dukeusul


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dukeusul
joelsisk wrote:that would work for normal shipping via truck. Shipping via next day would be air.

STS-DCA = 2448
STS-RDU = 2412

http://gc.kls2.com for a Great Circle Mapper



Let's also look at the actualy flightpaths they'd take, as well as stopover time...... ;-)

Bacon salt turned my box black.

joelsisk


quality posts: 10 Private Messages joelsisk
dukeusul wrote:Let's also look at the actualy flightpaths they'd take, as well as stopover time...... ;-)



actually, the original question was where was the farthest State for a lab rat, so distance itself doesn't really count anyway.
DCA is roughly 77°02'16"W
RDU is roughly 78°47'15"W

that means DC is a good 1 degree, 45 minutes farther East... or at least the airport is.

dukeusul


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dukeusul
dukeusul wrote:Alrighty here we go.....

I just opened the Donati 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. It's been in the fridge a couple hours - I don't have one of those nifty touchless thermometer thingies some people have. It's definitely cool but not cold. I'm gonna taste this over the next hour to see how it changes over time.

It's got a bright ruby color, with very nice legs. It's very bright on the nose, fruity. I'm getting a lot of black cherries on the nose. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. It starts out much milder than I expected. It's mostly dark fruits, cherries and plums. I'm not getting any spice or earthiness up front at all. The fruit fades and tapers off into a very long licorice finish. Definitely not the fruit-bomb some on here had me expecting. It's actually rather well-balanced. Medium fruits, medium body, moderate tannins. I'm gonna let this get some oxygen and post more over the next hour. Stay tuned.....



Ok, second tasting......

I'm finding that 45 minutes has really opened up the nose. It's definitely more intense. The flavor is still dark cherries but the licorice is coming much earlier and fading before the finish ..... and the fruit is lingering much longer on the finish.

Bacon salt turned my box black.

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
dukeusul wrote:Ok, second tasting......

I'm finding that 45 minutes has really opened up the nose. It's definitely more intense. The flavor is still dark cherries but the licorice is coming much earlier and fading before the finish ..... and the fruit is lingering much longer on the finish.


tannic?

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
schuey wrote:Could someone from the winery please comment on a descrepency I noticed about the make-up of the 2004 Merlot?

The Donati website indicates that the Merlot was made of 91% Merlot and 9% Syrah. The wine.woot description of the Merlot states 91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon.

2004 DFV Merlot, Estate Vineyard, Paicines
Retail: $22.00 / Wine Club: $17.60

Finding an ideally suited microclimate for growing Merlot is a significant challenge, for often, this varietal falls short of its expectations. In the Paicines hills above Hollister, along the San Andreas faultline, the Donati Family has truly found a perfect home for this grape.

91% Merlot / 9% Syrah
14.9% Alcohol / 1,500 Cases Produced


Which description is accurate? If you did indeed use the Syrah, why did you use that varietal instead of the Cab. Sav?

Thanks!



i believe they wanted more of a body so they added some cab instead of syrah.

dukeusul


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dukeusul
joelsisk wrote:actually, the original question was where was the farthest State for a lab rat, so distance itself doesn't really count anyway.
DCA is roughly 77°02'16"W
RDU is roughly 78°47'15"W

that means DC is a good 1 degree, 45 minutes farther East... or at least the airport is.



Oh well..... I have Boston in my heart, does that count?

Bacon salt turned my box black.

dukeusul


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dukeusul
clayfu wrote:tannic?

Yes but not overwhelming. The tannins are there, but they don't smack you in the back of the mouth like some wines.

Bacon salt turned my box black.

nallie


quality posts: 8 Private Messages nallie

Dear Doc,

Boy, we've had a helluva ran, haven't we? Seems like I've been hooked up with you since I was just a little pinkie. I'm not complaining. Good times; good times. And the cheese, well, I'm not gonna lie. It was always damn good.

Here's the thing... Man, this is harder than I thought. Please don't start crying.
It's not you; it's me. It's just, well, I know you want me to be happy. And I've got this new gig, see? And as much as I'll miss you, I've gotta follow my heart because, Doc, a lab rat has gotta do what a lab rat has gotta do. And these days I'm gonna work for WINE.

