quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
wootwinesnob wrote:LAB RAT REPORT

First, I have to say that I wasn't going to buy this woot. I have plenty of Cali Chards in my cellar, along with a few White Burgundy's, and I generally don't like butter bombs or over-oaked whites. Due to a mix-up at wine county connect, I was labratted a bottle without purchasing. Error on WineDavid's part or sly move? Only WineDavid knows for sure.

I really like this wine. Can a Chardonnay be both buttery and crisp? This one is.

On to the review. I opened the bottle and poured my first glass. It has a nice clear/straw color; slight vanilla and pear on the nose; a little bit of oak, but not overwhelming. The wine is buttery in that it is kind of "thick" at first, filling my tongue, but has a very nice, crisp finish, with a hint of pear, tropical fruit, and maybe some honey.

I have a little of the Beehive cheese left (the Seahive, rubbed with salt and beehive honey); this wine goes really well with it.

I'm on my second glass and like it more with each sip. An earlier poster said something about pairing it with lobster; I may have to run to the market and buy a lobster tail to have with the rest of this wine.

IMHO, this is easily worth the $26 winery price and a bargain at the wine.woot price. I will be placing my order shortly.

I don't know whether to thank you or curse you WineDavid!

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 5/4 -- Roessler Bluejay Pinot Noir Three - Pack

This offering's pack:


I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
zebra5150 wrote:[edit] After 2 hours of being opened, the tannins have completely disappeared and the wine is smooth as velvet.

Okay, first time labrat here, so bear with me?

The GF and I cracked it open at 8, an hour plus after dinner. We're drinking out of Eisch Superior Breathable Bordeaux glasses.

First sniff was very forward and earthy with a mild berry undertone. Very pleasant. First few sips a little bit overwhelming, but hardly any displeasure/bite. Few more sips and I picked up some definite berry, none of the usual "dark" flavors jumped out at me, but it felt like they were there somewhere. Beautiful ruby color.

After a few minutes sitting in the glass and some swirls, the nose definitely became more fruit forward. Dark chocolate jumped out at me on these drinks while the GF tasted currants. The finish wasn't anything special and some tannins started to show up about 20 minutes in. I'd say this will probably be a better wine in a year, and maybe even better in another after that.

I'd classify this is a medium bodied wine, but it does a good job of "exploding" to fill my mouth with flavor right at the swallow, the tannin faded quickly after swallowing, allowing the fruit and chocolate to come through.

The GF declared it delicious, and I can't disagree. If you're going to drink it right away, you're probably best off pairing it with something, I'd go with a cheese course.

At 20+ dollars a bottle, this is a great value California Pinot. I'll probably be storing mine for at least 6 months, but will almost certainly be drinking some other Roessler before then as their wine club sounds great.

Thanks WD for the labrattage, hopefully this gave some people a feel for the wine.

[edit]: Don't forget this just traveled 2000 miles, so it could definitely mellow out with a couple weeks of rest!

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
Bicknell123 wrote:'Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it's a golden day!

First time posting, first time rat. I'm a big fan of the Roessler wines having bought three helpings from Woot before, plus one direct from the winery.

The Bluejay Pinot Noir was exceptional. It's a dark wine, with undertones of fruits and spice, but with a smooth and velvety finish.

It had me at hello. I would pair this with a robust meal -- something strong enough to complement the earthiness of this dark red.
It's a strong wine but with subtle aromas for a fine palate.

I didn't finish the wine, so will hopefully follow-up tomorrow with further commentary.

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
zmanonice wrote:Vol Labrat Report (sort of)

After reading one of the earlier posts by the winemaker, I decided to pop the cork on one of the previous offerings that I had picked up but hadn't tried yet. Figured I needed to see if I liked the Roessler offerings before I added to my cellar. This bottle was the '06 Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from the January Woot offering.

Still a noob in alot of ways but will try to present my findings in a way that helps the group. Opened the bottle and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Cork was fine with no discoloring. We had taco salad for dinner, not the greatest of pairings but it is Cinco de Mayo here in Dallas. Color - lighter shade of purple, can see the bottom of the glass clearly. Has a decent number of fingers, but not very hot on the nose. Has some berry notes (can't pick out any particular ones) and a bit "earthy" on the nose.

The bottle definitely opened up over the evening. The first few sips were off, but it became much smoother with each glass (wonder why). Nice, smooth finish without alot of tannins. The MIL also liked it very much.

Now I'm wishing I had bought more originally. Will be going in for two on this offering, and the wine club is getting serious consideration. Only problem is hiding the CC bill from SWMBO. Fortunately, I have one daughter graduating this month, and only have one more in school!


I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
meyer22 wrote:Rat???? Well I guess you can call me anything you want so long as you give me a good bottle of wine.

Evening all! First time Rat, so please take it easy on me. My wife and I were thrilled with opportunity to try and report on this wine so here goes...

Popped the cork at about 6pm EST, only about 5 hours after it traveled cross country (we are in Michigan) so bear in mind Im sure this wine will be even better once its had some time to rest from its travels.

Paired it with some grilled pork tenderloin and potatoes. Nothing fancy, but hey it is a week night!

Initial impression of the nose: Wow, this baby has some fruit. Very deep, earthy fruit.
The first taste: very nice, a bit hot, but very satisfying.

As it opened up the wine definitely got more fruit forward, though the fruit was more red and bright berries than the darker nose. The finish was fairly long, and you could pick up the chocolate here I thought. The wine paired very well with the grilled pork.

I think this will get even better with some more time in the bottle, at least enough to settle from the trip! This is my first experience with Roessler wines, and both my wife and I really enjoyed it. We are primarily Zin and PS drinkers, but very glad to be adding these to our cellar.

Overall my wife and I agreed: Damn fine juice!

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Offering of 5/7 -- Gabbiano Chianti Riserva Three - Pack

This offering's pack:

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
kdalley wrote:Here are my thoughts on the Gabbiano...

First off, my and my buddies really enjoyed this wine. For those on the fence, I think its a good representation of the famous italian varietal.

Feel like this would have great aging potential... good to drink now, but will probably benefit from some laying down.

Right out of the bottle, its fruit forward but not in an overbearing way. Definite spice to it which was nice. Would be great with a steak.

After an hour, it opened up very nicely... the tannic bite dissipated and it got a lot smoother.

Would recommend some decanting and I would enjoy this wine over a meal most likely, not by itself.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
yathink2 wrote:The bottle was warm to the touch when it arrived to work. So I stuck it in the fridge to cool down after its travel. Then I took it out and opened it and let it sit for 45 min to warm up a bit and open up. I didn’t taste it when I opened it because I thought it would be too cold.

Well as working parties go this went over quite well considering there were a few people who wouldn’t be able to participate because of a huge deadline, boss going out of town kinda thing… so we ended up with 6 rats… not bad considering…

Well, sorry, a friend showed up and I wasn’t able to put this together also a gentle reminder that I nor anybody I work with are very good at this but were learning…

Work crew… consists of 4 drunks (guess which category I fall in;) 2 non wine drinkers, 1 semi wine drinker and our resident prude…

Well I poured the wine into oversized glasses to finish warming up and to let it breathe about 5 min later we started tasting… Natives were getting restless

Italian rat: Thinks he is much more productive with wine… and he has drank this (not this vintage) at a restaurant in Sienna Italy last year. For him it’s was a full bodied wine (Im thinking ok…) Nice deep purple color, really smooth, nice and dry but not too dry. Very glad he has some coming and he cant wait to get it.

Yathink its a rat I thought it was a deep purple with nice legs. I got mushrooms and cherry on the nose with a bit of alcohol but overpowering. It was pleasant. It had a nice earthy flavor with a hint of fruit. It wasn’t overpowering in any aspect and the more it sat in the glass the more it opened up. I really enjoyed it and very glad I have more coming.

Semi wine drinker: smells good. “I like it so that means that it must be bad” Its really smooth and not too dry.

Non-wine drinker1: smells like alcohol… tastes like alcohol

Non-wine drinker2: smooth, I like it

Resident prude: didn’t try it just got drunk off the fumes lol…. And needless to say our productivity was out the window at that point, good thing we waited till the end of the day

So, I took the bottle home put it in the fridge and said friend and I went out for the evening…..

We got back about 10:30 and I got the wine out to let it warm up for the second round.

Friend: very smooth and a nice deep opaque purple. This is a safe go to wine that can be brought anywhere without worries and will be appreciated by any wine drinker.

I though it smoothed out even more, and I also got more fruit this time around with just a hint of mint. Never got the anise they described which is good because I don’t really care for that flavor. I really enjoyed this wine and very glad I purchased it. Thank you WD and Susan for giving us the opportunity to Rat this…

again sorry I didn’t get this up last night. But you probably wouldn’t have been able to read it... lol glad I took notes

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Offering of 5/11 -- Goosecross Cellars Off-Dry Four-Pack

2 2007 Chenin Blanc
2 2007 Orange Muscat

This offering's pack:
afranke (Orange Muscat)
ArcheDiver (Orange Muscat)
MarkDaSpark (Chenin Blanc)
jwhite6114 (Chenin Blanc)

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
afranke wrote:A rat is me!

