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sciara wrote:Lab Rat Report:

Well since I've been moved to the night shift it has become extremely difficult to enjoy a bottle of wine. However, it was my duty to Rat this week. So, I grabbed the chilled bottle of Roessler Brosseau Chardonnay, threw it in my gym bag, and snuck it right into flight tower #4 at Kansas City International Airport. My tasting partner? None other than captain James B. Drunk. His only request...that I not handle his commercial flight. I told him to relax that I have been an Air Traffic Controller for 7 months now. I am a professional. No accidents in the past 4 & 1/2 weeks, and only one near miss.

OK. OK, just kidding. Tonight I came home from a day of golf to find a "missed you" notice from Fed Ex. I immediately drove to the Fed Ex facility and picked up the wine. My wife and I tasted it. She loves whites. I enjoy them, but Pinot's are my true love.
After chilling the wine, we opened before a late dinner. The color of the Chard is a beautiful gold. We took our first sips immediately after opening. Both smell and taste were overpowering with a buttery taste/smell. The wine had quite a bit of heat on the tongue. It was extremely surprising considering that this is a Roessler wine. At this point it is 9:45PM Central. I am wanting to like the wine, it just isn't happening yet. I waited 10 or so minutes before filling the glass and tried another sip. The "heat" or "bite" has started to subsided at this point. The wine is starting to open up and take shape. No longer does the wine taste like a glass of movie theatre butter, but more like a touch of butterscotch candy and a hint of Lemon? The oak is not overpowering, which means that it is very subtle, because I can not handle an "oakie" wine. I think I taste hints of pineapple, mango and some other fruit. However, this is NOT a sweet wine. The fruit is subtle.

OK. We are getting much better now. It is around midnight. The butterscotch/fruit/light oak have merged into a silky smooth taste that works much better than it sounds. The wine is not bold. Smooth and light best explain it. I think the bottle was in shock from a cross country trip to the midwest. Remember, I didn't pick the wine up from fed Ex until almost 7PM. It took almost two hours to really open up.

My dinner consisted of a Ceasar Salad. Not a good pairing. The tartness of the salad really brought out a more citric flavor. This is a good wine on its own. It would compliment a fish dish, maybe something with a ginger sauce or sushi. I personally don't think it is sweet enough to be enjoyed with dessert, but to each his own. I would buy this wine again. I would give it about an 88. Not the "knock it out of the park" homerun like other Roessler wines, but a nice enjoyable Chardonnay.

When my shipment comes I will let the bottles rest AT LEAST 2 weeks before opening. I think that will help with the shock. Also, I am not sure about decanting a white wine or if that is a no,no. It may cut that two hour window down some. Overall, thumbs up.

PS I have 1/2 glass left in the bottle. I will give additional notes on the last 1/2 glass Saturday.

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trowbrds wrote:Here's my lab rat report. First time doing this, so bear with me

I received the 2006 Alder Springs Mendocino Chardonnay after a short mix-up involving FedEx no longer wanting to deliver to business addresses without a C/O on the package. I chilled it for a couple hours, and opened it right before dinner.

This wine poured a very clear, almost transparent pale yellow. On first opening it, it smelled quite mineraley. The taste was quite pleasant and crisp. The mouthfeel was thin but still filling. I found the taste reminiscent of honey, nectar and yellow apples. As it sat, it opened up a little and the nose mellowed.

For dinner, I tried pairing it with some mahi-mahi tacos I was planning on making. Chile and cilantro totally destroyed the wine, but I think with other, simpler fish dishes it would be fantastic. I think next time I'll plan on drinking it with either scallops or lobster.

It's not really either of our usual styles, but this one gets a thumbs up from both me and my girlfriend.

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Offer of 8/31 -- Amavi Cellars - Two Pack Plus One

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Syrah

This offer's pack:
bawhite1 (Cabernet Sauvignon)
kszanyi (Cabernet Sauvignon)
gregorylane (Syrah)

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gregorylane wrote:

Lab rat in...

Rat Report:
2006 Amavi Cellars

Ok…Bottle in the chiller at 3:30 PM
Cheeses: Boars Head Blue Cheese and Canadian White (sharp) Cheddar with torn Cuban Bread…fresh. White grapes to cleanse palette.
Chocolate: Ghirardelli, Intense Dark “Twilight Delight” 72% Cacoa (their spelling)

Me (rat)…Bone in Pork Shank in Portobello Sauce
Deb (ratessa)…Chicken Florentine
Both: Baked Idaho Potato; Corn on the Cob (bread & Butter from New Jersey)

I’m not a slave to food pairing, and would have been fine just drinking this at 11AM today, but what the heck…I’ll try with and with out food.
My Wife Debbie has heard so much about Woot.Wine, I invited her to share thoughts also. BTW, you can check her out at She is quite an accomplished Hypnotist…but I promise; no tricks to get anyone to buy!

…OK, don’t run out for corn to go with this!
Opened at 7:45 and poured at 8:05 or so. Interesting that there is a light magenta to the cork, but a coating of crystals on the cork as well! So young, too.
We poured a bit to get the feel right out of the bottle…no spin, no Vinturi:

Me: Dark yet fresh fruit, cocoa buried in there. Earthy/terroir.
Deb: Cherry, plum…velvety thick or creamy…nice legs! (I love that!)

With Vinturi: Not much difference with either, but the fruit became freshened and a hint more alcohol. I wouldn’t bother. First spin after Vinturi opened some grilled meat nose for me…not so much Deb.

Both of us were intrigued with the cheese pairings…brought out the leather in the nose and stepped up the earthiness. BTW, very silky mouth-feel from start to finish.

The balance is noticeable from the start. The tannins are prevalent but muted at the beginning…bigger after a bit, but settle into a really well structured Syrah, IMHO. The chocolate was nice, and defined a bit of spice…but not required. The wine stands on its’ own. (Edit: Later the chocolate became bitter!).

We were both confused (untrained) by a floral scent (actually Deb thought of grass…but not grassy) that I attributed to youth (of the wine). We read the description that came with the Golden ticket and noted the winery touted lilacs and creamy cassis on the nose, and I guess we’d agree! The mid-palette was consistent and big. The finish went from sharp and quick to long and heated.

This wine can sit, I think for quite a few years, but it is ready now, and thoroughly enjoyable. I can’t wait for the order to arrive!

At the end, I’d say this is an excellent Syrah, with all of the big, earthy, spicy and surprising features you find in this varietal…well done Amavi/Pepperbridge!

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kszanyi wrote:

Lab Rat Report on the '07 Cabernet Sauvignon, and greetings from Upstate New York.