Fondest regards,
The lab rat formerly known as Nallie


Yeah!! Thank you, oh mighty rulers of woot. I'm on the merlot as soon as I finish helping the kids with their homework. I'll start posting no later than 8 pm pt.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - h.keller
"If you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use in worrying." - j.white (and also Shantideva)

kevo152


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kevo152

We have had a great start to the Lab Rat trials this week. I think the first time, or seldom, posters we have seen this week are awesome. Welcome to the forums guys and gals.

aces219


quality posts: 6 Private Messages aces219

I have a question about lab rat for next week...let's say I decide to buy but won't be home until Friday? Can I still be a labrat? Maybe I should just say don't pick me for next week.

dukeusul


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dukeusul
dukeusul wrote:Yes but not overwhelming. The tannins are there, but they don't smack you in the back of the mouth like some wines.



Let me give everyone my overall thoughts on the 2003 Cabernet now that I've been putting it through its paces over the last two hours.

Overall I'm very happy. Good dark fruit flavors (mostly cherry) and an undercurrent of licorice. The moderate tannins and full mouthfeel do a good job standing up against the alcohol. This wine is just a tad hot. Just a skoche. But really, it's a significant enough wine that it can handle a little extra touch of alcohol. Especially if you decant for at least a half hour and let the flavors come out. They stand up well to the alcohol.

Overall: well-balanced, good fruit flavors (not a fruit bomb), moderate tannins. I'd definitely buy again.

Bacon salt turned my box black.

aces219


quality posts: 6 Private Messages aces219
EJRothman wrote:First time post-er...

As another poster mentioned, Estate Grown means that the grapes are gown on land owned and maintained by the winery. This is generally viewed favorably as it means that the winery controls the whole process from growing to bottling.

It is generally viewed as a negative when a winery buys grapes from another vineyard to make the wine, as they then cannot quality control the growing process. A lot of plonk wine is not estate grown. However, some respected wines are not estate grown. Ravenswood, for example, has no vineyards and buys all its grapes. They make some very good wines, though nothing spectacular in my opinion.

I cannot, however, speak to the economics of estate grown vs. not estate grown.

-EJR



I think this is a California-centric view of the world. Few winemakers in WA state own their own vineyards. There are some excellent vineyards which the great wineries source from, but the winemakers are rarely the farmers up here. That doesn't mean the wine isn't good. It's just a different business model.

kevo152


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kevo152
dukeusul wrote:Let me give everyone my overall thoughts on the 2003 Cabernet now that I've been putting it through its paces over the last two hours.(snip)



Thanks for all of the analysis on the wine. I think woot should be pleased with the lab rat so far. Imagine if woot would have had lab rat for the critter quartet... =)

Winedavid39


quality posts: 214 Private Messages Winedavid39

Guest Blogger

kevo152 wrote:Thanks for all of the analysis on the wine. I think woot should be pleased with the lab rat so far. Imagine if woot would have had lab rat for the critter quartet... =)



This will keep us honest to be sure..

kevo152


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kevo152
aces219 wrote:I think this is a California-centric view of the world. Few winemakers in WA state own their own vineyards. There are some excellent vineyards which the great wineries source from, but the winemakers are rarely the farmers up here. That doesn't mean the wine isn't good. It's just a different business model.



I think he was just trying to represent both sides of the argument. He said, "However, some respected wines are not estate grown.". He just doesn't think that Ravenswood has anything stellar, not that the process altogether is bad.

akretz


quality posts: 0 Private Messages akretz
joelsisk wrote:actually, the original question was where was the farthest State for a lab rat, so distance itself doesn't really count anyway.
DCA is roughly 77°02'16"W
RDU is roughly 78°47'15"W

that means DC is a good 1 degree, 45 minutes farther East... or at least the airport is.

well you could also say DC is not a state.

76 Bottles -- 3 tacky woot -- 2 seachimps -- CHEESE!!!!!
126076


Avg Bottle = $16.59

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
nallie wrote:Dear Doc,

Boy, we've had a helluva ran, haven't we? Seems like I've been hooked up with you since I was just a little pinkie. I'm not complaining. Good times; good times. And the cheese, well, I'm not gonna lie. It was always damn good.

Here's the thing... Man, this is harder than I thought. Please don't start crying.
It's not you; it's me. It's just, well, I know you want me to be happy. And I've got this new gig, see? And as much as I'll miss you, I've gotta follow my heart because, Doc, a lab rat has gotta do what a lab rat has gotta do. And these days I'm gonna work for WINE.

Fondest regards,
The lab rat formerly known as Nallie


Yeah!! Thank you, oh mighty rulers of woot. I'm on the merlot as soon as I finish helping the kids with their homework. I'll start posting no later than 8 pm pt.



everyone got it but me =(

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
EJRothman wrote:First time post-er...

