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jaykid007 wrote:**Lab rat report
It's great to be chosen as a lab rat as I love merlot and my wife thank you too.
This is my initial report and will have more comments later. I have a fellow wooter next door who is going to try it as well.
I tried this wine at room temp and also at a nice 65 degrees. I am going to try this at 58 degrees later as well.
Room temp taste:
* After pouring the wine, I observed the color. Right off the bat, you can tell that its not purple or a dark red. It was medium color and had a nice garnet/ruby tone. It has nice legs. ;)
*For the nose, I got cherry (full blown), chocolate (cocoa), tobacco, (maybe some oak
Taste: Tannins were mellow, alcohol was apparent but not unexpected due to the approaching 15% rating, but didn't bother me. Smooth & pleasant aftertaste. This wine kept me wanting more. I put the wine in the cellar for a few hours to bring down the temp and found myself wanting to pour more!
This wine does really drink like a cab, but a merlot for sure. I really enjoy cab and merlot and usually like a merlot that is big and a rich flavor.
Drinking this wine with a cooler temp improved the taste, but I liked it both ways. I tried it with my Venturi and didnt notice a change.
This wine will be good for a drinker with friends, light summer fare, Italian food, cheeses and fruit. (Wife says with seafood or meat) A good summer wine to boot!
I wanted to get something out quick since so many people are waiting for the reports from the rats. I will report additional comments later after I have my fellow woot testers come over and also after the wine has sat overnight. Cheers!
mierdaan wrote:Rat reporting in.
First impressions are good, although as previously noted I'm not typically a merlot fan. I could see those who are enjoying this, though. Definitely recommend drinking it chilled a few degrees below room temperature, as it can be a little oppressive at room temp.
I'll finish the rest of it tomorrow for a full opinion, but even with my reservations I think the QPR on this is very strong. Definitely not sad I went in for 3
Offering of 6/1 -- X-Winery 3 Pack
2005 Amicus Napa Valley Special Blend
2006 Paso Robles Petite Sirah
2007 Red X Winemaker’s Blend
This offering's pack:
lbaro (un-rat - shipping error)
hazydaze (un-rat - shipping error)
jackabooboo (un-rat - shipping error)
Megansyr (anti-rat) (Petite Sirah)
Submitted for rattery - the Paso Robles Sirah
Got the box on the way back from the grocery store and opened it right away.
Decided to have a quick tasting glass while starting dinner and putting the rest in the decanter.
First taste is a lot of deep fruit, with a finish of caramel. Very tasty. The alcohol comes through only because I don't want to put it down.
Dinner for tonight - homemade pepperoni pizza
Very light with how strong of a mouth feel it has. The pizza brings out a hint of white pepper but hides the fruit.
I'd love to let this sit for a while and let the tannins mellow out a bit, but the wine is too good to let sit out like that.
Haven't had something with this much petite syrah in it before, so I don't know what to compare it to
Very tasty! Can't wait to get the regular shipment
Offering of 6/4 -- Saxon Brown Semillon Four - Pack
2007 Semillon Cricket Creek
2007 Semillon Casa Santinamaria
This offering's pack:
speedoo wrote:Volrat report on the Cricket Creek...
Decided to open one of my bottles from a previous purchase to help me decide whether to buy more. Based on the reviews I had read and the winemakers participation and his other wines, I was almost sure that I would buy.
Others seemed to feel this wine was excellent both chilled and at room temp. so I popped and poured after maybe 20 minutes in the fridge, temp was probably 60 - 65 degrees. At that temp, for me, the wine was disappointing. Not much bouquet and on the palate, it was poorly balanced, with far too much tartness, completely hiding the fruit. The finish was particularly poor.. far too tart for me.
Set it aside, hoping it would improve as it warmed up a bit. 15 minutes later, no improvement except for slightly better bouquet. OK, back in the fridge.... this wine has to be better than this.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later and maybe 10 degrees colder (maybe 55 degrees?), the wine was much better. There was that wonderful bouquet of pear, honeysuckle and some flintiness. On the palate, the entry is excellent, showing the luscious mouthfeel everyone talks about, and the fruit is there as well. I don't get the flintiness, but maybe some mineral. But the velvety mouthfeel is what sets this wine apart for me.
And the finish is very nice and very long, with an added noted of lemon that was a nice surprise.
Still have 2/3 of this bottle to try again later and maybe tomorrow, but I will almost certainly be going in on the current woot. This is a very well made and somewhat complex wine, as expected.
MarkDaSpark wrote:Asked her "Aroo?" but just got a happy face in response.
Got a text from my UPS Store that I had two packages waiting. Knew that I had two wine club orders coming in, so dropped by after taking my mom, sis, and niece to a High Tea for lunch (for Mother's Day).
2007 Semillon Casa Santinamaria
So, will taste with the parental units and my sister tonight. Then with Java tomorrow, after the LA Wine Fest, assuming any is left.
I did not beg, ask, or otherwise expect this so soon after the Goosecross labrat.
:ducks back down:
Edit: The other package was my Scott Harvey 1869 Club order, with the 2006 Vineyard 1869 and 2006 Mountain Zinfandels.
Labrat Report Part 1: 2007 Semillon Casa Santinamaria
Okay, tasted it with my parents, my sister, and my son (over 21). My mom usually prefers White Zin (I know, I know), and my dad usually will have beer.
Tasted it before dinner, at proper cellar temp.
Everyone liked it a lot. Parental units thought it wasn't as dry as they originally thought it might be. My son was able to pick up some of the green apple.
I found it as previously reported in the labrat reports from last year. Very nice and some creaminess mouth feel.
Overall, everyone really liked it. I liked it that I might have to up my order.
Oops. Forgot to put down I rated it 18 out of 20 on the UC Davis scale.