First, thank you to WineDavid and George for the opportunity. I really appreciate the free wine...

Next, a little about me so that you can put the review in context. I'm solidly in the middle age category and have a decent collection of wine, which you can view on CellarTracker. I have been a fan of wine.woot since '06 and, if I am not mistaken, this is my 33rd purchase. I have rarely been disappointed (aside from the Rasmussen Esoterica collection, which I thought was awful...).

On to the wine.... I received this today at my office and brought it home around 7. My wife and I opened it immediately, so the conditions were less than optimal (i.e., room temperature and after the wine was in transit for at least 24 hours...). We drank the wine over the next two hours from Schott Zwiesel Forte claret glasses.

The short answer is that we really enjoyed the wine, and would score it in the 90 range at present. The longer version is as follows. The color is deep burgundy. The taste was consistent over two hours and the wine is immediately approachable. There is a subdued cherry flavor with hints of vanilla and a bit of spice on the aftertaste. The wine is mildly sweet. The small Syrah component is evident. For a cab, it is quite mild and smooth. No fruit bomb. My one caveat is that the oak is a tad strong at this point, although I expect that this will soften with a few years in the cellar. My gut tells me that this wine will peak in two to four years.

Coincidently, I bought six bottles of the '05 Amavi cab last May after it received a great review in WS. I opened the first of these this past June and really liked it. The two wines are similar, but the '05 is more mature, has slightly more fruit than the '07, and the oak is less prominent (which is, of course, what you would expect after two more years in the bottle). I rated that wine a 92.

If you're on the fence, go for it; but I'd also let the cab sit for a couple of years if you want maximum enjoyment.


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bawhite1 wrote:


RE: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

First off, I would like to thank wine.woot gods for provoding me with this opportunity!!

Now on to the report:

The nose smells of chocolate, lots of dark fruit, and sweet herbs. The palate follows suit with a great concentration of black fruits, chocolate and plenty of sweet red fruit when aerated in the mouth. It's sweet yet dry, succulent and juicy, this wine has so much going for it it will be enjoyed by everyone - even those who swear they hate red. The only "gripe" I may have is that the oak is a bit over-powering. I would think the longer it ages, the better it will be. We had the bottle over a two-hour period. It seemed to sweeten a bit the longer it sat. Quite delicious!
I have little else to say about this wine except get some and enjoy.

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Offer of 9/3 -- Pepper Bridge Winery Two - Pack

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Merlot

This offer's pack:
nallie (Merlot)
speedoo (Cabernet Sauvignon)
geogeo (substitute for LoonBoarder) (Merlot)
yellowroe (Cabernet Sauvignon)

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nallie wrote:Star attraction: Pepper Bridge Merlot 2006

Supporting cast:
well aged Old Amsterdam gouda
mild creamy blue cheese
sautéed criminis

Wine consumed from Riedel cab/merlot glasses, everything else consumed from fingers

Act 1
Nallie sits alone smelling her wine. Ahhhhhh. Cherries and currants. Very nice. Following a traditional pop and pour with a hard aeration in the glass, I am falling in love. There is certainly dark fruit but also a gentle hit of nutmeg and enough acidity to stave off forever any use of the word flabby. Definitely getting a lovely damp earth on the back palate. While there is an undeniable softness to this wine that makes it approachable and versatile, I really appreciate the overall balance of this wine. As I consider myself first and foremost a cab drinker, and a Napa cab drinker at that, please be assured this is not one of those dreadful wimpy merlots.

Act 2
Nallie’s friend arrives and commences with the sniffing and swirling. I notice the wine has opened up nicely and is becoming even more complex. As I did not find it one-dimensional originally, this is an added and unexpected plus. Gal pal described wine as follows: fruity scent, a nice spiciness to it with strong dark berry notes , nice body. For gal pal, who tends to prefer easily approachable wines, this wine had a bit too strong a finish. In my opinion, the finish works beautifully.

Act 3
Dinner, which could not be entirely rescheduled because of other parties, requires we leave the rest of our wine for later. Don’t worry. As with District 9, another summer blockbuster, a sequel is all but guaranteed.

nallie wrote:Pepper Bridge Merlot 2006 Part Deux

Truth be told, my palate is a little scrambled from a recent flight of beer, but I'll do my best.

The wine, sealed off and stored in the fridge during my absence, is warming to cool room temperature in my palms.

As a function of the increased aeration, or the lingering chill, or the beer, there appears to be a noticeable change in the flavor integration. The wine remains so nicely balanced, and very expressive, but it is a little harder for me to tease out the exact flavor components. Everything seems more amalgamated. This results in a slight loss in flavor definition, but it is more than made up for by the increase in overall experience. Said another way, early tasting is to late tasting as trifle is to tiramisu.

To me, the tannins remain a big part of the beauty of this merlot. When coupled with the nicely managed acidity, they balance the ripeness of the fruit perfectly.

I am really impressed. Thank you, Pepper Bridge, Wine David and George, for the chance to sample (and buy!) this lovely representation of an overly maligned varietal.

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yellowroe wrote:This is my second attempt. Don't know what happened with my first writing. Oh Well, here goes.

I was lucky enough to be a lab rat for the cabernet. I immediately decided to up my order from 1 after finishing the bottle. If you are on the fence this is one wine that is definitely worth the price and one you will save your money in order to buy more.
After picking it up at Fed Ex this evening we immediately opened the bottle and tasted. Now we live in Houston, TX and it was a hot day and don't know what the truck conditions were but the facility was completely air conditioned.
Looking at the first small amount showed a very dark cherry or black currant appearance. The legs around the glass were full and long. The first taste was tangy and the tannins were a little strong but not with any strong alcohol taste. It was a little warm but fine for drinking and we didn't really have the time to cool it down. We let it decant for only 15 minutes before we indulged in a full glass. Wow! In just 15 minutes the taste went from a hint of tannins to smooth, smooth, smooth. I just wanted to keep it in my mouth and enjoy for a long time. It was very dark and rich looking in color and worthy of its price.
I always felt like nothing could compete with Napa wines but Pepper Bridge is definitely worthy to be in the same class. Would love to see a "Bottle Shock" blind tasting with Napa and this wine and see who would win. This wine was truly spectacular.
So press that button ladies and gentlemen and be prepared for a treat. You will not be sorry you bought it.
Thank you Wine Woot and Pepper Bridge for letting me experience this wine. Gotta love this place!

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speedoo wrote:Reporting in with co-labrats with Cesare and kttest on the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from PepperBridge.

A fabulous dinner was prepared and the wine was opened.

