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Offering of 4/2 -- Cellar No. 8 North Coast Sauvignon Blanc - Three Pack

This offering's pack:
Rok8ron (disaster!)

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quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
raykumli wrote:Just put a bottle of Cellar No. 8 in the frig to chill. My wife and I are going to an early dinner, and, as a relatively new labrat, I'll post my report later tonight

raykumli wrote:I confess. I'm one of the local yocals that was recruited to taste this Sauvignon Blanc. I live in Sonoma and do some consulting with the Wine.Woot folks. My palate is pretty mature....I'm an old goat. I first made wine in 1978 and ran a winery for a while.
We just returned from a wonderful dinner at Martini House in St. Helena and tasted the wine. It is definitely not a fruit-forward, floral wine which, by my taste, is good. There is an earthy quality to the nose, and it is a clean, refreshing wine that will pair well with many fish dishes, It will stand up to a variety of sauces and flavors.

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TheFiddler wrote:Fiddle me this!
I've tasted 80% of the wines offered on wine.woot but never spent a penny.

I'm a sinple guy who usually rates wines as unpleasant, pleasant or very pleasant(KISS) so for Lab Rat purposes I employed the tastebuds of my wife for a well rounded review. Her tasting prowess grows with every huge wine company tasting seminar she attends. We opened the bottle at a medium chill and poured a taste each.

WIFE - The appearance is clear with a pale straw color. It had a very full nose and citrus, along with other fruits, is dominent. The first taste burst with pink grapefruit. With each sip the citrus taste mellowes and honeydew melon and white peach emerge. The palate is true to the nose. It is off-dry to dry with medium acidity, medium body, with a medium to long finish. (See, those seminars are coming in handy). The wine has more body than many SB I have tasted and has a touch of oiliness/creaminess to the mouth-feel.

ME - Pleasant. It went just fine with my fish fillets a la Gortons, rice de Lowry's and Jolly Green Giant green beans. Hey! I worked 11 hours yesterday and cooked dinner.

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quality posts: 0 Private Messages Rok8ron

The PAIN truth...

I am a local Sonoma customer of wine.woot, and an occassional Labrat. When Winedave called me to pinch hit, on ratting out the Cellar #8 SauvBlanc, I eagerly offerred to step up to the plate and take a swing.

When the bottle arrived, it looked great. Simple, straight forward label, beautifully hued contents, perfect to accompany the fresh Cod waiting at home to be suateed in butter, basil, and tomatoes. I put the bottle on the corner of the back bumper of my pick-em-up truck, dropped the tailgate and told the dog to "git up".

I'm not sure which sense I reacted to first: the acid taste of panic-born bile, or the sound of glass hitting asphalt. I looked to the slowly spreading wet spot (which had excellent legs, by the way)and in a Rorschach test kind of way, immediately thought, "why that looks like a flying monkey trying to peel a wax banana."

What came out of my mouth, however, was far
less insightful, and decidely more venomous.

I can say for certain that the aroma of the Cellar #8 was fabulous. However, this only amplified the wave of pulsing guilt that began to curse through my body, as I realized that I had let down the trust and faith of the WineWoot Gods. I intinally toyed with the idea of faking it; you know, drink another sauvblanc, pretend to enjoy it, and then write in afterwards to say "That was good for me, how about you?"

But I had to be true to Winedave, Fid-just-Fid, and the rest of the labratologists. I screwed up, I blew it, and just like Eric Burdon & War, I had Spilled that wine, and had to take that pearl.

So as I swallow hard, and offer a heartfelt, yet wineless, appology to all, I can only hope that my carelessness has not resulted in permanent banishment from the winewoot labratorium.



quality posts: 15 Private Messages cjsiege
Rok8ron wrote:The PAIN truth...

I am a local Sonoma customer of wine.woot, and an occassional Labrat. When Winedave called me to pinch hit, on ratting out the Cellar #8 SauvBlanc, I eagerly offerred to step up to the plate and take a swing.

**snipped tale of woe**

So as I swallow hard, and offer a heartfelt, yet wineless, appology to all, I can only hope that my carelessness has not resulted in permanent banishment from the winewoot labratorium.


Confession is good for the soul, rocket-man! You done good! I can't speak for WD, but I think this should be a case of "go forth and sin no more!"


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
cjsiege wrote:Confession is good for the soul, rocket-man! You done good! I can't speak for WD, but I think this should be a case of "go forth and sin no more!"

Here! Here!

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Offering of 4/6 -- Salvestrin Estate Napa Valley Cabernet - Two Pack

This offering's pack:

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
druid779 wrote:Hooray! I just received my first-ever golden ticket! While I am exceptionally busy throughout the afternoon, I have done my due diligence and made dinner arrangements to do justice to this fine-looking bottle and do justice by you fine-looking people ;). Though I am going on my 23rd sleepless hour, I am determined to have tasting notes assembled before I call it a night.

P.S. Thank you WD! I lurked on these forums for quite a while before I felt ready to sign up to be a labrat and I'm thrilled to have been chosen.

druid779 wrote:Sorry fellow Wooters, my dinner date cancelled on me . We rescheduled for lunch tommorow. On the bright side, I'll be able to get some shuteye and approach this bottle with my head in the game.

druid779 wrote:

I apologize for the lateness of my report, but I just got back from a late lunch / early dinner with my friend. So here are my conclusions:

All indications being that this was going to be a strong, full bodied Napa cab, I ordered filet mignon, medium rare, to ensure optimal pairing. Inspecting the first glass against the light showed the liquid to be a clear, yet dark, red. Agitation revealed strong legs and released an aroma of berries and heat.

Expecting the tannins the be dominant, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the mouthfeel was smooth and that the wine was well balanced, though a shade of astringency was perceptible in the finish (though those with more mature palates will likely find this a positive quality).

Progressing through the glass, the flavor of berries became dominant. We were able to parse blueberry, blackberry and cherry from among the mélange of flavors. While I felt blueberry to be dominant, my friend quibbled that cherry was the more prevalent flavor. Over the course of our dinner I pinpointed chocolate notes developing on the finish (perhaps the consequence of aging in oak?) though my friend argued tobacco (or possibly truffle) to be the more evident flavor.

In terms of the potential for this wine to improve with cellaring, I would say that it is possible for more fruit to emerge as this wine ages, though my personal feeling is that the wine is ready to be consumed now. RPM brings up an excellent point in noting that the fruit may well not blossom with age, and though the potential for improvement over time exists, we were quite satisfied with the wine’s present balance (though, admittedly, I am a sucker for berry).

Any sense of an imposing astringency faded with the second glass and the wine began to hint at potential complexities that would reward those diligent and perceptive enough to parse them out (I still think the finish hints at chocolate, though my friend and I remain in disagreement).

Over the two hour course of our dinner, the wine, with consumption and aeration, feels as if it is moving closer to harmony. Though the tannins are firm, I reiterate that they do not dominate the wine (to my mind) and that there is a pleasant mixture of flavors and sensations that yet paired well with my medium rare filet.

I am thrilled to have two more bottles on the way and can say, decidedly, that this wine constitutes a very pleasant drinking experience that would likely pair well even with a lighter meal than the traditional red meat / cabernet pairing.

For those of you on the fence, I found this wine very rewarding and enjoyable, though it is important to note that my palate is not nearly as mature as those of the more experienced Wooters. Given its price, I am regretting not having ordered more and though I am not qualified to throw around any numbers, I can easily give this wine a strong recommendation.

