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gbmorton wrote:
I was pleased and surprised to find out I was going to have the opportunity to review a wine - thanks woot! I always thought it was just an 'inside job' having purchased wines here for some time - but I was proven wrong.

That is the good news. The less than good news was what I discovered when it arrived at my office - a Pinot. Now I am a red wine lover, but I never have been a great Pinot fan. I have been told the reason for that is that I am not willing to spend enough money on a Pinot - but frankly, if I am going to spend $40 or $50+ on a wine, I will go for a cab or red zin - just me.

So, suffice to say, I was not thrilled and was worried about what I might feel compelled to discuss. But here is the better news - I was really pleasantly surprised.

One of the characteristics that I get from Pinots that I have had in the past was a twangie fruit that just did not settle well with my taste buds. I had none of that here. To attempt to do the 'tasting' justice and not bore anyone with what I might have been wearing or looking at while I tasted it, I will try to be conscise:

First breadth, some cherry and dark fruit with mushroom lingering, maybe a little oak/smokey, and a sense that it could be really hot.

First taste, again the fruit but a dry fruit and not quite as hot as I sensed at first. The fruit and some spice continued with little length.

Later after opening up a bit, alot less alcohol and less spice, light bodied but still nice and dry. Shows a hint of complexity but no length and no twangy aftertaste - very clean. Tried it with a variety of cheese and crackers and melded well even with stronger and spicier cheeses. Did not have a chance to use it with more food but I can see it doing well with what you would expect - lighter fare.

All in all I was very surprised and impressed that this Pinot was one that I would actually buy - which I will - and enjoy it, slighty cooler than room temp but not cold. Very pleasant and enjoyable and what appears to me to be a great price. Thanks again WW.

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evillica wrote:so, i also have a deep and lustful affection for the K.R. Esoterica PS, and was interested in this...

i remembered that the local wine megamart carried the Ramsay Cab and thought it would be worth checking out whether they carried the 2008 Pinot, and... success! here's a free rat for y'all:

pop and pour:
first impressions from the nose: menthol and plums? kind of dull, but still smells "hot".
appearance is very clear and pleasant rusty-red, going into an almost brown around the rim.
taste is: alcohol, currants, mushroom & a little more alcohol. no smoke that i can taste. letting this sit while i cook.

one hour later:
and i made a vegetarian calzone for me and the wife... not sure how well its played with the spicey tomato sauce. stopped after the first sip.

30 min after dinner:
i found a lot more pleasure drinking it on its own. a pleasant spiciness, nice and dry. still mushroomy, still some stone fruit taste, good fullness in the mouth, but much more alcohol feeling (what? 13%) than I expected. if there's supposed to be smoke here, i can't find it.

i'm on the fence, if only because i have easy access to this locally. am still considering
purchasing because its slightly cheaper on woot, SWMBO loves pinot, and overall found this a good value for the price.

ps- if anyone in the soCal area needs help drinking their Esoterica PS, lemme know!

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Offer of 9/16/2011 -- Scott Harvey 2008 InZINerator - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

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brainchasm wrote:

My first Lab Rat report! Thanks for the chance to critique!

7:00PM PST: First, haha, the bottle wouldn't open! Took a lot more oomph than usual to get that cork to come out, and when it did, it was all at once (and I almost spilled!).
So, first impressions - the color was the usual garnet, with a hint of brick red, and a very pale touch of violet in the meniscus.
Big fruit right up front! The only thing that broke through was the alcohol (was there port in this vintage too?). It's not biting or medicinal, but very present. First pour is fairly viscous, and the legs took a fair bit to show. First sip, it heats me up all the way to tummy like a brandy, but not bad, just not typical. It sort of smells like it was mulled a few hours prior, if that makes any sense. Main palate is stone fruit, brick dust, and a coffee note hidden down in the bottom, with a vegetal finish. Chewy tannins! Betting/hoping the coffee note steps up and goes cocoa.

7:30PM PST: Alcohol has mellowed out nicely, and is now just providing dryness. Palate is now jammy, but with mineral notes. I'm having a rather robustly-flavored dinner, but this wine completely wipes out the taste of my food (medium spicy italian sausage and rigatoni with a handmade red sauce with basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and red bell peppers). Not cooperating with the food, just washes it away.

8:30PM PST: It's really calming down now. Still has that dusty flavor, now paired with a leather note. The fruitiness is gone, and it's still dry. It never really seemed complicated/integrated, just bold and...noisy?

8:45PM PST: Coffee note came front and center in a big way!