No decanting, At first it was tight, just alcohol coming through on the nose. After five or ten minutes, the alcohol blew off and was replaced by a cherry and chocolate tone.

The color is deep garnet, decent legs on the side of the glass.

On the palate, light tannins, almost a silky mouth feel. Cherries and chocolate up front and black pepper spice mid to late palate. Light, silky mouth feel, and despite the body that was only light to medium, it was not overpowered by the food and went well with the steaks and the blue cheese. The finish is long.

Some sediment was noted in two of three glasses after consuming ¾ of the bottle.

Overall, we liked the wine very much. This is a very high quality cab from Walla Walla that should be cellar-able for 5-7 years or more. The bottle disappeared too quickly and we all wanted another.

It’s ready to drink now, needed only a little air, and improved over the course of the evening.

We ended the evening with some nice dessert I picked up from a Brooklyn bakery.

Thank you David, George and everyone at PepperBridge for an excellent bottle of wine.

Cesare wrote:First of all, big thank you to speedoo for coming over with the labrat bottle of Cab.
The main word I would use to describe the wine is: smooth. I almost couldn't believe how smooth and easy drinking this was. Nice dark color, light cherry fruit and chocolate, fine sweet tannins, no heat, no oak, a little spice, with a medium body and long finish. Ready to drink now with minimal decanting or air, in one to two years this will be perfect. It went really well with the food. I would say this leans more towards the old world style than new world (think Bordeaux vs CA), but doesn't quite get there. A little more acidity and earthiness would push it over but overall the wine is great the way it is. I really appreciate wines that can ride the fine line between the two because it is very hard to do. I very much enjoyed this and think it is a good buy and a nice showing for WA wines.

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geogeo wrote:Got a last minute call, "Can you do me a favor? Pick up this wine, drink it and review it. I'm headed out of town on a trip, it's being delivered today." Hmm, I think I can do that!

I usually drink Zinfandels, and the bottle I sampled was the Merlot. Surprisingly I like it. Not as bold as the wines I normally drink, but very drinkable.

Very smooth.

From the Merlot, I would guess that I would really enjoy the Cab.

I typically by wines that are under $25, but if these guys have a Zin, I will definitely look into buying it.


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Offer of 9/7 -- Domaine Chandon Etoile Rosé Sparkling Two - Pack

Etoile Rosé Sur lees 2001

This offer's pack:
None - due to Labor Day Holiday

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Offer of 9/10 -- Bargetto Winery Carignane & Dolcetto Four - Pack

2006 Carignane
2007 Dolcetto

This offer's pack:
shariellen (Carignane)
wootified (Dolcetto)
brad7924 (Dolcetto)

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shariellen wrote:It arrived.
Opened it, waited, oh, 3 or 4 minutes. Hey, I'm thirsty.

So far, it is alcoholy. And the bouquet is something I can't name but not a bad thing, just don't know what. Color is pretty purple red.

I'll check back with you in a bit.

(wearing the tinkerbell costume, remember to be nice to me, it's my first time)

Oh, and the ear worm...hard to shake. "Hey, Carrie Ann, what's your name now, can anybody play?"

shariellen wrote:Yes, the Carignane.
Now it's been open for half an hour.
It is much better now.
I have a friend coming over who is a red-hater, I will give you her report for completeness. I still find it a bit alcoholy and maybe tart...but i like that.

ok shutting up for now.

shariellen wrote:you know, I am liking it more and more. now it is open for an hour. I would no longer call it too alcoholy. I suppose if I had a nice decanter, maybe I would have poured it into it...but I don't. I guess I will have to look sharp the next time the decanters woot by.

btw, I am drinking it out of a styrofoam cup, you don't think that is affecting it, do you? Joking, joking!

Also, I got a delivery of the 3 pack zin I ordered a few woots back. So the weekend is off to a good start.

shariellen wrote:Here is what Sandy Who Drinks Pino Grigio and thinks wine can only come from France or Italy says:
"popsicle stick but smooth. I don't like red wine but this is smooth. Can I say smooth?"

We are having fun.

Talk to you tomorrow.

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wootified wrote:Well, as you can see from my previous post - I have the 2007 Dolcetto . I'll be reviewing in 2 parts. The first is a tasting with a friend which happened about 2:30-3:30pm EST. The second later tonight with the SO over dinner.

Taste 1: I called my friend early this am when I found out I was ratted and offered to let him taste with me and he heartily agreed. I got some NY sharp cheddar and crackers for the tasting while he brought the glasses and corkscrew.
The bottle has a plastic cork so nothing could be learned from it. Initial smell right out of the bottle before even pouring was hot with alcohol, some dark cherries and a little 'sweet' i couldn't place but my friend suggested raisins and I agreed.
Some wine was poured into glasses and we saw it was dark ruby red/purple colored (like big eating cherries that you have to spit the pits out) - a good color.
Initial nose from the glass was still hot. [I seem to smell the alcohol of a wine first since I've learned I can tolerate more heat than my SO and that's how I tell if she will like a wine or not. (don't think she will)] We waited about 10 minutes now to let the heat blow off, eating some Carrs crackers to cleanse our palates.
I finally smelled some black raspberries - like I used to pick out of a field of them as a teenager. We used to get buckets of them and our hands would be covered with the diffused berry smell. My friend smelled similar sweet but thought it was more like black cherries. Both of us thought it was still hot so we gave it some more time. There was no distinct strong smell, just the hints we smelled, and no currants. The aroma turned pleasant after a little more time and we decided it was time to taste.
The initial front of the mouth taste was 'gritty' cherry, not a bad gritty but there was a heavy feel in the mouth. The wine tastes different than it looks. The wine has a sourness component to it (not from tannin) along with a cooked sweet raisin taste [like from raisin toast]. The flavor stays with you in the mouth even though the finish was minimal.
We then simply drank it without trying to evaluate it and the whole experience of the wine was better. Flowing through the mouth like a drink the wine was better. A good penne vodka or pizza wine, but not chicken parm.
As if this was not enough we then had cheese and crackers preparing to drink again. This time the drink was a pure pleasure trip to see how the wine tasted. Both of us enjoyed the wine like this. If we were not at work we could have sipped much more but we stopped knowing I would decant and drink again later tonight.

bottom lineThe wine is sound and definitely worth the homework assignment from my teacher, can't wait for my order to arrive because I'm glad I ordered.

...more later tonight...

