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brybry wrote:Rattin the Boss from Boise. I came home for lunch and the Boss was on my counter. Put her in the wine cooler. It has had 6 hours to relax and chill to the right temp.

It is decanting now but I couldn't resist a few sips. Smooth and easy drinking but not very fruity for a Zin. Being a young wine I am sure it will benefit a bunch from the decanting. Talk to you in an hour.

well, 90 minutes and the wine has grown. Fruitier with calmer tannins. nothing special yet but a wine i could drink over and over (have to, was in for 2).

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nptacek wrote:Labrat reporting in!

With the wife gone for the evening at grad school, I was determined to share the wine with someone who would appreciate a fun evening of wine tasting -- my mother. She was the one who originally got me hooked on wine, and I knew I could trust and value her opinions. After keeping the wine moderately cool in the wine fridge (we already have the heat on here in Wisconsin!), I set off for her house with a batch of homemade swedish meatballs, some cheese, and chocolate, so as to try out some different pairings.

We opened the bottle at 6:45 p.m. Here are my tasting notes:

The wine has a beautiful scarlet color with purple hues. The initial bouquet had some strong alcohol fumes, not overpowering, and a hint of fruit -- cherry or cranberry. The first sip was thick, almost chewy, slightly tart, and had a little pepper aftertaste -- it needed to open a bit.

Paired with Black Diamond Grand Reserve Cheddar Cheese, the wine mellowed out nicely, and wrapped around the cheese flavors. It didn't pair well with some Mediterranean green olives, as the brine from the olives overpowered the wine. Paired with some Artichoke Piquillo Bruschetta spread on bread brought out the spice/pepper in the wine, which made for an interesting combination.

We decided that it would probably pair great with pancetta-wrapped asparagus with a little cracked pepper, or a big juicy cheeseburger.

20 minutes after opening the bottle the wine had opened up nicely, with the peppery notes emerging, leaving my tongue tingling.

35 minutes after opening the wine paired very nicely with the swedish meatballs -- it had become very smooth, with cherry undertones, and didn't retain any of the chewiness that was first encountered.

This wine is definitely not an overpowering fruit bomb!

I noticed some chocolate undertones with the fruit flavor. On that note, we decided to try some chocolate pairings. About an hour after we opened the wine, I tried a Godiva Milk Lion of Belgium (butterscotch caramel in milk chocolate), which paired BEAUTIFULLY with the Zinfandel. It was quite decadent! Paired with an Almond Praline Raindrop, the wine took on a nutty flavor which was also quite delicious.

An hour and twenty minutes after opening the wine there were still some alcohol fumes, and a slight smokiness had developed in the palate. The wine was still smooth, clinging slightly to my tongue.

This wine is not terribly complex, but rather very accessible!

Tasting notes from my mother:

6:45 p.m.

Color -- Garnet with some purple
Bouquet -- fruity (cherry? raspberry) - alcohol fumes but not overwhelming
Taste -- tight - needs to open up. Chewy texture.
Label notes: Scary graphics but very cool border on label.

With extra sharp cheddar at 6:55 p.m. -- a little pepper aftertaste - very nice
With mixed Mediterranean olives -- not good - overly-briny aftertaste of wine
With artichoke piquillo bruschetta -- brings out heat of wine

7:05 p.m. -- opening up nicely - peppery

7:20 p.m. -- very smooth, cherry-ness is really coming out. Chocolate on the nose (cocoa powder?)

7:30 p.m. -- thick and smooth - delicious!

8:00 p.m. -- smokey undertones - still great

Overall, this was a very accessible Zinfandel that needs a bit of time to open up. We would recommend decanting it for a while before drinking.

I saved some wine for the wife when she arrives home, so I'll add her thoughts in as an edit as soon as possible!

Thanks, WD, for this truly wonderful experience! Can't wait for my order to arrive as I want more of this tasty Zin!

Edit: Wife's Tasting Notes -- Note that she normally doesn't like red wines at all

Smell -- Like Welch's grape juice, and cherries

Color -- Dark cherry color (like the color of the juice when you bite into one)

Taste -- Dark chocolate

"I hate reds but I could drink it. Not as dry as other reds."

"Warm tummy! :-)"

Good with chocolate! Neither flavor overpowered the other (probably good with CAKE! Haha)

So there you have it, folks: Even someone who doesn't like reds could drink this wine!

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sta11ion69 wrote:Lucky LABRAT reporting in ....

My wife and I opened this bottle this evening and immediately both thought it had a woody/earthy smell to it. It has a purplish-red hue to it with great legs.
With our first sips of the wine we initially noticed a bit of a strong alcohol taste, but this mellows as the wine breathes. It does have a spicy/peppery bite to it as well, but not overpowering and this is accompanied by a fruity undertone to it that I described as cherry-ish and my wife felt was a dark cherry or currant. Either way this Zin is de-lich.

As I had arrived home after dinner tonight, we sampled this wine while snacking on some spinach-artichoke dip and sourdough bread, and this wine has fared nicely with this pairing.