10:30PM PST: Well, seems like it all fell just juice, alcohol, and tannins now.

And that's all I got wooters. I'm not really tempted to finish this bottle, but I may if I can do it before a reasonable hour.

Disclaimers: Zins are not my thing, and I keep none in my collection. Last year's scored roughly 87 on CT, and that number seems fitting this time around as well.

Hope I Lab Rat'd properly, and feel free to ask any questions, as I'll continue drinking for an hour or two!

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mochamix79 wrote:I've had a chance to try the 2008 InZIN, and I love it! It's a littler richer than the 2007 but not sweet like the 2006. For those of you who have had the 2007 One Last Kiss Red and the 2007 InZINerator, this is the love child of the two.

The blend (to the best of my knowledge) is 78% Zinfandel, 16% Syrah, 5% Port variety and 1% Barbera (as reported).

For those of you picking up the Port like aroma on the nose, you're not imagining things, it's there. The Zinfandel and Syrah however give it a robust and hearty character, with mellow tannins and easy drinkability. The RS on this reads at 0.8% (like the 2007) and is not "sweet" like the 06.

Ok, so those are my thoughts on this, as an unofficial Lab Rat.

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NatasG wrote:

Long time Wooter, Long time Kids Wooter, Long time Wine Wooter and first time Lab Rat checking in.

The Date: 8PM EDT on September 15th, 2011

The Weather: Great for Woot Wine shipments @ 55F and Gray Rainy Skies…hello fall already in Upstate NY

The Scene: Suburban house outside of the Metropolis of Syracuse

The Players:

Myself – a drinker of wine with a well developed palate who was first turned on to drinkable wine by the Woot Gods many ages ago by a 2001 Nicholson Ranch Estate Pinot Noir Quartet

2001 Nicholson Ranch Pinot

My Wife – New to reds and lover of Whites…she almost left me for Triacipedis the White and has his brother the Minotaur and sister Kaleidoscope in her sights

My Father-in-Law – The drinker of wine longer than I have been alive but now learning more about its appreciation.

My Coworker – A wine loving man never caught without an opinion and a calibrated taste for wines of many varietals…

My Co-worker’s Fiancée – Along for the ride of her life with her robust man of wonder…

Father of my Brother-in-law – Yeah, can your figure that relationship out??? A man, turned on to the Wine Woot Gods by yours truly and now cannot get enough as he builds his palate and knowledge of wines…along with his cellar.

The Main Event:

Youngest Brother of a Family etched in Time and Superherodom…InZINerator the Fourth!!! Following in the footsteps and shadow of the 2004, 2006 and 2007, comes the newest hero…the 2008!

Not to be undone…the middle brother…2007 (from my cellar) also decided to make an appearance to try and show off to the crowd.

The Spread:

Slow Smoked Beef Brisket
Slow Smoked Spicy Italian Sausages
XXXXXXX Sharp 3+ year old Cheddar (the stuff that crumbles apart)
Pecorino Romano
Olive Oil and Rosemary bread
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Stacey’s Naked Pita Chips

First Impressions – Pour 10-15 minutes after opening:

Hot Nose
Fruit Forward – but not heavy like the 2007
Black Pepper
Cherry, Current and other Deep red fruits
Holiday Spices…Cinnamon
Tannin Bite but not overpowering
Very Drinkable and Light
Co-worker commented “New World Style”

Through the Metrokane Rabbit (aerator) looking glass…

Wow…there goes the heat right out the door…
Hello lovely black cherry, current and spice

With some Texas Style, Dry Rubbed Smoked Brisket.(No Sauce):

Wow…here come the smoke…jumping out at us!
Very nice Pairing

With the Pecorino Romano:

Holy Cheese Transformation Batman!
Dry biting cheese turned to buttery, smooth, mouth-coating greatness
Amazing Pairing

Cheddar and Hummus:

OK pairing but nothing like the Pecorino

Spicy Sausage:

No Go…brought the tannins screaming to the tongue in not the greatest way

Older brother…Inzinerator the 2007:

VERY different wine all together. Much more bold, much more fruit forward and with a robust port body. Pairs well almost opposite of his younger brother the 2008. Did not do much to the cheeses, did OK with the brisket, did much better with the Spicy Sausage and made the Roasted Red pepper Hummus EXPLODE to life. These two are almost Yin and Yang of Zinfandels.


What we have here is close to the lightness and drinkability of a Pinot with the bold cherry, current and spicy flavors of the Zin. I preferred it over the 2007 where my Coworker saw the merits of both more equal but in different ways.