Part 2 will be tomorrow with Java and Nostrom0. Although I may have to have very little then, as there is maybe a little under a third left (like I said, they liked it!).
jenludwig wrote:Ok, So, I was ratted the 2007 Semillon Cricket Creek. I was soo excited! We also had chicken and feta for dinner tonight (some tomato's, artichokes, roasted red peppers, olives, and cous cous as well).
I am impatient. As soon as dinner was done we popped and poured. It had been chilling - well, not long enough:-) we both felt it was acidic at the start. I insisted it was because it was too warm, he said it just wasn't good. He definitely came around though. We both agreed on a sweetness on the lingering finish. His main comment was this is spicy. I agree, it has a ncie spice to it. We both felt there was a nice fruit on the nose, but couldn't agree on what. I said peaches, he said lemon. After reading speedoo's volrat report I definitely think it was pear.
My husband prefers reds, it's only recently I've gotten him to drink whites in the spring/summer time. His answer to what it tastes like is always cherry (obviously reds), so he told me he definitely did NOT taste cherry in this. He deemed it a good summer wine, just definitely not a red. Good, not great, but good.
I agree on the good summer wine. I am happy that I went in for 1 (hoping service ups it to 2), and would have been pleased if I'd gone in for 3 as well. I think this has aging potential. Not that I'm an expert on this, but I think possibly the acidic nature on the front (when it was a bit too warm) would mellow with some age. Definitely enjoyed it, and am honored to have received the golden certificate from WD. Hope everyone is having fun at the first "official" WW gathering in NY! I am very jealous, but plan to finish my last glass of this Semillon, and enjoy the rest of my night:-)
kylemittskus wrote:Rat report part one. The report is desultory and the wine is warm.
4 very casual wine drinkers said they liked it. My fiancé did not.
Now for my fancy notes. My first reaction is spicy. Like, cyan pepper spicy. Also, very nice acid and medium mouth feel. Silky with a somewhat dry finish. It's not sweet, but there is a bit of sweetness, not sugar but more like biting into a sweet peach. I get white peach and a bit of minerality. The spiciness is a bit odd for me, but it is a very well made wine. At this point with it being warm, I would not be upset paying $23ish a bottle. More to come when it cools.
Follow up: as the wine cooled, more fruit and more rounded flavors. This wine wants food. I can see it with a nice white fish or some scallops. Food would calm the spice I think. I'm curious to see where the wine goes in 2 years. Probably an 88 point wine for my palate. And the only thing holding me back is the spiciness because I have never encountered it before.
Long story short: a very well made wine that is for food; not a great aparitif IMHO.
Opened the bottle of 2007 Semillon Cricket Creek last night with our dinner of salad with chicken, avocado and feta (among other things). Of course, I couldn't wait and tried some immediately. Too cold after being in the fridge for a bit too long. Ok, so after it warmed up a bit, I got a better taste.
I really liked this. It surprised me for two reasons. First, I had been drinking a semillion earlier in the evening and the Saxon Brown blew the other one totally out of the water - no comparison at all. The Saxon Brown was well structured with lots of body and a complex taste where the other (to remain nameless) could only be said to be flabby.
The other thing that surprised me was that I found the SB semillion to be a lot like a savy blanc! The NZ boyfriend has an affinity for savy blanc (duh) and so we end up drinking quite a few of them. The semillion was a lot like a good savy blanc more body, with less tang, and a bit more sweetness.
As for flavors, I got melon and honey on the nose (the boyfriend got citrus. As for taste, wine starts out with a tart, spicy note, and fades to a sweeter, long finish. Overall, I really enjoyed this and it is a great summer wine.
Offering of 6/8/2009 -- Twisted Oak Tempranillo Trio
This offering's pack:
cheron98, oppsie & cyborgdo11 (Tempranillo)
cheron98 wrote:8:00pm: 2005 Murgatroyd, brought to you by cheron98 and oppsie!
We likey. We likey a lot. Not as thin as typical TO - it's got a good body to it. A little hot out of the bottle, so let it air in your glass, but doesn't require decanting.
Little bit of spice to it. Description says nutmeg, we can't find it. Which is good because I hate nutmeg.
Awesome with manchego cheese. Tapas consists of Trader Joe's Feast of Tapas... Baguette with cheeses, Tri-tip Asada steak goodness, tortilla chips and salsa, chicken empanadas, black bean taquitos, mini beef tacos...
So lots of fried, lots of starch.
And we have a chocolate lava cake for later.
Fruity nose opening up to spicy - strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, maybe a hint of musty on the nose. It's been in the glass about 20 minutes and the heat has definitely blown off. Nose definitely follows through to the palate, with black pepper, and spice. Still don't see the nutmeg. The oak hits a little bit on the finish, a little twiggy, but it doesn't stick, so it's not so bad.
The meat has a nice hit of spice to it, and the wine is holding up really well to everything. So don't be afraid to pepper up your food with this one.
Will let you know how it does with the cake later.
cheron98 wrote:8:36pm: Tannins are starting to kick in now. It's really smoothed out and has become more "cabby". The finish is stretching out ... more earthy tones on the nose and on the palate. Much more rounded now.
This is a really solid effort, really good wine. Still not to dessert, will update again when we get there.
cheron98 wrote:9:11pm: Definitely better out of the cab glass.
The tempranillo glass loses some oak, but adds this nail polish/shoe polish scent that is just unbecoming on this. And the flavor is blah.
Go with the cab glass.
I can't try it straight out of the bottle as the bottle is now...um... empty.
So, Murg with chocolate...
Yeah, not so good with chocolate.
oppsie wrote:but other than that...delicious! If I had money, I might buy some.
eric9tx wrote:I'm 6'3", so I guess that makes me a Lab Rat of Unusual Size! Inconceivable!