We are going to let the second halfof the bottle breathe overnight and give it a second go tomorrow night (with a real meal), so I will post more then

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Offer of 10/12 -- Iron Horse Sparkling Duet

2004 Classic Vintage Brut
2004 Russian Cuvée

This offer's pack:
mlhelm (Russian Cuvée)

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mlhelm wrote:Russian Cuvee lab rat report:

Just got done rehearsing for an original musical theater production that provides ethics continuing legal education for lawyers (sounds less fun than it really is)! After letting the bottle chill out in an ice and water bath for about 30 minutes, I couldn't wait any longer to pop the cork.

The aromas on this bubbly are amazing--light and fresh, wisps of pear, lemon, green apple, and a slight hint of that buttered toast you get from aging on the lees.

On entry, the bubbles are not too aggressive. They create a soft, elegant mousse that does not make your nose tickle when you drink it (I hate sparklers that do that, unless you're mixing them with something still like OJ, but I digress). Anyway, the flavor profile matches the nose--Meyer lemon, Granny Smith apples, and a really fresh and clean aftertaste. I'm not really getting any berry flavors at this point from the pinot noir, but they may pop out later. It's definitely not sweet, despite the greater RS as compared to the classic brut.

I think I like this wine more now than I did at the tasting room. It's very approachable and definitely worth sipping on its own. I'm sure that it would pair nicely with a wide range of foods, though--anything light, probably seafood would be great because of the lemony vibe I'm getting. Maybe even sushi, a not-too-stinky cheese, or perhaps even white cake, creme brulee or another simple dessert. All in all, a great sparkler at a great price. If I didn't already know what was up next, I would go in for more!

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Offer of 10/14 -- Iron Horse Bordeaux Blend - Three Pack

This offer's pack:

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mlhelm wrote:

Bdx-3 lab rat report:

Okay, I just finished my first matinee performance of the Ethics Follies (the musical theater production that provides ethics CLE for lawyers, which I mentioned in my sparkly lab rat review). Rushed home and popped open the Bdx-3 to enjoy with my husband's secret family recipe braised beef short ribs and mashed potatoes.

Right out of the bottle, the nose is very fruity--lots of black cherry, blackberry, raspberry, maybe plum . . . with a little bit of something else, perhaps anise? There's also a little alcohol going on, but I'm sure that will dissipate as the night progresses.

The flavor of the wine is huge without being too tannic. It fills the mouth without being too drying. There's great acidity to balance the fattiness of the short ribs. In fact, I think the acidity is really prevalent on the finish. As others have mentioned, this makes the wine seem much lighter or "refreshing," despite having a rather viscous, weighty, and fruity mouthfeel. I get the same dark fruits on the palate, and I think this will improve as it's open.

I also found the wine to pair excellently with a triple-cream delice de borgogne cheese (soft like brie, with a little bit of funk like blue cheese mixed with a mild goat cheese). The acid in the wine was a great compliment to the super rich, creamy cheese. I would think this wine would be great with a grilled beef tenderloin or ribeye topped with some Boursin cheese or a mushroom sauce with lots of butter and brandy!

I'll report back after the bottle's been open a bit, but I definitely think this wine is a keeper!

mlhelm wrote:I do not notice a significant "oaky" component to this wine. I find that the spicy flavors like a bit of pepper and anise balance out the rich fruit very nicely. I definitely don't get that kind of vanilla-y flavor that I think the oak gives the Pomatia (which, by the way, I also love, but is very different from this wine).

mlhelm wrote:

Lab rat follow-up:

After about an hour and half open, the fruit had mellowed to allow the cedar and kind of dusty tannins show through. Still good acidity and balance, but I preferred the big fruity flavors of earlier. (tasted without food)

Even after the fruit had faded, though, I really enjoyed the wine with some of my last squares of Cuyagua chocolate from Amano.

[response to rant]
RPM, I've always admired your expert opinion and certainly don't want to offend one of wine.woot's most revered participants, but I didn't realize that I had to postpone my dinner an hour in order to fulfill my lab rat duties appropriately. I take my lab rat responsibility seriously, and I always make sure to post my notes as soon as possible, even if not under "ideal" circumstances. I've had a very busy week, with lots of other responsibilities, besides my usual "day job." Next time, I'll know better (although I may not necessarily be able to or inclined to abide by your rules), if I am lucky enough to be granted another opportunity. Sorry if my report was unhelpful, but I did taste the wine before eating. I think it is unrealistic to expect every person chosen as a lab rat to engage in serious, professional-style tasting rituals. We're an inclusive community (I think), and we take all reviews, even if from newbies who simply report that "it tastes good with pizza." I'd like to think my review was at least that helpful.
[/end response to rant]

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Offer of 10/19 -- Armida Winery Poizin Trio

This offer's pack:


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dvdman98 wrote:So I have seen Poizin twice here on woot and really didn't have the patience to wait so I picked up a bottle local. Plus let's say I don't drink wine much but I follow it. Just very curios.