Drinkability – still felt tight through the end of the bottle so my uneducated opinion would say…definitely very drinkable now with some aeration but could lay down for 6-12 months to mellow a bit. I will be buying some for sure…just need to figure out how much I can afford.

Lastly, a BIG thank you to Woot for this opportunity. I hope you all have enjoyed the musing of a first time Lab Ratter…

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Raid wrote:Hi Everyone,

I am an honored first time lab rat and frankly a little intimidated by the other reviews as I am just not that sophisticated from a wine drinkers point of view. In any case, I will give it a shot.

I actually discovered this wine 2 or 3 months ago at my local Specs in my town near Houston. The "wine guy" there recommended this Zin as a more affordable alternative to Rombauer which I very much like. He said it had 5% (I think) Port mixed and so was a bit "sweeter". I am always looking for a red that my lovely bride will enjoy with me as in general she says Reds taste like cough syrup and so she sticks with whites.

Usually, I am just a wine sipper after dinner if at home. In other words, it's water or iced tea for me with my means and after dinner while relaxing or before dinner while cooking/grilling I'll pop open a bottle. I generally don't drink a whole bottle in one night, but will split it over 2 nights and find I like the wine better the second day.

I agree with one of the earlier posts that this was a DIFFICULT bottle to open. When open I poured a glass and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. It is a slightly darker than usual red and has an up front peppery smell followed by leather and maybe cherry or blueberry type aromas.

Drinking it, I notice a spicy taste up front with nice berry flavor not too sweet (but definitely sweeter than other reds) finish again with a little pepper at the end.

My opinion is that this would be great with barbeque that is dry rubbed and then topped with a Texas, KC, or Memphis style sauce (tangier/sweeter sauces). I think you could do Tex-Mex including chicken fajitas (which is what I will finish it with tonight).

I usually pay about $14-$15 per bottle at Specs.

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christinetove2 wrote:

I too was the lucky recipient of the Golden Ticket this offering. I was so pleasantly surprised and most importantly the object of envy as the bottle arrived at my desk yesterday at work. Jealousy is such a powerful tool in office dynamics. So for this I thank you Woot!

The timing of this arrival was ideal - #1 - our choices of wine had dwindled in our home, as could be seen by my many purchases during the wine woot-off, so I was happy to have no struggle deciding what to open, or need to stop to pick up anything. + #2 - when checking possible suggested pairings, I had planned on grilling burgers already for dinner, while serving the kids another choice that included a tangy type sauce. Perfect! Couldn't have planned that better. AND an excellent excuse to eat food off the kids' plates.

Now that I've shown what stage of life / maturity level I'm at... here are our thoughts:

We opened the bottle around 5pm. Struggled a bit with the cork as it seemed content to still be in the bottle. Cork intact, removal a success, I stood and pondered what I was supposed to do next? OK. I poured a glass and noted the very color and strong alcohol smell but also fruit hiding ready to come out. Tasted and noted that our initial thoughts were alcohol, acidic, plum type fruit, sharp finish. This needs to take a breath, I began to cook dinner, knowing that I was headed out for a meeting at 7:00 so I had to get rolling.

Around 6:00 we poured again and felt it settled down, it was less alcohol-in-your-face and felt it had allowed for the fruit (which my husband kept saying was plum-like) to come forward. We tasted throughout dinner and I felt it paired very well with our perfectly grilled burgers (if I may say so...) but I particularly noted how well it went with the tangy sauce similar to cocktail franks sauce on the kids' plates. (Seriously people we have more class than this I promise).

Afterwards drinking independently from a meal I tasted at this point as very distinct peppery, fruity (but not sweet) wine.

As I left to solve all the worlds' problems in an evening at a meeting, my husband aerated his next sampling and said it was just right. Plum, Pepper, Chocolate. Nice dry wine that he now instructed we needed to buy.

So while I would have been in automatically for the Scott Harvey of this offering, I was very pleased with this opportunity. I am much more of a white drinker, while my husband sticks to red. I will add this to my list of go tos. In for 3.

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Offers of 9/23/2011 -- International Grenache Day Woot-off

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Holly's Hill Vineyard Grenache - 2+2 Pack

2 2009 El Dorado Petit Patriarche
2 2009 El Dorado Grenache Noir

This offer's pack:

doctorclark wrote:

Lab Rat at last! We love Rhones (GSMs and Petite Syrahs, mostly), so this was a pleasant surprise (got the Petit Patriarche)

Mild musty earth nose.