Thank you all, and sorry again for the tardiness of this report!
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
hld1970 wrote:Imagine my surprise to find a bottle of the 2005 Salvestrin Cab at my door this evening! Thank you, WD. I have uncorked it and taken a whiff:

Nice purple color with long "legs." It smelled a bit "hot" with a strong cedar/wood aroma. I waited about 20-30 minutes and it has softened- now I smell lots of red fruit and coffee. The taste is warm and smooth with hints of chocolate, more red fruit (not sure which one) and a little pepper.

This drinks really well now and I look forward to see how it evolves over time. Unfortunately, we are having pad thai for dinner so it's not an optimal food pairing by any means. Tomorrow night is brisket (yeah, Passover!) so I will share more info then. Hope this helps you fence sitters. Great wine, even greater value.
CT | | | | | |


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luckyinla wrote:After spending a morning slaving over an enormous pot of chicken soup, in preparation for Passover tomorrow, I received the much coveted Fed Ex package! It is still early (relatively) on the left coast, but will decant the Salvestrin cabernet soon. Stay tuned...

luckyinla wrote:

I may not be as witty as some, but I take my LabRat duties very seriously. Dinner for this evening had already been planned, so my tasting notes come mostly from before and after dinner. (French jamon & gruyere panini sandwiches with dijon mustard & ginger peach chutney accompanied by homemade butternut squash & apple soup.)

I opened the Salvestrin approximately one hour before dinner. I decanted the bottle, except for a small glass I used to evaluate the cab upon opening. First of all, there was a fair amount of sediment around the cork & in the neck of the bottle. (This has never bothered me, but it is a warning to all to expect it!)

My initial impressions were as follows:

1. the color was a deep ruby red, very dark with hints of purple.
2. the nose was very hot, & all I could decipher was cherries & alcohol.
3. the taste was interesting, but a bit disjointed. I noted coffee, tobacco, vanilla, mild red fruits, and alcohol & tannins.

A personal note...I tend to prefer more old school wines, usually fairly balanced and lower alcohol.

I immediately decided this wine needed time in the decanter!

After about 30 minutes, I came back to the wine. There was more fruit on the nose, but it was still hot. More fruit came through on the palate...I detected cherries, tart berries & smoky tobacco.

About 1 1/2 hours after decanting the Salvestrin, it all began to come together for me. The wine was much smoother. Now I could taste chocolate on top of the fruit.

After 2 hours in the decanter, I decided this wine had great QPR. Although the style is a bit more "Parkerized" than I prefer, I found this wine to be delicious. I could now taste essence of ginger, & pepper, as well as darker fruits like plum & blackberries. The cherries, vanilla, chocolate & tobacco were still present as well. And, finally, the alcohol & tannins were finally more in line, making this a much better balanced wine.

As I write, I am sipping my final glass of the bottle. (My husband & I managed to drink the entire bottle in the name of research!) I am glad that I wooted this wine & more is on the way. I for one, plan to cellar a bottle for a couple of years. The other will be enjoyed sooner, but most likely decanted a good hour before drinking.

If you like bigger California cabernets...then this wine's for you!

P.S. Many thanks for the opportunity to be a labrat WD & the folks at Salvestrin!
CT | | | | | |


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Offering of 4/9 -- Lange Twins - Four Pack

2 2006 Merlot
2 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

This offering's pack:
MarkDaSpark (Merlot)
akadanak (Merlot)
halfginger (Cabernet Sauvignon)
MoveoverCinderella (Cabernet Sauvignon)

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MarkDaSpark wrote:I got a PM from our Capo di tutti capi (WD) of our Cosa Nostra to expect a "package" to "do a piece of work" on and to "get a place ready".

One goomba (Java) has checked in to assist in "icing" the package. Still waiting on my other goomba (zTimBz) and associate (Nostrom0) if they will be available to "pop a cap". Now if we only had some "goumada".

Edit: 2nd Goomba is in on the "hit".

Ok, The Associate checked in, and he's bringing his "comare" as well.

MarkDaSpark wrote: Prequel:

The Capo di tutti capi (WD) sent the 2006 LangeTwins Merlot for us to whack. It's cork will be sleeping with the fishes tonight!

My crew (Java, zTimBz, & Nostrom0) will be grabbing a Gabagool around 7:15 PM tonight at a local dive, and will cap it then.

We will report back after the Gabagool and "Spring Cleaning".

Oh, and the comare will be unable to make it.

MarkDaSpark wrote:

Merlot Lab Rat Report:

My crew (Java, zTimBz, and Nostrom0) went to Carvao Grill, a Brazilian/Argentinean Steakhouse in Brea. Wonderful meal, but forgot to take pictures of the food (stoopid, stoopid, stoopid). Java had the Salmon, Nostrom0 had the Lamb Shank, and zTimBz and I had the Filet. YUM!

We also had some beef, chicken, and spinach/cheese empanadas and a mushroom appetizer.

Along with the LangeTwins 2006 Merlot, I brought a Ty Caton 2004 Merlot (Sonoma – Caton Vineyards) for comparison. The Caton is twice the cost of the LangeTwins, and I would have brought the Caton Upper Bench Merlot, had I been able to dig it out.

We used both the Parker and UC Davis Rating systems. zTimBz and I also rated using the American Wine Society Wine Evaluation Chart, and ended up with the same results as the UC Davis system.

Both wines had been “iced”, so we had to let them warm up prior to cutting up the evidence (had to remove incriminating evidence such as fingerprints, teeth, etc.).

For those interested, the 100 point system considers between 80 & 90 a “B” (Above Average) score. The UC Davis system considers wines between 13 & 17 Standard wines with neither outstanding character or defect. I have to apologize since I forgot that we could use decimal scores (.5 etc).


LangeTwins – UC Davis System

MDS – 17
Java – 14
zTimBz – 14
Nostrom0 – 15
- Average = 15

LangeTwins – Parker System

MDS – 88
Java – 82
zTimBz – 83
Nostrom0 – 85
- Average = 84.5

Ty Caton Merlot – UC Davis System

MDS – 18
Java – 19
zTimBz – 16
Nostrom0 – 19
- Average = 18

Ty Caton Merlot – Parker System

MDS – 91
Java – 89 to 90
zTimBz – 90
Nostrom0 – 94
- Average = 91

Overall, we determined that the LangeTwins Merlot was a good food wine, and Java enjoyed it with his salmon, as suggested. This wine is ready to drink now.

Nostrom0 got Sour Cherry and Tim got Tart Cherry & strawberry on the nose and Java & I got Dark Cherries.

The LangeTwins was lighter in color and appearance to the Caton, but Java noticed more alcohol on the nose than I did on the LangeTwins Merlot.

Both wines are now sleeping with the fishes.

The crew has returned to our den of inequity and are now enjoying RockBand2 with more wine (a 2002 Gustavo Thrace Winery Petite Sirah Premiere Napa Valley 2004 Lot 97 that I brought (and has been open since 7pm) and a 2006 Michael-David Vineyards Petite Petit (Petite Sirah and Petite Verdot) from Tim. And there is a bottle of 2006 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine (from Tim) to open as well, if we find a need to cap someone.

So Nostrom0 made his bones on this one, and is now a made man.

And for those interested, Java and Nostrom0 would not buy this (Not offensive at all, but Java feels he could get something this good for less at the store - Tim said Java must be channeling Clayfu). Tim is on the fence. And I’m happy with buying it and would buy again.

And for the record, none of us are anti-Merlot at all.