As another poster mentioned, Estate Grown means that the grapes are gown on land owned and maintained by the winery. This is generally viewed favorably as it means that the winery controls the whole process from growing to bottling.

It is generally viewed as a negative when a winery buys grapes from another vineyard to make the wine, as they then cannot quality control the growing process. A lot of plonk wine is not estate grown. However, some respected wines are not estate grown. Ravenswood, for example, has no vineyards and buys all its grapes. They make some very good wines, though nothing spectacular in my opinion.

I cannot, however, speak to the economics of estate grown vs. not estate grown.

-EJR



tons of premier wines in california source their wines from outside. Look at Pinot Noirs in California. Kostabrowne, Foxen, the list goes on and on.

theacademy


quality posts: 2 Private Messages theacademy

Labrat TheAcademy reporting for duty. The shipper can verify that I was sober upon receipt. I made the point of telling him so several times.

Due to the 90 degree October weather in the midwest, my wine arrived at the door about as warm as a pan sauce. A few hours in the wine chiller sent it back down to 57.

The 2003 Cabernet reminded me of another wine I have enjoyed from Paso Robles: J Lohr. If you've enjoyed the Seven Oaks Cab from J Lohr, you will love the Donati Cab from Paso Robles.

The color is rich and dark enough to tempt a vampire. You may want to let this wine breath a little before drinking. If you don't have a decanter, get a straw and blow some bubbles in it.

The nose is reminiscent of currant. The taste brings about black cherry with firm tannins. The Donati Cab has a nice and smooth mouthfeel, and it was a very pleasant wine with a piece or two of dark chocolate with almonds.

Woot - Thanks for the golden ticket. I look forward to the other 2 wines in the set.

winefarm


quality posts: 7 Private Messages winefarm
aces219 wrote:I have a question about lab rat for next week...let's say I decide to buy but won't be home until Friday? Can I still be a labrat? Maybe I should just say don't pick me for next week.



yea, best to take yourself out of the mix. thanks.

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu

ah. I am part of the lab rat.
I received the 2003 meritage, exactly the one i was hoping for =)

Initial thoughts on the pop and pour
hot hot hot! woo. it says 14.5 on the bottle label but its definitely the 15% + . The nose doesn't get that pungant "hot" alcohol smell, but there's some heat coming thru.

The initial taste had quite a hit of alcohol. BUT once you get past that, there's a nice silky mingling of light tannins and the berries. I'm going to decant it for about 40 minutes to a hour (might be longer depending on my softball game) , hopefully the heat will die down. also hopefully i don't decant it for too long and lose all flavor.

shh64


quality posts: 1 Private Messages shh64

Oh no, the lab rat marketing is working. I was out for sure this week after my 4 case buying spree at my favorite Seattle wine shop Saturday, but reading the cab descriptions so far, I don't think I can hold out. I can't wait to hear the merlot and meritage reports too, then I probably will be pulling the trigger...

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu

thanks for spamming it at all the woot forums, showing that you're an silly goose for buying 30 travel size containers of body spray for 30$

torofrog


quality posts: 0 Private Messages torofrog
clayfu wrote:ah. I am part of the lab rat.
I received the 2003 meritage, exactly the one i was hoping for =)

Initial thoughts on the pop and pour
hot hot hot! woo. it says 14.5 on the bottle label but its definitely the 15% + . The nose doesn't get that pungant "hot" alcohol smell, but there's some heat coming thru.

The initial taste had quite a hit of alcohol. BUT once you get past that, there's a nice silky mingling of light tannins and the berries. I'm going to decant it for about 40 minutes to a hour (might be longer depending on my softball game) , hopefully the heat will die down. also hopefully i don't decant it for too long and lose all flavor.


Clay, what's the word?
Sorry I'm being impatient, but I would like to know how much money I'm going to be spending this week. : )

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth. -George Burns

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
torofrog wrote:Clay, what's the word?
Sorry I'm being impatient, but I would like to know how much money I'm going to be spending this week. : )



i'm going to go play softball at 9 (in one hour) and i'll be back in about a hour 30 after that. So a couple of friends are coming over, we'll all give it a shot and i'll hopefully report back by midnight.

nallie


quality posts: 8 Private Messages nallie

Nallie reporting in just past her self-imposed deadline. Sorry, was delayed by the need to file a police report (every yin has its yang; still and all the minor police related incident was much less of a bummer than the lab rat status was of a victory, so the day is still looking good by my standards of measurement).