I poured right out of the bottle at room temp and took in the deep magenta tint. Took a sniff. Very fruity cherry and maybe a bit of raspberry. I also really was hit with the alcohol.

Took a taste. Initially I was thinking yum his has some great red fruit. Then I swallowed and bam the heat came and the my mouth dried up. I took a second drink and noticed how smooth it was in comparison to the few wines I have drank, almost like a top shelf vodka. I think the smooth fruit makes up for the dry heat in this case.

I guess I'll have to let this open up a tad and see what effect that has. I'm hoping it takes some of the heat away and I'll be happy.

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cwholt wrote:

I placed an order for 6 bottles of the poizin just yesterday and boom in my mailbox 5 minutes ago was a nice cold bottle with a red skull on the front.


"Choose your poizin."

I have personally drank 9 bottles of this wine in the past two years -- yes i've kept count. Sure, sometimes I "share" with friends but in all honesty they really only get a taste. This stuff gets downed. It's scrumptious.

I look forward to this time of year when i get to casually walk around the streets of new york city carrying a dark bottle of wine with a blood red skull on it. It's menacing, and sure keeps the riffraff away.

This wine can be enjoyed with a bloody steak, or by itself (for the more tolerant).

I'm happy they still have the '07 in stock, it is probably even a bit better than the '07 I drank last year -- and this is a very good deal. Last year 6 bottles came out to ~$23/bottle. This time, 6 bottles comes out to $19.83/bottle (which is the year I was born in). holy scaffolding that's creepy.

so like i said above, choose your poizin -- this is mine.

tasting notes:

top is ascrewed holding back the hot long legs that wrap around your glass. the dark purple liquid stains your teeth. it's like a lumberjack's cologne on your tongue, longing to have a slab of meat sooth the grippy mouth-feel. the hard spicy wood finds its way into your head after it smashes up all the dark fruit that is letting loose on your shriveled palette.

this wine makes me sweat.

cwholt wrote:UPDATe:

this rat has completed the maze.

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richc7 wrote:So I'm obviously late to the party, but since damightyanteater wasn't able to taste for me Monday, I wasn't able to taste it until tonight since I had this little 9 hour exam to take today...

In short, this reminds me a lot of the 2006 vintage. Not a whole to speak of when you initially pop and pour. A lot of heat with some notes of red berries that's reflected on the palate as well. However, as with the 2006, after letting it sit out for a bit it really starts to open up. While the heat still lingers, it takes a backseat to the jammy fruit that this wine hits you with while having just the right amount of tannins from a wine like this that you'd expect. This wine, however, really does need time to breathe in order to be properly enjoyed although there really isn't a way to get around that 15%abv

While I can certainly see how this wine wouldn't appeal to everybody, this is a fruit forward, high alcohol wine that to me pulls it off better than other comparable zins in this price range (at least from my limited experience).

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tomsaslice wrote:I was so excited to get home from a business trip yesterday to find out that I am the Poizin Rat. I love this wine, and I look forward to it coming to wine.woot every Halloween season. I was drunk within 45 minutes of walking through my front door... it goes down that smooth! The texture is velvety without being overpowering, the flavor hints of chocolately goodness, and the screw-top makes it extra classy. If you're thinking about it, buy immediately. So psyched! Thanks, wine.woot.

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Offer of 10/26 -- Tudor Winery Pinot Noir - 2 Pack

2005 Tudor Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
2006 Tudor Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

This offer's pack:
jnacey (2006)

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cheron98 wrote:Offer of 10/26 -- Tudor Winery Pinot Noir - 2 Pack

This offer's pack:

Isn't it a bit late for rattage? No labrats this week, or what?

I got nothing by fedex, so I know I'm not a lucky rat, but I thought at least someone would have tasting notes up by now. :-(

edit: sorry, didn't understand the paradigm. won't post here again

Please do not increment my Quality Posts count. 69 is a good place to be. ;-)
MOD: We had to...we just HAD TO...


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ckeilah wrote:Isn't it a bit late for rattage? No labrats this week, or what?

I got nothing by fedex, so I know I'm not a lucky rat, but I thought at least someone would have tasting notes up by now. :-(

This thread is best left clean of conversation and just used for holding the labrat posts when Cheron can get to adding them (or preferably the labrats themselves linking their own report so she doesn't have to do them all). If you want to complain about their not being labrats yet, head on over to the main thread.

My Cellar
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jnacey wrote:Finally got the privilege of LABRAT after what has seemed like a thousand bottles purchased. Thanks for the opportunity on this gem.

2006 Tudor Anderson Valley Pinot Noir:

First, let me say that I LOVE PINOT NOIR. My favorites are DuMol, EnRoute, Twomey and Lynmar. This wine can easily round out the top 5 in my book.

Very light, transparent in color. Lots of berry on the nose, very pleasant. Tastes very much of red berries with a slight hint of the earthiness people have been referring to. Beautiful finish. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this bottle this evening.