One bottle of Orange Muscat, a golden ticket, and a gadget!

afranke wrote:

Just got home. Wine is chilling in the fridge for a few minutes.

afranke wrote:"The 2007 Orange Muscat, non?"

Popped and poured. I invited along to taste my office mate, Pontus, and his girlfriend, Sheana. Both are self-admitted novice wine tasters. Pontus enjoys big reds (Shiraz, PS, Cab) while Sheana much prefers sweet whites and new-world zins.

Detail on the color. Not the leggiest wine I've ever seen, but there were indications of medium-full body right off the bat.

Notes on color:
Afranke: "Very light yellow, tiny hint of green(?)"
Pontus: "Vanilla"
Sheana: "Champagne-ey"

(flash was acting up on the camera)

afranke wrote:We also brought some apples, french bread, and Gouda along for the ride. I shied away from the cheese, thinking it would be way too powerful for the wine.

Notes on Bouquet:
Afranke: "classic muscat, a bit reserved. Muted melon."
Pontus: "fruit"
Sheana: "Bright"

Notes on Taste:
Arthur: "At first, classic muscat and a bit of green apple. But the zest of the apple skin fades after a bit to more like applesauce. The sweet syrup that comes with canned pineapples. Later on (hour or so) pear notes emerge, and a bit of elusive citrus. Finish gets a bit peach-ey, or like peach syrup. More viscous on the tongue than it looked in the glass."
Pontus: "Very sweet. Thick, oily."
Sheana: "apple, sugary, fruity, nectar-ey fruits like pears and pineapple"

In summary, a pretty decent wine, especially if you like off-dry or sweet wines (which I do). I would have appreciated a bit more acidity to help balance it: it was verging on syrupy, but not over the drop yet. I did serve it a bit warmer than I probably should have, so I wonder if fewer Kelvins would have helped mute the sweetness. I did like the way it changed subtly in the glass. On a QPR scale, $12 would be a bargain, $15-17 would be reasonable, but I know I can find better options above $20. It was good alone, but pairings that came to mind were fruit compote, French apple tart, vanilla or honey ice cream, or a scallop ceviche if done right. This would be a great summertime before-BBQ, afternoon, or just-after-sunset wine.

I think I will save my two bottles for some time this July or August when I have a hammock at my disposal.

afranke wrote:Oh, and since the semester just ended:

afranke wrote:Note to representatives of Goosecross Cellars: We did not actually play pong with your wine. It was finished off long before the red cups came out. The photo-op was just unavoidable, given the time of year.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
ArcheDiver wrote:I switched my day off this week to be a volunteer diver at the Cal Academy of Sciences. Decided to swing by work on my way home just to drop off some paperwork, and to my surprise there was a fed-ex package waiting for me. I got ratted!!! Wheee!!! I got a bottle of the Orange Muscat, and a little device that to play with. Going to take the bottle out to dinner, I'll report in as soon as I get home, around 10pm west coast time.

ArcheDiver wrote:For reasons to convoluted to get into, never made it to dinner and only got home from work an hour ago. But determined to fill my duties, wooshed open my bottle of Orange Muscat, poured to glasses, and went and woke the wife. After her initial peevishness at being woken up supsided, she was quite happy to help me taste.

Color: Very light yellow, wife describes it as cream colored (??) I would call it pale, reminiscent of a sparkler.

I get an initial nose with a hint of honey, will the missus is reporting apricot scent.

First impressions. Pleasantly fruity without being too sweet. While initial sense of apricott is there, as glass progresses I want to call it more peach.

Definetly looking foward to enjoying this on warm summer day with picnic at Stern Grove (free outdoor sunday summer concert series for those not from the bay area). Seriously tempted to up my order, not alot of whites in my cellar, and this would be a great way to change that.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
jwhite6114 wrote:Hey -- I'm a rat, too!

I was out of the office yesterday as I chaperoned my son's third grade class field trip into DC. But when I arrived at my desk this morning I found a Fed Ex box waiting for me at my desk. At first I thought it was a different order, but upon opening it I was immediately greeted one of the coveted golden tickets!

With it was a bottle of Goosecross Chenin Blanc and a cool looking gadget (afore mentioned by afranke -- I'll be sure to include more in my rat review).

So as to be as ready as possible, I have already the bottle chilling:

I had to move a few Diet Pepsi's out of the fridge for the day, but I am sure they each recognize how outclassed they are by the new occupant.

Unfortunately, tonight is a busy night for me, and I will be unable to taste until at least 9:30PM EDT. But I'll get my notes up before this deal expires.

jwhite6114 wrote:So as not to be any later than I am already am ... here are my thoughts on the Chenin Blanc.

First, let me say that I am NOT a fan of sweet wines. Those sites that claim there are four types of palates (super tasters, and the like) say I would like sweet wines, but I don't. They are syrupy, cloy, and impossible to drink. A nice tawny port, a slightly sweet chardonnay, and a good orange muscat are about all I can include on my list of sweet wines that I have liked. In fact, it was Goosecross Orange Muscat that convinced me there may be a non-port sweet wine that I like -- and I DO like their Orange Muscat a lot. It is the fact that this woot offer includes two of the orange muscats at less cost than I paid for two bottles plus shipping earlier this year that made me go in. The chenin blanc are a bonus -- even if I don't like them I am ahead.

So, I was actually quite thrilled that the chenin blanc is what I received for lab ratting -- why try the wine I already know I like? I wish I had been able to drink this wine earlier, but alas, such was the way this week went for me.

I had chilled the bottle at work, and put it straight back in the fridge when I got home. I opened the bottle at 10:00 this evening, just before reading to my youngest as he went to bed (I told you it was a busy week, no one is on their normal schedule). I poured a glass to take with me, and headed to his room to read. On the way I took a sniff: apples. Fresh, crisp, juicy apples. I am poor at identifying smells and flavors in wine, but this one was easy. A tad of the tartness of a granny smith, but not so sour; nor so sweet as a red delicious; but unmistakably apples. The kind you pick in October at the apple farms that taste so good you wonder why you don't eat apples all year long (until you hit the local Northern Virginia grocery store -- then you remember). Nice.

I set the glass down and read a little bit. Got to the end of a paragraph and decided I wanted a taste of this wine. Apparently I sucked in a bit for my first taste (you know, trying to aerate as I tasted), which my son thought was funny. The taste was not what I expected. It was crisp like I thought it would be, but much less sweet than I had anticipated (I know it said off-dry in the description, but my tongue doesn't know how to read). There is a sweetness, yes -- this is by no means dry -- but it was not "sweet". This is not dessert wine.

What I expected but did not find are apples. Where my nose succeeded my tongue failed: I did not identify any flavors to share with you. But I can say that I liked it. Others have commented on the Orange Muscat that it is borderline syrupy; this is not. It is crisp, almost sharp. Definitely a nice acidity that balances the slight sweetness. Reminds me slightly of a Sav Blanc, but no where near as acidic or grassy (and without that irritating cat pee). It feels good in the mouth. Silky smooth; has a nice weight to it; very pleasing in the mouth. Soft flavor, with edgy acid balance.

That was all on its own. After reaching a stopping point in the book, I tucked in my son and went to find some cheese and fruit. For cheese I sliced some Dubliner, and for fruit I went with an apple (red delicious, the only kind in the house right not, though not my first choice). I was leery on the cheese, as I did not think it was quite right. If it's not the best match, then I can only imagine what the pairing would be like with a good match; this was nice. The creaminess of the cheese softened the acid of the wine, and brought the sweetness down just a tad -- very nice. I like this pairing. The apple, while very good with the cheese, did not work so well; the wine became a bit bitter after a bite of apple. Apple and cheese and wine together was OK, but the sweet spot was definitely the cheese and the wine. I think a slightly sharper cheese (not too sharp) would do very well with this, and if you like sweet wines perhaps a slightly sweeter cheese would work, too. But I am not a foodie, so take that for what it's worth.

In all, I am thrilled that I went in for two on this order -- both wines are excellent and different from anything else in my cellar (except that other bottle of Goosecross Orange Muscat that I still have not opened from my aforementioned order). I don't expect any of these bottles to see September.

jwhite6114 wrote:Considering the late start I had, I did not expect to finish this bottle tonight. But I am on my third glass now (enough for the 12.2% ABV to kick in), and am now not so certain that I will be able to have a glass tomorrow night.

The cheese helps with this, as without it even the slight sweetness might have gotten to me. But the pair is delicious!

jwhite6114 wrote:Oh yeah! The gadget! I said I'd post about that too.

