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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Demeter and Organic Tasting of Ceago and Jeriko California Wines, Sept 16, 2007.

The Time and Date: Tuesday September 16, 2008  3 PM – 5 PM

The Event: a tasting of two newish California wineries, Ceago Vinegarden (Biodynamically Certified by Demeter) located in Lake County and owned by Jim Fetzer, and Jeriko Estate (Organic Certified) located in Mendocino County and owned by Daniel Fetzer.

The Venue: Fine Wine Reserve, King Street West

The Target Audience: wine writers.

The Availability/Catalogue: all of the wines have been sourced and will be available through different streams of Vintages, Consignment, Private Orders, and the like, through the Ontario agent, The Living Vine (Mark Cuff).

The Quote: "The Fetzers are brothers, and now have finished their eight year non-compete clause since selling Fetzer Vineyards to Brown Forman".

The Wines: all of these organic wines were very good quality and fairly priced. We were also able to taste a few other organic wines from the Living Vine portfolio; these are also included below. Prices are retail.


**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Tres Sabores Napa Valley Rutherford Perque No? Zinfandel 2005, $29.95 [dense, chunky]

-Heyl Zu Herrnsheim Rheinhessen Riesling Spatlese 2007, $36.95 [ripe body]

-Erbaluna La Morra Piedmont Barolo 2004 Vigna Rocche, $67.95 [quality, extract]

-Ceago Vinegarden Clear Lake California Sauvignon Blanc Kathleen's Vineyard 2007, $25.95 [good MVC}

-Jeriko Estate Mendocino Chardonnay 2006, $19.95 [well-integrated oak]

-Jeriko Estate Mendocino Merlot 2004, $26.95 [dynamite finish]


***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Erbaluna La Morra Piedmont Barolo 2004, $54.95

-Ceago Vinegarden Clear Lake California Chardonnay Del Lago 2007 $28.95

-Ceago Vinegarden Clear Lake California Cabernet Franc Del Lago 2005, $55.95.

-Ceago Vinegarden Clear Lake California Merlot Del Lago 2006, $30.95.

-Jeriko Estate Mendocino Brut Sparkling Wine 2005, Chardonnay, [first organic sparkler in North America], $39.95.

-Jeriko Estate Mendocino Syrah 2004, $26.95.

-Jeriko Estate Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, $30.95.


*** Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Organic Vignerons South Australia Grenache/Viognier Rose 2007, $18.75 [off-dry]

-Vina Esencia Mendoza Occhioverde Unoaked Merlot 2007, $16.95

-Heyl Zu Herrnsheim Rheinhessen Riesling Kabinett Off-Dry 2007, $23.95

-Heyl Zu Herrnsheim Rheinhessen Riesling Estate 2007, $25.95

-Ceago Vinegarden Clear Lake California Syrah 2006, $30.95


The Food: California styled pizza at room temperature; the one with bitter greens was excellent. Apparently, one writer (NOT me) finished off all the pizza.

The Downside: this was a hurry-up call, with barely 15 hours notice.

The Upside: a chance to taste some really good Demeter and Organic wines.

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 92.


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