The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 is 86% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, and 6% Petit Verdot sourced from vineyards in the Lodi AVA. Petite Sirah is often found blended with ZInfandel, it is almost a surprise if no Petite Sirah is added. Petit Verdot is one of the Red grapes approved for wines in Bordeaux. It is typically found in tiny amounts in Bordeaux wines since it is not counted on to ripen in time, it has no problem becoming fully ripe in California.
The Michael David in the name is the Phillips brothers, 5th generation grape frowers in a family farm that was founded in the 1860s. This is a family-owned and operated business, with the 6th generation also working in the business.
The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 is one of their wine brands, this wine lists for $20 and I found it on sale for about $15. Lodi is located in the river delta of the San Pablo Bay. Temperatures can reach 100 degrees in the summer, but winds from the Bay provide some moderation of the temps and cool the vineyards down at night.
Zinfandel is a grape that thrives in warm weather as long as the night temperatures are decidedly cooler, so Lodi is a great place to grow ZInfandel grapes. Though Michael David has extensive vineyard holdings they do not say if the Freakshow is an estate wine or not. With their years of experience in Lodi, they should have solid relationships with contract vineyards in the region, if they were used.
The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 is does not use old vine grapes as you see on many Lodi wines, just good grapes from excellent vineyards. This ZIn was aged in oak barrels for 17 months, 82% American oak and 18% French oak. American oak barrels are often used with Zinfandel due to the flavors the oak imparts into the wine.
American oak barrels are a different species of oak from French oak, the American has a wider grain with the French oak having a tight grain. The French oak imparts subtle flavors and smooth tannins into the wine. The American oak with the wider grain adds more flavor, such as vanilla, coconut, spice, and depending on how the barrels are toasted chocolate and tobacco. How the staves are cut and how the barrels are toasted make a large difference in the flavors.
The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 is said to be produced in a softer style than the typical bold and spicy Lodi ZIn, but the alcohol content is 15.5% so it may not be all that soft and smooth.
The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is deep, dark, but still see-thru garnet red with black highlights. The nose is ripe raspberry and blackberry, slightly earthy, chocolate powder, soft herbs, baking spice, and vanilla. The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 is a medium to bold Zinfandel, with rich flavors and spice.
This Zinfandel tastes like blackberry, licorice, and exotic spice, followed by plum and black pepper. The mid-palate brings more spice, vanilla, black cherry, menthol, tobacco leaf, orange zest, and a little cream. The tannins give a slight pull at your palate and the acidity allows the flavors and textures to unfolded.
- The Michael David Freakshow Zinfandel 2019 is delicious.
- This Zin is a mix of elegant Zin and farmhouse rustic Zinfandel. Both styles meeting together in your glass.
- Smooth and intense upfront, then spicy and bold.
- This is my prefered style of Zinfandel. There is a movement to turn Zinfandel into elegant wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. But I like my ZIns to not forget their rustic roots.