The Insomnia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is sourced from vineyards in more than one California grape producing AVA, it was found at ALDI’s for $8.99, but I don’t think that it is exclusive to ALDI. It is a well-priced California Cabernet, but the main reason that it stands out on store shelves is the label. The label features a face, well just the eyes of face straight from a nightmare, with the Cab the face is blue, each other varietal has a different color face. The eyes of the insomniac blink, they open and close as the bottle moves, but it’s not the cheesy effect for blinking eyes you got as a prize in Cracker Jacks boxes, these eyes surprise you, there is nothing to give away the party trick until the bottle moves. I know you always hear “don’t choose a wine solely by the label” and that may well be true for a $50 bottle, but if its ten bucks and you like the bottle, go for it. I can’t think of one value-priced wine producer that put a good deal of effort into the label that didn’t also put effort into the wine in the bottle. The tasting notes on the Insomnia website mention some oak flavor influence, vanilla and cocoa dust, but they do not mention if oak barrels were used. The alcohol content is a relatively mild for a California Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.9%.
The color is an almost opaque ruby slippers red. The nose is bright, ripe red berries, a just of Altoids spice, sweet vanilla, and red Christmas candies. This is a smooth, dry, fruit-forward, with a little tug from the tannins on the mid-palate to give a bit of structure. It tastes of black cherry, milk chocolate, a little black pepper, and plum. The mid-palate adds exotic spice, raspberry jelly, and a late slap of blackberry. The tannins give a little tug, nothing major, just enough to let you know they are there. The acidity is balanced, pair this with beef stew, pot roast, steak burritos, that sort of thing. The finish is light but does stick around.
The Insomnia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is a pretty decent inexpensive California Cab, it’s not the most detailed Cabernet Sauvignon on the market, but what is in the glass is very drinkable. And I am still amused by the label, when I pick the bottle up to pour some into my glass the eyes open and when I put it down the eyes close and it falls into a shallow sleep again, its nice and creepy. The eyes also follow you around the room like a painting in a bad old horror flick. So there you have it, I am happy drinking solid, cheap, every-day Cab and the label is keeping me entertained longer than any other wine label I can think of, who says you shouldn’t pick a wine by the label.