2004 Merlot - Just out of the bottle with 3 swirls in a nice large glass. Yum. I taste more cab tendencies (but no green pepper) than a typical merlot. It's hot, but I personally do not find that objectionable. I taste cloves for sure. I'm going to let it simmer down a bit and I'll keep editing this same post as the night (and the character of the wine) advances.

ADDED 8:40 pm pt - Dark and lovely in the glass, smelling more and more like chocolate and cherries and cloves (which is a surprisingly happy combination on the tongue it turns out). I am still not really getting the typical merlot read out of this. It has just got too much backbone.

I am not eating anything with it yet, but I think it would hold up well against any hearty or spicy dish. It seems a natural for richer foods. Greasy burgers, goose livers, red sauced pasta, thick steak or carne asada with all the fixin's - anything that needs a little acid to act as tastebud Drano (honestly, I mean that in the most complimentary way) would pair perfectly with this merlot.

Without the benefit of an oily entree, this wine is still delightful. It's not timid, but it's an easy drink. There is heat, there are tannins -which keep playing like cloves on my tongue, but they are kept in balance by the cherries and chocolate. The mouth feel is nice, the finish is lasting.

If you are in the mood for a delicate pinot noir, this wine will not please your palate, but neither is it too jammy. I keep saying balance (and I really haven't swallowed that much wine yet so that's not the problem) because that's how it strikes me. Not a 'graceful contortionist a la Cirque de Soleil' balance. More like an 'elephant upheld by only his trunk in the middle of the center ring, with maybe a monkey on his back just to keep it interesting' balance. It makes you go 'wow' more than it makes you draw in your breath quietly.

Ok, that's all for now, back in half an hour or so with the final report.

ADDED 9:15 Well, now I've gone and corrupted all further objective reporting by reading Loweeel' s and eja's posts on the same wine. Sorry; couldn't help it.

In defense of my divergent opinion on this wine's potential with steak, let me expand further. I am speaking hypothetically, as unlike Loweeel I did not try this wine with steak; everyone likes different things together; when I eat steak it is almost always rib eye and it is almost never seasoned with anything except salt and olive oil. I don't like black pepper in anything but my zinfandels, and would send back a steak if it were peppered without my knowledge, so my version of what steak tastes like may in no way be reminiscent of Loweeel's steak tonight.

I am still loving this wine, but more so. I think I will cellar at least one bottle, because you can just taste the potential for aging. I will probably drink another much sooner, when I'm in the mood for a wine that sips easily but will not be ignored. (But not in that scary, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction 'will not be ignored' kind of a way.)

I’m going to post more below about the very hysterical language on the golden ticket, but first I have 2 athletes with sore backs who are demanding my attention…





"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - h.keller
"If you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use in worrying." - j.white (and also Shantideva)

bkbliesner


quality posts: 1 Private Messages bkbliesner
aces219 wrote:I think this is a California-centric view of the world. Few winemakers in WA state own their own vineyards. There are some excellent vineyards which the great wineries source from, but the winemakers are rarely the farmers up here. That doesn't mean the wine isn't good. It's just a different business model.



That is not really true. I live in the Yakima Valley and know of alot of estate wineries, with many more just coming online.

bkbliesner


quality posts: 1 Private Messages bkbliesner
EJRothman wrote:First time post-er...

As another poster mentioned, Estate Grown means that the grapes are gown on land owned and maintained by the winery. This is generally viewed favorably as it means that the winery controls the whole process from growing to bottling.

It is generally viewed as a negative when a winery buys grapes from another vineyard to make the wine, as they then cannot quality control the growing process. A lot of plonk wine is not estate grown. However, some respected wines are not estate grown. Ravenswood, for example, has no vineyards and buys all its grapes. They make some very good wines, though nothing spectacular in my opinion.

I cannot, however, speak to the economics of estate grown vs. not estate grown.

-EJR



This is not really true, as many, many wineries may not grow their own grapes but that is not to say that they do not have any input into the growing process. Actually many of the wineries actually contract with certain growers to grow the grapes the way that they would like them to. Meaning how much fruit on them when to pick etc.

Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel

And... here... we... GO!!!!

Donati Family Vineyards 2004 Merlot, 70 F (probably a few degrees too hot, which is why I stuck the decanter in the fridge for 15-20 mins), and consumed out of Riedel O Cab/Merlot glasses.

First off, let me give a bit of background about myself, so you understand where I'm coming from in terms of my wine tastes. When I first started liking wine, about 24-18 months ago, my only criterion was, "does this go well with steak?" My parents are both big red meat eaters, as am I, and we eat steak fairly often. My first exposure to wines that I enjoyed was through steak, and the kinds of big reds that has a symbiotic relationship with a still-bleeding, garlic-flavored, steaming and seared hunk of deliciously marbled, aged beef. As you can probably tell from my love affair with Petite Sirah (and Boekenhoutskloof's 2005 The Wolftrap), I think that my tastes have broadened, rather than shifted.