I lied.

Now that I realize it is not for tonight's post, I'll wait until tomorrow to talk about the gadget.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
MarkDaSpark wrote:Headline – Dr. Doom admits to attacking America’s economy via attempts to increase Wine tax rates .

WineDavid ships labrat bottle (Chenin Blanc) to Super Hero Headquarters to assist with America’s recovery.

A call goes out ….. ”Avengers Assemble!”

Iron Man (MDS) calls on Thor (zTimothyBz), Capt. America (Java), The Hulk (Nostrom0), and all other Avengers to gather tomorrow (Wednesday) to assist with labrat bottle. Inspector Gadget is slated to attend as well.


Edit: Since I wasn't expecting it, I didn't pick it up until late (6:30 pm) from my box. So the report will have to wait until tomorrow evening. Sorry.

MarkDaSpark wrote:AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!

At our super secret HQ at Caesar’s Mongolian BBQ in Cerritos ….. Iron Man (MdS), Capt. America (Java), Thor (TimB), Hulk (Nostrom0), and the Wasp (Nostrom0’s +1) arrived to discuss helping save the nation’s economy … by drinking wine and eating meat ….. yum.

Goosecreek Chenin Blanc:
Wasp: Sweeter than a Reisling, Good sipping wine
CA: Tingly – Acidic, but mellowed fast, some honeydew on nose
Hulk: Kiwi on nose, more for dessert. Hulk Smash!
IM: Sweeter than expected. Went well with spicier foods.

Hulk/Wasp: Going spicy (with food) really helped
Thor: Sweet, very drinkable, good pairing with spicy food.

Dry Creek Dry Chenin Blanc:

Thor/IM: Goosecross better pairing with the food.
Hulk: Not much nose, only slightly citrus, some grapefruit … Hulk not like as much as GC
Hulk/CA: Dry Creek overpowered by food.
Wasp: More acidic than the Goosecross.

Overall impressions: Goosecross was much better, although sweetness needs the spicy in food.
Good for spicy foods, but sweet enough for dessert. Price- wise, good deal at woot price (up to $20) but might skip at higher price.

Pictures from tasting

Sorry for the delay ....
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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Offering of 5/14 -- Cork Jet Pump Style Corkscrew

This offering's pack:

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
afranke wrote:Cesare has his video, but I think mine's better.

I'll write my thoughts in the morning, once I get done typing a paper.

afranke wrote:C'mon, mother, how much do you expect me to drink in two days?!

Didn't have anyone around to film the second, but so far I've used it on the Goosecross, and a LangeTwins cabernet that I'm sipping right now.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Lab rat report?

So I used mine on the Goosecross Chenin Blanc, but I had trouble. I don't know if I didn't get the needle all the way in, or what, but the cork only rose about half a centimeter and that's it. I pulled the corkscrew out, and tried again, but by this time it was too late: a little movement on the cork, but nothing more.

So I tried my rabbit ear corkscrew (my normal device) ... it went in the hole left by the needle and then straight back out. Useless.

Resort to a real corkscrew to get into the cork (and split the top): success at last.

So, was the trouble caused by the corkscrew or by me? I'll guess the latter. I have had another gas-powered corkscreww before, and it was my go-to opener until it ran out of gas. Fast and easy, it was a wonderful thing.

Comparing that one (bought from woot) to this one, this one is much more appealing. My first one looked and felt cheap; this one looks nice and feels more like a real gadget (rubber grip, more solid).

I would say I could open a new bottle tomorrow since I finished the Goosecross I opened tonight, but I still have half a bottle of Block 13 in the fridge to drink tomorrow. If I do open another bottle, though, I will post comments to be sure.

Edit: So in my hurry to get to the wine last night I never removed the cork form the corkscrew. This morning, however, I did so, and discovered that the needle had pierced the cork on the side, rather than straight through. Upon inspecting the needle, it appeared slightly crooked. A gentle push straightened it out.

While I have not yet tested it again, I believe that the cockeyed insertion is to blame for the initial failure to pull the cork.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
MarkDaSpark wrote:
Labrat Report:

Okay, we used it for the Goosecross Chenin Blanc labrat earlier, and also for the Dry Creek Dry Chenin Blanc. We didn't open the Epiphany Inspiration, so we couldn't test it on the screwtop.

Worked very well on both, no problems with them.

The only problem we had was after opening the Goosecross Chenin Blanc (First bottle). It was very hard to open the silver base to remove the cork. Once opened, it was easy to remove after the Dry Creek CB.

Java is wondering about where we get refills, and how many uses you can get before needing to replace. Also cost of refills.

Price seems excellent, and Java is planning on getting 3 sets ....

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
randysanders wrote:I just volratted the 2004 Wellington Zin that came with my mystery pack. I got the zin as the unknown, and I guessed it as a Syrah! How could I???
Well, I popped and poured the 2004 zin just before dinner. The nose had very strong dark fruit. I took a large 'sip', and it was huge, lots of fruit, and hot. As we ate dinner; baked cornish hens, heavy on the rosemary, and artichokes (The other night, I found that artichokes ruin a good Shiraz...what's with that?). The heat settled down, and there weren't a lot of tannins, ever, and the fruit reminded me of flavorful fresh cherries.
Oh...and great legs!
I'm a zin fan from way back, and this is nothing like either the thin gnarly head or the huge pruney zins like Earthquake, but a very nice and delicious zin that I would look forward to drinking frequently...unfortunately, I'm only in for one.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Offering of 5/18 -- Wellington Zinfandel Vertical Four - Pack

2004 Wellington Zinfandel
2005 Wellington Zinfandel
2006 Wellington Zinfandel
2007 Wellington Zinfandel

This offering's pack:
CRock2442 (2004)
threemoons (2005)
jrbw3 (2006)
fgfljsb (2007)

Volunteer Rats:
(all 2004 Wellington Zinfandel)

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
wootified wrote:I have the opportunity to be a volunteer *cough* LabRat for the '04 Wellington Zin.
My bottle came with the August '08 Mystery pack and it's waited ever since.

Some wines from Woot I've liked: Cathy Corison – Cab, Ty Caton Field Blend, Little Vineyards Cab, Woot Monkey Prize, Woot EHP, 2004 Wellington Cab, Pedroncelli Sanjio

All times EDT
5:09pm Out of the Cellar and into the Fridge.
5:34pm Out of fridge, quick pop & pour taste
Dark garnet color, clear when held up to the light.
Sticks to the glass a little. Smells like dark fruits (raspberry & blackberry)
Taste is smooth & warm and matches the smell. I could drink this alone.

6:09pm Pairing great with pasta & marinara sauce w/meatballs. Flavor complement to the pasta & no heat to speak of. Some peppercorn taste which is not in the pasta. Finished the glass and the pasta together.
8:25pm time for another glass. Smell and taste are a little more mellow now (in a good way). This smoothness along with everything I've tasted convinces me this is a buy now before it's sold out.
In for 3 (as my CC quietly sobs - I went all in on the TY and promised to wait until june before my next buy).

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
spdrcr05 wrote:Another vol-Rat for the '04....

Got home from work about 6 and opened the bottle. Put a small taste into the glass and then committed my first mistake of the night... I answered the phone. Note, this was not my first mistake of the day, nor will it probably be my only mistake tonight.

Okay... so now it's 7:15 and life seems to done happening for the night and I can get down to business. I left the bottle open on the counter while I was out.

I put a healthy slug into my Reidel stemless and swirl and stick my nose in... I'm getting some black currant and cherries. A first taste brings the expected black currant and hints of blackberries. It's got a tart but not sour mid palate and a hot spicy finish. No significant tannins to speak of. A smooth easy drinking example of the varietal.

This wine is very good and I'm glad I have 2 more coming... but I think I'll follow Peter's advice and drink these first. As I recall, previous bottles paired very well with pizza.

As I sit here typing, I've suddenly noticed that my glass is empty.... I've been taking sip after sip to confirm my impressions above. Smooth drinking indeed!

spdrcr05 wrote:Night 2 of vol-ratting: The bottle was stored corked in the fridge overnight.

The tartness from last night is gone. The fruit flavors veritably explode in my mouth and I am struck by an overall sense of balance and yumminess! I really wish I'd decanted this last night. I won't make the same mistake again. I'm drinking the rest with my spicy green chile chicken casserole... this is conceivably a perfect pairing with spicy food.

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quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
jwhite6114 wrote:One more volunteer labrat on the 2004 Wellington Sonoma County Zin. My Cellar Tracker says I had two of these left, but I was only able to find one. Bummer; at least I have one more on the way.