I am very grateful to rpm for the mini wine tasting tutorial and shared time together. Thank You.

wootified wrote:Taste 2: So I've been home for a few hours now and the wine has spent most of that time in a nice decanter.
The nose now has none of the heat from before. A scent of cherries like before and the raisin scent is a little more pronounced.
Upon first sip the 'gritty' is gone and the initial cherry remains, much more pleasant than the first sip before. The heavy feel isn't quite so heavy as before, but the wine is 'solid' in my mouth. The sour from before, and now a little bitter are there mid way. The finish still leaves nothing behind. A sip just for drinking is smooth and tasty, but leaves a brief heat signature in my mouth.

While tasting earlier I thought I would like this with Penne w/Vodka sauce so that's what I've gotten from a family Italian place down the street. The flavor of the penne does not cut the heat as much as I hoped it might. The cherry, sour and bitter all work together in my mouth and I finished my meal and the glass together.

aside: I was right - the SO does not like the heat level and shoos me away after a few sips with "I don't like it!"

It's now a few minutes later. Another pour and some more cheddar to help me complete this report...
The wine is a good pizza/pasta complement. The alcohol content is a little high to finish the bottle tonight sooooo........I'll do a surprise part 3 tomorrow after the rest of the wine has spent the night in the fridge. Wooooooooooo!!!! I AM A RAT!!!!!!!!

rpm wrote:You are quite welcome; I very much appreciate the opportunity to taste with you and share our thoughts.

This is very good 'ratting: a very accurate description of the process we went through, and reporting of our discussion of the wine. I think wootified would agree that I did not offer suggestions of what I perceived until after I had elicited his impressions -- my teaching purpose was to help him learn to focus carefully on each element to determine what he found, and only then shared my thoughts. It's important that an experienced taster not immediately blurt out what he or she finds, which can be very suggestive and can also undermine one's confidence. Wootified has excellent instincts he is developing and is justifiably gaining confidence in them. The tasting with him was a real pleasure - a lovely interlude on a rainy afternoon.

A couple of further words on the wine itself: this doesn't taste like a Piedmontese Dolcetto to me. The black cherries and raisiny/pruney aromas and flavors are there, but I didn't find any licorice or violet hints. The biggest thing, though, is that this wine lacks the sense of freshness and liveliness I expect in Dolcetto. There was a heaviness in the mouth as noted above that seemed to be concentrated in the middle palate. The middle palate was slightly bitter (not sour - different) - something I usually expect only in a Dolcetto finish.

I'd rate this as 'standard' if pressed, though we did not run through the whole Davis scorecard. I would consider it as fair value, but not, perhaps, an exceptional value. Interesting and worth trying, as I have not had many California Dolcettos, but not something I would go very far out of my way for. I had intended to bring a comparable Italian Dolcetto along to taste as well, but for a combination of reasons that didn't happen.

wootified wrote:Part 3: Ok. I promised a part 3 and here it is. For a variety of reasons I was not able to do so last night but I offer now some last thoughts for people still on the fence.
Since Part 2 the wine has been in the fridge 'aging' and 'chilling' - lol. I poured a glass and gave it about 15 minutes to warm up. On the nose the heat is definitely gone, the cherry/fruity smell is all that's left.
The first taste 'gritty' cherry is all gone and the pleasant flavor is now dominant. The sour is still here like I expected. Perhaps it's the chill or in-fridge aging but I think it's a little sweeter than I remember from before.

Overall I am happy I've ordered these and I can't wait to try the Carignane.

Thank you very much WD for the ratting!

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brad7924 wrote:As my wife and I were headed off on a camping trip on Friday morning, we saw a FedEx truck turning onto our street as we were about to turn off. I promptly turned the car around and drove back to the house, because I knew my labrat bottle was in that truck! It turned out to be the Dolcetto, which we took camping with us and shared it last night with our friends. The conditions were perhaps less than ideal for a tasting - no decanter or even wine glasses. Yes, we drank wine out of solo cups. Sorry! We noticed the strong alcohol and flavors of cherry. Fruity but not sweet. It was an excellent complement to our dinner of soy marinated beef grilled over the fire. We all agreed that it was good, but not great, but just right for summer. Even the non-wine drinker among us enjoyed it. I am glad I decided to purchase and grateful for the ratting opportunity.

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Offer of 9/14 -- Torii Mor “Deux Verres” Reserve Pinot

This offer's pack:

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ssufish wrote:
Rat checking in...

Horay for me it's my first time receiving the golden ticket and I AM STOKED!! For some reason I just had a feeling that this was it, especially when I saw the FedEx guy stop off at work around lunch time. The box came to my desk with "Alcohol Inside" on it and I got so incredibly giddy.

But...that's when the excitement ended. I got a ridiculous allergic reaction to my lunch and had to go to the ER. What a time for me to be down and out, not feeling well and lacking taste or even desire to drink a sip of alcohol after all the stuff they gave me.

On a positive note, I have persevered and just returned from work with the bottle, convinced my roomate (it wasn't that hard) to help me review it. So, two 26yr olds who went to School in Sonoma and love wine, don't have a large vocabulary when it comes to evalating wine but have a true enjoyment when drinking it...well, we will be back in a bit with our reviews.

ssufish wrote:
^ thanks WD...things are all better now.

So on to the report.

Note, no food was consumed with this...just pop and drink!

Initial inspection, a light ruby red. Smell was a tiny bit alcoholy/hot for me but the inital tasting was great! Subtle notes of fruit but an obvious need for decanting. Tanins noted a teeny bit, but definitely not overwhelming in ANY way.

30 minutes, much more mellow. The heat has drastically reduced but the aroma is fantastic! The rooomate swears he can taste pepper, I dont detect anything more than the berry flavors.

1hr+ - WOW! Very very smooth. It's a fruit filled taste that you want to keep in your mouth. Unfortunately I'm not sure how else to describe it.

My roomie and I both agree that at this price point we would buy this Pinot without any hesitation. It is very comparable, to me, with the Willamette Valley Pinot's previously offered on Woot. I just finished my last bottle this past weekend coincidentally enough of the Willamette Valley trio...I am MORE than pleased with this order and happy I went in.

Next time when I'm feeling better and not under the weather, i'll be able to give a better review. Thanks all for the Rat opportunity.

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tamcap wrote:

Seems I am the second rat to review it.
As I couldn't ship to work, when I got the rat e-mail I got a bit concerned that FedEx will be causing trouble. Took a break and went home to check - door tag was there. Ran in circles around my general part of the town asking random FedEx guy if they had my package until I found the one (4th attempt, the depot is quite far away from me).

As required, got 3 of my friends together (including a fellow anonymous wooter) and we decided to work on the wine.

After opening, the wine has a nice, bright red color, something akin to dark cherry. Aroma was interesting, but a bit on the closed side - not really a disadvantage though.

