The 2009 Green Barn Red Field Blend is a Trader Joe’s ($7.99) exclusive sourced from certified organic grapes grown in Mendocino County, California. It is made by the Mendocino Wine Company, who produce Parducci Wine Cellars, Paul Dolan Vineyards and other notable wines. They have been producing organic, sustainable and bio-dynamic wines for some time and Parducci Cellars is the oldest winery in Mendocino County. Field blends are different from other blended wines, with a field blend, all the different grape varietals are planted together on the same parcel of land. They try to pick the grapes when all the grapes are sufficiently ripe (some grapes may be overripe, others under ripe) and they press and ferment all the grapes together. So, no winemaker tends to the blend, Mother Nature is the master blender here. Field blends can vary wildly from year to year, with the weather being kinder to one grape variety and holding back another. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
The color is a very nice dark purple with a salmon halo. The nose is blackberry and dark chocolate with a little cinnamon apple spice in the background. There is a silky, slightly oily mouthfeel, blackberry and blueberry come on strong followed by chocolate covered cherries and baking spices. The tannins are there, you can sense them on the mid-palate, but they do not bite. The mid-palate also brings in some soft plum and a touch of oak vanilla. The finish is mild, but does linger for a while.
The Green Barn Red Field Blend is a good tasting, slightly complex, well made, certified organic wine, so it is good too you and good for you. Sometimes you say an inexpensive, simple, but pleasing wine is a tuesday night wine, the Green Barn has aspirations beyond tuesday night. It is not everyday that you get a bottle of wine, that gives you the complete history of what occurred in one small section of an organic vineyard and lets you in on its secrets for $7.99.