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It is no secret that I am a fan of the Michael David Winery—Notes has featured the Petite Petit with regularity over the years, and I recently tasted their best-selling zinfandel too with much enjoyment. When my father mentioned having sampled their Freakshow I knew it had to be part of my next wine tasting experience, and here we are.
You’re going to love this wine. It has elements common the Petite, particularly its mash-up of different tastes and flavors, but this one is less jammy and has a bit more heft to it. A little more spice and chew. The 2014 Freakshow has more dark fruits, black berry and black cherry, with some dark chocolate underpinnings. In that way it sort of reminded me of the Apothic Dark that I sampled in Chicago many moons ago, but at a higher level of execution. I was not sure what grapes comprised this red blend, but surely it has some Syrah (yes) involved and a quick bit of research shows there is some Petite Sirah as well. I have no idea what the Souzao grape is, but some of that’s in the mix too. Incredibly rich and unmistakably Michael Davis in all ways.
Here is the winemaker’s explanation of what’s going on in the 2014 Freakshow Red Wine: “Aromas of blackberry cobbler, toasted walnuts, espresso bean, and hints of brandy. The wine is weighty with a velvet-like texture boasting flavors of ripe brambleberry jam, toffee, and dark chocolate mousse followed by wisps of pipe tobacco and mesquite.”
They do have a way with words–and wines. This 2014 was aged both in French oak barrels (15 months) and American oak (18 months), and I’d like another already.
My first shot at the Freakshow actually dates back to September, when I pulled the cork on their 2014 Freakshow Cabernet. This too hails from the Lodi-based winemaker and it is similarly excellent. Lots of cherry in this solid Cabernet, but my notes from that time are less specific other than to say it was a great value and accompanied a delicious grilled steak and asparagus side. Have to get another one of these soon too! This winery always stands tall and will definitely go on the “must visit” list for the next time life winds me through California wine country.
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Last weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a blind taste test for the 2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, a great experience on multiple levels. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was the tasty reminder of how enjoyable the Michael David Petite Petit is. For those of you interested in Caymus’ big fruit explosion but not the accompanying price tag, look no further than the 2014 Petite Petit.
Those reading Notes for an extended period know that the 2014 Petite Petit is almost a vertical for me, as I have sampled too the 2013 and 2011 vintages. Each has been great, a surplus of red berry, currant, and cherry flavors that unfold on the tongue. It pours almost a red-black syrup, fragrant (is that pepper?) and inviting. If you like rich, full reds without heavy tannins this could ring every bell for you.
This evening the Petite Petit (15% Verdot) accompanied grilled chicken strips, side salad with fresh ground pepper and home-grown basil, steamed broccoli, and white rice. Interesting contrast of flavors, this mix of the fruity red and the salted starch, and one I’d gladly repeat.
How is it that you may know Michael David Winery already? In February of this year, Michael David was named the 2015 Winery of the Year at the 2016 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. This Lodi-based operation produces over 600,000 cases of wine annually, including its 7 Deadly Zins flagship Zinfandel. This was the #1-selling Zinfandel of 2015, but I have yet to sample. Looking forward to that, though…
Thanks, Michael and David Phillips for some bottled magic. I enjoy this one each year!