As luck would have it, tonight is "Girls' Night", our weekly pot-luck dinner get-together. That means I will have to share, but the good news is that wine.woot will get 5 or 6 opinions, including 2 from wine market employees. (This doesn't mean they actually know wine, but they are smart enough to get a job that involves drinking at least.)
Stay tuned for rat review of the 2006 Twisted Oak "The Spaniard". (Holy Kazaam (1996), I got The Spaniard!) I only wish I weren't left-handed, so I could say "Ah, but I am not left-handed either!"
2006 "The Spaniard"
Ok, we took the liberty of getting a little creative, so here goes...
"Run, Eric, as fast as you can!"
With the golden ticket in your hand.
An hour of breath,
and my ladies to my right and left...
We pour the juice
and become a bit loose...
A spice in our nose,
and a clove in the toast...
The killer blackberry
for the Bride to marry...
A glass colored with ruby,
with a taste fitting enough to please the newbie...
The earthy grapes coat our lips,
and we slowly shake our hips...
Tickle the tongue with cherries sour,
exactly unlike iocane powder...
Raise our glasses,
and slap our asses...
This wine is great,
apple strudel those who hate...
We drink this vino
from beginning to finito...
Mourning the end of the bottle,
we feel rather hollow...
Big thanks to Fermento,
we'll be the olive to your pimento!
edit: I only take credit for stanzas 8 and 13
And for more specific notes:
2006 Twisted Oak "The Spaniard"
Decanted one hour, served with slices of filet mignon.
#1 Color: ruby Nose: dark fruit, hints of black pepper, other spices Taste: dark fruit, blueberry?, black raspberry!, dirt, mildly tannic (not Fezzig tannic), not mouthfillingly rich but lingers on the back of the tongue, hints of clove and iocane powder. Lighter than expected (typical of TO?) for a "meat" wine, but not thin. Just not heavy. 89+ if I knew how to rate properly.
#2 Little peppery, spicy, fruity.
#3 Nose starts off a little hot, even after being decanted for an hour. A couple more sniffs and I get black pepper and clove. After tasting alone, heat comes across again. Very earthy. With meat, flavor becomes more light and mild, slight spice, some blueberry. Still seems hot. Good but not my fav.
#4 Tastes really good, opens the taste buds to enjoy the meat. Delightful. Would recommend to anyone.
#5 (Normally a pinot is a big red for #5) Too much going on. Sour cherry, black currant, spices. Just too "big" for my mouth to handle (no pun intended). But still finished the glass. (This person LOVED the EHP if that makes any sense.)
Of the 2 "experts", one just wanted to work her words into the poem, the other is STILL stuck at work. So yeah, you got myself, Jopo, and 3 others reviewing. Hopefully its acceptable. Seriously, this is good stuff and I'm happy as Kazaam (1996) that I ordered.
eric9tx wrote:Rat photos, cuz I'm cheezy like that:
(please note the tshirt)
santhony66 wrote:A little Vol-Rat / Faux-Rat action for me last night. I have a mild touch of my lil' ones colds - so I might be a smidge olfactory challenged - but here are my notes I posted to CT:
2005 Twisted Oak Tempranillo - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Calaveras County (6/9/2009)
color: Deep ruby / violet
nose: cherry with hints of mocha and leather. Blueberry and floral notes emerged with time in the glass/decanter.
Nice cherry fruit leaning more toward sour cherry through the finish - also some licorice. A touch of heat and spiciness on the backend and discernable oak influence. Firm tannins, but seemed to have decent acidic balance. Definitely better with food and would pair nicely with spice rubbed grilled meats, sausages, salamis etc. Still may need more time to fully integrate and smooth out. (87 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
oppsie wrote:Labrat partner-in-crime reporting in. The Tempranillo is very different than the Murg -- not at all hot, and didn't really evolve. It was just plain old good. Pop and pour without fear, no burn on the nose or the mouth. Not complex, with just a really nice blend of fruit. Zero oak. It made me happy I have another in my own cellar, and I'll make sure to drink it soon. However, we also tried a 2005 J.L. Giguiere Matchbook Dunnigan Hills after the Twisted Oak was gone -- extremely oaked and tasted over the hill. The Twisted Oak should still have a few years in it but is still extremely drinkable now. Do not be afraid to consume it at first opportunity.
We paired with tacos de carnitas and leftover fried goodness from the Monday Murgfest (beef mini-tacos, black bean taquitos, manchego) and grilled veggies (onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms).
Unexpectedly, the Temp went with EVERYTHING. This includes a single grilled cherry tomato, which was really and truly amazing and surprising. The acidity of the tomato did nothing to the Temp -- everything matched.
Except dessert. We had fresh raspberries and an "Italian creme cake" from Kroger. Despite having the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval (TM), it killed the tempranillos, which isn't really much of a shock. Finding red wines to go with sweet desserts is tough.
That said and not to change the subject or anything (see what I did there?), we took out a half-full 2003 Elyse PS from DTW Dark & Delicious, which was almost a month ago. First off, the wine was awesome and had a great aged taste to it. If you happen to have one of these on hand, hold on to it for another five years. Second, it actually went well with the cake (but not the berries).
Our monkey is now passed out. Sad. He hit the wine really hard, and the wine hit back. Pictures of unconscious monkey to come. (No worries, meat popsicle sapiens still going strong.)
cheron98 wrote:Wow, how can I say any more for that? That pretty much sums it all up. So here's the pictures!
There were originally going to be four of us, but it turned into a girls' night - me, oppsie, and cyborgdo11. The Twisted Twio.
The wine selection of the evening - the monkey couldn't wait to get into it:
The dinner table:
Ruben Jr held the cork for us:
The wine got the better of the monkey:
Really awesome wine, that TO Tempranillo. So glad I have more in the cellar and more coming! Super easy to drink, really outshone the other one.
