Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Bottle

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Michael David Winery in the Lodi, California AVA region.

The winery is run by the Phillips family, including the founding brothers Michael and David Philips. The family started farming the soil back in 1860’s and eventually planted grapes at the beginning of the 20th century.

So, needless to say, there is a long history with this well-known family and winery.

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Review

According to the tech sheet for this wine, Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a blend of the following varietals:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (85%)
  • Petite Sirah (10%)
  • Cabernet Franc (3%)
  • Teroldego (2%)

Additionally, the wine was aged primarily in French Oak (97%) for 10 months.

I tasted the 2020 vintage of this wine.

The Freakshow Bottle Label

This wine has one of the most interesting bottle labels I’ve ever seen.

As a matter of fact, it features a bunch of references to 80’s rock music.

Let’s start by looking at the rear label.

Aside from it looking like a concert ticket, if you look at the bottom you’ll see the numbers 867 5309.

Those are the numbers from the song “8675309 Jenny” by Tommy Tutone from 1981.

Cool, huh?

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle Label Rear

Now moving on to the left side of the label (see below), I was unable to spot any music references.

What am I missing? There must be something in there music related.

I did spot Sarah Jane being shot from the cannon.

Perhaps a reference to “Trapped in the Circus” of the Sarah Jane Adventures from the BBC (I think).

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle Label Left

Now let’s take a look at the right side of the bottle label.

I see some interesting references there to bands and music from the 80’s. Can you spot them?

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle Label Right

The first 80’s music reference I see are the blocks spelling out ABACAB.

That was a song by the band Genesis. It’s also the title of their 1981 album with that song on it.

Next, if you look up to the right, you’ll see the words “Keep it Dark.” That’s also a song by Genesis.

And, the artwork for that single features three monkeys depicting “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

Notice the three monkeys sitting at the bottom of the label. ;-)

And finally, above the monkeys I see the three symbols of the artwork for the album “Ghost in the Machine” by The Police.

I’m betting there’s a lot more in this label that I’m missing?

Leave a comment below if you see anything else.


Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Color

OK, so getting back to the actual wine review, let’s take a look at this wine’s appearance.

As you can see from the picture above, this wine is deep garnet in color.

Now when I saw that this wine is from Lodi and saw how dark it was, I immediately thought there was some Zinfandel mixed in. Mostly because Lodi is so well-known for Zinfandel.

But, as I mentioned in the tech notes above, there is some Petite Sirah in the blend. I suspect that’s what’s giving this wine such a dark appearance beyond the Cabernet.

After pouring, I discovered this wine really coats up the glass with thick slow falling legs.

That could be from the alcohol content or the wine’s viscosity, as it sure was rich!


Freakshow Cabernet is very aromatic!

A good sniff revealed aromas of leather and blackberry.

I also noted some vanilla toast and a bit of spice I couldn’t quite figure out.

There was also a punch of alcohol in the aroma as well.

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon alcohol content 14.5% by volume per the bottle.

Overall, a somewhat hot, but rich and enjoyable aroma.


When I tasted this wine I quickly came to the conclusion that there was more than just Cabernet Sauvignon in the mix. It was the sweetness that gave it away.

And I should point out that I didn’t look at the tech sheet ahead of time. It was just obvious.

The flavor palate was ripe, jammy and strong, with fruit-forward flavors of black cherry and blackberry.

I also picked up a secondary note of black licorice, though it’s possible that come from the wine’s alcohol.

Not a full sugar bomb, but definitely some sweetness from the Petite Sirah.

Mouthfeel and Tannins

The wine’s mouthfeel was rich and juicy.

Tannins were supple and they took a while to make themselves known.


Given the rich flavors, it was no surprise this wine had a very long finish.

And the finish was almost totally dominated by its flavors versus the wine’s texture or tannins.

Overall Opinion

Overall, I liked Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon.

I found it to be quite tasty, though maybe a little too jammy for a wine labeled as a Cabernet.

I guess when a bottle label says Cabernet Sauvignon on it, that’s what I’m expecting. These days so many Cabs are blended with other varietals. I find that makes it difficult to know what to expect sometimes.

It’s certainly very full-bodied and dripping in flavor.

With that said, if you find straight Cabs to be a bit too dry, then a blended Cab like Freakshow may be more to your liking.

One thing I would suggest with this wine is to let it breath out some of alcohol.

After my first tasting, I let it decant for a couple hours and returned to find the wine quite a bit softer and more to my personal taste.

Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon wine price $19.99 as purchased at my local wine shop.

Suggested Food Pairing

Typical of most rich Cabernet wines, pair this one with a nice juicy grilled steak.

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