Last night was a busy night, but I was determined to open this bottle while this offer was still up. I got home around 6:15, and dinner was just about ready (spaghetti with meat sauce -- perfect!); I quickly grabbed the bottle from the cellar and opened it to have a (small) glass with dinner. Right out of the bottle there was a strong, fruity nose, full of dark fruit and a hint of sour cherry. First sip was very similar to the nose, with the cherry flavor becoming the stronger. No heat on first drink, though it seemed to pick up some heat as the bottle was open longer. The wine went very well with the food.

Unfortunately, when the first glass was gone, I had to take a break so I could run my son all over Manassas as we tried to sell his XBox to some guy who agreed to buy it off of Craigslist. Eventually we were able to meet up with the guy, test out the XBox and complete the sale -- then off to the store so he could buy the iTouch he wanted (and the reason he was selling the XBox). Sounds simple enough, but in all this took us over 2½ hours.

By the time I got home, it was nearly 9:30, but I was committed to this bottle, and so I poured a second (much larger) glass, closed the bottle and put it in the fridge (will have the rest tonight).

Without food there was more heat present, though it was not unpleasant. Sometimes heat in a wine makes me hesitant to take the next drink; not so at all with this one.

The sour cherries were also much stronger. The wine was still very smooth (not quite velvety, but close), easy (too easy) to drink, and kept me reaching for the glass to have another drink. Had I not been the one who opened the bottle three hours earlier, I would not have guessed this had been open for three hours -- it was very very good.

This wine actually reminds me a lot of InZINerator. Similar flavors and feel; and one of those that you're reaching for the next drink before without even realizing it. The sour cherriness is reminiscent of Monkey Prize as it was drinking in 2009.

I really liked this one, and had I not been out of the house for most of the evening I surely would have finished the bottle. As it is, I will get the chance to enjoy it again this evening.

To sum up, I'll copy Wootified: some other(selected) woot wines I have liked: Woot Cellars EHP, Ty Caton Field Blend and Merlot, InZINerator, Scott Harvey Barbera, Woot Cellars Monkey Prize, Little Vineyards Cab Sauv, Saxon Brown Syrah.

jwhite6114 wrote:Agreed -- no tartness (sour cherry) or heat tonight. Even easier to drink, though for me the fruitiness was a bit mellowed too. Tonight was very drinkable and pleasant, though I think I preferred last night (more character). Of course, tonight's disappeared more quickly, and now I am asking if I should open something else to finish off the evening.

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
fgfljsb wrote:I too have just "discovered" I will be lab-ratting. I'm excited (and nervous too)! Actually just drank one of the JanKris Zin's I had from a couple months ago LAST NIGHT. I'm not sure if I should open whatever bottle I get tonight or not - aren't you suppose to let it "rest" after a day of jostling in shipping? or will the decanting pretty much take care of that?

fgfljsb wrote:

Wow, so I've read the previous 2 Lab reports and I DEFINITELY feel as though I am in trouble... (i don't even know how to get the "pretty" picture on the report) =(

I received the 2007 Wellington Zin and the first thing I had to do was figure out what the heck I was going to have with it for dinner. Decided that based on laziness it was just going to be pizza - altho i imagine a nice rack of grilled ribs would've hit the spot too.
First thing I did was put the bottle in the fridge for a bit just to be sure it was cool - was actually WARM here today.
So after "chilling" for about 20 minutes I got out one of my foil cutters and corkscrews and opened the bottle. First thing it did was kinda "spit up" on me and the counter - so already i feel like a novice just opening a bottle (I SWEAR I am not). (i think this had something to do with temp - and I'll leave a physics person to explain if they care to)
I let the bottle sit - open - about 10 minutes before pouring into glasses. (i know - not nearly long enough and my decanter is not with me - don't ask)

** Color - DARK dark Red, a fine garnet color actually. and VERY opaque which surprised me some - i couldn't even get a hint of light vs dark looking thru the glass.

** Smell - (bare with me her because i really don't make a habit of doing this for descriptive purposes) it smelled like a glass of red zin. =) Ok, I can do a little better than that... I smelled fruit, berry jam like, and a hint of leather maybe. What surprised me was I did not smell alcohol (didn't smell "hot") I swirled wine in glass a bit (to see if anything else would open up) (WOW is this a pretty COLOR) and now when i sniff I am not getting much of anything - strange.

** First sip - actually felt kind of "thin" in the mouth and the initial smell which was not alcohol came out here. mmmm think I'll give it another moment to "breathe".
** Second - Mmmmm ok, now I'm getting the Zin flavors of fruit, not peppery like some I've had but the heat cooled off considerably. Gonna eat a slice of pizza and see how that goes..
** After pizza - WOW. Pizza took the heat out and helped bring out fruit (rasp & black berry i think and the initial "leather" smell is not in the taste at all) It's not a huge strong fruit I'm getting more of a light one which was dulled a bit by dipping pizza crust in Ken's buffalo wing sauce marinade but it still complimented well.

Impression as night went on and I continued to sip (well, drink) it's smooth, very tasty but in an almost not "in your face way" like a mature Zin (IMHO I would almost say light red like sangiovese or a pinot noir - maybe a bit more flavor) DO NOT get me wrong here - I LOVE ZIN and will certainly enjoy again but I will DEFININETLY cellar 1 of these because I FULLY believe it will bring out more flavor in the next year. For this reason alone I am glad I went in for 2 - I actually have the ability now (since I've tried it - to hold 1 for a year and another for 2 or 3 years.

I hope I did ok - sorry that I cant really distinguish one fruit from another when sniffing or tasting wine - all i can tell you is YEP, it was VERY tasty and I'm glad my coworker had the week off so I don't have to split the wine with him! it's mine! MINE! ALL MINE!!!
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
threemoons wrote:Just found out I'm going to be LabRatting for this. w00t! I have an event after work tonite and can't bring wine with me, but should be able to crack it open tomorrow nite (Wed). Will keep everyone posted and by then hopefully cold will have let up a bit...

See below for full report

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
woopdedoo wrote:I opened one of my 2004 Zins a couple of weeks ago, and here were my random thoughts (that I dutifully posted back to the thread for the offering):

"Opened a 2004 Zin last night. Wow. Very, very tasty. Luscious fruit without any heat. I can't imagine this will get better with age as it is so delightful right now. It might change to a different "wow" over time, but I could drink cases of this right now."

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
jrbw3 wrote:I'm delighted to be a novice (in this context) rodent! I received the 2006 and the cherished ticket moments ago.

Unless there are strenuous objections, I plan to do the ratporting in two phases. Tonight is basketball night (hopefully WD can sympathize) and big presentation tomorrow. So, my plan is to do a minor standalone (maybe a bit of carry out Thai, per Peter's suggestion) taste tonight and then have with our weekly Mexican repast tomorrow evening.

In theory I'll provide some feedback late tonight and some before 8 pm on Wednesday. Prolly it will be sold out before that time anyway, but I'll do my best to report.

Thanks for the opportunity!

jrbw3 wrote:OK. Finally the 2006 Lab Ratting

The obligatory disclaimer:

I do not now, nor have I ever (wait, that’s a different disclaimer)…..

While I have taken a wine class before and done a couple of tastings, my palate is about as far from trained as it could be. I echo the “I know what I like” and add the “but damn if I can describe it”.

With no further ado…..

Pop and pour, no decant, no aerate.

Lovely, talented and scrumptious wife- “Good” “I smell some Maple”
Me- The slightest camphor smell, but not unpleasant (disclaimer: nothing that I’ve ever had from Wellington has been to me unpleasant).
Big sour cherry out of the box, and maybe a little thin. A finish that is distinct, but darn if I can describe it. Blocky?

Another pour, pre-food, through the Vinturi.
The cherry is now muted, the wine a bit more full. The finish is less harsh and seems a bit more tongue coating than the initial taste.

I think I get the maple a bit, now.

Food begins.

Fresh asparagus
Green chile tamale
Avocado, black bean, rice, cheddar cheese taco.

After beginning to eat, the sour cherry completely disappeared from the front and moved to the finish, although much more subtle.

No question that the food smoothed it out, but still got that slight cherry.

Delightful sister-in-law came by to lend a hand.

From her:
“Initially smooth, not harsh at all.
Pleasing to my palate.
I might get a little citrus taste.
There is another taste that I just can’t identify, that coats my tongue.”

So, I want to get this in as quickly as I can. Apologies again for the day delay. Damn work screws up everything.

My last thoughts, are:

What I like:

Seems very integrated, nothing out of balance, jumping to the forefront.
My tongue pleasantly coated (SIL and I said that independently of each other), while still remaining light.

No fruit to speak of (apart from the cherry) but a definite food wine, in my opinion.

Although I’m not one to lay wines up, this seems a bit young to me. Pleasant, but might get a little more complicated with just a little while in the bottle.

Signing off with my initial amateurish review.