And if you have specific Tempranillo glasses, you want to use them. The nose AND flavor was definitely better out of the Temp glasses vs. Cabernet (fairly generic red) glasses. Awesome
HitAnyKey42 wrote:I may be late to the party, but I do my best to be the life of the party and stay til the end. And La'Ratatatat duties do not come lightly to this boy.
I opened the wine and intermittently took some sniffs and sips while I prepared dinner. Started out a bit closed, but rapidly opened up. I fried up some smoked sausage, onion, mushroom, and red pepper (and a bit of scallion). Diced in a clove of garlic and a bit of basil, salt, & pepper. The pepper came from a McCormicks Steakhouse seasoning grinder, simply because I realized I didn't have any other decent pepper available. I served this over a dish of spaghetti that I drizzled a bit of the basil oil (which came from woot) on. I ended up adding probably just a touch too much of the oil, but it still turned out quite yummy when offset by a bit of added extra garlic salt.
See below for pictures and after that the tasting notes.
Dinner with the Wine:
The full view with my Grandma's painting and Wine.Woot wine fridge in frame:
Firstly as many people often have stated yes, it's a bit thin but worked perfectly for the dish I made as it went well with both the pasta and the meats and veggies.
Color - dark violet moving into deep purple
Nose - cherry, leather, mocha, and a bit of spice. Even an hour later I seem to get a tiny bit of heat on the nose.
Palate - Itty bitty bit of heat, but so well balanced with the fruit and acidity you barely notice. It ended up sitting for at least 30 minutes before I truly drank it, but it definitely doesn't need decanting and can probably even be a pop 'n pour. I'm about halfway through the bottle right now and will have gone back for more before I finish getting this post ready.
In summary: Find some nice plump cherries in your garden. Then drag them across chocolate ice cream sitting in a bowl of leather surrounded by good soil growing some flowers. There's your wine. It's well balanced between fruity and earthiness, good acidity with a rather nice bouquet on the nose. An easy drinker that would go well with most anything except for those that like BIG wines with BIG meats. I give this wine a solid 88+, leaning towards an 89.
PS. I'm actually now 3/4's of the way through the bottle and there's a good chance I may end up finishing it tonight. It's THAT easy of a drinker. Actually, probably going to finish it up with some Brandini Toffee.
Offering of 6/15 -- Woot Cellars Triacipedis Six - Pack
This offering's pack:
canonizer wrote:We had a fantastic night sipping this in Brooklyn last week. Once again, tremendous thanks to the wine woot crew for reminding us that all politics are local.
Informal notes: I remember citrus peel highlights (more orange than grapefruit) along with some lighter red berry notes - strawberry/raspberry - complemented by nice fruit. While it's an unusual blend in an age of single varietal california offerings, I found the off-dry nature (not sure what the rs is, using that descriptively as much as anything) to be a nice balance.
That said, this will get somewhat cloying on its own after a few glasses. Drink it in company at around 55 degrees for lots of enjoyment.
Early Labrat Report
OMG this stuff is awesome! I think it was better than last time. Made some swordfish on the grill and kttest and I finished the bottle in no time.
The riesling really comes through on the nose. It's fruity and floral and seems like it would be sweet, but it isn't. Peaches and citrus and flowers, good balance and acidity. It's pretty crisp but at the same time the chardonnay gives this good body and the finish is so creamy and delicious. (Not to be confused with buttery.) There is no oak or cat pee or grass in this. No heat either, just good easy drinking wine. About the sweetness, it's hard to explain especially without numbers but this is not completely dry but not sweet either. Just a hint of sweetness. Overall really great stuff and one of my favorite woot cellars. We both liked this even more than on 6/5 which was a little surprising. Bottle shock? Yeah WD, I know you don't believe in that...
Thanks to George for the bottle!
MrFats wrote:Quick report:
Initially it was a bit harsh, not overly sweet and just a little dry.
After letting it sit in a glass for 30 minutes, the harsh burn of alcohol is gone and it's mellowed considerably.
I'm eating it with some tamales and it holds it's own very well. It's great for taking a sip here and there.
I'll have more later, including a full complement of notes.
MrFats wrote:Lab Rat reporting!:
OK..is this thing on? Good.
After my initial impression I allowed it to sit, corked with some missing at room temp. It made a difference, and here's what I have:
On the nose, it's very floral, with a bit of melon and some citrus, nice apricot and peach with a hint of vanilla at the wee end.
Allowing it to mellow, the flavors were fairly balanced. The beginning was smooth and slightly dry, the middle had that lovely melon, the end was sweet, a bit citrus-y and still a bit dry with a subtle undertone of apricot and peach and finishing nice and crisp.
It was fantastic!! amazing!, it made me want to change the world! ...OK, not really.
I'd pair it with a nice piece of fish, like Cesare did, or something spicy.
How about some chipotle black bean burgers? A personal favorite of mine with some medium salsa on a toasted bun. The wine was fantastic with this, but when I tried some with arroz con pavo, it honestly made it fall a bit flat.
The tamales I had before were better too. The flavors are balanced really well, and the complexity is beautiful.
Thanks for the opportunity WD!
INTLGerard wrote:Before the event in Brooklyn while attempting to spell the name, I began to pronounce it out loud. At that moment, I couldn’t stop laughing knowing we were about to pour this in Brooklyn (of all places) for the first time. Consequently Try-a-sip-a-dis had many at the event rehearsing their Brooklynese like an audition for a Scorsese movie. Fortunately the juice is even more enjoyable than the label which brings me to the wine...
