cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Week of 6/9 -- Saxon Brown Part 2: Four Pack

This week's pack:
joeliquor (Syrah Rose)
oppsie (Syrah Rose)

rbwoot (Semillon)
mlhelm (Semillon)

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

yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
rbwoot wrote:LabRat report: Saxon Brown 2007 Semillon (Cricket Creek Vineyards):

After being in the freezer for 30 minutes, and the fridge for a bit, it's 52 degrees in the glass. Even though it was 92 degrees upon arrival, there is no apparent oddity to foil/cork.

In the glass, fairly pale, similar to the color of the flesh of a green grape, with a touch of gold. Medium-long legs.

Some of the "typical" aroma of a white wine on the nose...wish I could identify what that is, but to me all the whites I've had (not all that many, compared to reds) have a distinctive quality in common...help me out here if you know what I mean. No sweetness, definite spiciness, with a touch of mint, earthiness, and a touch of grass. Maybe a slight hint of citrus (grapefruit, lime).

Taste: very nice rather full-bodied creamy (rather than velvety) mouth-feel. Spiciness, not really melon to me, but something "darker" (but not berries)...maybe that's fig?...crossed with some grapefruit. Some acidity, but definitely not overpowering like a lot of Sauv Blancs (of course, I tend to sip more than pair with food, so YMMV). Medium finish, and I actually get some green grape on the finish (imagine that!). A slight mineral touch. A bit of heat on the finish at first, but that seemed to fade quickly.

Paired with an aged Wisconsin cheddar, the creaminess matches that of the cheese well, the acidity mostly disappears, and the spiciness and earthiness dominate over the fruit. I think they work well together, but I'm not experienced at that sort of thing.

Later that night...just had a whole grain pita, ham, turkey, swiss, cheddar, leaf lettuce, and Frank's Red Hot...stood up well, brought out the spice, minerals, and particularly the acidity. Equally enjoyable at 52 or 65 degrees IMHO.

I like this wine. You know why I'm happy I have 6 more coming (not to mention 6 roses!)? To me (of limited experience and palate), this is a very well-balanced wine. I've seen that term used a lot, but never really got a handle on what that meant in my mouth. The Semillon exhibits many of the tastes/aromas I've encountered while drinking white wine, but this one seems to show more of them without any one of them dominating...to me that is well-balanced. I will enjoy this, even while not trying to be so analytical.

I need to make an early night of it, so I got an early start. :-) Thanks to WineDavid and Jeff for the opportunity! I've learned a lot by doing this, and I hope to pay more attention in the future (while still allowing myself to enjoy!). I really enjoyed the 2000 Zin also, and am disappointed I recently finished off the last bottle. Hope to see more Saxon Brown in the future.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your evening!

=== Edited by rbwoot @ 13 Jun 2008 5:18 PM
Ok, I finally noticed the pear...but without the sugar/sweetness...interesting...





cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
oppsie wrote:This is a group report (consensus was reached early on in the nomination process), although all accolades for writeup can be sent to moi. Group consisted of me, cheron98, and the DH.

Dinner was scallops with a tomato balsamic vinegar reduction and avocado salsa as described here. Sides were fried softshell crabs, grilled zucchini and asparagus.

2006 Saxon Brown Syrah Rose. Sorry, no accent, I'm lazy.

Nose: Strawberries primarily, a little orange and a little apple

Taste: Alone, raspberries. Paired with dinner, increased tartness. Scallops and tomato reduction made the tartness even bigger. A very fizzy, extremely long finish. Some might even say akin to consuming a fizzy lifting drink, without the fuel require for descent. With the zucchini, the tartness was completely gone and the sweetness increased too much. With the asparagus, still tart and delicious. The jalapeño in the avocado salsa was accentuated, even exaggerated. In a good way!

Mouthfeel: Sticky. Cloying. But not in a bad way (a bad way would be a Sandra Bullock romantic comedy). Richer than it looks, sticky, spitball finish. But not in a bad way. It reminded us of spitting carrot juice.

Color: Um, rose. With a hint of pink. Uh, good legs. They were there. Yeah.

Finish: As stated before, really long and fizzy with the scallop/tomatoes. It went on for well over a minute, which doesn't sound like a long time but it is (just ask anybody that lives on Venus. Unless the calculations of cheron98 and DH are incorrect, which is possible, in which case s/Venus/Mercury or s/Venus/Mars). Alone, super sticky but not gross. Like you just swallowed peanut butter sticky. Mouth was totally coated.

Jeff, I'd be interested to know what the drinking window on this is. Are roses always meant to be consumed within a year of bottling, or does this have some length to it?

cheron98 and DH also consumed with homemade ice cream (vanilla) and hot fudge (Sanders bittersweet -- a Detroit specialty that everybody should try at least once*). Tartness was there again because of sweetness of ice cream.

DH's comments were as follows:

*munch munch chew*
*gobble spill gobble*
*guzzle*
"I taste a little apple"
*chew munch nom nom nom*
"Scallops are really good!"
*snarl munch gobble chew swallow*

So, no dusty dead old lady's dresser this evening. Instead, more like licking roof pitch. In a good way!

I'm somewhat regretting only going in for one, but the knowledge that I'm getting two bottles of this mitigates that feeling somewhat. And the knowledge of the state of my wallet mitigates the remainder.

We also tried some 03 Wellington Syrah Cuvee R to compare two wines coming from the same grape. The assessment was that the syrah still worked with the scallops, but in a different way. Different flavors, no fizziness or much sweetness, but good. Who says you can't have reds with seafood?

Bottom line: Buy this. It's good juice.

* -- FYI IMPORTANT!!! Fudge is unacceptable as carryon fodder at the airport. TSA will confiscate it. I learned this the hard way. Peanut butter is also unacceptable. When I asked if Reese's peanut butter cups or Snickers were acceptable, I was asked if I wanted to have a problem. I didn't want to have a problem, and promptly donated the three jars of Sanders Bittersweet Fudge Topping to our friends at TSA.



oppsie wrote:I actually put a 2004 Epiphany grenache rose in the fridge for comparison purposes, but the alcohol proved to much for us and we were unable to contemplate cracking it. We saved a little less than half of the Saxon Brown to try again tomorrow, at which point I will probably do a head-to-head with the Epiphany. Note that this is not the vintage sold on w.w, but one that I found in the disco buggy of joy clearance cart at my local market.

Also forgot to mention that after the first glass we put the bottle back in the fridge; the wine was much colder for the second taste, and that of course increased the crispness. It was fine at cool temp, but a little too sweet. Mo chilled was mo better.

Also ALSO forgot to mention: Thanks WD, this was awesome. I look forward to doing it again once you've ratted everybody else on the list who hasn't yet enjoyed rodentousness.



Personal note: I'm not sure where this carrot spit thing is coming from. She introduced me to the game and I just don't get it... But this was absolutely fantastic and if you haven't bought it already, do so. Immediately. Because this is really good juice.

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

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
joeliquor wrote:Quick and simple...

Perfect wine for those warm summer days of doing nothing except sitting around, relaxing and working on your tan. A great "bridge" wine for your friends that think White Zinfandel is a wine. ;)

Rich mouthfeel with strawberry, some sweetness and balanced acidity to finish. If you are looking for a picnic wine...you can't go wrong with this one.



joeliquor wrote:Longer version...that still won't be Parkeresque b/c I can't stand his writing (he does know his stuff though)

Beautiful color of fresh watermelon in the glass with a nose of muted berries that opens up as the wine warms up from the initial lightly chilled beginning.