Has a bit of a sting at first—almost like carbonation, but not unpleasant.

Once past the odd nose and sharp start, however, the flavors are great. Super chewy with strong red fruit—I thought it was like strawberry preserves, Mrs. Doctorclark tasted cherry and vanilla. Tastes great on its own, or with food.

Finishes are what I find most interesting in wines, and although this one has a nicer length finish, it is more alcohol flavored than the 14.3% would lead me to believe (maybe this is the acidity?).

After trying and taking notes, I did some homework and am now eager to try a single varietal Counoise, as that is where I think I picked up the strawberries from. It would be cool if some crazy vintner somewhere made a Counoise-Sangiovese blend…

amyck1 wrote:

LAB RAT REPORT-- Holly's Hill 2009 Grenache Noir

Long time wine.wooter, first time rat! Clearly that earlier rat is much smarter or drank less of his bottle cause I cannot make a cute pic, sorry.

Dark cardinal in color, with LEGS on the glass

Bright smell -- tobacco-berry?

Very bright flavor but dark tastes -- not deep flavor, but dark like earth or wood.

Dry finish, I think from high alcohol content? I shared with 2 friends. One hated it, the other really liked it and I did too!

mommadeb1 wrote:LAB RAT REPORT: (sorry I don't know how to do the graphics)

Hollys Hill Grenache Nior 2009

First I would like to thank the wine Gods and woot for the oportunity.
Next this will be fast seeing how the offer is almost over. Sorry this is short.( I did have some super great notes)

There were 5 of us that tasted last night. Food Pairings were brie, goat cheese with herbs, sharp cheddar, cojack cheeses with town house sea salt crackers.

Tasters range from those who love dry, full bodied red peppery wine to those who love fruity bold reds, to some who can tell you they are drinking wine.

General consensus: Wine was bitter and tart when first opened...Smelled like strawberries to some and had the color of Dark Cherry Kool-aid.

Pop and pour- Taste: Bitter, slate was one comment.

with food it mellowed out.

2nd taste: Ran thru the vinturi - Wow!! much better!!! Really brought out the flavors and mellowed the harshness.

Tasted strawberries and something else can't put finger on. not a sweet wine.

with food: did best with the brie cheese. really complimented it...
wine not bold enough to take on strong flavors. Made the herbs in the goat cheese super bitter.

General consensus: This is a nice light bodied red. Must be paired with light food.. NOthing too spicy. Not a drink on its own wine.. Not overly fruity. Must let it breathe or decant before drinking.

consensus was we would buy again. If it was in the $9-14 dollar range.

edit: Thanks again for my Golden Ticket!!! Everyone really had a great time tasting!

tradinick wrote:Imagine the excitement of getting THE email. You have won the golden ticket. Free wine is on its way. Just taste it and tell us what you think. Nirvana…..Well maybe. First understand that Fedex & I have an ongoing war. Well this delivery proved just as exciting as the tasting. It took 2 days and a trip 65 miles to the Fedex office before it made it to my house. No time to settle this bottle. So here we go:

Opened at 8PM Thursday and let to breath for a whole 15 minutes. I usually don’t decant so that would be typical for my taste. My plan is to taste every ½ hour with a small (1 oz) pour. My first taste was without food and the next two with dinner (grilled chicken, green beans, cole slaw with Tuscan bread). The last tasting would be after dinner.

Holly’s Hill 2009 Petit Patriarche (my spell check did not like that) is a blend of 5 different grapes. I don’t think I’ve ever had a wine with Counoise so the adventure begins.

The cork was in good shape and a quick smell said that this might be something special. First pour brought a wonderful bouquet. The color is a deep dark purple, but seemed a bit thin in the pour. Legs seemed typical of Grenache wines I’ve had in the past (the #1 varietal). First sip was incredibly smooth. I thought wow the wine maker really worked this blend. Taste was smooth with light tannins. A strong cherry & smokey taste were notices throughout the first pour. I enjoyed the first pour and thought this would be a great pair with goat cheese and mild spicy foods.

The second pour was with dinner. The wine had opened a bit. Traces of raspberry and currant made this pour more interesting. After taste was smokey but without a bite. The Grenache and Mourvedre flavor were recognizable. Still have no clue what the Counoise added, but it could have smoothed the Grenache.

The third pour opened a bit more, but not much different then the second. The aftertaste was more pronounced, but not in a bad way. Bouquet had decreased substantially on this pour. I had 4 year extra sharp cheddar cheese and whole almonds for dessert and the Petit Patriarche went very nicely with that combination.

