Woo Hoo! Just got my bottle of Synergy delivered at work AND I got 'carded' by the FedEx driver (double-bonus)!
I can't wait to get home and open this up! I will edit this post through the day with pictures and notes on my testing. I hope to be going home early today and will provide my first update around 4pm EST.
Here's the Shipping label:
...and the two labels:
EDIT, 5pm EST:
OK folks, here's my tasting before dinner...
The Bottle: Fairly standard 750ml bottle of wine in shape and appears to be tinted reddish-brown. Labels are dark (black) with yellow lettering. Cut foil off to reveal natural cork. Easily removable with my "rabbit" corkscrew.
Smell out of Bottle: All I can think of is deep, dark fruits... plumb or black cherry comes to mind. You can also smell a bit of oak at the finish.
1st taste, no breathing/aeration: First hit of the tastebuds hints at the plumb/black cherry taste (or as the wine maker put it, black currant, which I have never had but read up on). After holding it in my mouth for a bit, the fruit definitely dances on your tongue. Going down the throat, it finishes a bit oakey. Letting it dance in your mouth before swallowing leaves the wine taste dancing throughout my mouth. The finish is not at all harsh nor does it ever make me squint my eyes. The oak smoothens the final taste.
2nd taste, 1 run through aerator: With one run through my aerator (equivalent of about 1hr decant), the wine smoothens out throughout the whole taste. The smell is just as strong as the "out-of-the-bottle" smell, but there is much less of a difference in taste from start to finish. Still an oakey after taste, nothing that stings you, and this time I could continue to taste the juice on my teeth and gums well after I had swallowed.
3rd taste, 2 runs through aerator: The smell of the wine is less prominent at first whiff. The taste is very much like #2, however even smoother from start to finish. This taste even coats your mouth longer in the aftermath.
4th taste, 3 runs through aerator: Not much different than that of try #3. Seems to weaken the wine overall and shorten the tasting time just a bit.
Burgers are cooking as we speak, I will update more when I have this with dinner. I am going to try two passes through my aerator with dinner and see how it pairs.
My wife, definitely not a wine freak like myself, also gave it a test run. Her only notes were that it smelled "fruity, but I can smell oak." Two sips of the twice aerated wine confirmed her smell: very dry wine, fruit at the beginning and oak at the end.
I have to say that this is a very "mild" Cab Sav in that it doesn't 'sting' your buds or throat like many Cab Savs can. I have to say that the combination of dark fruit and oak make this almost like a "smoked wine." I would have to imagine that this would pair well with some nice St. Louis Smoked Baby Back pork ribs.
EDIT 7pm EST - Added photos.
EDIT 8:15pm EST - Dinner
So, dinner consisted of ground beef hamburgers (95/5) mixed with fresh garlic and some salt. Burgers were topped with extra sharp cheddar cheese and a slice of cooking onion. Also had some salt potatoes and some mixed veggies (Carrots, peas and corn)with spices.
Took a sip of wine and chased it with a bite of burger... the taste of the burger finished where the wine left off and was complimented fairly well. When I took a bite of potato and/or veggies, the wine was neither enhanced nor worsened. The best part was when I took a bite of my burger and washed it down with the wine... simply perfect pairing! I really couldn't tell where the wine stopped and the burger started, the taste seems to linger in my mouth for 3+ minutes.
My final thoughts:
This is a rather smooth Cab Sav provided it is allowed to breath for more than an hour. (Even under an hour of opening up, this is still a cool customer.) I believe this is a decent sipping wine, and an even better wine paired with the proper food. I even tried grabbing the very last drop from the bottom of my glass after it had sat for about 30 minutes and the small bit of wine I drank was REALLY fruity. I know I will enjoy this wine, especially considering I love to eat red meat and Italian red sauce foods.
EDIT 11:40pm EST - Just wanted to say one last thing about this wine... my wife is a very picky wine drinker. She prefers white semi-sweet to very sweet wines, but will also drink sweet reds on occasion. I had her taste test this wine and though she didn't ask for a glass full of it, she also didn't "shimmer" or give it immediately back to me to finish. I think that says a lot for the overall smoothness of the wine. Though it's dry, it still is fruity and never "kicks you in the teeth" with dry-ness.
I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"