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akadanak wrote:First of all, let me thank the powers that be for my first labrat. I received the 2006 Langetwins Merlot today.

I am a lover of big red wines. It may be that too many of my taste buds have died as I have aged but most white wines are pretty tasteless for me. This Merlot had a good nose and nice fruity flavors but I wouldn't call it a fruit bomb. Nicely dry and it paired very well with our dinner of cheese and crackers.

This wine is ready to drink now so pass if your cellar is full but if you are looking for a big red hit the buy button now.

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halfginger wrote:Cabernet labrat checking in! On first pour, the wine is a deep red with berry on the rim. The nose is spicy and fruity, with a hint of sharpness. The first taste is chewy with a berry fruit flavor, with the tannins giving a good showing.

I think it could use some opening up and would be a great food wine with a hearty bold-flavored meal as suggested earlier. I'm going to give it a shot with some chocolate once it mellows and I'll report back.

I am definitely looking forward to my shipment!

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MoveoverCinderella wrote:Rat report: Lange Twins 2006 Cab Sav:
Wine is transparent and free of sediment. Smell of oak and dark berries. Not a nose burn. First taste is raspberry,cinnamon and clove. After an hour of decant...blueberry, raspberry,prune and pepper/clove. The balance of this wine is extraordinary for the price. Nothing is overwhelming. The alcohol and tannins are balanced, that said..the oak is apparent. This is not a fat cab, but very drinkable now and I would suggest a bit of an increase of temp for this one. Food: Grilled shishkabobs with shrooms/peppers/onion/pork tenderloin.Glad I got in on this and great job Lange!!

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Offering of 4/13 -- MacCallum Northwest Trio

1 2005 Cabernet Franc
1 2005 DJ Red
1 2004 Pinot Noir

This offering's pack:
gcdyersb (Cabernet Franc)
txmusicman49 (Pinot Noir)
jsronce (DJ Red)

labROUS (Cabernet Franc & Pinot Noir)

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labROUS wrote:LabROUS report from windy Sonoma

LabROUS disclaimer: I am attempting to make my reviews as descriptive as possible, but non-judgmental. If I have been at all successful in this regard I have given you some idea of what to expect, but have not let my preferences color the reviews.

MacCallum 2005 Cabernet Franc

Medium dark purplish-red color. Ripe boysenberry fruit aromas with notes of licorice, violets and leather. There is some buttery oak and a hint of mint, but none of the herbaceousness that Cab Franc sometimes exhibits. The entry is very full and fleshy with a sweet impression. There are lively berry flavors, a full mid-palate and a bit of chewy tannin. The tannins are fairly soft for a young Cab Franc, only slightly astringent. The finish has nice residual sweet berry and oak flavors along with some alcohol heat. This wine is true-to-typeand a good example of the affinity of Bordeaux varieties for the Yakima Valley. It is a big wine, but enjoyable now; I wouldn't be inclined to cellar it for a long time.

MacCallum 2004 Pinot Noir

Above average depth of youthful color, that is to say the slightest hint of purple but none of the brick colored tones common in Pinot Noir. This is definitely a much riper, bigger style than what we’re used to seeing in most Oregon Pinot Noirs. The aromas are of plum, raspberry and even blackberry fruit with some jammy, caramel-like aspects. There are hints of cinnamon and earthy mushroom, and not too much oak. The wine is full bodied, somewhat high pH/low acid with jammy plum and cherry flavors, still has some astringency and shows noticeable heat on the finish. This style of Pinot should appeal more to those who prefer the big modern Cali style and those who have been dismissive of Pinot as wimpy. There is still a bit of rough tannin that may resolve with additional aging.

(Afternote) When I looked at the labels I was somewhat surprised by the stated alcohol levels; I would have guessed them to be higher, based on body and finish.

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txmusicman49 wrote:

Lab Rat Report

First time, so be nice.

First, let me say that the capsule holding the cork in place must be made of some space age elastomeric material. I had to use an Exacto knife to cut it off. As we were at work, wine tools were few and far between. There was some sediment marking the bottom of the cork in the bottle neck and a small amount of sediment at the top of the neck upon opening.

Since we were at work, there was no food involved, and everyone had already eaten lunch. Several (approximately 6, I think) of us gathered around the open bottle and sampled, using our best available Plastico Reidel (plastic cups, clear but definitely not crystal).

Everyone received a small pour to examine and taste. The immediate response was very telling, and all across the board. Let me just add that none of us are wine snobs / geeks, so what was said probably doesn’t mean a whole lot. However, everyone agreed that this is not your typical Oregon pinot.

The color was definitely darker than Oregon pinot’s that I’ve had in the past. Most everyone involved agreed, although several probably don’t know a pinot noir from a pinot gris. According to those that seemed to know, the taste was not as fruity as the pinot’s that they were familiar with. I agree that this pinot is more earthy than fruity. A couple of the lightweights complained that the astringency was a bit much, although I found this to subside as time passed. I kept a sample in the cup for a good 30 minutes after everyone else had gone back to work and I found that the wine smoothed out over time. I never did get a sense of fruitiness.

Shortly after the taste, I read and passed around Peter’s take on the pinot. Almost everyone said “That’s what I meant, or was trying to say.” The two people in the group who have probably the widest range of wine experience had totally opposite views of the wine – one said it appeared very old and somewhat dry; the other said it appeared very young and alcohol hot. Go figure.

To sum it up, I think it is a nice wine for the price, but certainly not a fruity style Pinot Noir. I would buy it at the price point, but several of my compadres said that they would not. Your mileage may vary.

Not much help I suppose, but it just goes to show that everyone is coming from a different perspective. As I told them, “It’s good enough for the girls I run with.”

Thanks WD for the opportunity.

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quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
gcdyersb wrote:OK, reporting back on the MacCallum 2005 Cab Franc. In short, buy this wine. It's lip smackin' delicious.

My girlfriend and I shared this wine over dinner and the course of the evening. We decanted the wine, but poured a taste to try from the bottle to start

Context #1: Pop 'n' pour, t = 0 minutes

Bouquet: I could smell this all day! Crushed flower petals. Leather. Perfumey. Homey, earthy. Damp wood.

Palate: Delicious, almost seamless, gentle berry (as opposed to 'aggressive berry' you'd get from a big Zin or Shiraz), integrated oak, lovely finish.

Basically, this wine was ready to go from the moment the cork was popped. By the way, the capsule is wax, not foil, which adds a really nice touch letting you know this was made by hand from start to finish.

Context #2: With Burgers, t = 30 minutes

OK, we had leftovers. But they were home-burgers made with love--and rosemary, red pepper, onion and various seasonings. The wine description isn't different other than we've noted more dark berry, maybe black currant, flavor. The floral aromas are primary along with the leather and everything else is really secondary. This is a wine that's nicely balanced and stuffed enough to stand up to and complement a moderately seasoned dish without overpowering everything else on your plate. I would say it's more of a red meat than a chicken wine. Pork should work, too. Vegetarians, well, you're on your own.

Context #3: On its own, t = 50 minutes

The initial observations are still holding true at this point.

My girlfriend commented that the wine melts away on the finish like a fine Belgian chocolate. There's no heat and the tannins are present yet very soft and mouth coating. Nice roundness to the mid-palate. The acidity is well balanced and is just slightly mouth watering.

t = 70 minutes

This wine simply has a great mouth-feel, very smooth and elegant.

t = 150 minutes

Still have a half-glass remaining and the description is essentially constant. It is the same beautiful wine it was initially and isn't falling apart. Not much evolution, but it really didn't need to go anywhere given where it began. I could still smell this wine all day.