The last pour was 2 hours after opening. The smoothness of the wine remained and the aftertaste had stabilized. The bouquet was a hint of the first pour. Taste was much more complex. Still smokey but a lot of fruit taste.

I love big reds – Zins, Cabs with dryness and Boudreaux style blends. This wine is different then my normal like. The smoothness wins the day and I would recommend it as a dinner wine.

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Tercero Mixed 2007 Grenache - 3 Pack

1 2007 Cuvee Christie
1 2007 Watch Hill Grenache
1 2007 Camp 4 Grenache

This offer's pack:

wkdpanda wrote:LABRAT

Tercero Watch Hill 2007 Grenache

The fabled Golden ticket arrived, and I proceeded to dance the happy dance, and crow over my coworkers that I was better than them!

After recovering from my pummeling, I gathered a fellow wine drinker and we tasted. Water crackers to clean the palate, a little blue and goat cheese for pairing.

Opened and did NOT decant.
Initial nose - sour cherries, not much alcohol

Initial taste - sour cherry, with a little something more. Maybe some cocoa? Heat - yes, on the initial pour, the alcohol was very noticable. I was worried when I saw the high percentage.

Finish - not much. Gone almost immediately.

A taste with a little cheese - both the cheeses were mild - but the cheeses completely overwhelmed the wine. Second opinion is that this is a wine to consume with some red meat, or other food, but not something we would drink alone.

Second taste - about 60 minutes open in bottle.

Nose - it has opened up more. Sour cherry, some other berry (black? not sweet like strawberry) and a hint of mushroom or earthyness.

Taste - The heat has died down, and the wine developed more. More tannin structure fairly even across the tongue. More complex berry flavors, with some others rounding it out.

Finish - It is lasting longer, maybe a minute after the swallow and it leaves the mouth clean. A good aftertaste.

Second impression - Now this is a wine that could be drunk alone. It pairs better with the cheeses and some salami that was found. But the tannins are still mild - it could be overwhelmed by strong food.

Final tasting - about 3 hours open in bottle.

Nose - still strong berry flavors, with some cherry, and maybe I am picking up that cocoa that was mentioned before. Could be my imagination.

Taste - I think its currents, that additional flavor. That slightly sweet berry flavor that I couldn't figure out earlier. Maybe I am imagining that as well.

Finish - nice even, but has shortened some. I think the tannins are good drinking, but it is NOT a tannin monster.

Overall, a nice wine. Not one we think will age for a decade, but good to drink now. Pair with light foods, maybe some red meat prepared simply. Would be overwhelmed with strong flavors of spice or bbq.

Final discussion was QPR, and what we though W.W would price it at. Basically, attempted to compare to some other grenache we have had, and what it had cost us. Looking at today's price (roughly $22/bottle), it is a little higher than some we have drunk that were just as good. But we will also admit to having spent much more than this for a fancy Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and not had as enjoyable a wine.

idickulux wrote:2007 Cuvee Christie
List Price $30 at the winery
From the winery's website:
"The second release of this wine, named for my partner in crime, is quite different than the first one . . . It is syrah dominated rather than Grenache dominated. ( The exact blend is 64% grenache, 18% mourvedre and 18% syrah). What does this mean? A darker, richer, more ‘serious’ Christie is evident here, one that still retains the nice cherry fruit core of the 2006 but surrounds it with a lot more structure and body – with some darker, more ‘brooding’ aromatic complexity. It is already the highest scoring wine that we’ve ever had rated from the Wine Spectator (91 pts!) and is a wonderfully complex wine to enjoy now and over the next 5-10 years!"

Received the wonderful golden ticket, and a glistening bottle of 2007 Cuvee Christie wine, at my home today. I immediately thought about how my wife and I should approach such a wonderful opportunity, realizing that peace in the Middle East might hang in the balance... not.

Opened the screw top bottle and poured a first tasting for my wife and I. The color was a red garnet and had a strong alcohol scent. There was a fruity note but it was hard to pin down to exactly which fruit. The initial taste was sharp and dominated by the alcohol. We thought, maybe it needs decanting and given some time to settle down.

Waited for about 30 min. and poured another tasting from the decanter. The scent was much less of an alcohol blast and now a hint of cherry was pushing its way through. We thought this may be a good sign that the wine was settling down a bit. Tasting was a little better but still dominated by the alcohol which laid in the back of the throat for quite some time. I thought, "We'll be patient and give this some more time to mellow."