The initial taste carries muted strawberry flavors and a touch of sugar to a well balanced acidic finish that has a hint of orange. The acidity tends to dwindle away with food (crab cakes, assorted cheeses) and as the wine gets closer to cellar temperature the fruit jumps out more.

As time passes the strawberry is more prevalent and a bit of green citrus from a Sav Blanc comes through. The wine stays velvety in the mouth throughout with a bit of candy sugar.

Not a lot of complexity, but when slightly chilled it is a well balanced and versatile wine for the warmer months. As the wine reached room temp the sugar stood out more (which for me was not preferable), but may be able to sway some "sweet" wine drinkers a bit closer to the drier spectrum.

As for food pairings, I would suggest lighter seafood fare, but I'd probably lean towards using this wine as an aperitif more than anything. I had a Spanish style cheese (from WI) that was creamy and bit nutty. It brought out the sweetness a bit more, but stole the acidity that enjoyed so much in the finish.



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

yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
oppsie wrote:Night #2 of the SB Syrah Rose. First sip of this right out of the fridge was interesting -- there is a different flavor that I haven't figured out yet. Not a fruit flavor, something savory. Also night #2 of Wellington Syrah Cuvee R, that's been out of the fridge warming up for a while now. And...maybe the 04 Epiphany Grenache Rose, we'll see how long the night lasts. Doubtful we'll make it that far. I still have to make chocolate chip cookies for tmw.

Going to grill a halibut filet and use leftover avocado salsa from last night on it. I'm also munching on fresh arugula and strawberries (not at the same time) from the farmers market. And letting some cheese come to room temp for later.




yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
oppsie wrote:Labrat update: Syrah Rose is less sweet/fruity tonight, still cloying, still sticks to the glass but sends down spindly legs that are overlaid on the main liquid sticking to it -- I'm sure that makes no sense to nobody but me -- and has some sort of savory flavor that I did not detect last night but cannot identify. I'm still working through it. Was okay with halibut and avocado salsa leftovers, not fantastic. Best to drink it the first night.

Link to photos from last night!\

And now the wine is gone, I still have no idea what the savory flavor was, but I'm still happy. Think it was best a little while after coming out of the fridge, maybe 10-15 minutes. I can't imagine anybody buying this wine regretting it as long as they use it for a warm summer evening.


cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Week of 6/16 -- Mumm Independence Day - 3 Pack Sampler

This week's pack:
cjsiege (Cuvee M Blue)
sikorski (Cuvee M Blue)
BoredStiff (Cuvee M Red) (Bonus: Cuvee M Blue)
dt18997 (Cuvee M Red)
pmarin (Reserve Brut)
bunnymasseuse (Reserve Brut) (Bonus: Cuvee M Blue)

Volunteers:
Brythephotoguy (Reserve Brut)
dodongo (All three!)

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

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
Brythephotoguy wrote:My family and I were in Napa back in March. All three of us enjoy sparklers enough to join two wine clubs - - - Mumm Napa was one of them.

We just opened the Reserve Brut last Friday - - We really enjoyed this bottle. It was a fantastic pairing with seafood ravioli alfredo. As with any good wine, this stands well on its own, but a good pairing brings it up to the next level.

There was cinnamon toast on the nose, and some caramel. The flavors reminded me of vanilla peaches and cream with a nice nutty finish. This was one of those rare bottles that we finished with dinner.



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

mlhelm


quality posts: 8 Private Messages mlhelm
cheron98 wrote:Week of 6/9 -- Saxon Brown Part 2: Four Pack

This week's pack:
joeliquor (Syrah Rose)
oppsie (Syrah Rose)

rbwoot (Semillon)


Ugh! The agony! I was the second lab rat for the Semillon, but I was out of town when it arrived. I feel that I have betrayed my duty to the wine woot community and can only hope for forgiveness and another opportunity to someday show my loyalty to my fellow wooters. I will open it and taste tonight. Better late than never, right?

more than enough wine.woots!

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
mlhelm wrote:Ugh! The agony! I was the second lab rat for the Semillon, but I was out of town when it arrived. I feel that I have betrayed my duty to the wine woot community and can only hope for forgiveness and another opportunity to someday show my loyalty to my fellow wooters. I will open it and taste tonight. Better late than never, right?



Absolutely, we'll get it posted up in here and it will be available for all eternity

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

mlhelm


quality posts: 8 Private Messages mlhelm

Late lab rat report on SB Semillon (cross posted from the appropriate thread):

Well, here goes . . . I got home about an hour and a half ago, so the bottle is relatively chilled (although, I think I might like it a bit more chilled). The color is very pale, like a sauvignon blanc, and even when I first opened the bottle, I smelled pears, pears, pears. Almost like the sugary syrup in canned pears, but I digress.

I take my first sip and am pleasantly surprised that the taste does not match the sweet, syrupy smell. I get pears, spice, maybe cola?, and a creaminess that coats the tongue. I swirl and smell and taste again, and I'm definitely smelling a cola type smell, maybe even anise, with the spice. Still, the overarching smell is pears for me, and I love it.

The flavors also develop something more acidic on the second try. Perhaps citrus? lime? or grapefruit? Not sure which, but the acidity is really nice in balancing out the sweeter pear tastes. There's also a little bit of a minerality taste going on, but very faint. Kind of like a kinder, gentler savignon blanc in that respect.

I'm really enjoying this wine; it's got lots of complex flavors going on and nothing seems out of balance on it. All in all, a super white wine.

As a side note, it's nice to taste a single-varietal semillon, so that I can place those characteristics in what is probably my favorite white wine--St. Supery's Virtu, which is a blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon (about 50/50). I always thought I was just a sauv blanc junkie, but I now have a great appreciation for semillon on its own, as well. So, thank you WD, and thank you wooters, for *hopefully* forgiving my late labrat report. I promise to never again travel immediately after wooting.

*update*: hubby came down to try a glass, too, and he also gets peaches and something floral. I kind of get the floral bit too; his exact words were "like a viogner", so take that as you may.

more than enough wine.woots!

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
BoredStiff wrote:La Brat review of Mumm Cuvee M Red

For those that don’t feel like sorting through my pedantic rambling, feel free to skip to the end for a quick summary. Normally, I don’t like to post buzzed, but because of the short week don’t want to make you fence sitters wait too long. So, forgive the typos. Forgive the repetition. Forgive the feculence. Here’s my report, stream of conscience-like, uncensored (except by that damn Woot filter) and unedited. Deal with it. I are Labrat and thus do I spake:

Let me make one thing clear: when I asked (okay, begged) WD to make me a labrat, I never thought he’d do it. I mean, I’ve asked dozens of times before, and he never deemed me rat worthy. So, I did not make prior preparations. My pantry was bare.

Alas, when that beautiful package arrived on my desk, I knew I had to cut out of work early and get some grub in the house. In order to correctly labrat this bubbly, I knew a trip to the supermarket was in order. Since this was my first red sparkler, I didn’t know quite what to expect, so I decided to play it safe.

So, we’ll start with the menu:
Sautéed chicken breast in a garlic mushroom sauce. I deglazed the pan with some of the bubbly, as well as used it to finish the sauce just prior to removing from the heat.

Side dish was Onion and Rosemary Roasted red bliss potatoes.

When I got home, put the bubbly in the fridge immediately, and let it chill for 2 hours. Approximate serving temperature was 55 – 60 degrees. Since this was a red wine, I figured it would need to breathe a bit, so upon opening I promptly decanted and waited 2 hours.

Just kidding. I’m a kidder.