Thanks much for the opportunity. A Wellington devotee I distinctly remain. Damn the torpedoes, I’m gifting another set.
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
CRock2442 wrote:Giggity...Rattus norvegicus reporting for duty. Just got the Willy Wonka golden ticket along with the 2004 Wellington Zin.

heard the FedEx guy ring the bell. is it a check from one of our ever so delinquent customers? Nope! More stuff I have to turn around and ship to our office in Guangzhou? Nope The Filipino mail order bride I picked up for my buddy Alec? Nope, just fabolous, fabolous...and free! alcohol. and to put the maraschino cherry on top, it's absolute favorite!

As a point of reference my favorite Zins have to be Armida's Poizin and Seghesio's Zins.

Wellington is an automatic for me. Red...White...Cisco Green, always pleased.

threw it in the wine fridge to hopefully get the temp down by this evening.

time to fly through the rest of my work day so i can get to the important stuff...

oh joy, stay tuned

CRock2442 wrote:[url]

So after a year or so of continuously thinking to myself that this whole labrat thing is as fixed as a heavyweight title fight, low and behold Wine D totally goes and outdoes himself. Every time I think I couldn’t be more pleased with this site, something happens that makes me just want to mail my credit card to the Woot offices so that they can just run it every Monday morning…however, I do value my marriage.

Basically, it’s just a long winded way of saying thanks for everything you guys do. I’ve gotten so much out of this site, it almost makes my 2 years in an executive MBA program seem secondary.

I was lucky enough to receive the 2004 Wellington Vineyards Zinfadel today. It’s actually pretty nice out in the Roc city today, so I threw it in the wine fridge for 3 hours or so to bring the temp down a bit. I will be the sole taster tonight since wifey has a bun in the oven and most of the medical world frowns upon that type of behavior.

Anyway, away we go…

1st things 1st, check out the entertainment for tonight…


6:00pm: Decanted the wine, but poured a little thinking juice in my glass for getting the grill hot. The wine poured a nice garnet color, but light enough that you knew it was a Zin. Whoa, this thing has got long legs like Gisele, but strong like Shawn Johnson (we’ll get back to that later). Checked out the fun meter….errrr alcohol content, 14.8, that explains it. Took a big whiff and it smelled a little earthy. I got some plum/raisin-ish aromas plus some pepper. Bear with me on the smell thing, I never seem to get what everyone else does. I don’t think I have a very developed nasal system. Must’ve been too much of the 80’s for me…wait, I was born in ’78. On a strange note, and you can almost notice it in the picture, the whole neck seemed to be stained inside the bottle. Almost like a heavy sediment settled there, but it seems to be only like a stain. Not sure I’ve ever seen that on a wine before. The cork showed a dark, even staining with no crystals.

Anyway, for the moment we all came here for…the first taste. Definitely getting some heat on the front end, but nothing too unbearable. Wow, this is a complex wine. Not a fruit bomb by any measure, but velvety and also a bit chewy. Not really comparable to any of the Zins I’m used to. I’m looking forward to this.

6:30pm: Caught me off guard today, and I really wish we had a better meal planned. Would’ve loved this with yesterday’s jerk pork tenderloin, but you’re all going to have to deal with some homemade burgers. Hey, it was nice out today and we were planning on enjoying it on the deck, not cooking. Accompanying this 5 diamond entrée will be some zucchini and carrots as well as some mango jasmine rice. Really wished it was the pork again…

Anyway, the wine has definitely died down on the heat. It’s drinking a bit more velvety and smoother. I believe some of the fruit is starting to come out as well. Really starting to enjoy this wine. Does not complement the meal at all so I’m milking it so I can enjoy it while watching TV tonight…

…which brings me to our dinner discussion:

Wife: Guess what’s on tonight?
Labratter: Nuggets/Lakers?
Wife: No, the finale of Dancing with the Stars
Labratter: glug, glug, glug (that’s me chugging the wine so that I can be sure I’m inebriated before the start of this evening’s torture)

What’s up with women taking over TV? I had to sit through Dancing with the Stars last night, which I was told was the finale (HA HA) and then 2 whole friggin hours of the Bachelorette. I’m missing my pregnant wife going to bed at 6pm and watching baseball for 6 straight hours

But I digress

7:30pm: The wine is really mellowing out and turning into a very nice drinker. This wine is great all by its lonesome. I’m definitely getting more of a berry flavor here. The heat is all gone now…however, I’m hoping the alcohol didn’t burn off too much because I really need it to make this night bearable. This wine seems to disappear almost too quickly. I feel like I’m constantly “topping off” my glass. It’s becoming closer to the Zins that I identify with, but I also appreciate its uniqueness. I assume this will only get better.

Back for more in a little bit

CRock2442 wrote:...and he's back.

Sorry, big 'Cuse fan (Melo), so there's a little bias, but Denver should've walked away with that one tonight. Should be a good series anyway.

9:00pm (and beyond): The wine has definitely smoothed out beautifully from this point out. Very easy drinker and velvety on the tongue.

This is the type of wine you order at the table and order another bottle at the bar afterwards. Good all around. What a treat!

Final analysis: Wellington might as well be given the wine.woot Cy Young award. Every appearance they've had in my cellar has been remarkable. This is my first foray into their Zinfadels and I couldn't be more excited for the vertical I will be receiving. I'm one that believes that good wine should be shared (don't hate on me for my selfishness tonight, it's a Tuesday, my wife is pregnant, and I had a long day) so I'm looking forward to planning out something fun for the 4 wines to come with some good friends. If you're on the fence and are a fan of brainer. If you're on the fence and haven't dove into the world of Zins yet, this is a treat.
Bottom line, great wine. Wish I could've shared it with my wife, because I know she would've appreciated it and further validated my first ratting.

Thanks Woot for the opportunity. Hopefully I held my own tonight.
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 22 Private Messages threemoons

NOTE: My first time, not sure if I'm supposed to post here as well; please forgive any screwup on my part.

LabRat Report: Pork Product Flu Benefit Edition -- 2005 Wellington Zinfandel

NOTE: Some bloviation follows before the review. If you don’t want to read the bloviation, skip down to the seven stars “*******.”

It is with a great sense of honor, joy, and trepidation that I write my very first wine.woot LabRat report. Honor for finally having been chosen, joy at being able to get free wine (w00t!!), opinionate about it (w00tyw00t) and actually have people READ said opinionation (w00ty w00t w00t!!), and trepidation over…well, read on for that bit.

Like everyone else who ever signed up for the Labrat program, I have a secret little place in my heart for that little buzz I get every Monday that I wind up placing a wine.woot order, hoping that the Labrat Fairy will pay me a visit overnight and send me free wine and a golden ticket on Tuesday.

So where does the “trepidation” part come in? Well, this week, and this day, has got to be one of the days when I can LEAST capably evaluate a wine. Starting on Friday afternoon, I started running a hot fever that had me sleeping from 8 PM to almost 5PM the following Saturday. I also spent most of Sunday sleeping. I would have called in sick to work the next day (and thus not been awake early enough on Monday to be a potential LabRat), but my fever had broken from “too damn high for an adult” to just “feel like the residue at the bottom of a recycling bin,” and my boss had been out for a whole week and had let me know that my presence was expected. Mind you, this was AFTER somehow managing to escape getting a cold or flu the entire winter, which is very so much NOT like me—I’m normally a germ magnet. So, after another night of NyQuil-induced sleep (deep green color, good legs, herbal/sharp nose, thick and herbal on the palette but a terrible bitter finish), I got up to my alarm clock, gulped down my 12-hour Sudafed tablets and some aspirin, and booted up.

Oh, joy, I thought, maybe Monday wouldn’t suck after all—I LOVE California Zins, and have loved every single one that I ever got off of wine.woot, so I was all over this woot like the mucilage on my sinuses. One long, hot, mentholated shower later, I was on my way to the office, with plans to hit my local Doc in the Box on the way home after work. I was starting to worry about my symptoms and probably should have stayed home, as I live right near the celery Flu epicenter in Queens, and the first local fatality had been reported the night before. However, as I’d been ill since Friday I figured I probably either didn’t have it or just had a very mild case. Also, I wanted to go out to see a doc as my sinuses were starting to make their telltale “I am going to blow up into an infection in 48 hours” noises. So off I went.

I lived through the workday, sort of, and then managed to get to my usual Doc in the Box. Flu was ruled out, but I was sent home with 3 prescriptions which I filled on my way home. Against my usual habit, I did NOT check my email before going to bed—I had started a rip of super-bad PMS on top of everything else. I found my Motrin and crashed.

Needless to say I wasn’t in great shape when I got up this AM. So, imagine my reactions when I got two surprises in my email.
The first was an event reminder—months and months ago, a friend and I had purchased tickets to a local foodie event featuring small plates and various libations from local restaurants (The Cuisine of Queens & Beyond if you must know-- Oh, fleep, I thought. I feel like month-old gum on a subway platform and I sure can’t smell or taste much with this cold. But, I had committed to going, so I started to formulate a plan in my head regarding what OTC cold remedies I could ingest so that I could partake in the paid-for, non-refundable bounty.