My experience last night was very much like Cesare's. The wine opened up showing more complexity and length than when I had first tasted. Each varietal layers through the length of the palate and transcends you through a mix of different flavors and textures. The nose and front palate bursts with Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc showing off a harmony of floral, white, citrus and tropical fruit that come alive with vibrant acidity. Mid-to-back palate the chardonnay eases it's way into the party finishing with subtle toasty yeast flavors and a creamy silky mouthfeel. I found myself wanting to repeat the experience over and over. This is a versatile white wine that will pair well with Asian, sushi, an array of raw and cooked seafood, poultry or pork and a mix of cheese profiles. IMHO.
runtlee wrote:Lab rat reporting in.
My wife and I just finished the bottle of Triacipedis, and let me start by saying that Im upset that I dont have another bottle to open RIGHT NOW!
We had intended to pair it with some Buffalo chicken pizza, but decided instead to enjoy ourselves outdoors, and grill some burgers and brats.
Color is pale yellow, very clear, no sediment at all.
On the nose, I picked up on the Reisling right away. I could also find some pear, sour apple, and a variety of wild flowers. This one is really aromatic. My wife picked out kiwi, honeysuckle, and just a touch of hyacinth.
First sip shows dry reisling. It reminded me of the Swedish Hill dry reisling that we recently had from a previous offer. Its not to dry, not to sweet. Its a perfect balance between the two. Just a touch of heat, that slowly disappeared after about 20-30 min of opening.
You can really taste the creamyness of the chard on the finish, but it doesnt rob your mouth of moisture, instead, it adds to it.
Absolutly not a buttery chard, and I cant find any oak anywhere in it.
Its a touch bitter initially, but not a face puckering bitter. Definatley a great balance between the varietals. Reisling up front, SB mid palate, and a juicy, creamy chard finish.
It finishes crisp, meaning, I dont have any residual aftertaste, or coating in my mouth.
This is absolutley one of the best white wines I've had the pleasure of drinking. My wife, however, would like it a touch sweeter (like the Orange Muscat of the Goosecross offering), but she is a sweet white fan through and through.
I see many warm days through the summer with me sitting in our shaded swing sipping on this, and I cant wait!!
I hope that if any of you are on the fence about this, I have pushed you over. If you dont order this, your missing out bigtime.
If there are any questions I can answer, please ask me. This is the first time I've every tried to describe wine, hope I did ok.
Again, WD, THANK YOU for the opportunity to provide back to a community that has given to me greatly over the last few months.
vquasarv wrote:Returning to my cottage from a hard day's labor today I discovered someone had affixed a magical scroll to my door revealing the whereabouts of a legendary wizard who sought my counsel... the counsel of my palate anyways. After a quick ride on my noble stead to the kingdom of Fedex, The mysterious elixir now lurks in my chilling device.
The wine gods (at the behest of WineDavid) have smiled upon me!!
... LaBrat report to follow later tonight
vquasarv wrote:***** Lab Rat Report *****
If you hate reading, skip to the 3rd to last paragraph.
As a preface let me give my preference as to the three wines in this blend. I absolutely love sauv. blanc, it is by far my fave white. Second, I am more likely to enjoy a chard., assuming it is not of the oaky variety. While I occasionally love a riesling, sometimes as much as a sauv. blanc, on average I am much less likely to crave the sweetness of a riesling.
After picking up my bottle of lab rat wine at the Fedex dist. center, I let it take a load off from its long journey in my freezer. Meanwhile, my wife and I started on dinner. We had a dinner planned, and it seemed to go somewhat with the labratty goodness, so we went with it. To start we had a spring mix salad with tomato, feta cheese and marinated garlic olives (no salad dressing, the cheese and the olives are flavor enough). I had a slight amount of the Try-a-sip with the salad, after the wine had only enough time to get to get barely below room temp. I will reserve more note comments for later, but it did not seem to go well at all with the salad. After salad we had crab cakes with a spicy remoulade sauce, as well as sauteed potatoes with minced garlic and sweet yellow onion.
I agree with others who have said this wine is an absolute star with seafood, and spicy flavors as well. After a mouthful of food is dispatched down the hatch, a taste of the Try-a-sip really hits the spot. The light sweetness of the riesling really cuts through the tastes you have accumulated, giving way to the body of the chardonnay (no oak!) on the mid palate, then the chardonnay and sauv. blanc battle with eachother, and the dry crispness of the sauv. blanc ultimately prevails, leaving your mouth completely refreshed. While eating, the first taste after taking a bite almost had an effervescent quality to it, but that could have been from the garlic in the potatoes, or the capers and scallions in the crab cakes. Based on its ability to cut through dense flavor, I would predict it would be right at home next to the grill.
After dinner I replenished my glass and got down to notes. On the nose, the floral qualities of the riesling really take over for me, and my wife and I agreed that lavender was amongst those floral notes. My wife also felt it had the nose of a nice pear cider (not the syrupy kind). There was also a touch of citrus on the nose for me. As for taste, there are again floral qualities from the riesling, but that quickly gave way to a pleasant pear taste. I would like to also note the enjoyable mouthfeel to this wine. It has a nice crisp mouthfeel especially on the back end, that I would attribute to the sauv. blanc.
Ultimately, as with every woot cellars offering I've had (and I've had all of them since humbug), this is a real crowd pleaser. It brings the sweet white-lovers to the center of the taste spectrum, and brings the dry white-appreciators (they like reds more) to the near-center. This wine can please you at dinner, through dessert, and beyond.
If you ask me, I think there is a reason why WD is releasing this wine mere days before the summer solstice. This is everything I want in a summer wine.
Ack, I forget to thank the wine overlord.
Thanks WineDavid for sending a bottle of wizardry my way, it was brilliant!
Rockhawks1 wrote:What can I say…this is such an honor to be selected to be a lab rat for the most recent offering from Woot Cellars. Needless to say, I was giddier than a schoolgirl last night when I learned of my fate…I hardly slept. I decided I would enlist the help of my roommate, Maggie, and good friend and neighbor, Joanna. Together, we could come up with some reasonable tasting notes right? We shall see.