However, not to pat myself on the back too much, but after drinking this wine, I'm somewhat proud of myself for having grown enough to enjoy it, even though it was decidedly NOT good with this evening's garlicy, peppery, salted sirloin. All the negatives are here: (a) it's somewhat of a changeling, changing not only from glass to glass, but within each class. The tannins firm up and separate, the fruit comes and goes on the palate, but I think that might be the combination of travel shock and decanting. (b) it's too fruity to go with "big meats" like sirloin and NY strip; I would not have this with lamb or any game meats at all; in fact, I found this actively unpleasant both while masticating a piece of steak and immediately thereafter. This contrasts significantly with my beloved Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as many of the Bordeaux/Meritage blends I've had, even the CabFranc heavy ones. I think this would go well with poultry with red sauces, and it goes very well on its own as well.

It's very silky and smooth and juicy, almost decadently so. I can see why they describe Merlot in feminine terms, as it's a very seductive wine. I don't have a lot of experience with Merlot -- haven't even cracked open the Mill Creek yet. But this is one of the juiciest wines I've ever had. Tannins ranging from soft-to-medium, firming up as the wine decanted and settled in both the decanter and the glass, but a little weak on the midpalate. But great fruit on the start and the finish, nice acidity. A very long finish for this price, or longer than I'm used to. It's just a very pleasant wine. Not hugely structured, nor a big wine. But VERY pleasant to drink. I said that it doesn't go with steak, but unlike a lot of tannic cabs and Pets, it doesn't NEED to.

As for the fruit, when I popped and poured, it was sour black cherries and unripe blueberries, which ripened as the wine settled and opened, which was a very pleasant evolution. The nose, slightly muted at first (again from travel shock?) has become more evident, also of the same ripening black cherry and blueberry, with hints of very soft leather, cloves, and even carpaccio by the end of the bottle. Soft traces of vanilla suggest just the right amount of oak, but this is really almost buttery by the end. Absolutely incredible mouthfeel for a red -- soft, juicy, and silky smooth.

My favorite thing about this wine was that, aside from the bad experience pairing it with the sirloins, it really did get nicer from sip to sip, and glass to glass. Like I said, I don't know much about merlot, and because of that, I don't know if the varietal and the style combined -- new world merlot -- are for me, given my steak-centric tastes. But I'm certainly going to drink and enjoy the bottles that I have coming. Great mouthfeel, great fruit, and just a very pleasant, not challenging wine that can stand well by itself.

In a way, it's the opposite of SonomaBouliste's Wellington Cab (with 24% merlot), with both as opposite ends of the "I can drink this alone" spectrum. That's more of an old world, Cab-style, and this is a new-world merlot style (with ~10% cab), but while neither is particularly difficult, challenging, or mindblowing wines, both are certainly unassuming and incredibly pleasant to drink, especially on their own.

I should add that the color is fantastic -- a dark garnet red -- and while a tad hot on the nose and finish when just popped and poured, that disappears quickly. I'd love to see what will happen to this over the coming years, and I guess I'll find out. This should age nicely -- it has the acidity, the fruit, and the tannins to do so.

Favorites: Roessler ¬ KRPN ¬ Etude ¬ Stuart ¬ KRPort ¬ Tøøthstejnn ¬ Titus ¬ URSA ¬ InZin ¬ SBMystery ¬ SxBS&Z+4 ¬ DC3&4 ¬ TyC3&FB ¬ FeEquus ¬ PSPS ¬ Harvey ¬ SBRes&CR ¬ Corison ¬ Noceto ¬ Humbug ¬ KRSEXY3SOME ¬ PoiZin06 ¬ POLY ¬ Castoro ¬ SBCab ¬ KRPS2K ¬ HW12 ¬ GSaké ¬ הגפןCab ¬ PepBr

CT ¬ PSychos' Path
"The one difference between me and Petite Sirah is that I don't have a dumb period." - YT

eja11950


quality posts: 1 Private Messages eja11950

Okay, here is my perspective on the 2004 Donati Family Vineyard Merlot. It tastes like grapes…. just kidding!

I came home after work and put it in the wine fridge for about an hour while I went to the gym.

After the gym, I poured a taste to get first impressions and then decanted the remainder for around 30 minutes before enjoying it with my wife.

