Underground Wine Project Idle Hands Red Wine

Idle Impulse:

Underground Wine Project 2012 "Idle Hands" Red Wine

Fellow wine lovers, everyone knows the old saying, “idle hands are the Devil’s playground,” and today we have a fiendishly good wine which is a collaboration between two very busy winemakers who refuse to be idle, even for an instant. Always on the move, Mark Ryan McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery and Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand Cellars must have about a dozen different individual projects between the two of them, and their latest is called “Underground Wine Project.” Aptly named, since this wine is a best kept secret of sorts, with no website or info available anywhere - an internet search will turn up next to no results.

Underground Wine Project 2012 “Idle Hands” Red $29.99 (Normally $40)

Simply put, if you like a big, juicy, hedonistic bottle of red, then the Underground Wine Project “Idle Hands” Red is AWESOME. A luscious combination of 92% Syrah and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from the Red Heaven Vineyard on Red Mountain, this thing is loaded with lots of in your face aromas of fresh vanilla, blueberry jam, and hints of anise. The palate is rich and supple, with full body and gripping tannins which will no doubt soften over time, showing blackberries and smoky oak, with hints of black pepper up front. There are combined hints of coconut and medium-dark chocolate which make me think german chocolate cake, and it finishes with ripe black raspberry preserve and perfumed roses. After letting the wine breath for about 45 minutes, aromas of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies started to show.

The Idles Hands Red is aged for 16 months in 85% French and 15% American oak, and I think that 15% hint of American goes a long way to make this an especially bold wine. For the last decade or so, winemakers have increasingly backed away from American oak because of it’s reputation for having a flavor profile which many feel is too overt. However, I think the Idle Hands demonstrates how a more restrained use of American oak can add of lot of complex overtones, without overshadowing the rest of the wine’s characteristics.

The Idle Hands is meant to retail for $40, but they’re temporarily allowing it to debut at lower introductory price of $29.99, which I’m told will go up. Mark and Trey made a very limited quantity, and this wine is set to disappear quickly.

The name "Idle Hands" comes from a song by a band called, "The Gutter Twins," and the label reads the lyrics, "with these idle hands there's nothing I can do but be the Devil's plaything, baby and know that I've been used."

  • Region: Red Mountain, Washington
  • Vineyard: Red Heaven Vineyard
  • Grape: 92% Syrah & 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Aging: Aged 16 months in 15% American 85% French oak barrels
  • Drinkability: Now through 2020
  • Body: Full Bodied
  • Food Pairings: STEAK, Top Sirloin, New York, Tenderloin