Then I got my other big surprise. I was chosen to be a Lab Rat! My initial rush of joy was clouded by self-doubt and logistical worries. What if my nose was completely shot? WHEN would I be able to do this write-up if I don’t get home ‘till late tonight? What if my palette was totally dead after a night of eating multiple ethnic cuisines and drinking everything from cheap wine to aperitifs? Between the cold and the PMS, I wasn’t in the mood or condition to enjoy just about any pleasure of the flesh, not even free wine. And worst of all, since I was going right from the office to the event HOW THE FLEEP WAS I GOING TO GET THIS FLEEPING WINE HOME?

My groggy brain kicked into planning high gear. My Timbuk2 bag was big enough to stash the bottle in--check. OTC cold meds—check. Motrin—check. Emergency nasal spray if my sinuses suddenly really locked up—check. I had to come through today—for my friend at the event and for YOU, fellow wooters!
At one point at the event tonight, I played with the idea of pulling out the bottle and doing a “flash mob ratting,” and getting the opinions of anyone in my immediate vicinity. However, a few discreet inquiries later I decided against it—too much regulatory stuffthingies combined with the interests of paid advertisers made it unworkable.

So…in the interest of the wine.woot community and my commitment to getting out a review for the Wednesday buyers, here I am. It’s after 10 PM and my bedtime (have to get up extra-early for a meeting tomorrow), and pulling together my last ounce of strength after stuffing my face with incredibly delicious Mediterranean cuisines and free booze (okay I realize that last bit isn’t particularly sympathy-inducing), to taste free wine for all of you (okay, it’s alright if you have absolutely no sympathy left at this point).

When will I shut up and review the damn wine already? In a minute—while I was bloviating the above, I opened the bottle of the 2005 Wellington Zinfandel that I received this afternoon. When I got home around 8:30, I also had a PM dose of Tussionex (deep yellow, viscous, waxy floral nose, flat sweet taste with notes of marigold and aspirin, clings to the palette), so now I can actually smell and taste things normally again and I don’t hurt, so I’m ready to actually review now. Both the wine and I can breathe now, so let’s go:


When I first opened the bottle to pour myself a glass and let it breathe out, the wet end of the cork was a bit sour-smelling and crumbly-uh-oh! When I poured out a glass, though, my fears were quashed--the wine smelled incredible right out of the bottle—it had that big, fruity nose and deep jam color that shouts “Hey! I’m a bigass California Zin and I’m here to paaaaaaaaaartaayy!!” You know, the kind of wine that people who like to slam California Zins as “beginner wine” or “pizza wine” (snobs IMHO) point to in derision whenever it’s brought up.

However, believe the grown-up looking label on this bottle; let it breathe a little bit and the nose grows up and washes up nicely into a very grown-up wine. After sitting a bit, the aroma developed into smooth notes of tobacco, cocoa, and dried fruit meshed with some fresh-cut apple and shortbread cookie notes. Oooh, I thought, this is gonna be good.

And friends, it is. This is a lovely, rich, mature Zin that is ready to drink right now, but still has enough backbone to probably be put away for a few more years if you wanted to. This isn’t the Zin you had in college with takeout, but something that you would want to open to go with a perfectly-grilled steak or shrimp, or both. However, it’s also diverse enough to keep sipping right through to dessert, if dessert is a berry pie, biscotti, gelato, or anything else with complex medium-weight flavors. Bring this one to your SO’s parents’ Memorial Day BBQ and they will instantly be convinced that you’re a responsible adult with impeccable taste. This also has enough complexity to go with an herbed leg of lamb (which is what I may wind up doing with the other bottle when my order comes) or something similar—it can play well with other flavors as opposed to clashing with them or washing them out.

Taste notes: Medium texture, big, rich, full flavor in the mouth with a nutty finish, almost like walnuts. Low notes of dried honeyed pears, dark wood, pipe smoke, balanced with bright notes of fresh strawberry, kiwi, gooseberries, and honeydew. Finishes warm in the mouth with aforementioned walnut notes, with a light sparkle of fruit at the very end. End result: You want the next sip more than the last; I can’t wait to try the rest of the vertical. If this is the 2005 then I’m saving the 2004 for a Very Special Occasion indeed.

I hope that you all enjoyed my LabRat report, and that you all enjoy your wine. Also, let me sincerely ask for the chance to LabRat again this summer, perhaps, when my chance of having a cold is much lessened and I’ll have my CSA veggies to both pair my wine with and bloviate about. Thank you wine.woot, and thank you WineDavid39!

I got me one!


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114

Offering of 5/21 -- Wellington Vineyard Designate Cabernet Trio

2005 Handal-Denier Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Mohrhardt Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Karren Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

This offering's pack:
uhoerhold (Karren Vineyard)
SeanOD (Handel-Denier Vineyard)
ampeloquin (Mohrhardt Ridge Vineyard)

Volunteer Rats:
labROUS (tasting notes)
woopdedoo (2003 Karren Vineyard)
annsalisbury (2003 Karren Vineyard
ddeuddeg (2003 Handal-Denier Vineyard)

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
labROUS wrote:labROUS (alter ego for SonomaBouliste) report:

Tasting Notes, May 5, 2009

Mohrhardt Ridge: Cassis, raspberry, black olive, caramel, cocoa, bell pepper, with no obvious oak. Yerba Santa, slightly earthy, blueberry and mulberry. Medium body, slightly tart, moderate oak in mid-palate with a moderately tannic finish that echoes the dark fruit and herbaceous aromas.

Handal-Denier: Cherry, cassis and blackberry fruit, mocha, cedar / cigar box, with hints of dill and nutmeg. Fairly sweet entry, fleshy and smooth, moderately rich and sweet mid-palate, showing some oak, with a moderately tannic, slightly sweet, fruity finish

Karren: Very toasty (one of my staff said “dirty diaper”, but he doesn't have kids so I discount it), dark chocolate cherry, licorice and smoke with a hint of coffe and a mineral character. With several hours decanting it opens up to a cornucopia of red and black fruits. Slightly sweet entry, very full, juicy and chewy. A good dollop of tannin, giving it a somewhat short finish. Benefits tremendously from decanting, gaining fruit and softening. I would says this wine really needs decanting, and I know somebody who can get you a great deal on a decanter.

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
woopdedoo wrote:Tasting notes for the 2003 Cab. Karren designate

Generally, I do not decant. Peter was quite clear that this wine could use a lot of decanting. So, I decanted at noon and had my first sip about 9pm.

Color: Almost Black, like a black cherry. You can see about a millimeter of red at the edges of the glass.

Even after the long decant, I could pick up a slight hint of heat and an initial shot of raisin, which quickly yielded to dark fruits. Swirling brings out some mineral and perhaps menthol? Also, pipe tobacco. Perhaps something else (licorice?)- reminds my of one of the Corizon cabs.

The initial taste was still a bit tight, then yielded to what I would describe as a Bordeaux balanced flavor where most of the sensation of fruit comes through the nose, and the taste is oak balanced with tannins - but not vibrant fruit like a young Zin.

For comparison purposes, I decanted half of the bottle and left half. The non-decanted glass has almost no aroma until swirled, and then I picked out most of the other aromas as before, with more heat and maybe a stronger mineral note.

Not sure why this would be, but the non-decanted version is much less tannic/astringent than the decanted one. It is also much less interesting - little of the oak comes through either. The taste is so different, I am sure I would identify them as different wines/vintages if tasted blind.

The 2003 is obviously holding up quite nicely, and drinking it, expecially after being decanted, reminds me of savoring Single-Malt Scotch (neat, of course).

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
ddeuddeg wrote:Couldn't get home in time to decant the Karren for that many hours, so I opened the '03 Handal-Denier Cab that we picked up on the Tour last July, and decanted that while I took off to pick up a rib-eye and some fresh asparagus. After 2+ hours of decanting, there was still an initial tightness on the palate, which quickly dissipated. The nose was full of fresh dark fruit, dark cherries and black raspberries, with more of a sensation of sweetness than I expected. With the steak, it immediately softened up and was really smooth, no hint of harshness or heat, very rich and fruity.

Interrupted wine consumption for ballroom dance lesson, put stopper in decanter and left it on the table. Two hours later, with some aged gouda, it was still getting better. Wish I had more.

This has been one heck of a Wellington week here at home. '07 Marsanne Sunday (and finished off the White Port), '04 Zin Monday, '05 Meeks Hilltop Zin Wednesday, '03 HD Cab tonight. Gotta make room for SWMBO's Zin Vertical x 2, and my '05 Cab trio x 2. And there's still the Wellington Wine Club and the irresistible Victory offer.
As one of my former neighbors used to say, "This is livin'."

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
uhoerhold wrote:Guess what, I just got a FREE bottle of wine from Woot!!! The little black box is right, I really AM better than everyone else!