A real steal at a little over $20/bottle. Buy 3 two packs. I did. You will not be disappointed. Will definitely pair nice with that bird as you watch the Detroit Lions lose another game this Thanksgiving!


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Offer of 11/2 -- St. Supery Vineyards Élu - 375ml - Three Pack

2001 St. Supery Élu - 375ml
2002 St. Supery Élu - 375ml
2003 St. Supery Élu - 375ml

This offer's pack:
TBD (2001)
gregorylane (2002)
alexandra29 (2003)

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gregorylane wrote:Rat Report:

2002 St. Supery Elu
.375 ml

Thanks to rpm for the rating notes. His adherence to quality and time tested methodology are greatly appreciated!

6;30 PM-Opened bottle and took a quick sniff...Nose of dark berry or ripe plum with hint of alcohol.

7:00PM-Less alcohol on nose; very light floral mixed with a wood/old mix..hint of anise

Poured out a bit.
Seemed 'thin'.
Spoiler: I've had this wine several times previously, but not this year for quite a while...
I should also mention that the beautiful Debbie, my wife, mirrored this tasting with me!

The color was a deep ruby with a rusty hint of orange. the edges seemed a bit 'murky'...but, it seemed, not too much for a wine with a little age on it.

First taste @7:30-Nose still with a dark berry/cherry and more alcohol with a fuller glass.
First entry: Ripe, not strong, fruit...cherry-oak...slightly bitter taste.
Mid--palette: Hot, strong tannin, bitter...wondered if wine was still "closed".
Mouth-feel was thin and light.

We left a half glass till after dinner...poured remainder into glasses to allow more breathing (see closed above).

8:30 PM-Nose: same as before with a slight cocoa and more anise. Deb gets some blackberry and licorice. (twizzler freak!)
Mid-palette: Much hotter; quite pungent with a petroleum/ethanol bent.
Finish: Strongly tannic and bitter...kind of forgot how long.

I am not sure if this is an aberration, or just .375...but this was not a good experience. I have had this (.750ml) and do not remember the wine this way. Needless to say, this was not a good bottle (for us)...I did notice at opening that the cork was exceptionally light in color for such a dark wine and I admit to wondering about storage method. Maybe it was just not open...but I dunno.

This particular bottle was nowhere near the 94 point rating (that I was so looking forward to!), and I would not do a disservice to St. Supery by trying to rate this bottle. I have had SO much better and I still look forward to receiving my shipment.

Sorry Wootworld...honesty is forgiven, right?

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alexandra29 wrote:Labrat report: 2003 St. Supery Elu

Open: 1 hour (in bottle)
Color: dark, with an orange cast (think garnet, not ruby)

First taste: tasted a lot at the front of the mouth, soft/not tannic. I tasted black licorice at the start, a subtle cherry second (as my husband said, "It's not 'CHERRY!', it's just *cherry*, you know?") Very nice. A few minutes passed, and I began to smell floral aromas on the nose and Bryan swore he tasted just a tiny bit of mint, or something herbaceous. The finish was medium, and very dry. At this point, we looked up the winery website tasting notes for the 2003 and found we agreed with the black cherry/ blackberry part but had not yet encounted the whole toasted oak/ coco angle. Even so, just in the short time we had been tasting, the wine had changed tremendously, so I hadn't given up hope!

We moved through to the dining room, poured two glasses, ate our salads (in other words: time passes) and then turned to the main course: steak tartare (I had looked at the recipe suggestions on the St. S website and beef seemed to be a good choice.)

We tasted the wine before and after food. At this point there was much more depth than there had been before, and a very full bouquet (does that make sense? There was much more aroma, is what I mean. I think I said 'wow' when I sniffed it.) The cherry notes had subsided, more blackberry was present, and I could both smell and taste a hint of cranberry (not sour cranberry, just a tart, bright note.) I even got a taste of the mint that Bryan was still talking about.

We tasted the wine after a bite of tartare. HELLO, coco! It jumped right out at you, when paired with the beef. The wine and tartare harmonized very well together. I kept tasting: without a bite of beef (licorice, some cranberry,) with beef (COCO!) It was lovely.

As for the 'hotness' detected in the other labrat report (2002) we did not find that with the 2003 at all... maybe a bit at first, but it was completely gone after 5 minutes in the glass.

So, our verdict is: We wish we had been in for three, we REALLY wish they had been 750 ml and this is a wine we will certainly pick up for special occasions maison Baldwin. I also think it would make a great gift; the bottles are attractive, the wine is wonderful, and the size is convenient.

As far as the winery tasting notes go:

"amazing wine, depth of aroma and flavor, coco, blackberry, black cherry, balanced, elegant, supple, not to be missed" - check

"toasted oak" - ehmmm, not so much

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Offer of 11/9 -- Benziger Merlot Feingold Vineyard- Four Pack

2006 Merlot Feingold Vineyard Sonoma Mountain
2005 Merlot Feingold Vineyard Sonoma Mountain

This offer's pack:
slickdoggity (2005)
lucieagosta (2006)
MaskedMarvel (2005)
woopdedoo (2006)

woopdedoo (2005)

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woopdedoo wrote:In the interest of being some help to the community, I opened a 2005.

