SINGER-SONGWRITER Dave Matthews — think Dave Matthews Band — has had his hand in winemaking for many years. He established Blenheim Vineyards in Virginia in 2000 and now is collaborating on a line of wine in California — The Dreaming Tree. The brand came about several years ago when Constellation Brands reps got then-Simi winemaker Steve Reeder together with Dave Matthews to pursue an affordable, fun line of wines. Reeder provided the trial blends; Matthews supplied the Dreaming Tree name from a song on his “Before These Crowded Streets” album. The idea was to create approachable, affordable, sustainably produced California wines from various appellations that are worthy representatives of their grape variety. Matthews’ current collaborator in making the wine is New Zealand’s Sean McKenzie. The growing brand, which touts lighter glass bottles and labels made from recycled paper, added a Pinot Noir in April. It’s available nationwide.
The Dreaming Tree Pinot Noir California 2013, $15: This sturdy, approachable Pinot has flavors of cherry, plum, strawberry and caramel wrapped up in sturdy acidity and supple tannins. It undergoes nine months in oak to add to the flavor complexity and mouthfeel. The Dave Matthews connection is a good guarantee of quality.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@Hotmail.com.