Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon (A 2009 “Michael David Joint”)

OMGOMGOMG THERE’S A NEW MICHAEL DAVID WINE THIS IS LIKE CHRISTMAS Y’ALL

PLUS THE LABEL IS THE BEST. THING. EVER.:

And these guys do Petite Petit, which has elephants playing poker on the label, so. What I’m saying is that they’ve set the bar for kickass label pretty high.

They’ve set the bar for lots of asskicking pretty high, honestly, or maybe I just love them because I love the wavelength they’re on: any winery what decides it’s a good idea to create a Zinfandel for each deadly sin is a winery I’m going to love on geek level alone. That the wines are, by pretty much any measure, REALLY GOOD, just adds to the pot.

Anyway, this isn’t a Zin. It’s a Cab. It’s still really good. Read on:

Region: Lodi, CA
Grapes involved: Cab Sauv with a tiny bit of Petite Sirah thrown in because, well, why not. Also it’s pretty.
Cost: $18-ish
Food pairings: We had it with flat iron steak with a chimichurri sauce and some chard sauteed with garlic. That worked. A kickass burger would work pretty well too. So would chocolate. Or oatmeal raisin cookies, which I had for dessert and which were also randomly awesome with the wine.

The wine smells like cherry compote (minus the sugar – think warm, saucy, tart cherries) and berries (mostly raspberry and cranberry) with bits of clove and anise. Drinking it, it goes into tart cranberries and lots of earthen sorts of tones, with gobs of vanilla and oak running through. There are a few hints of fennel and something fun and herbal – I keep returning to sage – as well. The finish is long and tart and dry and wonderful. The tannins are fairly grippy* at first, but soften after a while.

And it’s pretty much awesome, and it pretty much lives up to the label. Like, I’d sum up more, but I want to go back to drinking it.

So, Michael David, keep on keeping on. YOU KICK COPIOUS QUANTITIES OF ASS AND I DO THANK YOU FOR IT.

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*”Grippy” is one of those words to describe wines/tannins that used to make me insane (like, what kind of a douchebag says that sort of thing?**”), but which I’ve decided I kind of like now that I’ve had enough wine to really get what it means. Basically, it’s the sort of tannin structure that really glues your tongue to your teeth or the roof of your mouth. For me, anyway, a “grippy” sort of tannin structure would be the kind of thing that feels like scratchy glue, but not unpleasantly so. To contrast it, a California Syrah would be silken, with no real scratching at all, and a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir would feel like sandpaper – all scratch with no stick. So “grippy” is somewhere in there, just a bit stickier than anything I’ve just thrown out.

**apparently me.

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