First impressions upon opening:

Color: Deep fully saturated red - not purple.

Bottle smell before pouring: Cherry.

First sniff from Vinum after pouring: Cherry, leather, a very slight hint of alcohol.

First taste: Not fruit forward. A bit of Oak, with medium tannins on finish. Not hot.

I'll report back in about an hour.


After about one hour in the glass:

Nose: Leather and slightly more heat. No longer smell the fruit.

Taste: More integrated from entry to finish than before. Still oak and tannin, but the tannins are a bit softer and it seems to transition evenly.

Overall: Has a more aged wine taste with the fruit taking back seat to the oak, leather flavors. Quite the opposite of a fruit forward offering such as the Inzinerator or the Poizin. More of a smokey single-malt scotch profile.

BTW: All tasting was conducted without food - or even Carr's crackers.

woopdedoo wrote:Updated Update on the 2005:

Had some this evening after opening yesterday for tasting. I decided to send it through the Vinturi. Though it did not change the flavor profile, it opened it up a bit - same flavor profile, just more of it. Drank it before and with a Venison Stroganoff. It held its own through the meal.

Looking forward to enjoying more in the future.

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slickdoggity wrote:Well, I was the recepient of a golden ticket today!! My first - very exciting. I opened the bottle and had a few sips - nice legs. Smelled currant and blueberry first off. Strong alcohol taste on back of tongue, hint of tobacco. Also, very weak when drinking. waiting for an hour to see what happens.

Okay, much less alcohol, much fuller flavors. Can really taste the leather and cherry, still dry on tongue, but in a nice way. note - had with apples and manchego - made it smoother and fruitier. Had friends over to taste, " very smooth, no aftertaste no bite".

Thanks to Woot for this opportunity


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lucieagosta wrote:There are not enough O's in smooth to describe this wine!! WOW! Received a bottle of the 2006 Feingold Merlot today. Cabernets are usually my favorite, but to my surprise the 2006 Feingold Merlot was not wimpy at all...instead, it had a medium to full body, with soft tannins. What a treat! My only regret is that I didn't buy a case!!

We were expecting Hurricane Ida to hit Louisiana today, but instead, it was FedEx with our Golden Ticket!!
As an added treat, huge slabs of milk and dark chocolate accompanied the sure to snatch this up if chocolate appears on Wine.Woot this week.....spectacular!

If FEMA could have only done as well as Wine.Woot..."what a wonderful world it would be!"

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MaskedMarvel wrote:

Greetings. I'm a rat.

We had hurricane here last night, which meant a blustery rainy day with no Internet, for some reason. Sorry for the delay. I'll get to the point this time...

2005 Benziger Feingold Merlot

Eye: Looks like beautiful red cherries. Perfectly bright and clear.

Nose: More interesting nose than I can recall in a Merlot in some time. Lots of fruit in the bouquet, particularly red berries - raspberries, strawberries, red maraschinos. Hint of heat. And finally, banana with a touch of vanilla. Scarce smoke, if at all.

Mouth: Very light mouthfeel with surprising dryness. Solid acid backbone screams this wine needs a food. I wouldn't say it was off sweet, but not as dry as some. Lush without being thick. Silky. Ambiguous fruits linger in the back of the mouth with a smooth cocoa finish.

Thanks WD!

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woopdedoo wrote:Well, in addition to my VolRat report on the 2005, I got Charlie Bucketed (labratted) on the 2006. I missed my delivery yesterday, then I got a Woot FedEx shipment today (not the labrat shipment) and finally, in a separate delivery, - woohoo! - a labrat bottle. Of course I would have been happy to also *help out* with a Tytannium rattage, but, save another already-revealed-surprise, I am left with the delightful task of giving my impressions of the 2006.

So here goes ...

I had the assistance of my daughter who was sent home early due to a local problem with the school water supply.

Again, Vinum glasses were used for the tasting - two this time. One, straight from the bottle, the other preceded by a run through the Vinturi.

Sniffing the bottle upon first opening: a little heat, plums, and a bit musty.

First pour:

Color: Dark Crimson Red

Smell: musty, though not wet dog, more earthy. Faint strawberry fruit. Just a touch of heat.

Taste: Like the 2005, it is not very fruit forward, though there seems to be a tad more sweetness on the entrance with the fruit more strawberry than cherry. Definite Oak (daughter says wood chips) though not as much as the 2005. Tannic (daughter says bitter) finish.

Again, the Vinturi brought out some more of the fruit.

Taste not quite as integrated as on the 2005.

Overall style is consistent with the 2005.

Will report back later this evening.

