Jesse submits this missive from the midwest…
|WHO: The Dreaming Tree
WHAT: 67% Merlot, 33% Zinfandel
WHERE: Geyserville, CA
HOW: First, the dreams of fraternity brothers are harvested by hand. They are cold soaked in Miller Lite for two days & then fermented in oak from the rocking chairs of Cracker Barrel for five years. It is the fifth year that gives the wine its maturity.
WHY: Fueled by a resentment for having to listen to Dave Matthews Band seemingly every day of my formative years, I pulled The Dreaming Tree’s “Crush,” off the shelves of my local big name grocer. The Dreaming Tree wines are sold as a collaboration between Simi winemaker Steve Reeder & musician Dave Matthews. I was absolutely shocked that the marketing-powers-that-be chose “Crush” as the red blend’s name, instead of the obvious Dave Mathews Band tie-in “Crash.” (Ed. Note: Further research has shown that ‘The Dreaming Tree’ and ‘Crush’ are also the names of Dave Matthews Band songs, from 1998.) Why, in sheer Googlitude alone, ‘crash wine’ would be a much easier page ranking to top than ‘crush wine’ in a sea of custom crush pads, harvest blogs, etc.
The front label is innocuous in a tea-stained parchment style with a line drawn tree. I turned the bottle around half-expecting to read Modesto, CA, city of Gallo fame, but instead found Geyserville, CA. A brief investigation proved it to be a product of Constellation Wines. There are also, what are supposed to be a couple of authenticity inspiring blurbs from the star & winemaker, however, they served to prove nothing except that Dave Mathews was authentically stoned.
The passage is included for your reading pleasure below:
Two Hot Dogs in a Pick-up
A hot day
Chase a stick
Thrown into a pond
Again and again
The older, slower dog
Never gets the stick
And moans at the effort
But always goes in
“Maybe this time”
Charming. When I uncorked the bottle, I found that the opening volley doesn’t have the sweetness or the full mouthfeel that one expects from a grocery store brand. In fact, it was surprisingly sour to start, instead of fruit forward, hinting only at unripe mulberries & pomegranate. The fruit hits about mid-palate, with strong blueberry flavors. The finish continues to be sour with gritty tannins. You would think that a wine geared towards the backwards baseball cap wearers of the 90s with this flavor profile would pair well with grilled meats or other alma mater tailgating fare. However, this wine blew it when paired with bacon. Bacon.
This wine appears to be non-vintage without the blend components printed on the label. However, the information is available on the Internet from various wine shops carrying the bottle. Chances are, they’ve left it open to reblend later to accommodate different harvest’s fruit and create a consistent product. This is not to say that additives might not contribute to that consistency as well. Snark aside, the wine is drinkable, but the price point near $15 will last until the novelty wears off.
One further note, this wine appears to be a branded product that takes advantage of a particular person’s fame in the way that Ed Hardy & Banana Republic wine or 50 Cent’s Vitamin Water flavor, “Formula 50,” do. Personally, I don’t see any reason to draw conclusions from the tasting of this wine to Steve Reeder’s work at Simi Winery, or Dave Matthew’s Blenheim Vineyards in Virginia, since neither originated in a think tank.