine bottles and pickled vegetables in the display racks lining the walls. The winemaker, Jake Hawkes, canned all the veggies too. We liked the contemporary, hip and unpretentious feel of this place.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenmaiser/4147124549

There’s a barrel room off to the side, and I took this photo of the table centerpiece.
http://twitpic.com/reds0

Those 500 ml jugs shown in the picture are the Geyserville red wine. It’s a blend of vintages, mostly Bordeaux varieties, from the family’s vineyards in Alexander Valley. Plush, ripe tannins feel soft and velvety in the mouth, and there’s plenty of richness, depth and complexity in a ready-to-drink framework. Most wines at this price point are fruit bombs with little backbone or finish. This one goes down smooth and lingers with a black currant aftertaste. Sipping this wine, I immediately had a craving for some beefy short ribs. At $8 for 500ml (equal to $12 per 750ml bottle), this wine is a screaming deal and easily bests wines selling for more than double the price. I also like the format, just the right size for two people to share over dinner.

http://www.mercurywine.com/

* * * *
December 1 - World AIDS Day
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  1. c oliver Nov 30, 2009 06:41 PM

    This place sounds terrific but I have a confession. When I first saw it, I thought it was $8500/ml so that REALLY got my attention. Thanks for your usual good write up.

    3 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      Melanie Wong Nov 30, 2009 06:47 PM

      Thanks, I've edited the subject line.

      And, we got to see Santa Claus. His first stop was the Mercury Wine tasting room and the little kids waited patiently in line for their turn with him.

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        c oliver Nov 30, 2009 06:49 PM

        Do you think they got some wee-tastings while in line?

        1. re: c oliver
          Melanie Wong Dec 6, 2009 11:03 PM

          Maybe a bite of some of the baby backs on the buffet table.

          My friend might have been the first paying customer. No one knew how to do a credit card transaction yet.

    2. c
      Cary Dec 1, 2009 10:47 AM

      Thanks for the note.
      I've been wondering though, how much MegaPurple is being used for these cheaper (but tasty and easy to drink) red wines.

      That reminds me, we need to have a wine-focused Chowdown.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Cary
        Melanie Wong Dec 6, 2009 11:13 PM

        I can't say for certain, but I'd be very surprised if the winemaker needed to use that kind of additive. Maybe I wasn't clear enough, this may be cheap but it is a wine with a lot of breed.

        I sent an email to the winery asking for the contact info and a few questions. Here's the reply.

        Is it all Alexander Valley and/or Hawkes fruit? 100% Alexander valley fruit

        All bordeaux varieties? All 5 Bordeaux varieties.

        What is the alcohol level? 14.25%

        What vintages were blended into the current release? 05-06

        What was the inspiration behind a multi-year blend and jug bottling? The P-Verdot, Malbec and C/F were better in 06

        Address 21015 Geyserville ave.
        Geyserville, Ca 95441
        Phone 707.857.9870

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          m
          MRMoggie Dec 15, 2009 09:38 PM

          Wonder if these folks are in any way related to Hawkes winery in the Alexander Valley with a tasting room next door to the Jimtown Store...

          The Mercury website wasn't up yet when I checked to see. (Perhaps not related since the Hawkes winery seems to make a point of keeping the alcohol below 14%, which means 750ml works nicely for two for dinner without the headache in the morning, and I see the Mercury 500ml jug blend is 14.25%)

          1. re: MRMoggie
            Melanie Wong Dec 15, 2009 09:53 PM

            Yes, Jake Hawkes' dad owns Hawkes winery. I talked to the proud father on opening night.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              m
              MRMoggie Dec 16, 2009 09:04 AM

              Good scouting, Melanie -- nice story in today's Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

              http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/...

              1. re: MRMoggie
                Melanie Wong Dec 16, 2009 09:32 AM

                Thanks, I appreciate seeing the wine prices as none were posted when I was there. I also tasted one of the Pinots, and while it didn't send me, it would be worth a second look at the $25 price point. I did like "The Father", the Cab Franc blend with a great aromatic profile, priced at $45.

                The $125 for a case purchase of $8 bottles in order to get the wooden box doesn't make sense to me. Maybe it's an 18-bottle case (equivalent to 12 - 750mls) and not 12.

      2. lessleyellen Mar 2, 2010 04:28 PM

        Here's the link:

        http://www.chow.com/restaurants/91306...

        1 Reply
        1. re: lessleyellen
          Melanie Wong Mar 2, 2010 04:43 PM

          Thanks, yes, that link was returned to this region from never-neverland just recently.

          I got a note that Mercury will launch the 2009 Gewurztraminer at Jimtown Store on Thursday.

          Jimtown Store

          First Thursday

          WINE BAR

          March 4, 2010

          6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p..m.

          -----
          Jimtown Store
          6706 Hwy 128, Healdsburg, CA 95448

          Mercury Wine
          21015 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441

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