Mercury Head Cabernet Sauvignon (Orin Swift)Napa Valley 2021

$179.99

Bearing nothing more than an real antique Mercury dime for a front label, this superstar Californian Cabernet takes its name from quirky winemaker Dave Phinney’s childhood memories of collecting coins. Although Dave made his name with his legendary The Prisoner red blend, he also has a sweet spot for making magnificent single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon which can be drunk young or cellared over a decade or longer. If you do choose to open this bottle now, you’ll be rewarded with sumptuous aromas of cassis, blackberry and cigar box and a rich, full body and bold cherry and plum flavours seasoned with sage and hints of graphite which will evolve and become even more complex with further ageing.

To make his flagship Cabernet Dave and his team at Orin Swift vinify all the grapes from their prime Napa Valley vineyards separately and carefully select the finest lots to create Mercury Head. If a particular vintage does not produce enough top quality fruit, no Mercury Head will be made that year. This precise approach allows them to combine fruit from Napa Valley’s most prized microclimates in the Rutherford, St. Helena and Atlas Peak AVAs to paint a masterful portrait of this noble variety.

 

96 points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Winemaker Dave Phinney expects to bottle a bit more than 6,000 cases of the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Mercury Head, what he calls a “typical volume” for it. Sourced from a couple of well-known valley floor sites and the Stagecoach Vineyard (sometimes a bit of Monte Rosso Vineyard fruit makes it in the blend as well) and aged 13 months in 58% new oak, the nose offers up hints of menthol and cedar over a base of ripe cassis and cherries. It’s full-bodied and velvety in the mouth, while a hint of dark chocolate creeps in on the lengthy finish.

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