24 October 2014

Orin Swift Mercury Head 2012

I’d been aware of this Cabernet for some time, but this was my first time tasting it. I shared it with two of my friends who enjoy wine as much as I do.

It was a stunningly rich garnet color in the glass (we enjoyed it out of Riedel Sommelier’s Collection Bordeaux glasses).

The nose was a surprise to me. Very spicy and very vegetal. I got a huge hit of cauliflower, something I can’t remember ever smelling (or at least, identifying) in a wine before. But it wasn’t off-putting, even though I don’t like cauliflower. It was enticing.

The taste was full of herbal, vegetal notes. It was green but good. The tannins were quite structured, giving the wine more heft than I think it would have otherwise had, and the acidity didn’t seem so high until the back of the sip (but before the finish), when I puckered up quite a bit.

Delicious and well-made like everything else I’ve had from Orin Swift, it was still less exciting to me than Papillon, Orin Swift’s Bordeaux blend. Mercury Head had some extremes that, while invigorating to experience in this pure-varietal wine, would have been smoothed out a bit in a blend.