The tasting of freshly open wine was concluded, and the rats found it very promising. It was well balanced, with some fruit (cherry?) edge. Body was light, but interesting, definitely not bland. If looking at the 4 principal components, the acidity, sweetness and alcohol are coming first, with tannins also present, but at a lower level; as I said, generally pretty well balanced. Finish came with some oak notes, supplemented by some interesting darker tastes that we couldn't really agree on naming.

Even though the plan was to let it aerate a bit, before we even noticed, the bottle got emptied... which is always a good sign.

Generally, a good, social wine. Will probably go well with some lighter snacks, however full meats and strong cheese would probably overwhelm it. Quite refreshing and enjoyable - worth i for sure. Thanks for giving me the chance to experience it today.

Rat out.

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mplarkin wrote:Here's the short report, long report is next...

The short story:

- Definitely needs an hour plus to breathe.

- Not a fruit bomb. If you're looking for another BlueJay, this isn't it.

- This wine pairs very well with an extremely wide variety of foods.

- It was one of the most challenging wines I've ever had from a descriptor perspective. And that actually was a very good thing.

- Overall, this may be the best example I've had of a Pinot that takes advantage of everything the grape offers without going too far on any single dimension. It's a very balanced, well rounded wine that has elements of both old and new world Pinot winemaking styles.

My guests, wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this wine. I'll mention one of the high compliments from a member of my party, with a caveat: I have far more interest in wine than the others in my party, so please take it as the compliment that it was meant to be.

"Good burps - I REALLY like it."

mplarkin wrote:Part II:

I decided to contrast the wine with a Burgundy, and I chose the Domaine Jacques Prieur 2002 Clos de la Feguine Beaune. With both wines, I chilled them to ~ 58 - 62 degrees, then opened and tasted each. I'll focus on the Torii Mor first.

The Torii's bouquet was overpowering upon opening, which wasn't a surprise, as I initially thought it really impacted my ability to sense the characteristics. It's a beautiful garnet wine, and the bouquet was floral (not overpoweringly), with hints of blackberry. There were pleasant - but ever so slight - hints of earth, which I've found rarely in "fruit bomb" new-world Pinots. A pleasant woody note lingered for a bit after drinking.

The tannins almost seemed to punch me in the mouth - they were as or more aggressive as I've experienced in a Pinot. There definitely was an acidic tone, which proved to be a lasting characteristic, and a very positive one.

I instantly knew this wasn't going to be a fruit bomb no matter how long it was going to take to open.

In contrast, the Beaune was extremely earthy, actually tasting like soil with extremely faint fruit notes. It was soft (disclosure: I opened it about 30 minutes before the Torii), leathery with a warmth that lingered. I was very pleased to have the contrasting style to use as in comparison.

I noted that the Torii softened a good bit within 45 minutes, which allowed a bit more berry to come through. The strong floral notes became more like fresh-cut stems, but the wine still maintained a solid structure and firm acidity. We tried both wines with a variety of foods, listed below with notes on the pairing:

Black (French) olives: Good pairing
Green (French) olives: Yikes! Seemed to cause an offensive chemical reaction in my mouth. It simply did not work.
Nuts: Nope - The more tannic of the nuts just seemed to kill the structure of the wine
Prosciutto: Excellent pairing. The tannins in the wine seemed to manage fatty foods very well, and it also did surprising well with the salt.
3 year sharp cheddar: I expected this paring to fail, but it was one of the best of the foods we had.
Parmigiano Reggiano: Excellent pairing
Sopressata Calabrese: The most surprisingly good pairing. This was a very spicy hard sausage, and the wine stood its ground both on the fat and the peppers.
Point Reyes Bleu: I thought there was NO way the wine would hold up to this soft, pungent cheese, but there was absolutely nothing negative to note with this pairing.
White wine and herb roasted chicken: Good pairing. The chicken wasn't all that great, so I can't be too enthused.

We also had a baby Arugula salad with toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, feta, and raspberry vinagrette. The wine was FANTASTIC with the salad, which was the biggest surprise of the night give the amount of acid in the salad.

Based on all the foods we had, I imagine that this wine would pair with everything from salmon to lamb (which is what I'll try as soon as my order comes in).

The thing that impresses me most about this wine was how well rounded it is. The Beaune is a very good wine, but it's one that (to me) is limited in use. The beauty of the Torri is how it's NOT an everyday wine, but there seems to be an incredible utility in this wine, which I think rarely happens with new world style Pinots.

All in all, I highly recommend this wine. Well done.

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Offer of 9/17 -- Handley Cellars White Sampler Three - Pack

2006 Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay
2007 Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer
2007 Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc

This offer's pack:
taotei (Sauvignon Blanc)
brenna312 (Gewurtztraminer)
sosptuba (Chardonnay)

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taotei wrote:Labrat Report...

I received the Handley Sauvignon Blanc today – overall I think it’s a good representation of a California wine country Sauvignon Blanc – exhibiting a nice balance between sweetness and acidity. The wine is superior to many Sauvignon Blancs from the region, really nicely balanced all around. Good value.

Labrat Report:
So I admit, I thoroughly abused this bottle – arriving at my office via UPS, and then immediately on two plane rides, it’s past midnight here – but the people must be informed, and it’s my honor to stay up and write for you.

I even put it in the freezer. Bottle shock?

It’s good!

The Handley SB tastes like what it is.

Here’s what it does not taste like: It does not taste like a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – it doesn’t have the grapefruit/grassiness or the overt acidity. It does not have the minerality of a Sancerre, although it displays some in the middle and back (wow, that’s pretentious, but just my opinion).

It does not have a single predominant fruit characteristic – I think that it has nice notes of stonefruit throughout and a bit of grass as it opens up.

I like it. I’ll drink it. It’s good.

Food pairing: Shrimp Po’Boy Sandwich – the wine can stand up to the spiciness, while the acidity will contrast nicely with the sweet shrimp and breading.

Drink when: Indian summer evening – not too hot outside, but still warm enough to not have to wear a sweater.

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brenna312 wrote:Just tried the Handley Gewurztraminer last night. It wasn't as crisp as most Gewurzes I've tried. It had a pleasant, full feeling in the mouth, almost buttery like a Chardonnay. It didn't really stand up to the spicy meal that I served it with, which is surprising for a Gerwurz. Still, everyone enjoyed its mellow flavor.

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sosptuba wrote:Fellow wine wooters, coming to you again from Madison WI, another version of the ER lab rattage.

I feel so blessed to have been selected once again to supply you all with a review so without further ado…

The last review I did I had two co-workers assist with, however one is in Canada and the other just got back from California on a wine tasting trip :-) I was able to find another volunteer to assist with today’s duties.