First impressions…. the anticipation is killing me and I couldn’t wait any longer but unfortunately we’ve opened the bottle too quickly and it is not nearly cool enough. Back to the cooling unit. Ok, second try. The first taste is delicious. I am very pleased with this wine. It immediately reminds me of Australia. Weird, I know but it brought back memories of my trip to Australia and the wine I tasted in the Margaret River wine region.
We paired the vino with baked salmon smothered in a horseradish apple glaze…the perfect combo. Not nearly as good as CESARE’s swordfish; but you know in Wildcat Country here in Kansas, good fish is hard to come by. Go Royals by the way…almost didn’t post after reading the bashing of the Royals and the mentioning of Kansas being only Jayhawks, not Wildcats, the superior species, in the most recent wine woot email. What is a Jayhawk anyways?!?!?
Maggie says, “It tastes like white wine. Yeah, it’s good. Normally I do not like it.” Interpreted into wine.woot lingo, “While I am not a white wine drinker, I really enjoyed the crisp, clean taste.” Very nice Mags. Thanks for your help.
Jo had quite the opinion, “A surprising yet pleasant blend that each wine has to offer in just a single bottle. Great with the food or maybe a Sunday sipping wine. Perfect for summer time outdoors. The fruit really brought out the floral notes in the wine.”
Now on to my thoughts: I am very impressed with the wine. The flavors and complexity have to be attributed to the interesting blend. The nose has a lot of fruit in it. I cannot quite identify which fruit I smell but it has a very pleasant aroma. The initial taste is crisp with a hit of acidity. This was not a bad thing to me as the taste slowly moves into a very nice, refreshing finish that is very smooth.
I am sorry that I am not better versed in the art of wine tasting and describing my tastes and feelings. For the money, I think that it is a great investment for a summer wine and will definitely enjoy the case I am receiving in the next week. Thanks for the chance to be a lab rat. Hopefully something here made sense to someone other than me.
Cheers George, we appreciated the wine!!!
(I do have a picture but have no clue how to make it work in this post!)
Note: It has since been mentioned by Jo that the wine seems to be very sweet after consuming multiple glasses…or possibly being open for a little while.
rmruesch wrote:Labrat notes, Wedneday morning (eastern time), as promised.
Let me first just say, that wine for breakfast never tasted so good (not that I often have wine for breakfast…).
Now on to the notes. We opened the bottle and poured tastes for all those interested (4 of us). After about 45 minutes of letting it breathe, we all tried again. There were no food pairings; this was more of a stand alone taste test. I must say that it worked extremely well all by itself. The reviews were a little mixed:
Taster 1: Noticed the tartness in the middle. Enjoyed the wine and would absolutely buy it.
Taster 2: “First impression: Nice scent/"bouquet", not overly sweet, actually has a green apple aftertaste. Makes for a nice standalone sipping wine. Second Impression: Definitely "creamier", felt heavier going down. Lost the sour apple aftertaste, which I actually liked because it was crisper/drier. Definitely prefer it after it was opened... Would certainly by this wine again but drink it right after opening it.”
Taster 3: “Just opened: Slightly tropical scent, crisp, like barely ripe peaches or pineapple. Taste is also crisp, a little tart, definitely a fresh, green fruit taste with undertones of herbs and earthiness. As the wine warmed in the (classy plastic) glass, the finish mellowed slightly and became almost creamy. After 45 minutes: Taste has mellowed significantly. Initial sip creamy, with fruity (still crisp, like green apples) aftertaste. Smell is also lighter, although the overall scent has remained the same. A bit sweeter than when initially opened, although I liked the tartness of it fresh from the bottle. Balances extremely well with spicy nuts.”
Me: Usually I hear the word Riesling and I shy away from tasting/buying. This blend intrigued me though so I had to go for it. The nose was sweet with some floral and citrus coming through. At first taste I got semi-sweet with a dry finish. There was an overall citrus taste with no lingering aftertaste. I tasted a slight tartness in the middle; almost like a crisp granny smith apple. I would absolutely sit outside and drink a glass of this on a nice summer day. The second tasting (45 minutes later) was very different. It was creamier with a much more fluid start to finish. I got some fresh pear and a little grapefruit.
I think that if you are planning to drink this as a stand alone wine, drinking it right when you open it is the way to go. If you are pairing it with food, let it open up a little. I would have loved to have some sushi with the second tasting. We all agreed that this was a definite buy and that if there are people still on the fence they should buy it!
Alright folks, that’s all I got. Sorry for the late and rather inexperienced labratting. I really did have fun doing this though. THANK YOU WD for the opportunity!!!
Chefdupont wrote:Sorry about the delay as I said last night my internet went down. So I am at a coffee shop this morning to report in
Lab Rat Report
So I did my tasting with my girlfriend, after a long day at work. It was a great treat to come home to a nice bottle of wine .
Color: The color was a light yellow color.
Aroma: I felt like there was a slight green apple smell. The aroma was slightly sweet, but not overwhelming.
Flavor: The wine was slightly sweet like the aroma led me to believe it would be. The flavor profile was hard to explain, no single flavor dominated. The sweetness reminded me of cantaloupe. I don’t feel like one grape dominated any of the others. The wine seemed balanced sweet like Riesling on the start, which was tempered by the chardonnay. The finish was a little more bitter, like you would expect from a Sauvignon Blanc (it wasn’t grassy at all).
We both thought it would pair well with fruit and cheese on a sunny afternoon.
My girlfriend would say that if you don’t like Riesling that this wine isn’t for you (though she did believe the sweetness did die down with the second glass).
