The Freakshow Red Blend 2019 is a blend of 59% Syrah, 37% Petite Sirah, and Souzao (a blending grape mainly used in making Port wine) sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Lodi AVA. FreakShow is a line of wine from Michael and David Phillips, fifth-generation growers (the 6th generation is also part of the team) for a family that has been in Lodi since the 1860s.
The Freakshow Red Blend 2019 features an exciting blend of grapes. Syrah is one of the main grapes of the Rhone Valley in France and is grown all over California and Washington. And a few years back, the grape was all the rage as Australian Shiraz. It is a ripe, juicy grape that can produce intense, spicy Red wine.
Petite Sirah is a hybrid grape created when Francois Durif crossed the Syrah grape with the Peloursin grape. There had been issues in the French vineyards with the health of the Syrah grape. By the time he perfected the vines, the Syrah issues had cleared up, and Petite Sirah was not needed.
Even though half of the Petite Sirah DNA is the Syrah grape, it is an entirely different grape. It did not get its name until the plant arrived in California; it is called Durif in Australia. The addition of Souzoa is an interesting choice; though Portuguese grapes have been doing well in California, maybe we will see more used in California wine blends.
The Freakshow Red Blend 2019 is a big wine and has an alcohol content of 15%, which harkens back to the days of the bold Australian Shiraz. It does have enough body to counter the high alcohol content.
The Freakshow Red Blend 2019 was aged in 100% French oak barrels for 12 months with 8% of the barrels new oak. This Red wine is a drink-it-now wine; it may have some aging potential, maybe five or six years. But it is ready to drink when purchased.
All three grapes used in the blend have firm tannins that have to be dealt with to balance the wine. A Red wine aged in 100% new oak barrels for 12 months would not be ready or released in 2021 for the 2019 vintage. So the winemaker needs to figure out the correct formula to achieve the desires level of oak influence by the release date. Here, 8% new oak and the rest used barrels did the trick.
The Freakshow Red Blend 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is dark and inky, the color is crimson red, but there are more black highlights than red. The nose is rich and deep; blackberry, a burning log in the fireplace, cinnamon, caramel, raspberry, roses in bloom, and spice. The Freakshow Red Blend 2019 has a smooth mouthfeel with firm flavors and a slap of spice.
This wine tastes like ripe raspberry, black coffee, black pepper, burnt butterscotch, and exotic spice. The mid-palate offers blackberry, dried strawberry bits, salty, orange zest, and tart cranberry mixed with vanilla cream. The tannins are very well balanced and do not bite.
- If you are looking for a big, bold, flavorful, but balanced Red blend give the Freakshow Red Blend 2019 a try, you will not be disappointed.
- The label reminds me of the wine version of the Beatles Sargent Peppers Lonel Hearts Club artwork. There are a lot of interesting details to discover.