My final thoughts are that this wine is a steal at about $20. I'd probably grudgingly pay up to twice this price in a tasting room if I'd really enjoyed the experience at the winery. This Cab Franc has its share of stuffing, though it's more about finesse than power. I was a little worried about the high proportion of new oak, but the oak is seamlessly integrated. So there's no in your face vanilla, woodiness or astringent oak tannin to throw you off. There's only a sense of sweetness that's held in check by the acidity and tannin. I can't really comment on aging--I'd trust the MacCallum folks on that question--but this wine can definitely be consumed now without a long decant.

In relation to other Cab Francs, this has no overt herbaceousness. If you are a hard core Chinon fan and demand rustic edges, damp forests, veggie compost and pure muscle, this probably will not satisfy. This wine is polished, though not without character of its own. As far as Woot Cab Francs I've tasted, it's as good as the Iron Horse in my opinion, but it's a different approach to the varietal. I'd say the Iron Horse is more acidic, is more slanted towards red fruit like raspberries, and has a little more of a forest undertone than the MacCallum. Relative to the Yorkville Cab Franc, I prefer the MacCallum. The Yorkville in comparison is less structured and slightly flabby, albeit earthier in its aromas. Out of the three this wine has the heaviest oak accent. Accent is the right descriptor, though.

Bottom line, if you like Cab Franc and appreciate the diversity of wines it can produce, you're probably already sold. For those new or not yet sold on Cab Franc, this is your gateway wine. It's a Cab Franc that should please more than hard core Cab Franc fanatics (or Cab Francophiles). It really does seem a lot of attention to detail went into producing this wine.

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jsronce wrote:

I hope my report stands up to the rest! This is my first time, and I'm no expert.

Two friends came over to help me do the review. All three of us love wines, and one has a membership at at least one local winery and attends tasting tours with his wife. This was our first time rating a wine and we had a blast! Due to some things that came up this afternoon I wasn't able to cook dinner to go with it. Instead we ran out for quick sushi and opened up the Barely Buzzed cheese (rubbed with espresso & lavender)to go with the wine. I will start with mine and add my friends' notes later. I printed up the UC Davis rating system as a guideline. I haven't checked other reviews of this wine, so I hope I'm not way off!

2005 DJ Red

Wax (or plastic?) covering cork instead of foil. Easily removed with gentle use of fingernails. Cork stained about halfway up, no sediment.

First pour: VERY dark red. Loved the color, and how opaque it was in the decanter! My friends agreed that the color was closest to garnet, but I haven't the faintest idea. Some fine sediment. (I poured small amounts into the decanter and put a stopper in the bottle.) The first sniff was rather hot, but that went away very quickly. Aromas of cherry, spice, sweet fruit. The taste is red fruits and mildly tart cherries. There is no vinegar in the aroma, and the acidity is nicely balanced with a pleasant zing. The sweetness and body are also balanced. Even though it's mostly syrah, it's not nearly as heavy and bold. The flavor definitely corresponds to the bouquet, and it is not oaky but instead very mellow and easy to drink.

I think we went through four rounds of small pours? We made it through about 2/3 of the bottle. As it breathed it became less tart. One of my friends poured a small amount from the bottle at the very end, and said the difference between it and the decanted wine was night and day. I'm sure we could have easily polished off the whole bottle, but my friends had to drive home (and I want to try it again tomorrow!). We broke out the cheese about halfway through. They were great together! The cheese was a little spicy when eaten right after a sip. Overall, I had a very hard time finding any fault with the DJ Red. I gave it 18 points out of 20. I recall someone pricing it at $28, and we all agreed we would buy it at that price. We're not rich so we would save it for a nice occasion, but we considered it worth the money.

From my friend Emily: 15 points out of 20. Fantastic with cheese. Really nice, mellow fruitiness. A bit tart. Beautiful color. Medium body. Should definitely be decanted!

From my friend Dave: 18 points out of 20. This is a nice, well balanced wine. There is no heavy aftertaste and no harsh alcohol flavor or aromas. The color is rich and clean and it is a medium body. The weight is good and stays on the glass. I'd buy this wine.

Thank you wine.woot and MacCallum Family Cellars for giving me the opportunity to labrat! I'm looking forward to trying the other two bottles.

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Offering of 4/16 -- Scott Harvey Amador Sampler - Three Pack

2006 Reserve Barbera
2006 Zinfandel Mountain Selection
2006 Syrah Mountain Selection

This offering's pack:
mopsie2002 (Syrah) w/fairnymph
pluthe (Barbera)
bardolator (Barbera)
michaelstencel (Zinfandel)

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mopsie2002 wrote:Rat report!

Invited over Fairnymph after dinner out with some friends and enjoyed the bottle of Syrah with her and my boyfriend. She'll provide her own comments shortly, I think.

Here are a few pictures (with an obligatory cat enjoying the wine, too, I might it's cute--the other did earlier, but I got no pictures of him, alas):

My mad lootz (well, the corkscrew is mine)!


Loving it!

The wine itself.

My notes on the Syrah (I'm new at trying to describe for others, so I'll try my best, hope it's useful!):

Notes from first opening the bottle, after pouring into the decanter and then into glasses:
-Deep in color, dark in center, lighter vibrant color around the edges (where thinner).
-Dusky scent, full of deep berries and earthen aromas (very earthy, in my opinion).
-Leaves a coating on the glass--not "legs", just thick.
-Mild on the tongue, light taste of berries (maybe blueberries), and yet still rich though mild/thin.
-Very pungent in the back of the throat--rich tasting, sharp flavor, very earthy, some strong je ne said quoi, maybe a bit of dirty or woody?
-Leaves a thick coating in my mouth (Fairnymph mentions this as the tannins--I know no such technical things)--we were all smacking our lips and my tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth.
-Very thick and woody.

Notes from glass #2, probably an hour or so later?:
-Tangier at first.
-Less of the smack in the back of the throat, but still there. boyfriend's comments, quoted, because he's oh so useful (and I thought he was amusing):
-"Tastes good to me."
-"Daringly confrontational" (I told him this sounded like it should be on a book cover).
-"Twinge of sweet radish" (whatever those are).

So, hope you enjoy! All in all, an enjoyable wine. Perhaps not number 1 or 2 on my list, but I'm glad I bought the set and am excited to try the other varietals! Enjoying the last glass as I write's really past my bed time, but I needed to finish my glass before I slept, so decided to write this up while I did that.

fairnymph wrote:Secondhand labrat report (the lovely mopsie2002 invited me over to taste her bottle of the Syrah - note, I am not well at the moment, so take my notes with a grain of salt, please!):

Appearance - Virtually opaque, dark purple-red. I was excited by looks alone! What can I say, I judge a little based on opacity.

Nose - Smoky, meaty (bacon), cassis - but not really very fruity. A bit of spice.

Taste - Very savory. Meaty as the nose suggested, even a little mushroomy. It's even a bit gamey, and reminds me a bit of Carmenere. Full-bodied with mouth-drying tannins.

I don't find this to be fruity - and I'd like more fruit, personally - but what fruit I do get is dark and muted; still that cassis, and a little blackberry. Brambly. Pipe tobacco and rosewood on the mid-palate; I wouldn't say this is over-oaked, but it's very WOODY.

Looong finish of bitter clove.

Overall impression - Syrah is not amongst my favourite varietals; I find it tannic without sufficient fruit or acidity. That said, I found this to be a good representation of its varietal, and a solid QPR. If you like Syrah, go for it. If you're not really into Syrah...this probably won't infatuate you.