I would agree with other comments that it is a good everyday drinker, that goes down smooth and doesn’t dry the mouth. Overall, I liked the wine, and usually I don’t care for whites. I am glad that I have a case on its way. Thanks for the opportunity to Rat. If anyone hasn't bought this, I don't know what you are waiting for.
Offering of 6/22 -- MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Syrah Three-Pack
This offering's pack:
Wow, this ain't no down-under, fruit-bombed Shiraaaazzz. This is how God intended Syrah to be. Its a rhone with enough youth and energy to scare the French. Earthy and well balanced, enough fruit to know what it is and enjoy. Went very well with my Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry. Great summer picnic red. The folks at McRostie do themselves proud.
The WineTsar has spoken!
winetsar wrote:Alcohol was 14.3 but it was well balanced and showed no heat. No chalkiness that I associate with the heavy reds. If you like big fruit, its just not there (thank god). It makes for an excellent food wine. Mixes well with spicy, complex flavors. Did not decant, but it smoothed out quickly. I am normally not a big syrah fan. I like the Rhones but they can be too gravely. This had a much better value, a Californian at its best. Well worth the price, I hope this helps.
The Wine Tsar
Lab Rat Report
Let me start off by saying that this is a terrific wine and a terrific example of what a syrah can be. Fruit without being too fruity. Deep dark purple in color with blackberry and dark flavors that I can’t place – maybe what some people describe as earthy. Not the tobacco or cedar flavors you might find in a cab; a bit more refined. Tannins and black pepper on the finish with a second burst of fruit; though it opened up wonderfully from the first sips that were a bit tight to a more open aroma, flavor and finish after 30 minutes and an hour.
Don’t wait to woot this wine – a terrific, elegant example of Syrah at a great price. Drinks great now and will age very well – look for my follow up post a year from now.
Nice work, macvintner, and well done. WD and GS – will be surprised if this doesn’t sell out.
Comparing the K Vintners to the Macrostie has been really difficult. We had it paired with fatty melt sliders (planned before I knew we were going to have a lot of syrah tonight). So off we go
The color and viscosity are very similar between the two. The Macrostie has the stronger nose with more fruit. The K definitely smelled earthy comparatively.
Both are excellent wines. The mouth feel on the Macrostie is a bit heavier.
The fruit comes out more in the Macrostie. Not jammy or sugared fruit, and I agree with the previous poster about these being deep fruits - like a dark ripe plum if that makes any sense at all. I think the K hits with its flavor much faster, while the Macrostie develops in the mouth a bit more. I think the K tastes like it has some more oak on it than the Macrostie.
I think you can't go wrong with either, but if you're in the mood for something with a bit more fruit in it, go with the Macrostie. There's a lot of differences between the two, but I think that fans of K will be fans of the Macrostie
I'm thinking about upping my order to two, but I'm way beyond not having enough storage for all this wine already
edit - somewhat random side note. I'm really hoping that somehow there could be an 8th Street wine club. I know everyone has their own clubs, but I can't afford all the different ones personally, and I really like the idea of getting a box with say a bottle of Tin Barn, a bottle of Macrostie, and a bottle of Ty Caton in it
Offering of 6/29 -- Helix Aspersa Three - Pack
This offering's pack:
This is my first review, so if I need to work on it some more, let me know and I'll try it again later tonight with dinner. I have today off, so I tried the wine out along with my lunch.
With a wispy, yellow appearance, the wine bubbled in both the bottle and glass giving an inviting tease to be drank as soon as possible.
In the glass, the wine had a fruity, milky sweet aroma. The milky aroma was a bit odd, I'm not really sure how to describe it.
Moderately sweet upon hitting the tongue, with a very subtle fragrance. The alcohol content and acidity do an amazing job balancing out
with the sweetness. Tongue feels a bit excited from this amount of alcohol. Going down, it leaves a moderately bitter aftertaste, similar to grapefruit.
The wine had a long finish, first reminding me of pineapples, then grape.
Once the grape aroma dissipated, the pineapple aroma returned and lingered for a little while longer.
My mom owns a Vietnamese restaurant in central new york (Mai Lan's). I was able to grab some special spring rolls to try out with this wine.
The spring rolls (or summer rolls) are made with lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, Vietnamese coriander with some steamed pork, beef, or shrimp wrapped in steamed rice paper.
The sauce contains some hoisin sauce, pickled carrots, fish sauce, ground roasted peanuts, topped with Sirracha hot sauce.
Pork Spring Roll
Tastes great with the wine. Starting to get a hint of pear. The wine goes really well with the hot sauce.
Beef Spring Roll
Took me a while, but I'm reminded of Guanabanana. It's a tropical fruit juice you can find in most Asian supermarkets, and some American ones. The juice often comes in a really cheap metal can, which brings with it an awful metallic aftertaste. The juice tastes great otherwise.
The wine seems to have a faint hint of metal. It's hard to say if I'm actually tasting or just remembering it.
If you've had the juice from the can before, you'd know what I mean.
Shrimp Spring roll tasted fine, I probably should have had this first as it feels pretty boring compared to the other two rolls.
Father tried a glass. Doesn't usually like sweet type wines, but did like this one.
I really enjoyed this wine. I'm a sucker for sweet tasting wines, but this did a really good job complementing a light lunch meal.
I'll definitely be saving some bottles to enjoy on special occasions.
Lab Rat Watson reporting for duty. I just chilled my bottle for about 1.5 hours in the fridge before tasting. That's not enough time for it to be fully chilled..probably 45-50 degrees F.
What to say... The nose is fairly simple: tropical fruits, especially papaya & mango I'd say, with maybe a little vanilla. It's a pretty closed nose, though.
