Dynamite Vineyards has quite a history. It was once the property of Carmenet Vineyards in Sonoma, part of the Chalone family, which also owned Acacia and Edna Valley Vineyards. In the '80s and '90s, they were a wine force to be reckoned with. From the start Carmenet focused on Bordeaux varietals, and the focus for the other three wineries was Chardonnay-for which they accounted for a substantial piece of the Chardonnay pie.
Being in Sonoma, Carmenet's claim to fame was Merlot and they did an amazing job with that varietal. They never missed being in the top list of every publication when it came to Merlot and for good reason. It was one of the best in the state.
Then Chalone was purchased by none other than Edmond de Rothschild of Chateau Lafite. That caused a lot of mouths to be left open for quite a time. Lafite was only interested in Chalone and so the other properties were sold off-including Carmenet and their Dynamite Vineyards.
Carmenet, along with its brand Dynamite Vineyards, were purchased by the Franzia family. Often, when a large company buys a brand name the result can be vintages. They feel no obligation to the history of the name. Franzia does.
So, they continued to make outstanding Merlot, now from the Central Coast. And, it is just as impressive as those wonderful days of yesteryear. The wine was named because of the explosive flavors it manifests and they sure explode here. Blueberry cherry, vanilla and spice are just what the cheeseburger and fries ordered.