My Scott Harvery wine experience: I didn't like the InZin (*gasp*) - I found it overly sweet, even flabby, and wasn't able to drink it. This I found FAR more palatable.

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pluthe wrote:Lab rat report on the Barbera: Nice color, light bodied - no legs to speak of and for the first hour the nose was very alcohol. After decanting for over an hour there was tobacco and cedar in the nose. No fruit flavors ever came through - spice and wood were predominant. We had the wine with steak and grilled rosemary potatoes and thought that it paired much better with the potatoes than the steak - the rosemary part of the potatoes matched especially well. I wish we had tried it with a tomato dish but now it's too late for that because it is all gone. The tannins were smooth and you would never describe this wine as a fruit bomb! It will be interesting to see how it tastes when it hasn't been "all shook up" for 24 hours before opening.

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michaelstencel wrote:Zinfandel Rattage. Ohio has beautiful weather six months a year. Yesterday was mid 70’s, low humidity, and a brilliant blue sky. How could the day get any better you ask? How about leaving the office at noon carrying a FedEx box with a golden ticket and a bottle of Scott Harvey Zinfandel tucked under your arm, two marinated ribeyes, grilled garlic potatoes enjoyed on the neighbor’s deck.
Refer to Scott’s Feb 13 and March 30 blog entries, as well as the other two rat reports as their comments apply to this wine. The pack of cul de sac rats agreed on two things: Open about one hour prior to serving, and this wine must be served with food.
The mouthfeel was tannic/astringent without food. With our “high in saturated fat and cholesterol” meal the wine was simply heavenly. Some noted tobacco, anise, currant and eucalyptus on the nose. The fruit taste was not strong, tart cherry and raspberry. We all agreed that the wine was velvety smooth and the entry, palate and finish were perfectly balanced.
It is 180 degrees from the Inzinerator, and categorically different from last July’s Chase Hayne Zin which was great a cappella.
Even though our wives had a bottle of ménage a trios and only sampled the Zin we were sad to find the bottle empty, a sign of a great wine. Although a two bottle rat pack would remedy this sad, sad situation it would likely delay the timely posting of a coherent report.
I am humbled to have served as your rat. If anyone considers passing on this woot they are only cheatin’ themselves.

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bardolator wrote:Scott Harvey 2006 Barbera Reserve Rat Report
(Hope it's okay to do this in several installments--I want you guys to have SOMETHING while I'm making dinner!)


WW wines I've loved:
Gundlach Bundschu Pinot
Trinitas Old Vine Zin
Trinitas Bigalow (after letting it breathe for an hour)
Wellington Roussanne
Wellington Marsanne

WW I haven't cared for:
Woot EHP
Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot
Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot
Noceto Sangiovese (it was okay)

Got an email Thursday saying I would be ratting a Scott Harvey! Woohoo! Missed the FedEx driver but picked up yesterday evening at the depot, brought it to the parents' place, and after we'd admired it, put it on the counter and let it sit without moving it 'til this afternoon. Don't know whether this will do much to prevent shipping shock, but I did my best.

Got a kick out of the griffin (?) on the top of the cork when I took off the foil. Too bad the ends don’t show once I put the cork in the trivet I’m making. :\ Took a picture but that apparently took the last of my battery, so I'll recharge and upload it in a later installment.

Appearance: Poured a tiny taste. Really rich, deep color, and clearer than I expected from the cork, which was stained the same rich, deep red (not purple). When I tilted my glass (a Riedel "O" Cabernet/Merlot) I could see the wine coating the bottom of the glass, kind of like the "legs" it creates on the sides. First time I've noticed that, though I don't know if it means anything.

Aroma: Some heat on the nose, but like some people on these boards I can usually “tell” whether I’m going to like a wine’s taste at the first sniff. The smell of this=yum.

Taste: Another rat for the Barbera (last night) said there was no fruit, but I disagree. Maybe I just don’t know what “fruit” tastes like? To me this has a juiciness like that of the Trinitas Old Vine Zin that I enjoyed very much. Now I’m really looking forward to this even more! I only took a sip, because I know it needs to breathe. I learned the other night from the Trinitas Bigalow that the Vinturi doesn’t really do enough for some wines; it started out really harsh but after about 45 min. mellowed and was delicious. I already like this one, so--can’t wait (though I will).

bardMom: It’s not real strong or heavy at all--it’s like it’s light. It’s good by itself; I bet it’s great with pizza. Whoo! More! It’s some of the best red I’ve tasted. I’d get some!

bardDad: It’s good.

The olive oil dough for my pizza crust is rising; the pizza itself will have homemade sauce (with some of the last of the Bigalow, garlic, and fresh oregano and basil from bardMom’s herb pot), fresh mozzarella, “baby Bella” mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, and pancetta, baked on a baking stone. :drool:

I know this is a lot; sorry if it's too much. Let me know and I'll make sure the next installment is more to the point--

bardolator wrote:
#2 Still waiting for the dough to finish rising and flatten out so I can make the pizza crust. Tasted the Barbera again and it's definitely opened up over the past hour +. Still has some heat on the nose, but there's a slight--sweetness?--to the flavor (which has less heat than before). Hard to say just what I mean, just that it's definitely not sour or vegetal (like the Noceto sangio, in which I got all tomatoes, all the time), though it's also not precisely fruity. I'm not really tasting the spice the other rat mentioned, but then I haven't noticed the eucalyptus SH was talking about, either.

Sorry; I'm a novice and tend to use a lot of words to describe something because my palate isn't developed enough to put my finger on specific descriptors more experienced tasters might use. For example, it doesn't really "taste like" cherries to me, but there are qualities of this wine that remind me of the qualities of fresh (and not sour) cherries. There's also a deeper "something" that reminds me of--black raspberries? Again, doesn't really taste LIKE them, just has those deep, rich, slightly wild notes, I guess.

I know I mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: the color is really striking--a lovely clear deep almost-garnet color. In the deep bowl of my "O" glass, it catches the light gorgeously.

More later, with the pizza (if the dough ever stops rising!).

bardolator wrote:
#3: The Barbera was PERFECT with my pizza.

bardMom: Delicious; I wouldn't mind having it again. Went perfectly with the pizza but didn't overpower it; the wine balanced the taste of the pizza and vice versa.

bardDad: Fruity and balanced (with a smirk--he makes fun of all the tasting terms). It wasn't real harsh, it wasn't sweet.

Here are my tasting notes, using the DeLong's tasting guide (I have the little black booklet with the fold-out chart):

Color Hue: garnet
Depth: deep
Clear: clear
Aroma Intensity: moderate
Development: ?
Aromas: alcohol! (even after a couple hours, I couldn't smell much else, though it didn't taste hot)

Dry/Sweet: dry
Body: medium
Acidity: crisp
Tannins: medium, round (I think)
Flavour Intensity: moderate/flavourful
Flavours: cherry? black raspberry (depth)
Finish: medium (4-5 sec.)
Conclusion: Balance: EXCELLENT ***1/2 or ****, based on how much I enjoyed it

Food Pairing: perfect! (homemade pizza w/ pancetta and mini portobello; I also splashed some Barbera in the sauce)

This is the first wine I've given more than three stars since I started keeping my notes (after the GunBun, which is my favorite so far). On its own, this rates about the same as the Trinitas Old Vine. The pizza made it even better.

I wonder how the acid-with-acid (tomato sauce on the pizza with this wine) pairing works, if the acid is supposed to cut fatty or creamy foods?