Color was a beautiful and surprising dark blackberry. Yes, I knew this was a red sparkler, but I was still expecting something more of a rose hue. You don’t want to spill this on the carpet (but if you do, make sure you blame the kids). The bubbles were not overpowering…just right. Enough to tickle, not enough to annoy.

Initial nose was that of Welch’s grape juice, but in a good way. It was a familiar scent. As my wife said “this would be really dangerous around children.” First sip for me was a fruit-forward burst of cassis and berries, with a dry tobacco finish. Assertive at first, but with a mellow, smooth end. My wife thought of bubbly Ocean Spray.

To Mrs. Stiff it seemed the perfect drink to serve at a bridal shower. I can’t relate.

Back to the wine. Always a sucker for Mumm, particularly the Cuvee M blue, I really enjoyed this. It was familiar to me, yet unexpected. Does that make sense? It will, when you taste it.

I tell you one thing, it sure made that mushroom sauce sing. Then again, I don’t usually use $30 wine when I cook…but since WD was paying, I figured…why not? (I used about 4 ounces total…just enough to lend flavor.) I’d do it again, even on my own dime.

The wine was a perfect complement to both the potatoes and the chicken. It cut the richness of the sauce. While I didn’t have any desert around, I was able to scrounge up a chocolate chip cookie. And you know what…it really paired well. Better than milk, even, and much more potent. Milk is for mortals. Sparkling wine…that’s what Labrats eat their cookies with. (Do not hate. Your jealousy only makes us stronger. We are Labrat.)

Other desserts I can see going with this wine include Strawberry shortcake, berries and ice cream, and, of course, anything chocolate. I liked the fact that this could make the journey from dinner to desert and not only stand up well to both courses, but complement all food pairings I tried.

Now, while I did not sample this with cheese, I really don’t see this as a good choice when looking to pair a wine with cheese. Well, maybe a baked brie with fruit, but that’s about it. Then again, I could be wrong. If WD wants to send me another bottle, I’ll gladly try it with cheese. It’s the least I could do.

At the moment, I have enough left for another glass and a half. I was going to wait until tomorrow to see how the bubbles hold up, but then realized that tomorrow will be too late…the deal will be gone. So now, 2 hours after opening, I will venture to the fridge and do a pour, in the name of science. Bottle was sealed with a standard wine topper…I did not pump the air out. Flavor is a bit more rounded, subdued, but that could be due to the fact that it is being served colder now than before. Regardless, I think I’ll need to finish the bottle tonight. I’ll wait another hour, and if still awake and alert, will post an updated bubble report.

For those of you who want to skip to the good stuff, and didn’t want to read the above (God knows I’m not gonna sit here and read through all that blabbering…once I write it, I’m done!), here’s a summary:

Color: Blackberry/Dark raspberry. Almost opaque.

Nose: Welchy, familiar, but in a good way.
Flavor profile: Sweet at first, with a smooth, dry finish. I taste cassis, berries, tobacco, and a slight cranberry tartness.

Overall score: On a scale of 1-10, I give it a solid 8.5.

Goes well with: Seemingly everything, from rich to sweet. Would definitely like to try with sushi. Do not think this would go well with cheese, but could be wrong.

Overall impressions: Fun, tasty, different yet familiar. It’s a great way to have red wine on a hot day. Would buy again. Good party wine, as long as you have scotch guard.



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

dt18997


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dt18997

When I got home i was excited to see that i had just missed a package from fedex. So i drove to the fedex office with my door tag and got a box. I was so excited because i had never thought i would be a lab rat. Well, I have my Mumm Cevee M Red chilled and ready to drink. I had originally thought of having it with a meal but NOT. I'm going to have it by itself. Just so everyone knows I'm still learning about wines and I find wine.woot.com irresistable. So forgive me if this isn't the best of reviews.

The Color of the Mumm is beautiful and the smell coming from the glass is quite refreshing. My first taste feels like there's a party in my mouth, and all my taste buds are standing up for joy as i watch this fabulous Celtic team win the championship. I'm entranced by the berry smell and i can't seem to puit it down without finishing the glass. I really like this and I plan on ordering more next time. Thanks woot for the opportunity.

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
dodongo wrote:First of all, let me disclose as an unabashed Mumm devotee (I'm going to pick up my most recent club shipment on Wednesday). So with that in mind, I'd like to piggyback on what Liz said about the wines...

1. Cuvee M Red. I actually find it hard to believe this wine gets a sec dosage (meaning it's relatively sweet in the domain of sparkling wines). The tannins in the Pinot Noir from which the wine is fermented and the Syrah dosage leave it feeling very robust. I understand why the sugar is added, though, because with that much tannin AND the effervescence, this could be an intolerably tart, mouth-puckering wine otherwise. I really, really like this one a lot and recommend it heavily at Thanksgiving. I'm especially impressed by how you can feel the 'gears shift' from the PN front palate to a bit of the Syrah at the end. Honestly, those of you having this shipped to you outside of CA, this bad boy alone is $30 at the winery... And it's worth the treat.

2. Reserve Brut. They served this at a get-together last year along with like tuna (or some white fish) salad served on thin slices of cucumber. And I'll be damned if that wine does not pair excellently with cucumber. I have no idea why they thought to do this, but I've tried it again myself, and yeah, it's a dead ringer with the cuke, and I don't even like cucumber.

3. Cuvee M Blue. I actually don't care for this wine on its own. But don't let that fool you... The. Best. Mimosa. Wine. Ever. We're spoiled brats here in California to have oranges right off the tree, but if you can't do that, splurge on one of the more expensive fresh-squeezed containers at the supermarket. Honestly, that's a little bit of heaven in a glass.

I think the QPR on these remains excellent, especially if you find the right pairings for them. And just on a flat-out bargain-basement level, this is substantially less than you could get them from the winery. Even if other outlets sell the available wines for less, I wouldn't think you could come too close to this price outside Woot.



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

yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
BoredStiff wrote:Not a labrat report, but will go on memory from the Cuvee M Blue, which I got last round and have purchased since:

Very light pink hue. Bubbles are small, active, pleasant. It is sweet, but not cloyingly so. No one will get this confused with an Asti Spumanti. Insanely drinkeable. I can down a bottle without realizing it.

While I imagine it would go well with most appetizers and desserts (though I can't imagine it with red meat), I prefer it on its own. Just me and the wine. Maybe some brie and crackers, or other soft ripe cheese.

This is one of my all time favorite sparklers (my absolute favorite being a Mumm variety from France, which I am still trying to track down (red and white label, I think, but not the prestige). Then again, I HATE Dom and am not a big fan of Perrier Joulet (way too dry for my tastes...I liken it to drinking sand.) So, YMMV.

In fact, on the last Mumm offering, I kept the Cuvee M blue for myself, and gifted the Brut Prestige bottles. Most people prefer the Prestige and see it as a "finer" or "better" gift. Me, I go for blue. Simple, easy to drink, well balanced. If theprice were $50 a bottle, I'd still buy it.


pmarin


quality posts: 6 Private Messages pmarin

[Cross-post from main thread.]

Labrat Reserve Brut reporting in -- initial results.

Had cooled to about 62 for serving -- probably not bad because I don't think you want to chill something like this too much -- it would be a waste. Served wife, brother-in-law, and I, in Spiegelau Champagne glasses.

I'll focus on their comments, because they are probably the most useful.

Wife: "I like this one. Doesn't want to make me pucker up."
B-i-l: "color is like a light gold." [Wife and B-i-l debated on whether it was light gold or white gold. Probably somewhere between the two. very nice pale yellow-gold in my opinion.]
[Me:] I think this was the "smoothest" Brut I have had. It wasn't sweet, and yet, there was some sweetness in the inital taste. It didn't have that feeling that many Brut sparkling give. I don't mind that feeling, but in this case it was clear that this was a plus for the other two, and I thought it was fine myself.