I had to work last evening and today we had a college football game so please forgive me for the post on the last day.

When I received this bottle it was the Chardonnay out of the three different types of wines that are offered in this woot. I moved it to my wine fridge for cooling and let it drop to 55 before serving.

On opening the cork had the contact information for the winery. I’ve really began to enjoy the different designs and information I have found on the corks from the different wines I have tried.

I poured two glasses up and the first thing I noticed was the apple aroma. I’m still working on my aroma’s but with that aroma kit offered here previously my skills are quickly improving.

On the first sip you can tell the balance that the wine maker talked about in the earlier posts. I also could tell the acidity, but it was not overpowering and quiet smooth going down. Again the apple aroma is what mainly stuck out to me, but I do believe there are a couple other fruits in the mix as well, however I am still unable to pick them out without referencing. My tasting partner for the evening commented that he was surprised that it was 15% alc and figured that would have a stronger alcohol presence, however that was not the case. Again it was balanced quiet well for that much alcohol content.

To sum things up this was an excellent treat to come home from after a long day of cheering for football. As I’m writing this I did a little exploring around the website and I like the layout, as well as the tasting notes that are up for each different wine.

For the ER pain scale we both gave this wine a 9/10 and I am looking forward to receiving the three pack and trying the other two types of wine offered.

Thanks again!

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Offer of 9/21 -- Ventana Vineyards Three - Pack

2007 Rubystone
2005 “La Danza” Tempranillo
2007 Due Amici

This offer's pack:
megsailor (Tempranillo)
kdjakubs (Rubystone)

winegeek (Tempranillo)

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winegeek wrote:I just popped open a bottle of this Tempranillo and poured a glass through my Vinturi (aerator). The tannins have softened really well, I get tobacco in the nose--but also a hint of curshed violet--and some alcohol too.

Kind of blueberry and currant in the mouth, finishes well. Actually I could mistake this for a light Zin, but of course that's just my palate.

I'd offer to open my Rubystone, but it's 2006, so no tasting notes there to offer.

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megsailor wrote:Lab rat here: I'm still fairly new at descibing what I'm tasting so please bear with me.

I received the La Danza Tempranillo. I got home a bit late so I'm alone in tasting tonight and not pairing with food.

I opened up the bottle poured a glass-The color is very pretty, a deep garnet color.The aroma is interesting- berries and some spice.

The first sip was full on the tongue and followed with a bit of heat. Because of the heat I decided to let it breathe for awhile and came back to it 30-45 minutes later.

The wine still feels full, and most if not all of the heat has blown off. I'm having trouble idenifing the front end tastes- dark fruits but not clearly idenifiable for me. The finish has a touch of tannins at the end-not punch you in the face pucker, but a nice dryness on the tongue...

All in all I'm pleased with this wine-Its enjoyable by itself without being overwhelming. I have a feeling the fruit flavors will open up more as the night goes on so I'll try post more tomorrow evening.

I hope this helped any fence sitters and I'm looking forward to receiving this order and the other wines in set.

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kdjakubs wrote:Woot! Thank you for the Lab Rat love! So here goes on the 07 Rubystone:
I opened the bottle around 6pm tonight and poured a glass to simply get the aromas. The Black Cherry was very dominant to me, however my daughter's first smell was "sour apples" (she is only 16) - amazing she could pull that out of there! I picked up a bit of cloves and spice, but for me it was heavy on the black cherry. I let the glass sit for a minute or two just to let it breathe and when the first taste came, it was definitely hot to my palette. I am normally a Big Cab or Bold Zin gal so hot is not out of my range, but this one gave me hot without the full bodied backer. I let the glass breathe for about 2 hours before going for sip number 3 and wouldn't you know it, still hot and even less of the fruit follow through. While this is likely a wine that could use some heavy decanting, it is still likable for a table wine in my opinion but would need to be paired with a Juicy Chipotle Marinated Steak or something of the sort to help beat down the heat and let the Black Cherry and "Sour Apples" soar. JMHO

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Offer of 9/24 -- Wellington Vineyards Victory, Reserve Two - Pack

This offer's pack:

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mlhelm wrote:

While I do believe it is infanticide to drink one of Peter's Victories so early in its development, the scientific method requires this small sacrifice. As promised, I also opened one of my '04 Victory bottles for comparison between the vintages.

There is a distinct difference between the two years--upon opening, the '05 (offered here) is a deep, intense garnet color, with a nose of red fruit and berries, with a slight hint of green bell pepper. The taste boasts firm but not overbearing tannins and a great, mouthwatering acidity, which I loved, but my drinking companions (2 gentlemen) did not find as pleasing. There's also that wonderful, earthy, umami thing going on.

In contrast, the '04 had a rounder, sweeter nose, with darker berry notes and firm tannins (perhaps even more than the '05 right at opening). The '04 has a more vanilla and spice (maybe nutmeg?) component going on as well, which makes it somehow more approachable right off.

After about 30-45 minutes decanting, the '05 is sporting some grippy tannins with great balance and still showing that wonderful acidity. I still get a bit of bell pepper on the nose. It is fantastic with the saltiness of Serrano ham and an earthy truffle cheese from France.

The '04 after the same amount of decanting has evolved some fine, powdery tannins at the back of the mouth. The berry flavors are about the same, and are great with almonds and brie.

After about an hour, I think the '04 was really hitting its stride, with great balance and good with food and without. More to come after the '05 has some more time to come together . . .

mlhelm wrote:At two and a half hours after opening, the '05 Victory is coming into its own. We've snacked on meats and cheeses, and enjoyed a full meal, making this wine the perfect dessert! It's balanced, still showing some nice acidity without being sour, has deep flavors of cherry, plum, and perhaps dried fruits. Much softer now, with a rounder, softer nose and a full palate that coats the tongue beautifully. It really fills the mouth with flavor more than the '04.

I personally favor this wine to the '04, although my companions are still thinking the '04 was the "winner." But when these two wines are head-to-head, there's definitely no loser. If you're on the fence, you should buy, buy, buy! I loved it and I'm sure it will only improve with age!

Thank you WD and SB for the fantastic opportunity! We had a blast tonight tasting two excellent wines, and I'm certainly looking forward to my next four bottles of '05 over the next decade or more! I'll be around for a bit longer tonight, if anyone has questions.

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watcher98 wrote:

This is my first time ratting -- actually, it's my first time posting in these forums at all! So, please be gentle! =)

First off, a thousand pardons for the delayed labrat report.

My building's receiving room had called me during work to tell me that I received a package. I didn't think much of it as I buy way too many things online. I went through my day, grabbed dinner with some friends, and returned back home.