When poured it has a nice garnet shade and good long legs in the glass.

Aroma: I picked up hints of peppercorn, vanilla, and slight bit of alcohol in the nose.

Taste: there is a moderate amount of fruitiness mainly black cherry and currant flavors. There is also a slight tartness and you do taste some alcohol but it doesn’t overpower the wine. As its pretty young, I wouldn’t call it a mellow Merlot at this point. Tannins: if I put it on a scale (1 being virtually none and 10 being huge parch your tongue Cab or Malbec) I would put it at a 4 or 5.

After decanting the black cherry does come out a bit more to match the alcohol and the tartness dissipates making for a very satisfying wine. It is a mouthful, perhaps in a perfect world it could have used another couple months in Donati’s oak barrels, but it was very enjoyable nonetheless. I think if cellared for a year or two it would be a knockout.

I look forward to having it again with a nice meal when the trio arrives.

winefarm


quality posts: 7 Private Messages winefarm
dynersooner wrote:what is the furthest state from CA, that someone has been chosen as a labrat?



I just have to say that the resulting conversation on this forum from this question has cracked me up. Scarily, it reminds me of many family discussions/arguments that my family has at Major holidays. Ironically, the differences for the usage of further v farther resulted in the consulting of grammar texts and articles from the internet when we got together over the summer. In the old days, we didn't have wikipedia to solve our arguments so they lasted a lot longer than they do know. Now I know why I feel so at home on wine.woot. Thanks wine.woot pals, you're getting more and more like family.

nallie


quality posts: 8 Private Messages nallie
winefarm wrote:I just have to say that the resulting conversation on this forum from this question has cracked me up. Scarily, it reminds me of many family discussions/arguments that my family has at Major holidays. Ironically, the differences for the usage of further v farther resulted in the consulting of grammar texts and articles from the internet when we got together over the summer. In the old days, we didn't have wikipedia to solve our arguments so they lasted a lot longer than they do know. Now I know why I feel so at home on wine.woot. Thanks wine.woot pals, you're getting more and more like family.



That's really sweet, WineFarm. There must be a lot of love binding your family together if things like that bring laughter instead of hurt feelings. Too often, that kind of banter is created by, or creates, background tensions. It is a very special family (like yours and, apparently, like ours here!) that can take the back and forth without getting hurt feelings. Waay cool.

Speaking of way cool, now that I've commented on the characteristics of the wine, I wanna brag on the literature on the golden ticket. The vote at the Nallie casa is that the funniest line by far is, in relation to the Willy Wonka theme, "Your comments may be insightful, poignant, and full of humor, like the Gene Wilder performance. Or odd, pale, creepy and gender-confused, like the Johnny Depp turn." We have also all agreed that most of Johnny Depp's recent characters involve a certain amount of gender confusion (we were thinkin' Pirate of the C. et al here). Not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyway, whoever wrote the text for the coveted golden tickets did dang good!

Thanks again, WD and crew, for giving me a shot at lab rat. It was an honor I will carry with me all my days, or at least through to the weekend.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." - h.keller
"If you can do something about it, there is no need to worry. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use in worrying." - j.white (and also Shantideva)

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu

When i first got the bottle of wine, i had a small bit of hesitation. My fill was almost at the bottom of the neck. Did anyone else have this problem that was a lab rat? This makes me fair oxidation.. but the cork was in fine condition. (PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY THRU!!!! )

Pre-decant. Little bits of earth soft fruit flavors, still a little bit hot. Makes the nose hairs stand up just a little. Ohhh a yummy cola smell. Smells like a coke popsicle on the back. chocolate.

aight. i have two glasses, (#1) one riedel bordeaux vinum with a wine decanted for 1.5 hours and (#2) one riedel bordeaux vinum has wine that went into the decanter and immediatlely back into the bottle and plugged back.

#1
nose: Still mildly hot. Just a little bit. It doesn't burn your nose hairs off. But it gets your alcohol sense tingling! More heat than fruit at the moment.
taste: hum. first gulp a little bitter/hot. Very light tannins. I guess there's some fruit but i'm not going to lie.. its a little disjointed with the heat and the cherries? i'm going to use the cough syrup analogy. Kind of thick. Hoping a decant can do something, but i'm afraid if i decant it for too long it'll just disappear.
finish: hot, just hot. very light tannins in the back.

woo need some water.