B-i-l: "I like the way the flavor goes away."
[Me:] This one took some more questioning. Is that good or bad? What does it mean? What this comes out as is an initial sweetness that magically disappears, without leaving either a sweet or bitter aftertaste. I guess you would call that a clean finish. I like it too, but never thought about it that way.
[Incidentally I taste cream, peach, vanilla, a lot of stuff going on, but never overpowering]

We talked about the small bubbles (OK, I have to admit I read the Mumm website and learned that you should look for lots of tiny rapidly developing and moving bubbles). I mentioned to my wife what I just learned about bubbles.
Her comments: "Flavor comes out, and slowly fizzes away. I like that."

Incidentally, I made up a plate of flavors to go with it -- olives, a variety of harder cheeses, proscuitto, orange pepper, some bread, and, even cucumber. I think this helped explore the flavors but it's clear this was a nice champagne, er, sparkling wine with or without accompaniment.

The other conclusion was that if you wanted to serve a really nice sparkling wine, even to people who were normally put off by the "puckeriness" of many fine ones, this is a great one. Well, the actual quote was "If you want to get hooked on good champagne..." So I guess we are hooked.

yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
pmarin wrote:[Cross-post from main thread.]

Labrat Reserve Brut reporting in -- initial results.

Had cooled to about 62 for serving -- probably not bad because I don't think you want to chill something like this too much -- it would be a waste. Served wife, brother-in-law, and I, in Spiegelau Champagne glasses.

I'll focus on their comments, because they are probably the most useful.

Wife: "I like this one. Doesn't want to make me pucker up."
B-i-l: "color is like a light gold." [Wife and B-i-l debated on whether it was light gold or white gold. Probably somewhere between the two. very nice pale yellow-gold in my opinion.]
[Me:] I think this was the "smoothest" Brut I have had. It wasn't sweet, and yet, there was some sweetness in the inital taste. It didn't have that feeling that many Brut sparkling give. I don't mind that feeling, but in this case it was clear that this was a plus for the other two, and I thought it was fine myself.

B-i-l: "I like the way the flavor goes away."
[Me:] This one took some more questioning. Is that good or bad? What does it mean? What this comes out as is an initial sweetness that magically disappears, without leaving either a sweet or bitter aftertaste. I guess you would call that a clean finish. I like it too, but never thought about it that way.
[Incidentally I taste cream, peach, vanilla, a lot of stuff going on, but never overpowering]

We talked about the small bubbles (OK, I have to admit I read the Mumm website and learned that you should look for lots of tiny rapidly developing and moving bubbles). I mentioned to my wife what I just learned about bubbles.
Her comments: "Flavor comes out, and slowly fizzes away. I like that."

Incidentally, I made up a plate of flavors to go with it -- olives, a variety of harder cheeses, proscuitto, orange pepper, some bread, and, even cucumber. I think this helped explore the flavors but it's clear this was a nice champagne, er, sparkling wine with or without accompaniment.

The other conclusion was that if you wanted to serve a really nice sparkling wine, even to people who were normally put off by the "puckeriness" of many fine ones, this is a great one. Well, the actual quote was "If you want to get hooked on good champagne..." So I guess we are hooked.



Very nice, Thank you



cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
bunnymasseuse wrote:Ok so I ran the blue Mumm through the remaining folks at my work before heading home, I will be opening the Brut then (as Mr. L is indisposed at the moment). (The Cuvee M was not my labrat bottle, but I opened it up last night and it's still going strong today, none of the tasters knew it had been open for atleast 12 hrs while being sealed).

Their tastes on the Blue are:
1. Sweet, but not syrupy sweet, likes it, thinks wife will like it (normally prefers white wines in general)
2. Sweet, tastes citrus, not heavy (normally a wine drinker, will drink red and whites and not choosey to one or the other)
3. Sweet, good, would drink this (not normally a wine drinker, will occasionally have a red with a steak or meat but does not normally drink it. I will not here that this person also enjoys a dark Guinness like myself from time to time).


Update: Taster 1 liked it so much the rest of the bottle is going home with him, and I'm heading home with the Brut to give it some tasting notes. Cuvee M right now is on the back of my throat giving me tingles of anticipation of tasting it's fellow offering! More later!!



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

bunnymasseuse


quality posts: 2 Private Messages bunnymasseuse

Brut Report INC, take cover folks!!

Ok, so having cleansed my palate from the Blue earlier, I've uncorked the Brut.

I'll mark my Better Half's remarks first:
Sweet, overly 'grapey' he says. I think by this he means its a bit heavier than the Blue he had tasted last night that he liked and said he'd drink. He easily gets a headache from most wines, so the easier on him the more he tends to like them. He says if the deal was just on the Brut alone he would not say he'd want to buy it. He normally prefers fruity wines, but not specific of the grape variety (strawberry, apple, etc) so he's more of a non-grapey fan than a grapes alone.

My interpretations so far:

The BRUT is a different animal. It's not the sister of the Cuvee, it's more like a cousin. I feel like it has enough similarities to be 'family' but stands out on it's own in different ways.

Mouth feel was like having the "Scrubbing Bubbles" commerical on tv in my mouth. More bubbly than the M, overall like my mouth was being scrubbed , tingles more than the M. I find less noticable bubble in the glass, more of it seems to be saved for the mouth. Tingle was good, lingering taste on the tongue, mostly middle to back of the 'grapey' taste that BH was reporting. I think it's a bit stronger in the fruit 'forward' than the M was (M was lighter, this is a bit heavier in thickness) but it isn't super heavy, just noticable between having one then the other. At this point, I'd say the 'citrus' taste was more prevelant.

Notes on the bottle mention Apple, which I think is what lingers on the back of the tongue, as if it's a hit of say, apple pie (non-spiced). I think I tasted more peach in the M than the Brut. Overall, I think the M was easier to drink when you weren't eating anything else, however the Brut might need something to balance out it's "weight" (it's a heavier hitter, it's like the difference between a light beer and a med beer, you notice the difference but it's not that extreme).

I decided to get some honey roasted peanuts to help bring out the nutty flavor that is hidden in the description listed. I did find that the sugar of the peanut covering didn't help, but the nutty flavor in general made it easier for me to associate with that taste in the wine, where as if you were at a bar it's possible all you'd have might be bar peanuts The honey taste of the nuts brought out the honey tinges of the wine, again, subtle but noticable. I will mention that the more of the nuts I ate, the stronger the honey taste from them started to highlight the honey affect in the wine. Many times what I describe are highlights of one flavor over another at one time, but none of them seem to dominate, very well balanced, and yes, a bit drier than the M from last night's sacrifical wine lamb.

After sitting some, I start to taste more peach and apple now, not quite as 'mouth cleaning' going on, but easier to handle, as if some of the weight has lifted by sitting in the glass some.

I do like this, and I think I'd have plenty times I'd find it a good suit. Maybe with a cobbler, helping bring some cooling to what might be an overly sugary sweet dessert. I think this would go well with say, pork chops? Perhaps that might be odd, but I think the flavor of it leads well to give a balance between the texture of the pork and the texture/flavors of the Brut. I wonder if this would do well baked in an Angel Food, but as I recall it's not a good one for having additives allow for rising of the dessert. Maybe as a side to it, say, an Angel Food with Chocolate syrup perhaps, and the Brut to match.

