Why is it called Mercy, you may ask? We did. What we heard from the two vintners who were there (that was a treat) was that they realize growers of anything agricultural are at the mercy of nature. Or as their website says, "Through the millennia, Man's quixotic attempt to produce the finest wines has borne an unyielding Truth: The Vine is always at the Mercy of Mother Nature."
The Mercy vintners, Mike Kohne and Mark Dirickson, use grapes from three properties. They are particularly fond of the Arroyo Seco River Bed area, loving the unique rocky "minerality" the soil gives to the grapes.
Two of our favorite wines--the 2009 Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco and the 2008 Syrah-- had grapes from the Zabala Vineyard, and as luck would have it, Luis Zabala popped into the tasting room while we were there.
Plus, we learned yet some new vocabulary to add to our wine tasting lexicon. The 2009 Chardonnay (which also has grapes from the Griva vineyard) was fragrant, aromatic, and "brisk." We like "brisk." The 2008 Syrah--deep, rich, fruity-- was described as "furry" by MK. That's a new one. When pressed further, she defined "furry" as "what chocolate does in your mouth." We each bought a bottle.
After we had finished our tasting of seven wines (for $10), we were asked if we had the "bandwidth" for one more. There's another creative use of words. "But of course," we said and tasted a wonderful 2010 Pinot Noir.
The tasting room is open for sales and tasting Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (831 659-4321).We loved our wine tasting experience and learned a little more about cloning and the impact of soil and weather on grapes. Plus, we certainly added to our colorful wine vocabulary. We also each came home not only with strong, unique wines, but also a Riedel glass that says "Have Mercy." We definitely will.
We hope you will, too.