MONT GRAS SOLEUS Cabernet Sauvignon (2009)—Not art, but that’s okay because I HAVE art

“LB! Wake up, LB!”

It was the six-year-old. I figured she had a frilly dress ready for me—as good a reason as any to yank me out of bed. I had a crashing hangover thanks to my parents’ wine snobbery, but more on that later. I went submissively with Miss P.

She carried me to the kitchen table, on which sat an envelope, addressed to LB (!). And inside….

Yes, yes, YES! A replica of Dan Lacey’s Obama Unicorn Nude Baby Jesus Manger Christmas Card Art Painting, kindly autographed by the artist.

I am so happy.

My joy almost negates the ill-effects of drinking the lion’s share of the Chilean cab we had last night. I was excited when I saw the bottle of MONT GRAS SOLEUS Cabernet Sauvignon (2009)—every Mont Gras product I’ve tried previously has been top-notch for the price point. Organically grown grapes seemed a further plus. The Los Guindos vineyards were planted between 1998 and 1999 about 50km from Santiago and managed organically from the get-go. SOLEUS is made from 100% hand-picked organic grapes and goes for $13.99 at our local booze shop.

A lucky string of excellent sub-$15 red wine finds (reviews to come) over the holidays had perhaps jacked up my expectations, as well as those of my parents. We don’t typically let wine languish in this house, but when the SOLEUS was poured…it sat.


The color is ruby red and enticing. In the glass the wine sheets, with legs quickly forming. From three feet away it induces salivation.

Three inches’ distance is another matter. Intensely aromatic, SOLEUS has an unfortunate petrol-like topnote with chicken-coop accents. These oddities—fortunately—are caught up in a dried-fruit onslaught, a heavy abundance of ripe red berries with lashings of tobacco and vanilla. The effect is disconcerting and palate-bothering. If you can get past the initial aroma, the front sip is quite acceptable, followed by a confusing mid-palate jockeying of flavors and a borderline-offensive ending.

Which was super for me, because my parents quietly abandoned their glasses, leaving the wine for me to finish. I got freaking wasted, my fellow inebriates. I have no idea what time they carried me to the bed I share with three other bears (who were probably relieved that I was too insensate to grind up against them).

All in all it was an awesome evening. The hangover was par for the course, and it was ameliorated wonderfully today by the contemplation of art.

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