I wish I had some OJ to try making a mimosa out of, but I think it would go well if you wanted one that had a bit more 'bite' to it

Overall, I'm very happy that I got 2 of these orders, and I would have still been happy with another. I think having the variety will do well, and I could see over time how I might come to prefer the Brut over the M.

Thank you WD for the opportunity to be a labrat, and I do hope I didn't let anyone down!

(and I will say for the record I am a outward merlot lover, so I find that when I prefer something from "the other side of the fence" it's a big deal. I never figured I'd be a sparkly lover, but I have found that it's my one indulgence I have that allows me to mingle and drink when the party might only provide for those that do not have the refined tastes that I might be still developing. I love my merlot, but sparkling wine might just be that mistress I've been longing for My wines look best in a dark indulging red dress, but sometimes you gotta go gold and dazzle them!)

121 Woots and counting

cjsiege


quality posts: 13 Private Messages cjsiege

Mumm Napa Cuvee M
The perpetrators (tasters) for the evening: CJ, Pat (the wootlegger), Bill (Pat’s husband), Robyn and Lisa ( both friends of CJ’s).
The victim: Mumm Napa Cuvee M
The accomplices: brownies, pound cake, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and an assortment of Nancy’s Spirals appetizers that I found in the freezer case at the local club store. (Note: the accomplices were selected prior to knowing the victim’s identity. The perpetrators had to be prepared for all comers.)

Since I already know what my reaction will be (and this is a real favorite of mine), I sat back and recorded notes while everyone else tasted. What you are about to read is real. It took place in Pat’s dining room – an undisclosed location in north-central Virginia. The time: 8:20pm.

The victim was uncorked and small samples were poured into aperitif glasses. (With 5 perpetrators, you have to use small glasses.)
(P) Is there citrus in here?
(R) mmmm…
(L) That’s quite lovely. Smells bready at first, then grapefruity.
(R) Fruitier than I’m used to. Most champagnes just fizz and dry out your mouth. This has really nice fruitiness.
(CJ) I think I’m getting vanilla on the nose. But the taste is citrus…more lemony than other fruit.

The perpetrators loaded up dessert plates with an assortment of goodies, so as to fully experiment.
(P) Good with chocolate. (L) More citrusy with the chocolate. But not in a bad way.
(P) Amazing how the taste of the wine changes with the food!
(R) Really good, more punch with the blackberry. Chocolate mutes it (cirtrus), berry enhances it.
(L) I don’t know. With the fruit, the citrus is more pronounced. Need to pair with a fruit that’s not as acidic as the strawberry.
(CJ) *wrinkled nose* Strawberry makes it too sour. Almost like grapefruit. And I’m not a grapefruit fan. {Agreement around the table. Switch to savory snacks.}
(R) Not as good with the savory snacks. It doesn’t go too well with the ham & turkey spiral.
(L) Yeah, I had the salami & cheese spiral, and it’s not a good match.
(R) But it’s pretty good with the Veggie-Cheese ones.
(P) Hard to get the right “food- food” with this. Not dessert food, but “food-food”.

{More discussion about food pairing commences.}
(P) Black Forest cake!!! Oooh, and with the cherries it would be great! {Chorus of Oooohs around the table.}
(CJ) May I have some more?
(B) No!!! {Laughter}
( R & L) Pass it down…we need some more.
(B) Will McG has a dead palate. But it still tastes good.

Time of death: 9:00 pm.
Cause of death: Consumption
Final verdict: Five strong recommendations. Recommend pairing with chocolate and non-acidic fruits. Be careful what you pair it with. This wine could bite back! But absolutely a great, stand-alone, sip on its own wine!

Quotes of the evening: (R): Don’t need to have anything with it. I enjoy it right out of the bottle. (which is exactly how CJ enjoys it, too.) (L): Had a long day, and this is sitting in the fridge… it would not be a bad night.

Our sincerest thanks to WD for the opportunity and the Golden Ticket! Thanks also to Mumm Napa for producing an excellent bottle of wine. This will continue to be a favorite of mine for a long, long time!

sikorski


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sikorski

I'm going to cut to the chase. Today was hot in San Jose, not Austin hot (or humid) but still, 93-95 degrees.

So, after a 45 minute bike ride home, boatloads of water (really? boadloads? ok), a little dinner and some "to-do" list items it was nice to settle down to a little CA bubbly.

I don't have the energy to try and match foods right now so sorry about that.

The initial flavors I noticed were apricot/hint of lemon with a very light peach aftertaste. It is creamy but I'm not getting vanilla. It is most definitely a Sec though, so my mouth gummed up like I was drinking a soda (just something that happens when I drink anything sweet so, not a ding). I think the sweetness of M Blue makes it a perfect sparkling wine for brunch. That said I much prefer a drier, yellow cake type bubbly. But many thanks to Woot! for letting me be a Labrat!

yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2

Week of 6/16 – Second Offering - Greg Norman Shiraz - Two Pack

This week's pack:
LabROUS (Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2002 Limestone Coast)
LabROUS / SonomaBouliste (Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2001 Limestone Coast)
hershelk (Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2002 Limestone Coast)



labROUS wrote:LabROUS review: an attempt at objective description of wine. My goal is to give you an idea of the aromas, flavors and structure of the wine(s) reviewed. Because wine preferences are personal, I try to stay away from “quality” assessment. It is, of course, impossible to completely ignore my pet likes and dislikes, but I will try to let you know when I’m expressing opinion - for example, many of you are aware that I am not fond of heavy oak or high alcohol.


- Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2002 Limestone Coast

This wine is quite dark and still has a bit of youthful purple tint. The initial aromas include a fair amount of coconut-like oak.. I’m probably part of a minority who would even comment on this, and I’ve certainly had many oakier wines. There’s some blueberry and blackberry fruit, chocolate and mint (I was reminded of Andes mints). Swirling brings out some of the trademark Syrah character - smoked bacon, iodine, game, white pepper and violet, along with ripe plum, fennel and a bit of caramel or toffee. The minty (eucalyptus?) note is always present, but never dominant.
The entry is moderately sweet, supple and mouthcoating, with some oak adding to the richness. The acid balance is spot-on, not tart as I was expecting after peeking at the stats, and prevents the wine from becoming heavy or cloying. The tannins are rich and fairly soft, adding structure and some astringency on the finish. This is not a monster that demands aging, but certainly has the stuff to last and develop for several more years. The finish is fairly long and rich, and should get even longer and smoother as the oak becomes fully integrated and the tannins soften a bit more.




yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
SonomaBouliste wrote:Greg Norman Reserve Shiraz 2001 Limestone Coast

I don’t have these wines side by side, but the 2001 seems to be not quite as dark, but more youthful in color. The oak is not as obvious in the aromas as it is in the ’02; there’s more blackberry and raspberry, smoke and bacon. With swirling, I get cassis and mulberry, licorice and pepper. The oak is not prominent, just a bit of toast and butterscotch, and the mint/ eucalyptus is only a suggestion. After more time and air, the blackberry/mulberry, licorice and bacon aromas are joined by leather and clove.
The entry isn’t quite as big and sweet as the ’02 (less oak?), but is supple and velvety. The blackberry flavor is brightened by a decent level of acid, leading to a long smooth finish with persistent fruit and licorice flavors. There is still some astringency that suggests aging potential of several more years, but the wine is also drinking very nicely right now.