At this point I picked up my package, got into the elevator, and started actually looking at the box. I saw that it came from Wine Country Connect via FedEx and I was confused -- when did Wine.Woot switch to using FedEx? Then, I spotted the these thought provoking words:

In rapid succession, these epiphanies raced through my mind:
  • ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG (sorry I work in the tech industry so you'll have to excuse me) IS THIS WHAT I THINK IT IS? NO WAY! I THOUGHT THIS DAY WOULD NEVER COME!
  • CARP CARP CARP it's 10pm. With this late posting, it's definitely the beginning and the end of my labrat career.
  • Did I get an email telling me I was picked to be a labrat? Do they send out emails to labrats? Well they should!
  • NOOOOOOOO the people I had planned to help me labrat if I were granted a Golden Ticket are either out of the country or celebrating their one year anniversary tonight!
  • I'm so screwed.

I got home, opened the box, saw the Golden Ticket, jumped around like a little schoolgirl, and then quickly poured the bottle into a decanter. I licked the lip of the bottle to sample the remaining drops and got a hint of vanilla mixed with berries. Poured a nip into a glass to sample.

The color of the wine is a beautiful deep purple. I feel like if one had a bathtub full of this wine, they could easily hide under the surface and no one would know they were there. That would definitely be a victory!

Nice nose, good fruit with that hint of vanilla. I get some rasberry and some strawberry jam. Yum! Took a sip and it was creamy without being too thick. There's fruit matching the nose, a little black pepper, and some green pepper! A little heat on the end with some solid tannins.

Waited an hour and change and then tried a glass. Very smooth! The berry flavors are more prevelant. The heat is still there but has mellowed out a bit.

This wine is pretty good right out of the bottle. I love the balance. It's smooth and many will love the solid fruit flavors. However, with that fruit and its lovely tannins, this bottle could easily cellar for a few years. I look forward to seeing how this wine develops!

On a side note, Wellington was my first Wine.Woot purchase and turned me on to their amazing 2004 Zin. I also visited their tasting room when I was in the area and liked their very laid-back and modest staff. I even got the pleasure of meeting Peter!

Thanks for letting me be a rat!

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Offer of 9/28 -- L’Ecole Nº 41 Three - Pack

2006 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Columbia Valley Merlot
2006 Columbia Valley Syrah

This offer's pack:
rcomar (Merlot)
crabbyman22 (Cabernet Sauvignon)

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rcomar wrote:L'Ecole Merlot Rat chiming in. I just received the 2006 merlot today. Opened it about 5:30 eastern. Wowww. Big Big Merlot. Very Full Bodied but the tannins seem under control. I'm going to let this baby air for a while. Tannins might soften after a while. Though it is high alcohol, it does not seem to hot.

I tried pairing it with a Traditional Lasagna and here's the prognosis. Tannins did soften a touch and this is one enjoyable experience. Good compliment with the Red Meat sauce in the Lasagna. Great Dark ruby red color and good density. It is full bodied with great balance. Black plum, and maybe some black cherry, cranberry , and possibly raspberry , with some leather, and spice. Great full bodied. Some acid which might soften with age. I do agree that this wine will age well. The blending of the Cabernet Franc is a good choice for this one indeed. All said and done, this is a great Merlot, that will gain respect as it ages. But Its drinkable now . Thanks Winedavid.

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crabbyman22 wrote:From the main page-"Welcome all,this is wine appreciation 214..." I have been playing 214 in the lottery for 20 years,it owes me big.Haven't hit for a long time.

But I did hit the wine.woot lottery,got a bottle of the CS.

My wife picked the wine up for me on her way home from work.She also picked up some Popeye's spicy chicken and red beans and rice.I decanted the wine(a nice decanter)and ate,tried a couple sips but the spice was overwhelming.About an hour after decant and I have extra sharp cheddar cheese and Intense Dark chocolate.

I have a very hard time picking out distinct tastes in wine,especially aromas.I'll do my best.

The color is a nice dark red.The only smell I get is earth(dirt?).The taste?Very nice.Muted at first but has opened up nice.Nice bright fruit (strawberry?),some sour cherry.Nice tannins,well balanced. Goes good with the cheese(all red wine seems to go with chocolate)

The reason I bought this wine-I was just leaving for vacation(Wyoming)when the Pepper Bridge was on woot.I didn't buy it but I went to the wine store in Moose from the airport and bought a bottle of Pepper Bridge CS(2004).It was really good,my wife loved it.I saw this came from the same area(vineyards?).I got her to try the L'Ecole tonight,she said it tasted like cider.That's what she says when she isn't in the mood for wine.When I pressed her,she said fruity and dry.Lot of help.

Glad I bought this,can't wait to try the merlot.
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Offer of 10/1 -- Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

This offer's pack:

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allendukes wrote:*************Lab Rat Report*************

Thanks for the opportunity to rat. Lucky me, my first post ends up being a Lab Rat report.

Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of Howell Mountain Cabs and was expecting something special with the Mt. Veeder from Robert Craig.

I chilled the wine to 55 degrees upon arrival. The plan was to share the bottle with the wife after work. I decanted the wine and allowed it to open up for about an hour before sampling.

Deep purple that looked to be red around the edges with tremendous legs.

Distinct smell of oak in the wine. I pick up black cherry, my wife picks up blackberry. Second smell picks up lots of black licorice.

Very heavy on the tannins. Somewhat peppery with a distinct black licorice flavor. Not nearly as fruity as I was expecting. You get much more of the fruit in the nose than you do when tasting. Not as velvety as I was expecting. The wine is not hot in terms of alcohol taste. You definitely get the impression that it will be much better with age.

I've got to say that the finish was a little on the weak side, but overall, it was a very good wine. I will be placing my order into the wine cooler for a few years of aging, and looking forward to enjoying the end result.

allendukes wrote:I did aerate the wine in a decanter, then let it sit for about an hour. We had a glass, then let it sit for another hour and a half to have a second glass with dinner. The spiciness of the wine paired very well with some Italian fare. At this stage, the wine benefits from a food pairing.

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ADB585 wrote:Lucky me! I came home to my first golden ticket and a bottle of Robert Craig last night. Unfortunately a late night at the office delayed this post until the morning (don't hold it against me WD!).

Popped the top around 8:30PM. Poured just a taste, knowing this bottle would need some time to breathe. The wine is a deep purple, consistent color throughout, with legs that go on for miles. On the nose, the heat is apparent, almost overwhelming at first. We smell tobacco, lots of dark fruit (black cherries mostly), and cedar -- must be the 80% new oak. The wine has a nice mouth feel but the tannins are a bit meaty/ripe, with cassis, blackberries, dried fruit and more cedar on the palate. The alcohol is a bit overpowering, even more so on my girlfriend's palate. We decide she needs at least an hour to breathe.

