Text Size:-+
06.04.2004

2001 Cinnabar Estate Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains

Cinnabar has been around since 1983, when owner Tom Mudd, a scientist and researcher, decided to take his interest in grapes to a new level. For many years, this little winery that sits high in the Santa Cruz Mountians near Saratoga was a well kept local secret, but with its recent vintages it has garnered widespread acclaim for producing wines that are both high quality and great values.

Named after the mineral that contains murcury and was prized by medieval alchemists, Cinnabar strives for modern day alchemy in the transformation of its land and fruit into something extraordinary. Tom and his winemaker George Troquato have indeed managed to create gold, and this wine is a shining example of it.

I've been drinking Cinnabars wines for a while, primarily their Murcury Rising red blend, which is one of the best values in California wines, in my opinion. I was excited to try their estate Chard, hoping for a similar ratio of quality and price, and was not disappointed. This tastes like Chardonnays that sell for twice its price.

Tasting Notes:
A pale golden yellow, this wine has a wonderful floral nose of honey and roses with a splash of grapefruit, and a hint of oak. On the palate it is crisp, with a nice balance of acidity and sweetness, and contains flavors of pears, citrus zest, and light cream. The wine has a beautifully clean, long finish.

Food Pairing:
The lightness of the oak in this wine and its crisp fruit make it a good all around food Chardonnay, and one that has the flexibility to accompany a wider range of foods including Asian. I had this one with some pork and shrimp wontons in a spicy ginger sesame sauce.

Overall Score: 8.5/9

How Much?: $25

You can purchase this wine directly from the winery's Web site.

Comments (1)

enoch choi wrote:
06.04.04 at 12:46 PM

i've never been too hot on Mercury Rising but i love his chards, including the ones he vints under his own family's name, Troquato Vinyards. His dad is always showing his wines on passport days, and is fun to chat with.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Into the Tank 72 Pinot Noirs on a Sunny Afternoon: Tasting at IPNC 2014 The Great White South: An Introduction to Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vinography Images: Along the Row Time For The World's Best Prison Wine Coastal Diamonds: The Rieslings of Oregon Vinography Images: The Red Window Taking Celebrity Wine to the Next Level Vinography Images: The Blue Berry 2014 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 17, San Mateo

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.