#2. complete change (sat in glass for 10 minutes after it was poured from the decanter)
nose: no heat, heat's all gone! the fall has come and summer has passed! yet only light amounts of cherries, chocolate, a bit of leather, smells sweet with a touch of oak. There's a chance that you only need to decant it for 45 minutes, i feel as though the nose could have more? I was right, i shouldn't have decanted it for so long. If its still the same at 45, then the nose isn't as expressive as i'd like it. Alot of wines in this price range tend to be really harsh even after decanting. But this doesn't make it an exception wine at this point, its just okay.
taste: I want to say that this wine has another year in it, cause when you first taste it there's tanins in the back.. but after decanting it for a hour or so .. tannins are gone.. but its pretty thin. Some fruit (sour cherries), JUST A LITTLE bit of oak, but its pretty thin. There is no heat left in the wine. (good) WHERE IS THE MIDDLE GROUND FOR THIS WINE?! Where is that point where the flavor doesn't die away completely ? I'm straining for flavor here!
finish: gone within 3 seconds.

Glass #3! I'm going to find this blasted middle ground. I let the wine from the bottle sit in the glass for about 30 minutes.
nose: a tinge of heat. just a little bit. i really want the nose to express something, anything at all! sigh. its just the same as glass #2, maybe SLIGHTLY more expressive. more chocolate, more oak, but the same amount of fruit. a little bit of spice, but its so little that there's a chance i'm wrong.
taste: Just the right amount of heat right now. But sigh.. super thin.
finish: My problem with this wine, the same with every glass is at the end of the finish it tastes really thin almost like water.

The more i taste it (i've almost finished the whole bottle by myself) i'm almost positive my bottle is flawed. Its way too thin, its like i'm drinking alcohol with water. The types of wines they've blended would not attribute to these. With such a high alcohol % it ought to be fruit forward, a big thick wine but its exactly the opposite, this is just a bad bottle.

I'd suggest skipping my review if you're deciding if you want to buy this wine. This flaw was a pitty, i wish i had the opportunity to truly review this wine. . Know what's funny, this is the 2nd oxidized wine that i've had in the past week. This bottle is EXACTLY like the one i just had a few days ago

thanks please pick me still for labrat if i buy again!!~!~!~!~ =)

damightyanteater


quality posts: 12 Private Messages damightyanteater

well, the lab rats got to me as well.

In for 1. ;-)

    My last 5 woots:
  • Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon x2
  • Woot Cellars Boss Monster Zinfandel Six - Pack
  • Armida Winery Poizin Trio
  • Olivestri Siloro olio nuovo
  • Wellington Vineyard Designate Cabernet Trio

pagreen


quality posts: 8 Private Messages pagreen

Whoa! I am pretty intimidated by this whole Lab Rat thing. I think my greed for free wine has been way more than overcome by my fear of being exposed for what I am--a wine-poser with a bad memory and a short attention span. Here's a sample review, had I been chosen:

Now what am I drinking again? Oh yea. It's some kind of wine. Yep, definitely tastes like wine. And its red I think. Yup, really red. That's how it comes out of the bottle, and it stays that way. Really does. Now, where was I? Oh yes, it tastes a lot like that other wine I had, you know, the red one. Is it good with food? I'm hungry, so I guess I'll find out. Munch, gnaw, burrrrrrrrrrrp . . . [half-hour passes]. What was I doing again? Oh, drinking wine. Yes, it still tastes like wine. And its still red. Would I buy it again? Sure, its red wine, and I like red wine, don't I?

This is why I must never be chosen as a Lab Rat.

NatalieW


quality posts: 0 Private Messages NatalieW

So far, Labrats will have me in for 2 sets (one for appeasement of my wootlegger, one for me). I love chocolate, leather and CLOVES in my wine, thanks nallie and Loweel for the notes. I agree that the lab rat experiment is working very well. Since I always come back to check tasting notes on woot wines when I get them (wootlegging means they have ALL been tasted and written up well before I receive) getting the notes from my trusted "family" (banter and all) makes me much more comfortable buying perhaps more woots than I would have if no notes were available. Way to go WD and wine.woot team for another great idea!

NatalieW


quality posts: 0 Private Messages NatalieW
pagreen wrote:Whoa! I am pretty intimidated by this whole Lab Rat thing. I think my greed for free wine has been way more than overcome by my fear of being exposed for what I am--a wine-poser with a bad memory and a short attention span. Here's a sample review, had I been chosen:

Now what am I drinking again? Oh yea. It's some kind of wine. Yep, definitely tastes like wine. And its red I think. Yup, really red. That's how it comes out of the bottle, and it stays that way. Really does. Now, where was I? Oh yes, it tastes a lot like that other wine I had, you know, the red one. Is it good with food? I'm hungry, so I guess I'll find out. Munch, gnaw, burrrrrrrrrrrp . . . [half-hour passes]. What was I doing again? Oh, drinking wine. Yes, it still tastes like wine. And its still red. Would I buy it again? Sure, its red wine, and I like red wine, don't I?