Come back for another taste after just 45 minutes. The wine is starting to mellow out, with more of the complexities in the fruit coming out, but still a bit hot, so we let her rest some more.

2 hours after opening, the wine is much more balanced. It is not a fruit bomb by any means, but has very complex layers of fruit and spice coming forward, with more black cherries, blackberries, and tobacco at first. The wine has a long finish, with plum, dried fruit, blackberries, and underlying spice (maybe licorice) coming out on the finish. The cedar has subsided, and the tannins have mellowed out for a very refined mouth feel.

In my opinion, this wine is still too young for drinking, and will really benefit from laying down for a good 5+ years. The flavor profile is very complex, a result of the difficult soil and concentrated fruit. The Robert Craig is more typical of a new world, Napa style cab with concentrated flavors, high tannins and high alcohol. A contrast from the more subtle, old world bordeaux style cabs (read: Kathy Corrison). I suspect the alcohol, tannins and flavor profile will come together beautifully with some more time to get acquainted in the bottle. Happy I'm in for 3, with plenty of time to wait!

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Offer of 10/5 -- Woot Cellars Boss Monster Zinfandel Six - Pack

This offer's pack:
tpypa (with oppsie)

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Moondragon wrote:Packaging win. Received the wonderful box by Fedex at 2 pm and opened it to make sure it was everything I'd hoped it would be.

Co-worker: "Is that even real?"
Me: "Yes." Subsequent explanation of
Co-worker: "Can I take a picture?"
Me: "Go ahead."

My co-worker took something like six cellphone pictures.

Said co-worker was not invited to the labrat shindig due to underage status. Maybe I'll save him a bottle for when he turns 21... but probably not.

Moondragon wrote:Ok, just got back from the ratting! It was NonnaWY, a non-wine.wooter (who will soon be one, methinks), and myself. Here's a quick overview, that I'll fill out details on tomorrow morning (with a clearer head).

We drank the Boss Monster (which I did think was Boss, heh) and the 2006 Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel. The corks were nearly identical, as someone mentioned.

The Boss Monster was open for about 10 minutes before pouring, and sat in our glasses for possibly 5 minutes before initial taste. Overall impressions were that the Boss Monster was really nice to drink on it's own or with food (and our non-wine.wooter is another "I don't usually like reds" person, who really liked the Boss Monster and is going to buy a couple off me if I'll part with them. Ugh, to up my order or not? Decisions, decisions.) Thoughts were that we could see it going with everything from grilled hotdogs to filet mignon. I enjoyed it upon first taste; I didn't detect a noticeable difference after sitting in the glass for an hour, except maybe in the nose.

As a contrast, the Pedroncelli Mother Clone seemed dryer. It likely would have benefited from aeration, but we didn't want to wait. :P We thought it would really complement a good hearty beef roast.

All right. There's the teaser. More to follow when I get my notes out of the truck in the morning.

Moondragon wrote:Notes in hand, I will relay thoughts the three of us had on the wine (and agreed upon).

We poured both wines into separate glasses (generic red wine glasses) so we could do a side-by-side comparison.

2006 Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel
Upon initial pouring, the 2006 Ped Mother Clone was clear and a reddish purple. The nose had subtle dark fruit and earthiness. First taste (for some right away, for some 30 minutes in) was dark and mossy, more earth than fruit flavors. It was full-bodied with a decent finish. My impression was that it was big and meaty, and a little leathery (keep in mind, this is relative to a palate that hasn't had many beefy reds, so YMMV).

Our "doesn't usually like red wine" taster remarked that it seemed like a "Sherlock Holmes, wood-paneled library in a smoker's jacket lounging in my grandfather's wingback chair enjoying the scent of leatherbound books" kind of wine (with possible pipe involvement). NonnaWY thought it seemed somewhat more complex than the Boss Monster

2007 Woot Cellars Boss Monster
The Boss has a more purple hue than the 2006 Ped with a bit more opacity (to my eye). The nose, again had dark fruit which became more prominent as the wine opened up with some earthiness. In tasting, initial woody flavors carry into an earthy blend, with some soy notes later in the evening. I enjoyed it immediately, to the point that I was really just enjoying the taste rather than analyzing. (I know. I should be able to do both. I'm young; I'll learn.) The finish was beautiful and long, not necessarily complex but tasty. The DULRW taster "really, really liked it.

For a more literary approach, the Boss Monster was a Pacific northwest sunset at the dock with your legs dangling off the pier, when summer and autumn kiss, the leaves are turning, and wood campfire smoke lingers in the air.

NonnaWY remarked that the 2006 Ped Mother Clone seemed a little more finessed(? correct me if I'm wrong Jodie, the note is somewhat illegible) than the Boss Monster.

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oppsie wrote:subcontRAcTor reporting in for duty with a preview:

Top: 2006 Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel
Bottom: 2007 Woot Cellars Boss Monster

Coincidence? Just sayin.

More notes to come...

tpypa wrote:Labrat report:

Tonight's tasters are tpypa, smf, and oppsie. Oppsie braved the rain, construction and rush-hour traffic to help with the ratting--true dedication. Tigers-Twins on in the background.

Initial pour:

Dark. Purple, but not as deep as a full PS.

Heat/alcohol. Berries, but nothing more specific.

Tannins! Mouth-pucking. Pretty long finish. Oppsie detected some vanilla, but not in an overpowering way. Good match for beef stew, it took the edge off the tannins. SMF says "it's nice, but I don't know why." Goat cheese brings out pepper in the wine.

After about 30 minutes:
Less alcohol on the nose. Much nicer, smoother. Brighter fruit. We have a flavor breakthrough--it's blueberry. Vanilla is nice, oppsie says it "works with the entire effort." Definitely not a fruit bomb.

Given the widespread speculation that the BOSS is a close relative (a clone, perhaps?) of Pedroncelli's Mother Clone, we decide to open a 2006 Mother Clone Zin for a side-by-side comparison. Thoughts on the Mother Clone: The Tigers are doing their best to blow the game. Much lower tannins than in the BOSS. Color maybe a little more red where the BOSS is purple? Tannins are lighter, more delayed.


Okay back to the wine. After an hour, alcohol still present on the nose. Maybe more PS showing through? Oppsie says raisins.

In all, this seems like a screaming deal, and I'm glad I have a case coming my way. Seems to be drinking its best now that it has been open for an hour and a half. Thanks for the opportunity WD!

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