I'd buy this again, and can't wait to get my three pack.

Hope the lengthy posts were worth whatever info you got from this! WineDavid and Mr. Harvey, I was honored to labrat, and for this wine to be my first report. Thanks so much.

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Offering of 4/20 -- Krupp Brothers, Veraison Synchrony Duo

2004 Synchrony

This offering's pack:


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clayfu wrote:I'm a lab rat , beware.

clayfu wrote:Hi,

Bottle landed at my locker at 3. I arrived at 3:15 to pick it up. Ripped open the box.

Bottle is quite warm to the touch. Popped it open immediately at the locker, Took a sip, had my friend who owns the storage facility take a sip.

No heat damage that is apparent. Will toss it in the fridge, a bit closed right now and come back to it later at night.

Absolutely horrible time to ship in CA right now without any sort of cooling method. It's roughly 90 degrees all through California with record highs of 100+ in Los Angeles/Valley. This wasn't heat damaged, but there is a chance my 3 day ground shipment will be. It's about 75 degrees at night. I wouldn't be worried if it came in styrofoam since it usually travels at night and sits in a warehouse during the day.. but it was in the pulp. Gotta be around 80+ degrees in more warehouses right now in CA.

clayfu wrote:I bet this wine would be really good with a big hearty stew. That's my first impression when I tasted to see if it was heat damaged. =)

Lab Rat Report

clayfu wrote:Guess I must do my labrat duties!

Labrat Review!

took a glass out at 3pm (I literally coughed from the alcohol on the nose, which completely subsided 5 minutes later.. my wine storage owner said the same), corked it back up and stuffed it in the fridge. Took it out of the fridge at 6pm, uncorked it at 9:30. All notes are from the 9:30pm tasting with a few wine buddies of mine. Poured from bottle to glass first then rest into a decanter.

Nose: Soft chocolate with ripe red fruit. Light toasted oak with a hit of currant and a touch of alcohol. Over the next hour it softened to a cocoa butter nose mixed with drops of soy sauce and vanilla with hints of tart cherry (alcohol has completely dissipated at this point)

Palate: ripe cranberries and cherries with dry earthy tannins and cedar. The tannins taste like a piece of fresh bark rolled on a forest floor (forest floor is too strong of a descriptor, it's very like earth, it's enjoyable). A finish of green/green pepper with bright tart cherries. The wine is soft on the palate and has a silky mouthfeel before the tannins hit with a bit of an acidic kick. The wine is full bodied and supple without being overbearing and has an almost rustic feeling to it. I would have liked more complexity in the wine, I didn't feel as though I was wading through layers of flavor that perked my interest.

At this point the earthy tannins and green finish were the strongest flavors coming out so not much complexity. An everyday drinker that you wouldn't mind opening. I think it's fine at the $25-30 range. I do feel as though this wine COULD pick up complexity as it ages, like I said, the tannins aren't rough, they are very similar to the deep tannins that you find in young bordeaux. They never really softened up from when i first tried the sip at 3pm till 11pm.

Not really what I expected from drinking the 01. The 01 was a really big ripe blockbuster wine that coated your mouth with fruit and big structured tannins.

Words from my bordeaux/burgundy loving friend: Not bad, not great, fine at $30 considering the vineyard/location. I think this would be well received at Morton's, Ruth Chris. Serve it with a nice red steak and it'll go perfectly well. $60, not so much. Like a wine someone was trying to do old world, but ended up with too much fruit and not enough of the ash/cigar/leather/meat but kept all the dry earthy tannins in.

Words from Mbecker: I'll let him reply himself if he wants to =P

We also drank a 1990 Cronin Joe's Cuvee: Over the hill at first glance, a nose of horrible funk and manure with prune and vinegar are the palate. Wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge, going to try it tomorrow felt everything was rounding out and it was turning into a better wine. Great almost perfect storage condition.. shows a balance of acidity/PH/alcohol level does not make an age-able wine. Heh.

Drank a 2006 Alcina Russian River Pinot Noir as well: Pop and pour. A nose of fresh red fruit, violet, and vanilla cream. Soft toasted oak and cut strawberries mixed with a silky soft mouthfeel. Nice acidity, could go on for a bit. Not a fan of the plastic cork, bottling $40-70 pinots in plastic is asking for trouble 3-4 years down the road.


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wolfen18 wrote:Baby rat here...back to bed as the Freakishly large puppy has been taken outside. OK...he's not a freak...they're supposed to be that big.

edit: and in case I wasn't clear enough with my before coffee post.....
I'm a Lab Rat.

wolfen18 wrote:Baby Lab Rat reporting in...I call myself a baby because I'm rather new to the collecting and drinking of wine as a hobby, and it is my first rattage. So, forgive the lack of wine lingo as I try to put this into words.

First off, I missed the FedEx guy by 15 minutes. So, I drove into town to pick the wine up at the home base. All good.

I invited a workmate to my house to help my husband and I drink the bottle along with cooking dinner for us.

Opened the bottle and took a harsh alcohol cloud...which is a good sign in my book. It smelled of plum and a little bit of cherry.
Poured it in a glass, swirled it around, and smelled again. I really do like the smelling part of wine tasting.

First sip was smooth...fruit was very evident but not in a "big" way.
It finished smooth inherent lingering after swallowing.

We had filet mignons, and this wine went well with the food. We drank the bottle over the next hour. I did not decant, or use my bottle top aerator. To me it tasted good from start to finish.

I am glad to be getting more bottles of this in the mail. I would also highly recommend this to any wooters out there on the fence about this. You will not be disappointed.

And here is a pic of the puppy who wakes me up at 0430 everyday. This was taken almost 4 months ago when he was 5 months old. He's bigger now.

wolfen18 wrote:Since I'm new at describing wine, I noticed the term "vegetal" by one of the reviewers. When I was smelling the wine, and tasting it...there was a taste I couldn't place as "fruit". Maybe this is the vegetal I hear people speak of?
Usually when I see that term I expect it to taste like...well...leaves or something.

Also, I really didn't get the big alcohol smell (not like that Dusted Valley Syrah I had the other night...that was an alcohol hurricane blast. I didn't really like that wine at all).

Anyways, I liked reading the other reviews of this wine because it helped me to maybe give words to things I noticed about the wine, but was unable to articulate. It also made me go...Hmmm I didn't get that impression at all.

Thanks to the other reviewers for their good descriptions. Also, to woot for letting a newbie labrat.


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srlancer wrote:I'm a rat! Thanks WD!

Been here for awhile and purchased a fair amount of wine but I'm more of a reader than a poster. Can't say that I know how to describe wine that well but I know what I like and I'll do my best to perform my rat duties.

To give you an idea of where my tastes lie here's a list of past offerings I've enjoyed (in no particular order) -

Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz
Dry Creek Vineyards Petite Sirah
Little Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Wellington Victory Reserve
Calistoga Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Ty Caton Tytanium and Field Blend

And the ones I didn't care so much for -

Vino Noceto Sangiovese (I did like the Zinfandel)
Amity Pinot Blanc (but to be fair it was corked)
La Vie '04 Ray's Cuvee Pinot Noir

As luck would have it, I was planning making grilled goat chops with rosemary and cracked pepper and some grilled potato wedges for dinner tonight. I think this should work out nicely.

I hope to get my report up later this evening.


srlancer wrote:Okay, well here goes nothing.

I opened up the bottle around 6:45pm as I was starting to prep dinner. Figured I'd pour myself a glass and have a taste just out of the bottle to get an initial impression.