I'm sure this is a very special event. They certainly don't go around sending free bottles of wine out all the time at random. That would be ridiculous.

uhoerhold wrote:OK, as I attempted to announce humorously, I'm lab-ratting the 2005 Karren Vineyard Cab. I already have plans for dinner tonight, so I just poured half the bottle into a decanter, and I'll let it sit until I get back. I took a quick sip as I was decanting.

I have to say, it's more approachable than I was expecting. I've sampled a couple of '05 Bordeaux, and some of them are really hard and harsh. The '05 Wellington Karren Vineyard Cab seems a bit tight, but I think it would be enjoyable now with food.

The color is a medium ruby red. The nose has dark, plummy fruit, charcoal, some herbal aromas, and a little vanilla in the background. The palate at this point is medium-weight, the fruit is a little tight, the tannins are present, but they're not harsh at all. The finish is medium length.

I think this will open up a bit with some time. I'll report when I try it again after dinner.

uhoerhold wrote:3 hours after decanting the 2005 Karren Vineyard Cab, it's changed a bit, but I don't think I would call it opened. The nose has disappeared almost completely. What does come through is brighter than before, more red fruit, raspberry and strawberry. There's still some smokeyness, but the nose seems to have really closed down. The palate also seems brighter and more astringent than before. If anything, it seems less attractive than before.

If this were my first taste, I wouldn't be too hopeful, but there was some nice fruit when I tasted right after opening, so I believe it's in there somewhere. I'm going to give it a couple more hours and try again. It's possible that air time won't be enough to bring out the best in this wine. I might really need a few years in the bottle.

uhoerhold wrote:It's about 6 hours since I decanted the 2005 Karren Vineyard Cab. There seems to be a little more fruit than there was 3 hours ago. I'm getting more darker fruit, similar to what I smelled when I opened it. There's also a nice tobacco aroma now. There's still a little bit of an herbal quality, with a slight bitter bite to it. It's medium bodied, with a moderately long finish.

Unfortunately, the wine is now at room temperature, which today is around 80 F in my house. I'm getting a little heat on the nose and palate, but I think it's because the wine is too warm now.

Overall, it's at it's most attractive point now. It still seems a little out of whack. I have half of the bottle in the fridge, and I'll taste it again tomorrow. If Peter is right, and this needs a few years in the bottle, it might show a little better tomorrow.

uhoerhold wrote:OK, so this will be my last lab-rat report for the 2005 Karren Vineyard Cab. I'm now drinking from the half bottle that I stoppered and put directly into the fridge after pouring half into a decanter yesterday. Well, I'm not drinking directly from the bottle, I'm pouring into a glass first ;-)

This wine has improved a bit since yesterday. There's a lot more fruit on the nose now. Still fairly dark, with some cassis, charcoal, tobacco, and herbs. The palate has really smoothed out, it has a juicier quality, and and it feels finer than yesterday. The tannins are still quite drying. There's still an herbal quality, and a bit of a bitter twinge in the finish.

At this point, I'd consider this a good wine that lacks a little polish. There certainly seems to be enough fruit now to allow it to age for a few more years and integrate. At this point, I'd rate it an 86 with some definite upward potential.
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
SeanOD wrote:An email. A call home to the SO to be on the lookout. A confirmatory call back that FedEx has done the deed. Several hours of beautiful weather spent indoors. And now I am looking at a golden ticket, a decanter, and bottle of Wellington's Handel-Denier Vineyard designate.

While I don't take too much stock in bottle shock, I will follow the advice of appropriately decanting and tasting with a cleared palate. Since this would be mutually exclusive tonight, I promise to open tomorrow am to be ready by lunchtime!

Also, although this won't make the list of furthest shipped rat-pack, the SO is visiting from Melbourne, and could be in the competition for furthest born rat. Thanks WD and SB!

EDIT: If I can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to open, how the heck am I supposed to wait 5-8 years for the others?!

SeanOD wrote:The Handel-Denier is decanting. Poured a drop in the name of science. When held up to the sky, (and what a beautiful day, right?) the color is dark, dark ruby. The nose is pretty tight. You can tell that it's cabernet, but not much else. The flavor is completely closed, too, but this is all as expected. More to come, of course.

SeanOD wrote:From last episode (feel free to fast forward to today’s episode, set in 2013):

SO: That roaring sound I hear, like an anthem of Yetis? Are they invading? Shall we bung a rock at them?
DW: Heavens no. These are quite dissimilar beings, Angels from Hell, I believe. Monstrous in form, but really quite harmless. As an invasion weapon, you'd have to agree that they’re about as offensive as a chicken vol-au-vent.
SO: That doesn’t make sense. I think he’s wearing “If you can read this my young lady has fallen off”…
Angel from Hell: Exterminate the Doctor!
DW: Hmmm, on second impression these might be Daleks.
CT: What do we do now?
DW: These life forms are based on light beer. Finer spirits are anathema to them. I see you have a 2005 Wellington Handel-Denier Vineyard Cabernet, there.
SO: But that won't be truly effective until 2013 or later.
DW: Trifling matter to a Time Lord. The Time Lords are an immensely civilized race. We can control our own environment - we can live forever, barring accidents and we have the secret of space / time travel.
SO: You are a Time Lord, a lord of Time? Are there Lords in such a small domain as the District of Columbia?
DW: Well, not technically Lords, per se. More 'shadow' Lords. We go to the same meetings, but with substantially less voting rights.
SO: But how can we use the 2005 Wellington Handel-Denier Vineyard Cabernet if it needs 4-8 years of aging? Isn’t it a bit closed now?
DW: If you don’t get some from wine.woot soon, it will literally be austere today, gone tomorrow.
Everyone else: …
DW:Anyhow, we’ll simply travel to the future,
SO: So how does this space / time travel work? It can’t be easy getting a seat on Memorial day weekend. Is that MPD van the TARDIS?
DW: Gigli (2003), no. We will simply use these decanters. They shall allow us to travel 5 to 8 years in the future to a time when the wine is mature and potent enough to dispatch the Daleks.

SeanOD wrote:Today’s episode, 2013 or thereabouts, or 3.5 hours later EST.

(wherein a slightly smarmy alien with a British accent leads our fearless tasters into the breach)

DW: Status?
SO: Two cabernets have been deposited in decanters, the Wellington Handel-Denier Vineyard designate originally from 2005 and the Barboursville which comes from what was, in 2006, the Commonwealth of Virginia, but as we all know has since been annexed by North Carolina and the State of Columbia. The Wellington has been ‘breathing’ for 3.5 hours and the Barboursville, for 1 hour.
DW: You’ve brought a Virginia wine from the past? This may be the greatest miscalculation since life crawled out of the seas on this miserable planet.
SO: You’re a some dude's uncle.
DW: Let’s make sure we’re there. Here’s a bit of wine for each of you. Thoughts?

*Wellington Cabernet Handel-Denier Vineyard designate originally from 2005*
CT: Some fruit coming through now. Lighter in fruit than (the Australian) other wines. Very nice finish.
SO: nose of blackberry jam (somewhere in the distance) and a little (welcome) heat now. The flavors now include dark cherries and a little blackberry which on 5th or 6th sip might be morphing into a dark cocoa. The cab structure is obvious and along with slightly ‘dusty’ tannins, provides a thorough mouth coating. Comparing to many of the wines I’ve been drinking lately, I think this is more ‘old world’ style. Looking forward to having with some food, shortly.

*Barboursville Cabernet, originally from 2006*:
SO: light scent of violets. No obvious heat / alcohol. Pleasant, but light cab. Bright cherry flavors, certainly less tannic than the Wellington.
CT: Nice, lighter and clearly ready to drink now. Didn’t we visit their vineyard?
SO: I don’t think so.
DW: (looking at their website) You spilled your wine on that hill, there. You really have no memory, do you?

5 Hours in (2.5 for the BBV):
(wherein, a tasting for two becomes a picnic for eight because some people didn’t coordinate their time/date mechanisms; and wherein a grilled steak and portabellas are joined by a beer butt chicken and plenty of sahlens.)

MA: It turns out ‘our’ picnic is tomorrow.
DW: You're a classic example of the inverse relationship between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain.
MA: You’re kind of a dic…
DW: Pour them a glass of already. *Barboursville*. Thoughts?
GS: Oaky, and some cherry. Dry, short finish. I’d like to have with a steak.
DS: A light start, but nicer, fuller finish. I find it a little acidic on my tongue.
MA: Light, earthy, faintly like mushroom earthiness.