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Offer of 11/16 -- Andrew Murray Syrah Trio

2005 Roasted Slope Vineyard
2006 Great Oaks Vineyard
2007 McGinley Vineyard

This offer's pack:
Ufotoaster (McGinley)
jbuzek (Roasted Slope)
canestri (Great Oaks)

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Ufotoaster wrote:2007 McGinley Vineyard

Ufotoaster wrote:Labrat: Recommended by two out of three photo staffers - Full to overpowering in the mouth at first taste. Wonderful blackberry notes and a hint of green pepper. Lots of tannins that suck the moisture out of your tongue at first. One of the tasters felt his mouth freak out from overload but as the wine breathed it opened up with a softer touch. The blackberry notes transform into more rounder and fuller blueberry finish. The wine tastes young to me but appears to have a future with the tannins. Definitely goes with a piece of beef and could stand up to a dab of blue cheese. Very pleased I purchased and plan to hold a while.

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jbuzek wrote:Labrat Thoughts: The 2005 Andrew Murray Syrah was very good but it definitely needed to breathe. On pop and pour I thought it was very tight. After decanting for about 30 minutes it had still not opened up. I thought about putting it back in the bottle for the next day but instead let it decant for 2 hours. Was I glad I did! It really flourished in that time. I found it had a chalky rather than peppery flavor profile - not what I expected. I can only imagine how good this wine will be with a little more bottle time. I highly recommend it.

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canestri wrote:Labrat Report Part 1:

2006 Great Oaks Vineyard. Just cracked the unusually difficult screw cap. I guess that's a good thing? Dinner is 1.5 hours out so it will have plenty of time to acclimate. Poured a small sample (1 oz) for immediate consumption.

Nose: Cedar and Bing Cherry. Not just any cherry though. More like the last cherry in the flat that you thought was too soft but turned out to be OK. A real juicy one to be brief.

Flavor: Straight down the pallet with fruit, fruit, and more fruit. Tastes like something that should be spread out over toasted bread.

Finish: Hot. Not too much length at this point. No black pepper yet but surprising amount of mineral on the back of the tongue. Very Rhone-ish in that regard.

Will report back.

canestri wrote:Lab Rat Report Part 2:

After 2 hours of air we sat down to revisit our friend. We chose to sample before food, with food, and after food. Lamb with red peppers, onions, and spices. Greens, lentils, and carrots for sides.

After 2 hours the heat has gone away. Even though the wine has had plenty of air time it's still one dimensional. Basically no finish to speak of in the fruit department. Unless it was in front of you you would forget that you just had a sip of wine. This wine needs more time in the bottle. It's nose is jammy like a big Aussie but it doesn't translate to the mouth. It has the austere finish of a Rhone that's young which I gives me a sense of potential. An interesting combination of attributes and a nice interpretation of the grape.

In it's current condition it's a great value at the wine.woot offer price. If I paid sticker I wouldn't be disappointed but I wouldn't buy it again. I'll save my other '06 for a few years down the road and I'm sure it will be solid.

Thanks to Andrew for being so active and offering us a great wine.

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Offer of 11/23 -- Firestone Rancho Santa Rosa Chardonnay Six Pack

This offer's pack:

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


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introspect wrote:

Lab Rat checking in!

I've been buying from wine.woot for a couple of years, now, and have been mostly a lurker on the message board.

I don't know how to add the cartoon of the rat at the message header, which I find helpful to identify the lab rat reports...

This is cliche, but while I've never been picked for duty before, I had actually hoped that I wouldn't be picked this time. I had planned to work quite late tonight.

Oh, well, duty calls, so I'll try to get home earlier than planned...

I noticed a few previous messages, bringing up the Andretti chard, which was offered last year around this time. I actually have one bottle left from that batch, which I'll also open tonight for a direct comparison.


edit: I just looked at the info that popped up when I point over my screen name. Gee, I've been actively buying these offers (and reading the messages) since '05...

introspect24 wrote:Labrat reporting:

I came home and put both the Firestone and the Andretti chardonnay in the fridge. Opened both about half an hour later. I don't have a thermometer with which to report exact serving temperature...

I don't often drink whites. I poured each into my usual red glasses. The colors are identical to me -- light golden yellow, and lighter than I usually think of chards.

I usually note the nose of the wine more than the taste. The Andretti showed subtle peach and melon, which I had to concentrate to pick out. I don't remember this of the Andretti, but then, I wasn't paying as much attentiton with the previous bottles. The Firestone has a pronounced bouquet of green apple, kiwi and faint lemon.

With the first sip of the Andretti, I didn't register anything at all. I remembered the Andretti to be OK for the price, but not bland or subtle. The first sip of the Firestone showed the same flavors as the nose, with cut grass coming in at the finish. The Firestone is certainly more acidic than the Andretti.

After two or three more sips of the Andretti, I can now recognize the buttery character often ascribed to chards. There is also a bit of caramel. A couple more sips of the Firestone, and I'm starting to notice more of the oak at the finish -- slightly bitter, and unpleasant to me.

Repeating the tasting with lightly breaded and pan-fried white fish (I don't know the exact type):
The Andretti is nearly imperceptible. This might be because the fish is a little overcooked. The Firestone brightens up because that previously mentioned bitterness is now gone.