Gave myself a healthy pour into a Riedel O cabernet/merlot glass and gave it a few good swirls. The wine is a deep purply red, very meaty and rich looking. Took a sniff and the first whiff had a fair amount of alcohol in it but I also caught a hint of what I believe to be vanilla and the beginnings of something I can only describe as vegetal. Now for the sip. It's definitely got a fair amount of tannins but not overly so. I did get that non-ripe banana, lost all the moisture in your mouth, lip smacky sensation.

Okay, time to let the wine sit and open up a bit while I prep the goat chops with a bit of sea salt, cracked black pepper and rosemary infused olive oil.

About this time my wife gets home from work so I offer her a glass. She took a whiff and said, "Hmm, smells like alcohol." Then she took a sip and said, "Tastes like Napa, it's strong, I like it." She also added that she tasted cherries, chocolate as well a bit of oak.

I finished grilling up the chops and the potato wedges while my wife made the salad of green leaf lettuce and fresh fennel with a sherry vinegar and O Mandarin Orange infused olive oil dressing (we're big on olive oil in this house).

About 40 minutes have passed and the wine has definitely developed and mellowed. The alcohol smell is gone and it is going down smooth. Now, I'm getting a light oakyness as well as a strong scent of something I think is vegetal but can only describe as reminding me of truffle oil. Paired with the goat chops, I get a light sweetness that wasn't there before. I'm thinking that it reminds me of plums.

After dinner, I pour myself a bit more because it is drinking very well by itself at this point. There's a little less than a half bottle left which me and the missus will probably finish up tomorrow. Will post additional findings if any.

Final thoughts -

My wife thought it was an excellent wine, way better than any we had tried at a wine tasting last week and while we don't know enough to give it any sort of numerical rating, since my wife is in the film business, we'll say we give it 4 enthusiastic thumbs up.

I'm seriously thinking of upping my order to 2 as I'm very interested to see how it will age.

Sorry for the simplistic review, I hope it was helpful.



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Offering of 4/23 -- Pedroncelli - Four Pack plus One

2006 Petite Sirah
2005 Sangiovese
2006 Zinfandel Mother Clone
2006 Zinfandel Pedroni-Bushnell
2007 Dry Rose

This offering's pack:
rpm (2005 Mother Clone Zinfandel)
mccrawt (2006 Pedroni-Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel)
bas62 (2005 Mother Clone Zinfandel)

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
rpm wrote:The Pedroncelli 2005 Mother Clone Zinfandel arrived around 5:30 pm (thanks to my fabulous wootlegger - WD hint, hint, send him a bottle!)

I just opened the bottle, as SWMBO arrived home. Very initial impression is that this is on a little bigger scale than the 2005. The color is a mid-deep red and brilliantly clear. Full points for appearance. The nose is very tight at this point, but without the sense of being hot I found with the 2005 last year. In fact, tight enough that I'm not going to taste it until it's been open at least 1/2 an hour so it can open up. (I would prefer to give it more like an hour, but SWMBO wants dinner....) What I do get is "vinous" (wine-like) but not yet distinctive.

7:30-ish: Another sniff or two. Beginning to get raspberry fruit; still very tight. Some other things going on - at this point more like a whiff of a ripe raspberry patch across the road than a basket of picked berries.

rpm wrote:8:10-ish: SWMBO tasted - couldn't wait. She thought it seemed a little hot, but not as hot as last year. Thought the nose was still very tight, but that the wine was very pleasant to drink (with a Cobb salad with grilled chicken). She noted a hint of cinnamon. She found the finish smoother than last year. Her summary was this wine is very complete - meaning well-balanced and working in harmony.

I still haven't tasted it. It's been open about an hour now. The nose is still pretty tight. Berries with something almost tarry in the background, but maybe peppery.

OK, cleansed my palate from dinner with a little bread and water. First sip: definitely spicy and raspberry flavors. More weight -- fuller bodied -- that it looked in the glass. Tannins become noticeable as you move the wine to the middle of the mouth, a little heat here, but enough acidity and an overall sense of good balance. The finish is a little longer than last year -- I still say medium-long rather than long, but it seems "just right" in proportion to the whole wine. There's oak, but it does not intrude in any way.

I have to agree with SWMBO, it seems very complete. Very good drinking right now, but I think it will be very good in a few years as well.

So, this isn't a great wine in the sense of one that will give you an "AHA" experience, but it's beautiful in a more modest way. I would rate this wine as (just) Superior. For current drinking, I would highly at least an hour's breathing time, preferably in a decanter.

ongoing conversation about this wine, though no longer really part of the labrat report:

rpm wrote:I think I need to get one of those aerating devices, even if mainly for situations like this. WD's belief that there is no such thing as travel or bottle shock aside, my normal practice is that any serious wine that's come across country recently sits in my cellar for several weeks - up to 2 months - before I will even consider opening it. Not the case with most wines intended for immediate drinking, e.g. the woot offerings like Humbug and Toothenstjen, but your wines I prefer to let rest for sure.

I have no problem with tight in the way this wine is, in the context of a solid structure where you can get the fruit flavors to come out after opening and aeration, and where things feel balanced. There's always a risk when wines are tight and hard that they'll never open and smooth, but that's not this.

I'd also say that the 2006 Mother Clone is not an especially complex wine, but I think it will probably take on more complexity with some age. In a way (allowing for very different fruit origin), this reminds me of Louis Martini wines from 30-40 years ago that seemed straightforward upon release -- delicious, characteristic, but not obviously complex -- but developed significantly in the bottle.

Although SWMBO did describe the wine as 'rustic' as she had it with her dinner salad, I thought overall the 2006 Mother Clone was less rustic than the 2005. I wouldn't go all the way to 'elegant' (in the manner of, say, Clos du Val or some of the Zins Andre used to make at BV before they were bought out in 1969), but I wouldn't use the term 'rustic'.

If I could get a case or two of the 2006 Mother Clone alone at the woot price (including shipping ) it would probably be my 'regular drinker' red over the next several months.

rpm wrote:The fruit is more immediately apparent in the 05, but for me the noticeable alcohol made it less appealing than the 06. What's amazing is the quality of both wines even at SRP, let alone woot prices. You could very easily pay $25-30 or even more for Zinfandel that's not even close in quality, especially one as cleanly made and not manipulated as the Pedroncelli Zinfandel.
CT | | | | | |


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mccrawt wrote:I'll try not to write a novel, but it's such an honor to be a labrat, you almost feel obligated.

So, the UPS guy came to office early today and since I was expecting the Scott Harvey shipment today, I didn't think about the box very much until I picked it up and it certainly felt light for three bottles, so I opened it to see whether Woot had made a mistake. Much to my pleasure, I found that I was a rat. It had been so long ago since I signed up, I was not even sure I had really signed up, but obviously I had.

So at any rate, I got a bottle of the Pedroncelli Zin. I guess I should confess that I'm a big fan of Pendoncelli, all flavors-having ordered it several other times, and that's the reason I ordered one.

Secondly, I need to admit that perhaps my favorite wine in the whole world is Zinfandel, unless maybe it's a sangiovese or maybe it's a barbera, or maybe a malbec. No, No, I love Zins best of all.

Being a Zin fan, we got an opportunity to compare Zins, since the Scott Harvey came later in the afternoon. (The girls at the office know that I have a drinking problem since the UPS guy only delivers boxes of wines--like every week.)