Finally, to compare and contrast:

The 2002 is a bigger, oakier, more mouthfilling wine, made in a style that is very popular these days. It is somewhat more in the direction of what we call “Parkerized”, but it’s not over-the-top. It’s got more “wow factor” – the stuff that wins tastings and medals, but will be tougher to match with food. The 2001 is more in a style I prefer: balanced, concentrated but not to excess, with oak in a supporting, rather than major, role. This wine isn’t as big as the ’02, and should be more food friendly, although it’s perfectly enjoyable on it’s own.

Edit: Oops!, I forgot to log on as labROUS - I guess I've Plamed myself.


yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2
hershelk wrote:OK, here goes my first real-time review of the 2002, there will probably be a couple more as the evening progresses.

It was a little warm after the FedEx trip, the short office stay and the trip home. It was probably around room temperature, but when room temperature is 80 degrees it is too warm. Still, I was full with anticipation as I opened the wine to try an initial taste.

The color is a dark muddy plumb color and it is easy to see that there is a decent amount of residual sugar which leads to a very smooth mouth feel. On first sniff, I detected a high note of some sort which I couldn't place until I went back and read the prior posting regarding coconut, which is close but maybe a little more tropical. This transformed after a while into something darker, more like figs with a little bit of chocolate and characteristic gaminess.

The wine tasted well balanced with just the right amount of tannins for my taste. Bright but not distracting. There was a touch of tartness which reminded me of currents with some spiciness which evolved to to a nuttiness in the finish, probably from the oak.

It was, however, too warm so I have banished it to the cellar for now and will emerge later for dinner. Where i can see how it will work with food.

I have some mushroom/truffle spread which I may start out with and I think may go well with the earthiness and the nuttiness. I am also grilling a leg of lamb and may try a wine/raspberry reduction to go with that may work well with the up front fruit, we'll see. I have a friend coming over to lend her opinion so we will both chime in later.

So far I am enjoying it and expect it will improve with time and temperature.


yathink2


quality posts: 4 Private Messages yathink2

hershelk pt 2

hershelk wrote:I am now back for part two of the review after it had been cellared for a couple of hours and served with dinner. Joining me in this discussion is my friend Debb.

Debb says: She liked it quite a bit and thought that for a Shiraz it was not too heavy like some can be (This is a friend who just returned from an extensive tour of Australia and should know). As opposed to many a young Shiraz sampled on the trip, this one did not require an electric toothbrush afterwards. Also we both agreed that it seemed to get better the longer it sat. My initial thought was not to decant the wine, but on reflection it might benefit from decanting about an hour before. Mellow some of the tannins (a good indication that it could last a couple years in the cellar).

The wine actually paired very well with the food that I prepared. The mushroom/truffle spread helped bring out the earthiness of the wine. I grilled lamb and made a raspberry wine reduction that seemed to pair well with the fruitiness. We were tasting some sour cherry notes that went well with the lamb and sauce. Also, as the wine breathed we began to get a hint of licorice, Delightfully changing character over time.

I would recommend and I look forward to receiving my Woot order.




MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Week of 6/23 -- Donati Red - Three Pack

1 2004 Sorelle Per Sempre
1 2004 Merlot
1 2005 Claret

This week's pack:
cesare - Labrat Report for the '04 Sorelle Per Sempre (with pic)
cesare, Day 2 - Labrat Report for the '04 Sorelle Per Sempre Part 2 (with pic)
rcomar - Labrat Report #2 for the '04 Sorelle Per Sempre
phirsch - Labrat Report for the '05 Claret
bstrmbn - Labrat Report #2 for the '05 Claret
DonaldWilliams - Labrat Report #1 for '04 Merlot
DonaldWilliams #2 - Labrat Report #1 for '04 Merlot, Part 2
DonaldWilliams #3 - Labrat Report #1 for '04 Merlot, Part 3
DonaldWilliams #4 - Labrat Report #1 for '04 Merlot, Final thoughts

Volunteer rats:
yessrinc - Claret

Last Oct ('07) Merlot Labrats: (see next three posts for them, links too)
eja11950
Loweeel
Nallie


Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Loweeel (our resident PSycho) also reviewed the Donati '04 Merlot last time. This is what he had to say last Oct. 9th (2007):

Loweeel's post


Loweeel wrote:And... here... we... GO!!!!

Donati Family Vineyards 2004 Merlot, 70 F (probably a few degrees too hot, which is why I stuck the decanter in the fridge for 15-20 mins), and consumed out of Riedel O Cab/Merlot glasses.

First off, let me give a bit of background about myself, so you understand where I'm coming from in terms of my wine tastes. When I first started liking wine, about 24-18 months ago, my only criterion was, "does this go well with steak?" My parents are both big red meat eaters, as am I, and we eat steak fairly often. My first exposure to wines that I enjoyed was through steak, and the kinds of big reds that has a symbiotic relationship with a still-bleeding, garlic-flavored, steaming and seared hunk of deliciously marbled, aged beef. As you can probably tell from my love affair with Petite Sirah (and Boekenhoutskloof's 2005 The Wolftrap), I think that my tastes have broadened, rather than shifted.

However, not to pat myself on the back too much, but after drinking this wine, I'm somewhat proud of myself for having grown enough to enjoy it, even though it was decidedly NOT good with this evening's garlicy, peppery, salted sirloin. All the negatives are here: (a) it's somewhat of a changeling, changing not only from glass to glass, but within each class. The tannins firm up and separate, the fruit comes and goes on the palate, but I think that might be the combination of travel shock and decanting. (b) it's too fruity to go with "big meats" like sirloin and NY strip; I would not have this with lamb or any game meats at all; in fact, I found this actively unpleasant both while masticating a piece of steak and immediately thereafter. This contrasts significantly with my beloved Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as many of the Bordeaux/Meritage blends I've had, even the CabFranc heavy ones. I think this would go well with poultry with red sauces, and it goes very well on its own as well.

It's very silky and smooth and juicy, almost decadently so. I can see why they describe Merlot in feminine terms, as it's a very seductive wine. I don't have a lot of experience with Merlot -- haven't even cracked open the Mill Creek yet. But this is one of the juiciest wines I've ever had. Tannins ranging from soft-to-medium, firming up as the wine decanted and settled in both the decanter and the glass, but a little weak on the midpalate. But great fruit on the start and the finish, nice acidity. A very long finish for this price, or longer than I'm used to. It's just a very pleasant wine. Not hugely structured, nor a big wine. But VERY pleasant to drink. I said that it doesn't go with steak, but unlike a lot of tannic cabs and Pets, it doesn't NEED to.

As for the fruit, when I popped and poured, it was sour black cherries and unripe blueberries, which ripened as the wine settled and opened, which was a very pleasant evolution. The nose, slightly muted at first (again from travel shock?) has become more evident, also of the same ripening black cherry and blueberry, with hints of very soft leather, cloves, and even carpaccio by the end of the bottle. Soft traces of vanilla suggest just the right amount of oak, but this is really almost buttery by the end. Absolutely incredible mouthfeel for a red -- soft, juicy, and silky smooth.

My favorite thing about this wine was that, aside from the bad experience pairing it with the sirloins, it really did get nicer from sip to sip, and glass to glass. Like I said, I don't know much about merlot, and because of that, I don't know if the varietal and the style combined -- new world merlot -- are for me, given my steak-centric tastes. But I'm certainly going to drink and enjoy the bottles that I have coming. Great mouthfeel, great fruit, and just a very pleasant, not challenging wine that can stand well by itself.

In a way, it's the opposite of SonomaBouliste's Wellington Cab (with 24% merlot), with both as opposite ends of the "I can drink this alone" spectrum. That's more of an old world, Cab-style, and this is a new-world merlot style (with ~10% cab), but while neither is particularly difficult, challenging, or mindblowing wines, both are certainly unassuming and incredibly pleasant to drink, especially on their own.