In the mouth...whoa this wine is viscous. Very thick, dense mouth feel with lots of residual sugar. It's kind of like drinking some light syrup. This might not technically be a dessert wine, but it's pretty close in my book. I'd say it's pretty close to the Goosecross orange muscat in sugar levels. The wine does have a decently high acid level, however, to help balance the sugar.
So, if you are a fan of sugary wines, this may be for you.
For me, a wine this sugary needs more complexity and acid to really hold together. I'm not sure what food I could serve with this.
My rating: I'd give it an 83. Remember...this is *my* palate, and I'm a total acid-head, so take my rating with a large grain of salt and trust your own palate.
2nd Day labrat report:
jkwatson wrote:2nd day lab rat report:
Well, it's still the same wine that it was last night. I had it chilled to fridge temperature tonight, and it was much hotter today in Portland. Given that, it was a much more refreshing wine. I'd say this is a perfect hot-weather porch wine, as long as you serve it ice cold. I'll up my rating to an 85 under those conditions. Enjoy!!!
melkay12349 wrote:Just tried the Helix Aspersa. Was sweeter than I expected, but very good. Don't get the citronella, but melon comes thru. Front porch sipping wine!
Haven't met a Helix or Reininger I didn't like!
Offering of 7/2 -- Helix Pomatia Three - Pack
This offering's pack:
FergyinDaATL wrote:Rat here!
I believe Rat stand for:
but I'm not sure....
Didn't check my email last night so didn't know I was selected until Santa, I mean the FedEx guy showed up at 11AM. Cool, an excuse to drink before noon and it isn't even the 4th yet! I opened up the box and the wine was cool to the touch. I still let is rest in the fridge for about 20min before opening it.
Since it wasn't even really lunch time when I tasted, I didn't do any food pairing but my kids want pasta for dinner so I'll finish off the bottle tonight with some penne and homemade marina made from tomatoes and herbs from my garden along with some turkey meatballs (trying to maintain my hourglass you know.)
$15 wines are hit or miss so I kept my expectations in check. I remember enjoying the 2004 and that is the reason I chose to buy again. Poured a glass and dived my nose in. Lots and lots of fruit. Deep Ruby in color. First sip was a fruit bomb with some heavy heat on the back, to be expected from a 14.5% wine. Let it open in the glass for 15 min and took another taste. Really good. Blackberry, Plum, Bing Cherry. Cab is up front and merlot middle palate. Well integrated. No longer hot on the back and has a nice 20+sec finish. This wine is not thin in my opinion at all. The Tøøthstejnn is a thin wine... but this is a nice medium to full body wine. Great value here at $15. Easily drinks like a $25 bottle.
Thanks WineDavid for letting me drink before Noon! I'll post more comments after dinner tonight.
bcamery wrote:LABRAT REPORT
After nearly 30 winewoots (including the 2004 Pomatia which I enjoyed), I got my first golden ticket. Thanks for the opportunity WineDavid.
Please go easy, I’m a virgin rat.
Color: Deep Dark Ruby
Nose: Musty decaying fruit with moderate alcohol (yes, tasting at room temperature without decanting).
Despite having just shipped, without decanting, and served at room temperature: pretty smooth straight from the bottle. Not as smooth as a long cellared or well decanted wine but quite nice under the circumstances. My wife’s first reaction was “glorious”. It’s medium bodied with subtle, not weak or thin, flavors: Dusty / dry cherry with nice earthy finish.
There is a bit of heat but I think that this is a great value. It’s a nice drinkable wine now that feels like it could be really spectacular after a few years in the cellar (or even a couple of weeks in the cellar and an hour decant).
Offering of 7/6 -- Madison Cellars Four-Pack Sampler
This offering's pack:
tommythefauxcat - Serendipity
joannevicious - Merlot
keplar - Cabernet Sauvignon
wootering - Serendipity
someone off smelling bacon
tommythecat78 wrote:Faux Rat Report of the '04 Serendipity...
Pop-N-Pour: 4:15 am
Nose - A bit of heat from the alcohol, but not bad. My nose is slightly stuffy so I can't really pick out individual notes (not like I can pick out very many anyway ) but lots of dark fruit (currant, blackberry) and maybe a hint of anise.
Palate - Fruity with a hint of spiciness. Fruit seems a little lighter to me on the palate. More like raspberry and cherry.
After Vinturi: 4:30 am
Nose - No alcohol heat, fruit is more prevalent, and the anise seems to have gone away.
Palate - Fruit is more integrated and still seems lighter than on the nose. Vinturi brought out the tannins. Didn't really notice them at all before, but they have made their presence known. Not overpoweringly so, just enough that you notice.
tommythecat78 wrote:Part 2...
Now that the bottle has been open for a while it is starting to get some of that "meatiness" that cj describes up there.
All in all a very well rounded wine that will go good with food or by itself. I can really see taking a bottle of this to a BBQ and having it with a smoked brisket or pork shoulder. Very happy to have more coming.
Squeaky Wheel reporting for duty.
Amazing felicitous morning, Fed-Ex arrived mere moments after I got home. Being the dutiful rat I quickly opened the box and beautiful bottle of Merlot (pics later, hopefully).
Color is gorgeous. Deep purple. The richness that I love and that will stain my teeth and mark me as a 10am wine-lover.
Nose is nice. Fruit, but not jammy (I hate too much fruit), tight but with a willingness to open.
Taste is just as wonderful. Nice balance of fruit and tannins, not too much of either, but enough for balance, structure, richness, and complexity. I can tell there's more to come as the day progresses. I am very much looking forward to later today when I can really sit down and enjoy this.
I also need to figure out how to up my order... Seriously. And if you are not a Merlot person you *will* like this wine. I promise. It's a Merlot for those not so in to Merlot.
other wine.woots I enjoy: all things Wellington, Corison Meritage was brilliant, Pendroncelli is always good for QPR...