2009 Dynamic Lake County Red Table Wine

I was familiar with the Dynamic Vineyards label and Ceago Vinegarden when I picked this one up. Ceago was founded by Jim Fetzer whose family started their winery in 1968, turned it to organic in 1984 and sold it to Brown-Forman, one of America’s largest alcohol conglomerate, in 1992. He started Ceago soon after (1993) in Mendocino before moving to Clear Lake in Lake County in 2001. Per their site Ceago’s “mission is to craft small lots of wine from estate grown organic and biodynamic grapes using the best of Old and New World winemaking techniques.”

As mentioned I was familiar with this one when I picked it up. For I had very much enjoyed their 2006 offereing. Little did I remember it was the Mendocino which I enjoyed and not the Lake County which I neglected to review at the time given my disappointment. The blend back in 2006 was completely different (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah, 20% Malbec) so perhaps it would fare better this time around. Let’s check it out…

2009 Dynamic Lake County Red Table WinePrice: $8.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

I can’t find a word on this one and since the Ceago Vineyards site still references the 2006 version you’ll have to take my word for it…

What I Think:

(14%) 53% Syrah, 43% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon – Almost cloying on the nose. Off sweet with warm red fruits and spice. Dark in the glass, full bodied and lush on the palate. Problem is little happens between there and the time it dries out on the finish with creamy, vanilla notes on top of light tannins. IMHO this could use more Cabernet in the blend to add some acidity and balance. Then again wine making is not me forte. I’d say this one is good but one dimensional (as noted above). I won’t be buying again but if a fruit forward slightly sweet red is your style feel free to give this one a try.

Rating: Skip It

2006 Dynamic Mendocino Red Table Wine

 2006 Dynamic Red Table WinePrice: $8.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Ceago Vinegarden well not much about the wine but they did have this to say about biodynamic farming; “Our Vineyards are grown and certified Biodynamic by Demeter which adheres to the DYNAMIC farming methods established in the early 1920s by Rudolf Steiner. The Biodynamic Tower on our property is where, during cycles of the year, homeopathic teas are prepared to enhance and regulate plant growth and soil fertility which brings forward the unique qualities that this wine demonstrates. This is our commitment to you…think DYNAMIC!”

I’ll shoot the winery an email and see if they have any thoughts they want to share on the wine itself…

What I Think:

Another wine I have long enjoyed and yet to post. Being easily intrigued by new labels I was quickly drawn to this offering. Interesting label, from Mendocino, seemingly tasty blend and made with care for the environment. A lot to like, and despite the high $9 price point (anyway for me, especially at Trader Joe’s) in the cart it went. Upon getting home looked up Ceago Vinegarden who is behind the label and found that Jim Fetzer, who sold his eponymous label in 1992, is behind the offering which they are selling exclusively at Trader Joe’s. Reason #1,001 I love Trader Joe’s wine. The cheapest bottle Ceago Vinegardens sells on their site, $18. These grapes are biodynamic so you know they are coming from the same place and grown with the same care. Yes, I know the best of the bunch are used elsewhere but still you get the idea. These are high quality grapes. And I get to drink them for half the cost!

Onto the main event; the blend here is 55% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose immediately impresses with a blend of earthy tones and fruit aromas. On the tongue you take notice immediately as the fruit packs a punch, not that it is overpowering but there is a richness and warmth to it that grabs your attention. Towards the middle of the palate a nice earthy structure emerges and the fruit become chewy. A nice tanginess develops which leads to a lasting dry, earthy, lip smacking finish. The finish lingers on with light tannins tickling your throat and a hint of mint. I wouldn’t have thought the Merlot characteristics to be so subdued given it is the predominant grape in the blend. The Cab twins strike a nice balance and the overall result is impressive. I was surprised by the negative sentiments I found over on Cellar Tracker. This one is a winner in my book.

Hopefully TJ’s gets the sister offering from Lake County soon. I am already drooling thinking back to one of my all time favorite finds this Beringer Zin. Yes it is pricey but well worth it. If you see either of these grab them on sight. If your budget allows don’t be afraid to buy in quantity.

Rating: Buy It