Monday, July 23, 2012

Crush Me...Dreaming Tree

You might call me a Dave Matthews fanboy, and in fact, friends have. Despite Rick making fun of my affinity for often of rock music, I wouldn't trade some of the experiences I've had at the Gorge Amphitheater with DMB for 2 cases of Leinenkugel's. And Dave is practically my neighbor here in Seattle, so yea.

You're probably wondering when I'm going to get to wine. Patience.

When Andrea and I participated in a dinner with staff from Hogue Cellars and Simi Winery earlier in the summer, we had a chance encounter with Dave at the restaurant as he happened to be dining at Flying Fish that evening and knew our Simi representative, Tom, very well.

Turns out, Dave has had a passion for winemaking nearly as long as he has been a musician. I knew he had a winery in Virginia, but a key fact that had escaped me until that very moment was that Dave had recently formed a collaborative effort with Steve Reeder of Simi and together they were creating wine under the Dreaming Tree label.

Dave? Wine? All of a sudden, the lyrics from Crush were all the more meaningful:

Lovely lady
I am at your feet
God I want you so badly
And I wonder this
Could tomorrow be
So wondrous as you there sleeping
Let's go drive 'till morning comes
And watch the sunrise and fill our souls up
Drink some wine 'till we get drunk

I had to try it. Perhaps, drink some wine 'till I got drunk. Thanks to the kind folks at Dreaming Tree, I didn't have to want for too long.

Dreaming Tree makes three wines: Crush, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I sampled the reds in two different sittings with two different audiences. You know, for science.

2009 Dreaming Tree North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

According to winemaker Dave Matthews, "If it tastes good to you then it's good wine."

I'd have to agree with Dave on this one, and the Cab tasted good to me. Upon sampling with some steak and my friends Rob and Erin, we noted that this wine met the description of "easy drinking with lots of character" perfectly.

Erin loved the label; it reminded her of Shel Silverstein. Classy journalists we are. Rob's commentary consisted of, "hmmm, a little spicy." I found a ton of dark fruit and cherry on the nose.

Upon sipping, the wine was spicy and bold out of the gate with currant and blackberry prevalent throughout. It was a bit lighter than some of the stuff we're used to from Eastern Washington, but still proof that California makes a damn good cabernet. It was awesome with the steak.

The best part? $15.00 per bottle.

2009 Dreaming Tree North Coast Crush

Dave's comments on the tasting notes for Crush couldn't be more accurate, "I swallowed it before I put the glass down. There wasn't any opportunity to spit."

I hate it when that happens.

A blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Zinfandel, Andrea and I drank this bottle with a big ass pizza from another Seattle legend, Ethan Stowell's new Ballard Pizza Kitchen. Andrea noted this was a bottle that you could open up and drink right away. It tasted a bit tight right off the bat, but was perfect with our pizza.

According to Andrea, the wine was like Dave...good and solid. You can always depend on it to put on a good show. And it did, with our big ass pizza with locally foraged mushrooms. Also priced at $15.00, this is a great value.

By the way, Andrea was wearing DMB socks...I think she has a little fangirl in her as well.

So all in all, a pleasant surprise to find that one of my favorite musicians is also a very proficient winemaker. And yes, he is relatively actively involved in the winemaking process.

Next time you're in the store and see a bottle that looks like Shel Silverstein designed it, grab it. At $15, you'll want another. Perhaps enough to drink...until you get drunk.


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