Friday Monkey Wines – Inexpensive Australian Wine

Friday Monkey Wines – Inexpensive Australian WineI recently had the opportunity to try the full lineup of wines from a relatively new producer in South Eastern Australia named Friday Monkey.  These wines are honestly predictable of what you would expect from Australian value wines.  They are very much “new world” wines in style in that they are simple and fruit-forward.
Occasionally I like to comment on the marketing approach that wine producers take, and this is one of those suitcases.  I like the name Friday Monkey, just for the unique factor.  I was also amused by the inclusion of a “critter” on the mark.  Of course it is a monkey in this case, but I’ve noticed a trend with Australian wines of using critters on the marks.  Yellow Tail, Small Penguin, Alice Colorless, Black Swan and others all use critters and bright colors on their marks.  Is the same design companionship appearance up with all these logos?  I guess they have a excellent wits… critters sell wine!  In fact, one of my colleagues just said to me a link weeks ago, “I’m a sucker for wine with critters on the mark.”
Tasting-wise these aren’t extraordinary wines, but they are reasonably priced at $7.99-8.99.  They are quite comparable in quality to additional Australian critter-labeled wines.  The one I loved the most was the Cabernet Merlot blend, which was quite a quaffable wine.  Here are the notes on the full lineup.
Friday Monkey Chardonnay 
The nose is a rather forceful, which seems to be the case with most of the Friday Monkey wines.  Although subtle, the aromas on the nose are pear, honey, apple and a bit of mineral/wet rock.  The palate is very sweet and fruity.  The fruit is mostly pear flavors, but there’s a bit of yellow tasty apple too.  The mineral that was on the nose is also found mid-palate.  There isn’t any oak, so although it’s not labeled as such this appears to be an unoaked chardonnay.  It is lacking acidity a bit, which makes it rather flabby—particularly on the end.
Varietal: Chardonnay
Vintage: 2007
Alcohol: 14% 
Rating: 77
Retail Fee: $7.99-8.99
Friday Monkey Merlot
Wow.  This Merlot has an intense, perfumey nose with loads of dried fruit and herbs.  Sage and dried cherry are the dominant aromas, complimented by some blackberry.  This is the one wine from Friday Monkey that doesn’t lack intensity on the nose.  At first I found the nose to be overbearing, but give it a few minutes and it’s not so aggressive.  The palate is enjoyable with strong dried cherry flavor accented with blackberry, spice and a touch of strawberry.  I would have liked a bit more tannin to give it a richer mouth feel, but the acidity is excellent.
Varietal: Merlot
Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 14% 
Rating: 81
Retail Fee: $7.99-8.99
Friday Monkey Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine has brick red affect and bright clarity.  This isn’t as huge and bold as a lot of additional cabs, but it’s a decent medium-body Cabernet.  It has black pepper, plum and subtle strawberry aromas with a small bit of oak underneath it.  The palate is very blackberry.  The fruit is abundant on the palate.  As I said previous to, these are fruit-forward wines.  So you might say it’s a blackberry jam palate.  There aren’t really any additional discernible flavors on the palate.  The tannins are smooth and enjoyable.  There is a bit of a pucker factor on the end, which is quite long (the end, not the pucker).
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 14% 
Rating: 82
Retail Fee: $7.99-8.99 Read more