I should add that the color is fantastic -- a dark garnet red -- and while a tad hot on the nose and finish when just popped and poured, that disappears quickly. I'd love to see what will happen to this over the coming years, and I guess I'll find out. This should age nicely -- it has the acidity, the fruit, and the tannins to do so.




Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

And Nallie also reviewed the Donati '04 Merlot on 10/9/07:

Nallie's Report


nallie wrote:Nallie reporting in just past her self-imposed deadline. Sorry, was delayed by the need to file a police report (every yin has its yang; still and all the minor police related incident was much less of a bummer than the lab rat status was of a victory, so the day is still looking good by my standards of measurement).

2004 Merlot - Just out of the bottle with 3 swirls in a nice large glass. Yum. I taste more cab tendencies (but no green pepper) than a typical merlot. It's hot, but I personally do not find that objectionable. I taste cloves for sure. I'm going to let it simmer down a bit and I'll keep editing this same post as the night (and the character of the wine) advances.

ADDED 8:40 pm pt - Dark and lovely in the glass, smelling more and more like chocolate and cherries and cloves (which is a surprisingly happy combination on the tongue it turns out). I am still not really getting the typical merlot read out of this. It has just got too much backbone.

I am not eating anything with it yet, but I think it would hold up well against any hearty or spicy dish. It seems a natural for richer foods. Greasy burgers, goose livers, red sauced pasta, thick steak or carne asada with all the fixin's - anything that needs a little acid to act as tastebud Drano (honestly, I mean that in the most complimentary way) would pair perfectly with this merlot.

Without the benefit of an oily entree, this wine is still delightful. It's not timid, but it's an easy drink. There is heat, there are tannins -which keep playing like cloves on my tongue, but they are kept in balance by the cherries and chocolate. The mouth feel is nice, the finish is lasting.

If you are in the mood for a delicate pinot noir, this wine will not please your palate, but neither is it too jammy. I keep saying balance (and I really haven't swallowed that much wine yet so that's not the problem) because that's how it strikes me. Not a 'graceful contortionist a la Cirque de Soleil' balance. More like an 'elephant upheld by only his trunk in the middle of the center ring, with maybe a monkey on his back just to keep it interesting' balance. It makes you go 'wow' more than it makes you draw in your breath quietly.

Ok, that's all for now, back in half an hour or so with the final report.

ADDED 9:15 Well, now I've gone and corrupted all further objective reporting by reading Loweeel' s and eja's posts on the same wine. Sorry; couldn't help it.

In defense of my divergent opinion on this wine's potential with steak, let me expand further. I am speaking hypothetically, as unlike Loweeel I did not try this wine with steak; everyone likes different things together; when I eat steak it is almost always rib eye and it is almost never seasoned with anything except salt and olive oil. I don't like black pepper in anything but my zinfandels, and would send back a steak if it were peppered without my knowledge, so my version of what steak tastes like may in no way be reminiscent of Loweeel's steak tonight.

I am still loving this wine, but more so. I think I will cellar at least one bottle, because you can just taste the potential for aging. I will probably drink another much sooner, when I'm in the mood for a wine that sips easily but will not be ignored. (But not in that scary, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction 'will not be ignored' kind of a way.)

I’m going to post more below about the very hysterical language on the golden ticket, but first I have 2 athletes with sore backs who are demanding my attention…




Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

eja11950 reviewed the Donati '04 Merlot last time. This is what he had to say last Oct. 9th (2007):

eja11950's post

eja11950 wrote:Okay, here is my perspective on the 2004 Donati Family Vineyard Merlot. It tastes like grapes…. just kidding!

I came home after work and put it in the wine fridge for about an hour while I went to the gym.

After the gym, I poured a taste to get first impressions and then decanted the remainder for around 30 minutes before enjoying it with my wife.

When poured it has a nice garnet shade and good long legs in the glass.

Aroma: I picked up hints of peppercorn, vanilla, and slight bit of alcohol in the nose.

Taste: there is a moderate amount of fruitiness mainly black cherry and currant flavors. There is also a slight tartness and you do taste some alcohol but it doesn’t overpower the wine. As its pretty young, I wouldn’t call it a mellow Merlot at this point. Tannins: if I put it on a scale (1 being virtually none and 10 being huge parch your tongue Cab or Malbec) I would put it at a 4 or 5.

After decanting the black cherry does come out a bit more to match the alcohol and the tartness dissipates making for a very satisfying wine. It is a mouthful, perhaps in a perfect world it could have used another couple months in Donati’s oak barrels, but it was very enjoyable nonetheless. I think if cellared for a year or two it would be a knockout.

I look forward to having it again with a nice meal when the trio arrives.




Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

HitAnyKey42


quality posts: 29 Private Messages HitAnyKey42

Moderator Please delete this.

My Cellar
In a Glorious Marriage.Woot with cheron98
NYC Tastings

Cesare


quality posts: 1561 Private Messages Cesare

2004 Sorelle Per Sempre report



Questo vino è buonissimo! Seriously, this is really good wine.
Krista made some Trader Joe's Spicy Italian Vino & Formaggio Chicken Sausage on the grill, Pasta with light meat sauce, and sautéed kale from my mom's garden.
Decanted the SPS for a short time, saved half the bottle in a 375ml for tomorrow. The color is beautiful, deep dark red.
On the nose we got alcohol, berries and dark fruit, some cocoa and earthiness mixed in. Krista said chocolate covered strawberries but I wasn't getting the same thing. We didn't get any oak.
On the palate: Entry is kind of thin, mildly acidic but not tannic. Mid palate is soft and balanced but not getting much else on it. Finish is excellent. Medium to long, spicy, some fruit, nice light tannins which are well integrated. The finish also finally shows some of the alcohol but without the heat.
This wine is right between old world and new world - which I think is wonderful. It smells almost like an alcoholic fruit bomb but it's not, the taste does have some dark berry fruit and alcohol but it also has a nice rustic component, earthy and spicy, and - no oak. They really did a good job on this blend, balanced and smooth, good structure, no component stronger than another.
As it sat in the decanter and glass it mellowed out a bit and got even better, especially in the mid palate which filled in a bit. This is a good food wine and now that I think about it I would like to try it with cheese next time. I thought this was the best of both worlds and it's really kind of fascinating how these varietals come together here. Kind of like a ready-to-drink-now new world Bordeaux. This wine is why I drink wine!
Grazie per l'opportunità Vinodavide!

Day 2 Sorelle Per Sempre


Tonight we had garlic, lemon and herb pork loin on the grill. With roasted red white and blue baby potatoes, roasted corn on the cob, sauteed yellow oyster mushrooms, and sauteed asparagus; all from the farm market here in nyc.
The wine was stored in a 375ml bottle overnight in the fridge. Brought to room temp over 2 hours. Wow, this is still good, and excellent day 2 wine. It hasn't changed much, on the nose I think it's a little earthier, maybe some mushroom coming through. I think more of the merlot is showing today. On the palate it has rounded out nicely with fruit and spice and alcohol. It has more bite, especially on the finish. Definitely more spicy finish today. I don't think this is much worse than yesterday, just different. If you had this as a day 1 wine you would be very happy!