So, at any rate, I had an open bottle of Twisted Zin, which I had opened last week for a party, the Pedroncelli Zin and Scott Harvey Zin, which I opened for scientific, experimental purposes only. Needless, to say, I have a definite buzz on at this point.

Ant the winner of the Zin-off is the Pedroncelli (and not just because it was free.) It had the best aroma (pepper, oak, berries galore.) It had the best body. My wife, who loves almost anything fermented from grapes, said it almost had the body of a cabernet. We tried it with cheese (sharp cheddar and boursin), chocolate and eventually even with food, chicken rotellini, stuffed with ham, provolone and fresh basil, and asparagus with carmelized onions, bacon and blue cheese (perhaps not the best things for a zin,) but dinner was already planned, by the time I opened the box and called my wife.

The Pedroncelli has a wonderful aroma, lots of spice, oak and berries and is a great wine. It drinks well, has a wonderful flavor of fruit, pepper and spices. While the Scott Harvey is very good, smooth and very drinkable (almost slammable,) the Pedroncelli is much more interesting (and all gone.) The Twisted Zin is a good party wine, very drinkable and very reasonable, but when you're comparing it to Scott Harvey and Pedroncelli, it comes in a distant third. The wine improved after it had breathed and with food.

I remain a big Pedroncelli fan (still have a merlot and a sangiovese on the shelf) and can hardly wait to try the Rose.

Thanks WineDavid! Send me free bottles of wine anytime!
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
bas62 wrote:I was fortunate enough to also be chosen as lab rat for the Mother Clone.

Not sure I can do as well as rpm's assessment, but here is my additional two cents.

I let the breathing go on a little longer than expected (you never know when the kids will give you trouble going to bed, and tonight was the night), and I also felt as though the wine remained quite tight. Didn't notice any one scent above another; a very nice blend.

Nice, medium beginning, little heat in the middle, and a slight finish of oak. Again, nothing overpowering, very subtle.

Can't think of a reasonable pairing with food that wouldn't work: cheese, chocolate, chicken & veggies all work very well, and stand-alone is lovely as well.

A very nice all-around wine, not too sweet, not too dry... complete. I'd highly recommend the Mother Clone, particularly at this price, as a superior multi-purpose Zin.

Thanks, WD, for the chance to participate as lab rat. Hope this helps others decide to go ahead and take the plunge!!

CT | | | | | |


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Offering of 6/27 -- Seven Hills Washington Cabernet Sauvignon - Two Pack

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

This offering's pack:
akaufma (2005)
bkbliesner (2005)
nwagner56 (2006)
molmat (2006)

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bkbliesner wrote:

Labrat report: Seven Hills 2005 Cabernet Klipsun Vineyard

First about me. I live in the Yakima Valley and thus maybe biased to the Yakima Valley Wines. Specifically the bigger reds - Cabernet, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Even though the Walla Walla wineries are close, my bias would be to the Yakima Valley region.

Color: Deep red like a nice ripe bing cherry.

Aroma: Touch of fruit, Raspberry mixed with Cherry with a subtle woody-oaky hint.

Taste: AWESOME, very nice. Smooth tannins not heavy or to fruity. Well balanced with a nice warm finish with no weird lingering flavors. Well made. Makes you want to drink more of it.

Conclusion: I will be increasing my order! If you have not purchased, you should, and don’t be shy about it at this price point. What a value! You will not be disappointed, unless you do not order any or not enough. The Seven Hills 05 Klipsun is a fantastic wine that could command a higher price point.

Thank you Wine Woot, for allowing me to complete my first wine review.


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nwagner56 wrote:

Labrat Report - 2006 Columbia Valley

I have to admit I am a noob, really just starting to find out the wines I have a taste for. A long time woot customer, I have been pleased with my limited purchases. I purchased this woot quickly as I saw there was only the option to purchase one and thought I was getting my hands on something of limited quantity. I was a little disappointed to find it was only an due to error there was only the option for one. Being selected a rat did rid me of any disappointment rather quickly.

I had hoped to decanter and spend a little more time to provide a proper report, but time unfortunately was not "on my side" this evening and I wanted to get something out there for those that may be waiting for a report.

I am no expert so I won't attempt to give you aromas and flavors I am not quite experienced enough to provide in fear of giving a false impression.

I poured a glass and let it sit for about 30 min. The smell didn't wow me with anything exciting, mostly warm, but it wasn't negative by any means. I will say this is a complex wine with a lot of flavors but also smooth. One swallow seems to have some fruity hints dancing around the tongue and the next is much more subtle.

I think the quality is easily there for the price, which is a little more than I typically spend, and I would have no problem recommending this wine. I initially was only going to have one glass, but I ended up pouring another small one.

I am definitely happy to have been chosen a rat for this one!

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molmat wrote:

Rat report on the 2006 Columbia Valley Cab

I'm fairly new to wine woot but not wine drinking. My 1st purchase was Kronos and even though I haven't opened them yet many purchases have quickly followed. Cab is my favorite varietal and I also have a soft spot for Syrah, but I enjoy many of the others as well. I'm in WA so got my start drinking local wines though I currently have a cellar very heavy in CA wines.

Now for the review...
I decanted about an hour before drinking.

Color: Dark purplish red and clear.
Aroma: moderate with red fruit and vanilla, no heat...smells very good

1st taste: a bit tart with low to medium tannins. I got some darker fruit and pepper. 1st impression was that it was OK, very drinkable, but not my favorite.

Paired with food (steak, roasted asparagus and sauteed portabellos): I liked it much better. I'd even say I liked it a lot. The food really smoothed the flavors out. I'm tasting more of the fruit, wouldn't call it a fruity wine though and a slight hint of the vanilla I was smelling earlier. It goes really well with the portabellos.

Bottom line I'm really enjoying this wine. I've poured another glass after dinner and it has continued to be very well balanced with a nice finish. I'd recommend giving it a little time to open up before drinking. I'm glad I went in for 2 and am really thinking of adding to it.

Thanks WD for the opportunity!

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akaufma wrote:

Labrat: 2005 Seven Hills

Its allergy season here in the Midwest and the oaks are in full bloom so take this with a grain of pollen, I mean sand.

Color: Dark Purple and very thick looking. What I think of in a classic Cab.

Nose: As noted above, not a good time for a sniff. I did not detect anything and my wife said the same thing.

My first thought is this wine is very dusty with via little oak. As the wine sat for a while it opened up and had more flavors. Not very good at identifying flavors so I won’t try. As we ate dinner, the wine went rather quickly and overall I would say the wine is good but not great. I think over time, the wine will hold up to cellaring and become better. I don’t plan on opening my order for several years. Overall score: 91-92

WineDavid, thanks for the chance to add my 2 cents.


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Offering of 4/30 -- St. Francis Behler Vineyard Chardonnay - Three Pack

This offering's pack:


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csquared22 wrote:First of all, I want to say I'm a N00b, but I was out to dinner and the St. Francis Chard was on the menu so I ordered a glass and I thought I would share my impressions since I haven't seen any labrats check in.

First - it was served way too cold. I warmed it the best I could and it did get better.

There was very little on the nose. It started out very light, but there was an oily mouth feel. Then there were flavors of pear and butterscotch. It definitely had a wonderful acid finish with - I believe - lime. It paired nicely with the sea bass (garlic steamed) with soy and sticky rice.

I did not find this to be overly oaked at all. I found this a great wine to pair with fish, or just as a stand alone drinker. I would suggest that it not be overly chilled. This wine was much better after it warmed a bit.

I was already in for 1, but I think I will try to up my order.

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