DW: *Wellington*, thoughts?
GS: Sweeter nose, velvety finish. Oh, very smooth.
DW: And the fruit?
GS: Darker plums. This is a cabernet, right?
MA: Eureka, here is the fruit! Some plum, darker, broodier.
DW: "Eureka" is Greek for "this bath is too hot." I’m not so sure about “broodier”.
DS: This is dark, I like the legs, and I think I smell some alcohol. This builds like a crescendo, and then drops off. Whoorcrshhhppk!
DW: Andy, say something. Outside of these experiments you have absolutely no significance.
AS: Deep plums. You’re kind of a dic…
DW: Ok, I think that seals it. The rest of this is being stashed away to go with the steak.
7 Hours in (4.5 for BBV):
DW: Okay, off to the game with you lot. The rest, eat up and *Barboursville* thoughts?
GS: Blackberries, sweet. (I *am* a Virginia girl.)
CT: It was a nice wine.
DS: I usually think of most wines from VA as sh!tty. But this was pretty decent.
SO: Sour cherries. I think this is a little too long for the Barboursville. But, if I didn’t have a time traveling decanter, and wanted a nice specimen from the East Coast, I think this is a great option. Apparently, sometime in the past / future, I’ve visited the vineyard.

*Wellington Cabernet Handel-Denier Vineyard designate originally from 2005*
SO: (with steak), the fruit is really obvious now, this is still holding up quite well. Still dark fruit, maybe now a little darker than the blackberry I got earlier, but not sure I’d say plum. Wish there was more left to drink / share. I’m glad I have 3 more bottles coming to me in 5 years ago. Finish it off Dave.
DS: (with chicken) That’s a big flavor! Serve with food.
SO: Direct. To the point. I wish more people were like that.
DW: Allow me to congratulate you, sir. You have the most totally closed mind that I've ever encountered.
CT: What happened to the Dalaks?
DW: Gone, like the wine.

Hours later…

DW: How do you feel now?
SO: Groggy, sore and bad tempered.
DW: Almost your old self.
CT: Isn’t it time to post this drivel?
DW: Time and Time Lord wait for no man.

(with apologies to all the great writers of Dr. Who):
And thanks again to WD and PW / SB who provided the wine and the vessel. Both were wonderful.

CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
annsalisbury wrote:We busted into the 2003 Karren last night. I had hoped that our slightly warmer than cellar temperature hastened some aging. No luck. While I would have liked to decant it for longer, we decanted it for only an hour. At that point, it was not quite ready to drink on its own, but when paired with tenderloin made a nice combination and brought out the best of both the meat and wine.

After about two hours, it was very much as Woopdedoo described it. Anybody with a 2003 Karren hanging around will be very pleased with their purchase in a few years. Fortunately, I've got one more bottle hanging around to test that theory with.

ampeloquin wrote:Labrat Report – Wellington 2005 Mohrhardt Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Alright… Here I go…

5/22 – 10:15 AM – Reception brings over two packages… Yeah, I’m pretty sure I got a golden ticket, but what is this other package? I’m pretty sure no clients are sending me anything and it’s too light and the wrong shape to be another shipment of wine. Really? A free decanter to make sure my Wellington is served properly, Yippee!!

3:00 PM – Can the clock move any slower? Forget it, I’m leaving, I have wine work to do!
4:00 PM – Arrive at home and prepare for my fellow wine.woot friends to join me for HH, dinner and most importantly the tasting of the Wellington! Open 2005 Mohrhardt and pour into my new fabulous decanter (sorry don’t know how to upload pictures…) and little taste into the wine glass. Take a whiff and WOW – this cab is huge! Smells like dark, and I mean dark sour fruit with some heat and a little leather and spice. The heat’s not overpowering, but you can tell it’s there… Taste – Like SB said these need to be decanted… You taste a little alcohol but it’s extremely sour at this point, the mouth puckers and I decide I should finish my errands and meet the crew for happy hour.

6:30 PM – Return home with broke, wine loving, wine.woot friends with some beef kabobs (won from the meat raffle) for dinner. Pour small glasses for everyone and begin preparing dinner. Smell – much more mellow and nice on the nose with some aromas of dark red fruit and a little spice. The heat seems to be gone at this point… Swirl – Beautiful color, dark garnet and nice legs. Taste – Still a bit closed and tannic, can taste some black licorice and dark red fruit, blackberry, sour cherries and a little raspberry. Decide it can use a little more time in the decanter and what’s that – the hockey game is on… Go Blackhawks!

7:30 PM – Kabobs are done and look great! Oh yeah, so does the wine! Pour new glasses for me and my guests and begin dinner. Discussion starts with how great wine.woot is with the fabulous deals WD brings us each week. Almost on cue, we all swirl, sniff and look at each other… It’s still a little closed, but the fruit has come to the front with a little earth and spice and all of us can still taste the licorice and sour cherries and two of us pick up hints of raisin. The tannins are chewy, but not too chewy. Proceed with dinner and decide to let the remaining sit for a while longer…

9:30 PM – Tied game, 3 – 3… Pour remaining Wellington goodness from decanter into glasses… That’s all that’s left, boooo! Again, we all swirl, sniff and taste. Wow – It’s open now, smells and tastes wonderful. On the nose, loads of red fruit, not nearly as sour now, but loads of fruit; some blackberry, cherry, and strawberry. Doc picks up some vanilla bean, I pick up some earthy tones and Jules just likes it! The tannins have subsided and it’s tasting great, but we all wish we had more than ½ glasses now and another bottle to enjoy… Oh wait; I still have a bottle of the ’03… Discussion pursues, but inevitably we decide not tonight.

Overall – Opened very tight and sour with big tannins. Over time the tannins subsided and the wine expressed itself. If I had to do it, I would give it 5 hours to decant and let it come into itself. We all enjoyed it once it opened up! Too bad the wallet only allowed a purchase of one set at this time…

Thank you WD and SB for the opportunity to Rat and I apologize for the late results, but my internet didn’t want to work last night.

Signing off to enjoy the weekend!

Aaron from Mpls
CT | | | | | |


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 5/25 -- Russian River Backyard Chardonnay Trio

This offering's pack:

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
CREIGHTONatNY wrote:Lab Rat Report on the Chardonnay

Let me first say it has been a great honor to be chosen as a Rat. Thank you WOOT and WineDavid

I drank the merlot last night and this evening but I know allot of folks wanted to hear about the Backyard Chard. I just opened the Chard and after a few tastes I decided I had to post tonight. It was in the 'fridge for about 4 hours before I opened it. It’s good, a little sweet for my tastes but my wife liked it and that says a lot. Mild, fruity (Grape all the way), and very drinkable. Don’t put a lot in your glass though, if it warms up too much it gets a slightly bitter taste near the end

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 5/28 -- 2005 NAPA Valley Front Porch Merlot

This offering's pack:

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Rat report

It is truly an honor to receive the golden ticket. I'm sad to say that I’m not fond of Merlot.

That being said let me say this is one of the OK Merlot’s I’ve tasted. I popped the cork poured it into the decanter and then poured from the decanter into my glass (just a few sips). On first glance it is an Alcohol forward wine. I sniffed, tasted, and swallowed. On the initial taste there was none. That’s right, no taste going in, then the alcohol, then black cherry, then sherry, then currant, then alcohol, with hints of red apple (skin mostly) throughout, and some tannins & alcohol on the close.

15 minutes later: Not much change except the alcohol has tamed a bit

1 hour: A little more flavor and almost creamy, possibly a hint of metallic at the onset, a bit sweet on the mid pallet, and still an alcohol finish, tannins wishy washy throughout.

1.5 hours: Tasted with a dinner of Gouda cheese and crackers, Grilled hamburgers, and orzo rice pilaf. Still not much flavor forward, but it opened up a bit in the mid pallet and made it through alright. Fruit was more pronounced and ‘sweeter’ throughout

Rebottled the last 1.5 or so glasses and will check it out again tomorrow night

I think this should sit in the bottle until winter or longer(maybe the alcohol will calm down by then) and then pair with Cheese & crackers and/or apples as it’s definitely an appetizer & hors d'oeuvre wine

My over all opinion: This one has too much alcohol taste for me; it’s weak on its approach and leaves me wanting more depth and definition. But that’s me and I didn’t start out a merlot fan

I'm sorry I couldn't be more positive the first time out as a rat. It's only my opinion, hopefully the other 2 rats are more into merlot

UPDATED 29MAY09 @ 5:12 pm Eastern Time

Lab Rat report update: Day 2

Well I just pulled the merlot out of the ‘fridge and poured it into my glass

W O W what a difference. I realize it’s only about 42-45 degrees but there’s no alcohol taste, the flavors are smooth and mellow. What comes through is black cherry, very slight currant and a twinge of red apple skin. Tannins are minor, mellow, and smooth throughout. This is not a big wine but it comes alive with the lower temp. I may even be in for one (or 2 or 3) for a cold summer refresher sort of drink. Cold, you can drink this as a stand alone. I’m impressed.

Disregard my comments (above) from yesterday

I saw HitAnyKey42 on wine.woot! and clicked "I want one!"