27 January 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Serious Deviation – Sexual Chocolate

When one thinks of the term “sexual chocolate”, one might think of a movie reference, a popular WWE wrestler and heavyweight lifter, or any number of bandmates that have taken on this as their nickname. Here, however, we’ve stumbled across a new meaning for the term – a term relating to wine produced by three crazy guys having a fantastic time in a new venture.* And an obvious fun time it is, based on their well-stocked website and blog. Something I think they are definitely doing right: having a lot of fun and clearly differentiating themselves from all the other brands. (Keep hitting those Millennials and cusp-GenXers, boys!)

And so, let’s get down to it…

SLO Down Wines 2010 Sexual Chocolate

The short:

  1.  Initially I thought that the aromatics were pretty common to the varietals used, but as I sat down to write this, I realized that it isn’t everyday (in my experience) to find rose petals in the profile Zinfandel or Syrah.
  2. The label is one area that makes this bottle very different from almost all the others out there. They’ve gone with a heavy hand-skirtched front and back. You won’t mistake this for other bottles. Bare minimums on what had to be included, and a nice story on the back, though it becomes a bit tiring to read with the consistent skirtchy handwriting “font” (is it a font, or does someone have wonky penmanship?).
  3. No tasting room to hit right now, folks. But the price of the bottle isn’t prohibitive, so I say order a couple to enjoy over the coming year. It’s a 2010, so I’ll be curious what this is like in the coming months and couple of years.
  4. Although they’re using some popular varietals (Zinfandel and Syrah), they are making an uncommon, and therefore deviant, blend. The Zinfandel comes from the greater Napa area (Howell Mountain) and the Syrah comes from the greater Santa Barbara area. Two distinct winemaking regions, one distinct wine.

The judgement: 3+/4 and what I like to term as “a chugger”. Whoo, doggy, this bottle is gonna make you a happy camper. In fact, take a bottle or two camping or to your next outing, or to the next bonfire you hit up, and class the joint up while still tipping back some of this fun juice!

The nerdy notes:

  • 14.5% (though I perceived it might be a tad more. and if it isn’t – day-yam!) and $22
  • Howell Mountain Zinfandel and Santa Barbara Syrah
  • nose: ripe red fruit, dark cherry, dusty tannins/oak, rose petals and baking chocolate
  • taste: dark cherry bomb, possible that it has a little residual sugar (R.S.)?, rose petals come through faintly on a moderately lengthy finish
Bonus round:
24-hours: After gassing the bottle post initial taste, and then decanting it for an hour, a glass of this was quite divine. Nice deep dark fruit and “grown-up” in overall structure and mouthfeel (seems the treatment I provided my bottle gave it a 3-5 year ageing preview), it would be wonderfully paired with a big hunk-0-meat. Here’s to hoping that the SLO Down Wine guys keep their hands on whatever vineyard blocks they received, because this deviant blend will be wonderful for young and old palates, no matter when you want to drink it!**

*Disclaimer: I went to school with one of the winemakers, Chip Forsythe, in my days at Cal Poly SLO. Chip hasn’t changed, and that’s a good thing. 

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