This is why I must never be chosen as a Lab Rat.

You are my hero, pagreen (secretly I am glad no wines come to MA for just this reason) ; )

Gatzby


quality posts: 43 Private Messages Gatzby
NatalieW wrote:I love chocolate, leather and CLOVES in my wine, thanks nallie and Loweel for the notes.



Okay, the chocolate and cloves I can understand, but doesn't leather get a bit chewy? (*rimshot*)

Did you know shirt.woot ships internationally? Get you some!
Why do my posts always get deleted? -- Noise Reduction -- Try it in podcast format.
No, you can't have our iPod, keys, or Lego. Sorry.

Loweeel


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Loweeel
Gatzby wrote:Okay, the chocolate and cloves I can understand, but doesn't leather get a bit chewy? (*rimshot*)


It's really really soft leather -- like that on women's gloves. Certainly easier than beef jerky!

I've also been thinking about pairing options, given my unpleasant surprise with how the merlot went with the steak. Basically, I'd stay away from big meats and salty dishes. Not sure how it would go with spices. But the best pairings would probably be sweet-ish red dishes -- things with a red bell pepper or tomato base, whether chicken or pasta.

Favorites: Roessler ¬ KRPN ¬ Etude ¬ Stuart ¬ KRPort ¬ Tøøthstejnn ¬ Titus ¬ URSA ¬ InZin ¬ SBMystery ¬ SxBS&Z+4 ¬ DC3&4 ¬ TyC3&FB ¬ FeEquus ¬ PSPS ¬ Harvey ¬ SBRes&CR ¬ Corison ¬ Noceto ¬ Humbug ¬ KRSEXY3SOME ¬ PoiZin06 ¬ POLY ¬ Castoro ¬ SBCab ¬ KRPS2K ¬ HW12 ¬ GSaké ¬ הגפןCab ¬ PepBr

CT ¬ PSychos' Path
"The one difference between me and Petite Sirah is that I don't have a dumb period." - YT

Rok8ron


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Rok8ron

Big girls don't cry, Lab Rats don't whine...

After briefly scanning the comments made by others, I feel for those experiencing the Midwest October heat wave, I really do. I just don't get how, with all the beer that really belongs in there, they have any room left at all in their fridge, to "chill" their cabernet...

I guess I was one of the lucky ones who was asked to try the Donati Meritage, which required no temperature alteration whatsoever. I started off by popping that sucker just prior to slapping some rib-eyes on the grill, figuring half for the cook, half for the hangers-on with dinner, if they're lucky. I poured a glass, and then gave it a few minutes to reacquaint itself with current day atmospheric conditions.

Even though no one else was around to appreciate the act, I employed the old grab-the-stem-swirl-and-sniff-like-a-wine-snob method, and was pleasantly surprised by the result: More than a couple of layers, all of which alluring. Still cautious, however, because I have found out the hard way, that the best attribute of some wine, is its smell; I quaffed.

Niiiiiice. I was not hit with the same wall of alcohol that others have described, and the flavors were smooth and even. (I'll spare you the normal fru-fru wine-ological avalanche of inane adjectives.) I have come to expect that a meritage is made to drink perhaps a little earlier in life than single grape varietals, which is why they blend the grapes in the first place. And with a 2003 vintage, this wine is no exception; so go ahead, rob the cradle.

The 64% cab provides plenty of play-by-play body, while the merlot, cab franc and malbec dutifully add the "color" commentation. Even though the Donati delivered a solid, stand-alone, lead off performance, it played even better once teamed up with seared protein and pasta when the dinner bell rang. The final result was a definite "W" in the results column.

Unfortunately, the Laws of Woot only allow a three game homestand for any team, so until I can get down the coast to re-load, it's going to be a a quick, three up and three down for this Meritage. However, using my 30 years of swallow-don't-spit wine tasting technique as a guide, this wine will cellar very well, for at least 10 years. Maybe some day the Wootmeisters will start selling wine in more adult quantities, like three cases at a time.

Thus ends my inaugural run as a Woot-Whiner. I can only hope that I have performed well enough to avoid the wrath of "Fid", "No, just Fid", who delivered the sample bottle. All in all, this was a very enjoyable experience, thank you sir, may I have another!?

-Rok8Ron