April 25, 2008

Ceago Vinegarden - A Little Green Heaven on Earth

Since I'm still in Earth Day mode, I decided to incorporate one of my favorite biodynamic producers into this week's swanky post. When Jim Fetzer sold his eponymous winery in the early 1990's he decided to go green. He founded Ceago Vinegarden with the intent of making superior quality hand crafted, limited production wines that are pure expressions of their varietal make-up and terroir. The family's philosophy on farming and winemaking and history, for me, is the ideal. But really, I continue to buy because they continue to produce wines that are outstanding.

It was tough for me to choose a single wine to review here so I chose three. I give you my notes on all three, but also the technical specs from Ceago's website. You try to find them at your local wine shop, but if you have a tough time, you can also buy through Ceago's online store (depending, of course, on whether or not your state allows shipping).

2006SauvignonBlanc.jpg2006 "Kathleen's Vineyard" Sauvignon Blanc $20
The beautiful golden hue of this wine just hints at the deluge of bright aromas emanating from the glass. I get a nose full of ripe grapefruit, casaba melon and bosc pear. These scents ring true at first taste and mingle with juicy golden delicious apple and just a twinge of creamy pineapple. A whole fruit salad in one sip. And though it is incredibly layered and wonderfully fruity, it is also subtly herbaceous which gives it a super clean, crisp finish.
100% estate grown, "Kathleen's Vineyard" on our Biodynamic® farm in Lake County, California. The grapes were hand-harvested from September 12th-22nd, 2006 at 23.4° Brix. The grapes were grown and certified Biodynamic® by Demeter and Organic by Stellar. Our Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with most spring and summer foods including salads, vegetable dishes, light pasts and seafood. (from Ceago Vinegarden)

2006SyrahRose.jpg2007 "Del Lago" Syrah Rose $20
So, it is no secret (or at least it won't be for long since summer is almost here) that I am a big fan of roses. Sometimes you require a little something more substantial that a white, but really want the refreshment of a chilled wine. Enter the incredibly food flexible and palate friendly rose. And the Ceago syrah has just about everything that I love and then some. Bright summer berry fruits, without cloying sweetness, and a bit of structure and body and even a hint of the creaminess that you might get in a red syrah. It is dry and crisp and full flavored enough to enjoy on its own or to serve with just about anything.
Our Syrah Rose was 100 % estate grown and hand harvested from our Biodynamic® farm in Lake County, California from September 28th to October 7th, 2006 at 24.8° Brix. The grapes were grown and certified Biodynamic by Demeter and Organic by Stellar. Our Syrah Rose pairs well sliced meats, cheeses, spring salads, and spicy summer dishes. (from Ceago Vinegarden)

2002Merlot.jpg2002 "Camp Masut" Merlot $30
This is one of those wines that satisfies all of my senses. Super dark and inky with voluptuous viscosity and intoxicating scents of black cherry and damson plum with a subtle whiff of saddle leather. It is ripe, rich and chewy with cherry-chocolate undertones accentuated by a creamy vein of vanilla and shots of spice. Good golly, I have died and gone to heaven.
The grapes used in this wine were 100% estate grown "Camp Masut" Merlot. Camp Masut, located on the headwaters west of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, once was home to a tribe of Pomo Indians. The grapes were hand harvested on October 10th, 2002 at 25 Brix, and were grown and certified Biodynamic by Demeter. (from Ceago Vinegarden)

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Posted by Noël Wallace at April 25, 2008 9:48 PM
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