It’s easy to recognize a Michael David wine. The labels are bright, eye-catching, and often feature some sort of circus scene. The wines have unique names as well, such as “Seven Deadly Zins,” named after the seven different vineyards that the grapes in this wine are grown. “Petite Petite” is a Petite Syrah & Petite Verdot blend, and recently I tried “Freakshow,” a Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi.
Lodi (pronounced Load-Eye, by the way) is well-known for its Old-Vine Zinfandel production. The “Zinfandel Capital of the World” produces nearly one-third of California’s Old-Vine Zinfandel. However, the region’s warm Mediterranean climate and diversified soils make it possible for over a hundred other varieties to also be successfully grown here. You can expect Lodi red wines to be bold and juicy, and Freakshow Cabernet is just that.
The color is an inky garnet hue and opaque. The nose is a face-full of cloves, allspice, and vanilla. The cloves really jumped out at me. It immediately reminded me of the smell of mulled wine simmering on the stovetop. There is also a perfumed vanilla aroma which indicates a decent amount of time spent in French oak. The wine is dryer than the nose indicates it might be but the fruit is juicy and bright. The following evening, after a little air, I picked up aromas of cola and black olives while the palate remained basically the same. Overall, a lovely wine experience.
This wine retails at most Costco locations for around $16, placing it in the Atlas Peak/Silver Palm price vs. quality arena, and it does not disappoint. I could flip a coin between the three to narrow it down when trying to decide which to drink. As far as ratings go, I pay most attention to Wine Spectator, and while many of the “Michael David Joint” wines have been rated, this one has not. Wine Enthusiast gave it a 91 and listed it as an “Editors’ Choice,” however. Vivino users give it a healthy 3.9 stars (out of 5) with an average price of $19.98.
Important to note that I am reviewing the ’13 vintage while the ’14 has just hit the shelves and could potentially be a totally different wine. It was aged for 17 months in French oak as opposed to 14 for the 2013, according to the website. You can spot the two different vintages in one bin because the newest one has a label that is a deeper blue than the ’13.
– Reviewed by Erin Hayes
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 Points
Costco item number: 947910
Purchased at Costco in: Buford, GA