I think that this Firestone chard woot is a good value. Nothing spectacular, as expected, good for casual settings where food is served. I like the nose. For me, it is one to go with food, not drunk alone.

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Hapgood610 wrote:I've got a golden ticket! I guess that's a good way to get me out of my lurking state.

The bad news is, the wine has been shipped to my parent's house as I am never home to sign for it at my place and I won't be able to make it over there until tomorrow.

The good news is, my parents have a ton of family staying with them for the holiday so my labrat report will include the expert opinions of my mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, cousin, cousin's husband and perhaps my sister depending on the time that she gets in.

It may not be the most sophisticated lab rat report out there, but it might be the most diversified.

Thanks WD for the honor, I'll try to do you all proud.


Hapgood610 wrote:Labrat, checking back in. The wine has been consumed. The participants (all gathered in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow) have sampled and weighed their opinions. All of the members of the family poled drink wine on a regular basis. None of the family can describe a wine to save their lives. Enjoy!

Aunt Deidre: "Dry wine, wasn't buttery. Not like a normal chardonnay - but I like it."

Cousin Dena: "Not a lot of finish, weak finish. Rather weak all around. Fine for the price."

Gary (Cousin Dena's husband): "I'm not a wine guy; I though it was good. It had a good kick, it had a bite to it - but I liked it"

Aunt Deidre: "Lacked flavor. Free, so that makes it good. Gary liked it so that was good."

Mom (my aunt and mom are identical twins for full disclosure): "I only had a little swallow. Mild and too dry; not worth the price."

My father and I who are the two most enthusiastic wine drinkers in the family (and prefers reds) both enjoyed the wine. I felt like it was a very drinkable white. Crisp & not too buttery (which I consider a good thing). This is a pretty straight-forward wine. A little grassy and a hint of apples. I would not have expected this to be as divisive a wine as it was. I also wouldn't consider it to be especially dry and didn't notice a strong bite. The wine is good for the price, but I would consider it a bit overpriced at it's original value. In my book, it's about as good as a Wild Horse Chardonnay, which sells for $3-4 more at the market. I hope that helps!


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jfnasati wrote:I'm a labrat! First time, ever. Amazing. Well, being that it's Thanksgiving, I'm actually going out of town early early tomorrow morning, so I can't post at length. I will say that this is probably a really good deal if you're not too particular about whites.

Tiny bit of background: maybe I'm an amateur, but I always tend to take reds more seriously than whites, and consequently spend more on a bottle of red than a bottle of white. On the other hand, I probably drink white more regularly than red, so it's not that I'm not a fan, just trying to explain why my final word in the tasting is that I'm glad I ordered.

On to the tasting:

Got this from the doorman as I came home after work and popped it immediately.

Nose after pouring:

Acid: strong citrus -- lemon
Sweetness: strong honeydew

At this point, not expecting the typical CA buttery flavor (actually, acidic nose reminds me of Australia Semillon).

Nose upon aerating:

Much mellower, but richer -- honey, green apple, touch of vanilla

Color: clear, light honey yellow.

Call me crazy, but to my eye it seems a little lighter in color than typical CA chardonnay.


Nice light lemony citrus and green apple, again, on front of pallet; sweetness on back/in finish.

Overall, after an hour:

A tart, light Chardonnay, with maybe a bitter orange peel finish. Not complex, but sometimes that's not what you're looking for. I'm not eating with this wine, unfortunately, but I imagine it'd pair well with, say, sharp white cheddar (random choice?) or some garlicky chicken or white fish. That's just what popped into my head when I thought about it.

I imagine this to be nice in warm weather; not so much a winter white, but still quite drinkable. Again, I'm no expert, but I'm not sure this would satisfy someone looking for the buttery-ness of a Chardonnay or heavy oak (despite what the bottle may say).

It's not very complex, but I think it's a good everyday white, especially for the price.

I will not hesitate popping a bottle for myself, for company, whenever, but I'm not going to use up space to store it.

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brucenlynn wrote:Labrat report:

Sorry this is late. I wasn't home for the first delivery attempt yesterday and had no idea I was selected to labrat. Wow -- I feel privileged! I wish I could do this better but sadly I'll have to use simple terms. I drink a lot of wine and I've been to many wineries in California, including Firestone in Paso and Santa Rosa. However, I just know what I like or don't like and I'm not very descriptive. Normally I prefer red wine but this summer I have seemed to enjoy chardonnay more than reds due to the heat. I live in Florida -- need I say more. The wine arrived late today so I chilled it for about an hour in my wine fridge. Dinner was also already planned -- grilled burgers -- so I maybe wasn't able to do justice to the wine. I really detected little on the nose -- perhaps a little lemon and green apple. The first sip was pure butterscotch for me with a burn at the end. Not fruity at all in my opinion. I like it and it seems very smooth. The taste hasn't changed much from start to finish and I've been sipping it for a few hours. I detect little to no oak which is good. Overall, easy to drink without food or even with a burger! I purchased a case and will enjoy drinking it. Hope you do too!