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Volunteer Labrat: yessrinc


yessrinc wrote:Labratting from my cellar, rather than WW. I got six of the Claret from Wine Spies, and their review is pretty well on the mark. After 45 minutes in one of Winedavid's decanters (hey, why not sell a funnel that aerates and a screen?), the nose is present but not forward. Cherries evolve into less specific dark fruit with a hint of spice. It is a basically dry wine once the tannins appear, but there are delicious plummy flavors with a smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel once in the mouth. There's about a 30 second finish that starts with the plum/blackberry flavors and very gradually subsides. The tannins are dry, but pretty well integrated. The alcohol is so well balanced that it's barely noticeable. I need to disclose that I'm a big claret fan, and enjoy the tannins, but others could be more sensitive. Mrs. Y gave it a B+, which i think is a fair grade, and would translate to an 89 for me.




Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


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1st Labrat for '05 Claret: phirsch

phirsch wrote:Labrat Report for the '05 Claret - Thanks WD!!!

Preface: This is my first post (ever) and first Claret experience. I drink mainly dry red wines, and have no experience as a wine hater. My family reunion took place last week and today I have seen off my last houseguest. I did not have the energy to build a meal around the Claret, so I took the wine and a friend to a restaurant for labratting.

The wine was not decanted, but was very nice right out of the bottle (glasses were used). It was on the dry side, but not overly so; well balanced, actually - my dinner companion said, and I quote, "It was just right!" It was good without food.

Then the bacon wrapped dates with balsamic vinegarete greens and plum sauce arrived...........and I have to say, the salty sweetness of the appetizer complimented the wine. The dryness of the wine had softened, but not sure if this was from the food, or breathing.

For an entree I had a lovely ribeye, with grilled asparagus and gruyere mac and cheese. The Claret went very well with the meal.

I am glad I ordered this set (X2) from Donati, and am looking forward to trying the other two wines.

Hope this helps! I love the whole wine.woot experience, but think I will go back to lurking now........




Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


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2nd Labrat for '05 Claret: bstrmbn

bstrmbn wrote:With apologies to phirsch

Labrat Report for the '05 Claret - Thanks WD!!!
Preface: This is my first post (ever - on wine.woot) . I drink mainly dry red wines, and have no experience as a wine hater. My wife and I celebrated out anniversary tonight. We already had plans to go out for dinner - I contemplated taking the claret to the restaraunt - but I missed the first delivery attempt today - and after being in the FEDEX van all day, the wine was too warm to drink when I got it home.....

Second part of preface: I feel like the WOOT gods have been very good to me over the last few days - got my first Blushing Over Compliments on Friday after trying for 3-1/2 years, and got the golden ticket in wine.woot today.

After getting home from a dinner out tonight, my wife and I took a cruise around the small lake we live on - taking the cooler Claret with us on the boat. The wine was not decanted, but was very nice right out of the bottle (glasses were used). It was on the dry side, but not overly so; well balanced, actually - we thought it was good without food.

I'm not experienced at describing my tasting experience - but here it goes......
I thought that the initial bouquet was pretty hot - could detect the relatively high level of alchohol in the wine - that masked the fruit. Tasted plum and jammy notes, smokiness from the wood. Good mouthfeel - long finish, even a sense of cloves for me. Stained my tongue pretty heavily.

I am glad I ordered this set from Donati, and am looking forward to trying the other two wines.

Hope this helps! I love the whole wine.woot experience, but think I will go back to lurking now........



Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

iByron


quality posts: 40 Private Messages iByron
Cesare wrote:First labrat reporting for duty! I have the Sorelle Per Sempre. I'll come back later and edit this post with my report.



Oh how appropriate, Pio!

iByron's iCellar (I'm a reciprocal CT Cellar Buddy)

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Cesare


quality posts: 1561 Private Messages Cesare
iByron wrote:Oh how appropriate, Pio!



hehe good one
report posted above

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
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“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

DonaldWilliams


quality posts: 26 Private Messages DonaldWilliams

Checking in with a preliminary labrat report on the 2004 Merlot (at least that's what it said on the label):
I know it's not even 4:00 in here in Buffalo, but the wine has been here over an hour now, I've got it cooled down to a proper drinking temperature, and I can't wait. I'm even waiving my customary "refusal" to drink alone. I just poured a bit into a nice big glass, swirled it around a few times, and I'm looking at the color. Even in such a small amount, there's a big, deep, rich garnet color. I look at the label again. It still says Merlot.
I detect a faint hint of alcohol on the nose, with pepper and plum. With just a sip, the alcohol recedes to the background, and there is plenty of flavor to replace it. Cherries, plums, still some pepper, maybe even a little vanilla. OK, now I'm looking back at the specs on this beauty, and I find 9% Cab. Doesn't seem like enough to give it all that structure. It must be that these winemakers know where to grow Merlot grapes and how to make a really good wine from them. Mind you, I've never been a Merlot-hater ("I'm not drinking any effing Merlot"), but those who think they are should try this.
I have to go finish getting dinner ready (an alfresco repast of curried chicken salad with grapes, celery, and sliced almonds, while waiting for the curtain to go up on King Lear). I had a different wine in mind for that, but this one should do nicely.
I'll be back later with more on this wine, but if you're still on the fence, you've got less than 9 hours to get down and push the buy button.

"Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you've got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge". - Hester Browne


Ddeuddeg's Cheesecake Cookbook

DonaldWilliams


quality posts: 26 Private Messages DonaldWilliams

Labrat update:
Bonnie got home in time to try the Merlot before we head to the park to see King Lear at the 2nd largest FREE outdoor Shakespeare festival in the US (We're both on the Board of Directors.). She picked up the same spiciness (pepper?) in the nose that I noticed, but she caught a whiff of cherry that I didn't get until I sipped it. We have drunk a lot of wine together, and tend to have similar taste, if only by chance. After tasting it (just a sip, really), she has pronounced it "full-bodied, smooth, I like it."
We'll be back later. Meanwhile, another vote for getting off the fence, and pressing that Buy button.

EDIT: I almost forgot, I used to play the trombone, too!

"Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you've got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge". - Hester Browne


Ddeuddeg's Cheesecake Cookbook

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark
DonaldWilliams wrote:Labrat update:
Bonnie got home in time to try the Merlot before we head to the park to see King Lear at the 2nd largest FREE outdoor Shakespeare festival in the US (We're both on the Board of Directors.). She picked up the same spiciness (pepper?) in the nose that I noticed, but she caught a whiff of cherry that I didn't get until I sipped it. We have drunk a lot of wine together, and tend to have similar taste, if only by chance. After tasting it (just a sip, really), she has pronounced it "full-bodied, smooth, I like it."
We'll be back later. Meanwhile, another vote for getting off the fence, and pressing that Buy button.

EDIT: I almost forgot, I used to play the trombone, too!



Labrat Report Part 3: (via telephone)

At the park, Brie and Baguette with Merlot. Had softened. No decanter, just corked the bottle and brought it to the park.

DW's Chicken Curry salad on pita, the Merlot was more acidic with the Chicken, but very perfect pairing with the Chicken Curry salad.

Pepper quality has backbone, and you (DW) prefer to previous Merlots. Might have picked a Zin to have with the Chicken, but this is perfect pairing. He recommends this, even at a price higher than woot's.

SWMBO (bahwm) concurs with DonaldWilliams.

Your faithful scribe: MDS


Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

MarkDaSpark


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Labrat Report #2 for the Sorelle per Sempre rcomar:

rcomar wrote:I've got labratitis and the only known cure is some of Donati's Sorelle per Sempre. I typically enjoy cabs or zins but this one took me for a wild ride. Lots of dark fruit, some chocolate, and some more berries put with a healthy dose of alcohol make this wine sumptuous. The finish is long but should provide a smile and all i can say is this wine is good period. Though i paired it with a ham and cheese sandwich , it would go great with about any kind of steak. thanks alot wd




Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.