What We’re Drinking – 2009 Dry Creek Vineyard “The Mariner” Meritage

Umami and tannins, bacon and herbs. Single vineyard may be the rage, but blends let the winemaker play with the whole palette, for your palate. This is dark, inky black at its core, and almost as dark on the nose. Blackberries, cassis lead, followed by a touch of bacon fat and black cherry. Fruits are similar on the palate, adding distinct umami flavors from mid-palate to finish. Black fruit goes to red fruit, bacon fat, soy, and sea foam pick up after and linger. Tannins are dusty, acids follow, giving a very solid backbone. Drink with marinated steak from flank steak to teriyaki steak. Highly Recommended. 91 points. DBH

Who: Dry Creek Vineyard
What: Cabernet Sauvignon (43%), Merlot (37%), Malbec (10%), Petit Verdot (5%), Cabernet Franc (5%)
Where: California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek
When: 2009
How Much: $40 (media sample)