Today's tasting features four offerings from Monster Vineyards, the "entry level" brand from Poplar Grove.
2009 Monster Vineyards Rose
Strawberry on the nose, but quite lemony on the palate. A unique rose, different from most that I have tasted. $17.90.
2012 Monster Vineyards Skinny Dip Chardonnay
A sharp citrus nose gives way to a crisp and fruity palate; unoaked, and very smooth. If you like your Chardonnay unoaked, you will enjoy this. And at $17.90, a good value.
2011 Monster Vineyards Merlot
Very light and mild with underlying notes of spice. Dull tannins and clean acidity suggest that it will not respond particularly well to aging. Should pair well with red meats. $19.90.
2011 Monster Cabs
A Meritage blend with strong notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Tannins are very ripe. Just OK right now but will almost certainly improve with age. A very reasonable price point of $19.90 suggests if you have the patience to lay it down for a couple of years, you may end up with a steal.