Pictures will follow sometime this weekend. Not sure how my wife's Jatravartid camera works lol.
I got the email last night that I was selected to Labrat this wine. I was stoked, it didn't say the wine, but everyone thought it pretty obvious that it would be Monkey 2nd Prize. Confirmed once I plugged the tracking number in and saw the description. I had the delivery routed to the Fedex facility I pick all my deliveries up from. I picked it up at lunch today at about 12:50pm. It sat in my semi-warm truck until I left work at 5pm, today's high was 76 degrees, but a bit warmer in my truck. I put the box under a sweater so that the sun wouldn't hit it and warm it up faster. This seemed to work as the bottle was still slightly cooler than room temperature when I took it out of the box.
The following are my tasting notes. My palate is pretty simple. For the most part, I LOVE old world wines, I have just recently gained respect for California wines. My favorite wines to date have been Willamette Valley PN, I don't think I've made that a secret. California Cabs if done right are probably the best out there (disclaimer, haven't tasted $100+ French wines, so I can't make an a to b comparison).
So I opened the box up, found out that it was a Cabernet Sauvignon blend with some fairly standard varietals (Cab Franc, malbec). I new it was going to be red, so I had my wife prepare some lean (chewy) steaks. We're on a diet, so we have to keep it lean.
I begun the process by opening the bottle at 6:22pm. I put my nose to the bottle, it smelled primarily of dust.
I poured a small amount into one glass, not aerated in any fashion. Then I poured a slight amount into my Vinturi into a second glass. After that, I immediately poured the remainder of the bottle into my decanter.
@6:26pm - No Aeration/decanting.
Nose - Dusty, Leather mit, tight tannins and I could tell there was some fruit in there somewhere, but it seemed so young still and a difficult task to pull any specific fruit from it at this point.
Taste - The fruit is very subtle, at this point it certainly hasn't opened up yet, very tight. Very strong tannins and fairly hot. It was a bit on the dry side which I appreciate.
@6:30pm - Vinturi
Nose - The dust turned into more of a gravel smell, it is beginning to develop something at this point. I can now pull raspberries, rose petals and chocolate from it. Still a bit tight and rustic.
Taste - Fruit opened like on the nose, this helped balance the wine out, it wasn't nearly as harsh as before. There is still a fair amount of heat and tannins as well as dry soil.
@6:45 - Poured a small amount out to consume with dinner. (Steak grilled on BBQ w/ a simple rub, baked potato, mixed vegetables steamed).
Nose - Very musty, like a humid day in wine country. Spiciness still dominated the smell, but there was some hint of cherries and chewy ones that made me want to dip in!
Taste - Although it tasted nice with the potato and maybe a little less so with the steak, it seemed to over power them as opposed to compliment, I would attribute this to the wines youth.
@7:00pm we had a piece of Rain Republic Cocao.
We felt this was when the wine was at it's best, mixed with some good chocolate. The fruits and tannins in the wine complimented the cocao nicely.
@7:40pm I poured some more out from the decanter.
Nose - Still overly spicy on the nose, I could pull out cherry for sure now, chocolate, mocha coffee and red apples were now discernible.
Taste - Much softer at this point and more balanced. The fruit played a better role in keeping the structure in tact throughout the taste.
@8:40pm I poured the remainder from the decanter. (my wife is a lush! I'll blame it on her! )
Nose - Not much change in the hour, the soil took more of a back seat role and allowed some mushroom, cedar and more rose come out. The cherry was still there.
Taste - Not a whole lot of change, I could taste some chocolate and basil at this point, but it was still spicy and hot on the back end, still semi-dry.
I went in for 1 in hopes that eventually over a few years, this opens up to be a beauty. It seemed VERY tight and young, I almost felt bad for drinking it this early. I feel it has characteristics that will make it great, it certainly was NOT a fruit bomb. My wife didn't appreciate it, but she has less knowledge about wines than I (if possible).
Thank you WD for choosing me to rat this wine. I hope I provided enough information to help people make their decisions. I'll post the pictures sometime this weekend.
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