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quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98


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cappyvito wrote:
Labrat checking in! I opened my Adequate Gift about an hour and a half ago. The label is very attractive - the gold portions are metallic foil - and the cork and cork foil bear the Woot! exclamation point. It really would make a nice stocking stuffer.

I decanted the wine and it has now had a chance to breathe a bit. I didn't care for the aroma right out of the bottle but it has softened nicely.

I have not previously experienced a Carignane-based blend. It is a relatively light, easy-to-drink wine that feels more like merlot than anything else (at least to my taste). I'd call it medium dryness and it doesn't have much heat considering the 14.9% alcohol. It isn't a real fruit bomb - it's light in flavor and has a light finish. I can't say it's anything mind-blowing, but it's a pleasant table wine that I suspect would go well with pasta or pizza.

cappyvito wrote:I should be clear that I am not a connoisseur by any means, though I have been lucky enough to enjoy some fine wines over the years. I introduce that caveat only to explain why my comments may lack a certain vino-literacy.

I found that the AG did open up a bit over the course of a few hours. The taste spectrum spread a bit, with more fruit evident and also a more pronounced dryness. I enjoyed it, though honestly I tend to prefer fuller-bodied wines. I don't really have the wine wisdom to comment on how the AG might change over the course of prolonged cellaring.

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autoshoes wrote:
labrat checking in.

first a little background: while I don't consider myself a wine connoisseur, i do drink it on many of an occasion; however, i typically stick to the lower priced wines - most of which have come from right here at wine.woot. I do not know the varied vocabulary often used to describe wines, but I'll tell you what I think the best I can.

I opened the bottle shortly after receiving it, drank a bit with some friends, then I had to run off and do some work, now I'm back finishing the last half a glass that was left sitting for a few hours.

immediate impressions? It has a great beet red color, and seems to be light on body but still have a bit more than last year's EHP, which me and the family drank with our thanksgiving meal. It seems to be on the dryer side, but not as dry as some other wines i've had. Not real fruity but has enough, even though I do like fruity wines.

overall, i'm enjoying the wine. I'm thinking it'd be great with some food - even though I drank most of it on it's own. The wine definitely improved with a bit of decanting and probably would be even better after sitting on it for a while (like others have commented about other woot wines)

ps. thanks for making this my first labrat wine!

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bawhite1 wrote:

Sorry folks!!! Wasn't aware that this was gift week or I would have posted my report last night. So, here you go:

Full-bodied and dry. Bold, rich color. Cherry, sweet, smokey vanilla and cranberry on the nose. Bold flavors of black cherry, grape and leather on the palette. A great finish raspberry, cinnamon and cherry. There was a fair bit of tannin still in the wine, so I'd be curious to taste this in a few years. However, after decanting for a few hours, it had a beautiful flavor! This wine made a surprisingly good pair with slices of roasted pork shoulder sauteed in rosemary oil with a rich pork gravy, mashed red potatoes and steamed green beans. Yum!!! Thanks again Woot!!!

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swiller wrote:I'm not a rat, but I behave badly anyway.

Wooted up at 11:53 pm 11/29
Got my ship ticket today at 1:53pm
Tracked as out for delivery.
Yeah - that's what I'm talking about.

UPS (who know me well enough not to even deliver shoes before 5:30pm) arrived at 5:45 and now I'm running with the ponies. It helps to be just up river (if you pick the right forks and hop a few dams). But I'm wondering - what did they do all day yesterday to slow this down?

Faux-rat review - so I ain't fussing: Very young with jowl scraping tannins. Shoot it through the V-hose you got last month. Like the others said - but I say medium body by the CA palate - don't let the 80 grit tannins fool you. Ruby purple with a slight copper kiss at shallow depths. The snort is still dominated by youthful exuberance of alcohol and random humors over a dark fruited soul - not an easy sniff identification. I'm coaxing a very black cherry, blackberry, etc., up front, a touch of caramel coffee midway and a hard stab of spice at the end. Tight all the way now but very well balanced toward the future. I'd put it down three to five - if only I could, but then I wouldn't be very rodent-like, would I? I'd call this surprisingly good QPR and like it more than the Monster, which needs a bit of alcohol detox therapy imho. Blindfold me, spin me twice and say no more and I'd call it a Malbec - but what do I know? - I'm just a faux-rat in a woodpile up river.

Very good with organic cheese popcorn straight from the bag - greasy glass stem slipping through my fingers.

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mobrien05 wrote:As I mentioned, I have mine as well. I couldn't resist! So I am "tasting" mine tonight too. I would agree 95% w/ the above faux rat in description, I just don't have the rhyme, rhythm and know how to express my opinions in such an adequate fashion. I however disagree w/ swiller on one point. I like the Boss better. However, I have not been fond of Malbec's in the past, so if the comparison to Malbec is accurate, which I do think it is, then this might explain my preference. But I will update later as the wine opens more, or perhaps I will do a double or triple pass through the Vinturi.

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