Sorry for the delayed ratting. I tried to post this the first night, but the servers were crazy, and I've been away from my computer since then. Hopefully I can still help with the buying decisions.
The bottom line:
A mellow fruit, mild tannin, $10 Cabernet with a bit of Cab Franc funk thrown in for fun that makes a decent QPR and begs for some dark chocolate to consume alongside it. You can pop some of this wine now and some later, but I wouldn't hold it for more than a couple of years since IMHO this sort of structure doesn't beg for long term storage. This is in a similar wheelhouse to the Wellington Sonoma Cabernet from the mixed-pack woot although with less tart fruit in comparison.
One sip poured into the glass, and I've got the tasting wheel ready...
in 'like' at first sip
I got a nose of light cherry, a little pepper, leather, and herb. The first taste was plummy mixed with a bit or herbaciousness funk and mild pepper, this was actually my favorite sip. Surprisingly, the alcohol isn't overwhelming out of the bottle. The tannins are very subtle at this point. The Cab Franc in this blend really stuck with me on the finish.
Absolutely no gunk on the cork:
The remainder of the bottle went through my aerating decanter with the filter in place. As you can see from the pic, this wine left no sediment in the filter:
I didn't invent the rainy day, man. I just own the best umbrella.
This wine was popped post-dinner, so instead of pairing with food, it got paired with one of the best movies ever: "Almost Famous" - the Director's Cut. As we started the movie, we let the Monkey mellow for a bit:
Listen to Tommy with a candle burning, and you'll see your entire future.
Decanting didn't seem to bring out much more in this wine besides mellow out an already mellow wine a bit more. I wasn't able to coax any more fruit out of this one. Still getting some Cab Franc funk out of this which stuck out more to me the more I drank it.
It's all happening!
The more I drank it, the more I wanted some chocolate cake or food to complement the flavors in the wine since the wine by itself got a little dull after a glass.
Time to bust out the Wellington
In preparation for my rattage, I tried to find the most similar bottle to this wine from my cellar and chose the Wellington 2007 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon from the Woot mixed case. It's a different vintage than the Monkey's Second Prize, but the blend and price point are somewhat comparable.
The Wellington was treated as a pop and pour, and I'd say these wines are definitely in the same class of wine. The Wellington has a bit more a tart fruit punch with more noticeable fruit in general and the Cab Franc is more subtle. The Monkey's Second Prize is more mellow, less fruit, and a little funky.
My friend who's not much of a wine drinker had a definite preference for the Monkey's Second Prize where I was torn more between the two. Neither would be a favorite, but both are good QPR at near $10.
The Monkey's Second Prize is a nice $10 bottle to open at a Tuesday night dinner or bring over to your neighbors house for a casual get together paired with something to munch on. Hopefully a little bottle age will help blend the flavors a bit more, but I wouldn't be too concerned with hoping for a lot of improvement here.
Is it that hard to make us look cool?
I'd like to thank the Academy, the Woot monkeys, Pedroncelli, and WD for this great ratting honor. I suppose I should also throw a thank you to the new Chief Monkey, Jeff Bezos (now that he owns Woot, he has a 98% stranglehold on my wallet)
Check out my full labratting picture gallery.
"You need to invest in a corkscrew. Wine is for drinking." -- Peter Wellington