Dinner was pan seared pork loin, fried eggplant with parmesan cheese, green beans, and garlic bread. The meal didn't really help develop the wine's impression on the palate.

Came back about an hour later, now 1.5 hours from the opening, to see how this wine was doing. Was it now more relaxed or still up tight? Upon pouring we discovered that the alcohol was still very much in the driver's seat and the cherry was still muted as a result. Tasting we still felt the alcohol was too dominant and kept the subtleties of the wine from being fully expressed on the palate.

Another 30 min. and there was not a substantial change in the wine.


inazuma wrote:2007 Grenache
LABRAT REPORT! This is my first labrat report, so be gentle... I'm fragile Hope my notes are adequate. I'm not a pro, but this is the best way I can describe. Thanks, all!

A dark yet vibrant ruby colored berry fruit blast! Some blackberry, strawberry, and mild black currant with a little crunchy red apple skin and black raspberry when it opens up (with touches of minerals and spice). On the palate, the wine seems medium bodied and well balanced -- soft and approachable with structure. A nice lingering gentle finish that is a little dry with subtle yet firm tannins. Paired nicely with a grilled angus burger. We enjoyed this wine!

tiger7610 wrote:2007 Grenache
I got an email on Tuesday that I was selected as a lab rat. It was my first time rattage, so I was excited. I have a friend staying with me, so I thought I could get her opinion on the wine as well. As a background I mostly prefer red wines, but have been known to drink whites occasionally, and my friend also has a preference for reds.

I picked up the wine on wed evening, and we had it with some left over stew.

Right at opening: very deep purple color, and some nice legs

Friend's description of the nose: "overpowering, grapey, a combination of Welsh grape juice and rotting flesh"
My description of the nose: smells like grape juice, very tight

Taste: very tannic and astringent. The feeling on the tongue is similar to eating paper or 100% dark chocolate

At this point I decide that we might as well run the wine through the soiree. After doing that, the Welsh's grape juice smell/flavor is gone, but the tannins/astringent flavor remains, and now the alcohol is kicking in. The wine is starting to feel hot.

I keep that glass sitting out while both of us are doing work, sampling periodically. Still very limited flavor, just tannins and alcohol. I try the non-soiree wine as well, and the grape juice flavor is back with the tannins. I tried the wine over the span of about 3 hours both with and without food, but there was no change. I left the bottle sitting on the counter, and tried it when I got home 24 hours after I first opened it. The heat from the alcohol just got worse, although the papery/astringent/tannin feeling has gone down.

The wine had a screw cap, so I'm fairly certain we did not get a corked wine. There could be some bottle shock since we opened it right after getting it. I do not claim to be an expert on Grenache, but either this wine needs to be decanted insanely long, or I just acquired a bad bottle. I would not buy what I tasted, but I'm hoping that its just an aberration.
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10knots Cellars 2006 2+1 Grenache - 3 Pack

1 10knots 2006 “Moonraker”
2 10knots 2006 “Atlantis”

This offer's pack:

ellen3kay wrote:(Atlantis)
Thank you to the academy for choosing me, the silent wooter who only looks at everyone else’s post and is afraid to speak…. I was awarded the golden ticket and was excited and fearful at the same time. I signed up for ratting so long ago I never thought it could or would ever happen. Then when I saw what kind of wine it was, my fear grew even larger. I am a primarily white wine drinker who will only drink red if it is “just right”. This 10knots2006 is “ just right”. Upon corking the bottle the first thing I noticed was what was missing….NO FUNK!!!
The bouquet was clean and berry-like and very pleasant. The color was what I would describe as average-not too light and not too deep a purple either. Just a nice claret color. I poured right away because I wanted to compare freshly corked against wine that had time to breathe. I was SOOOOOO pleasantly surprised to find I liked the taste right after corking. I could taste the berry and black cherry but to me what was more important was what was not there. There was no harsh bite, no bitterness, and no taste of funk. The wine was impressively smooth with a touch of sweetness but not at all sweet. It was like the sweetness was only implied. The finish was short and very clean with no aftertaste. I took my time pairing it up with foods. It was great with cheeses, olives, pork loin and even dark chocolate. Everything seemed to go with this wine. Just out of curiosity, I poured a glass through the Vinturi and was actually disappointed that it smoothed the taste out too much and left me with too short a finish on the wine. As has been described on this website a million times about an easy drinking white, this to me is an easy drinking red. If you are looking for a heavy handed bold wine, this is not for you. If you want a real easy drinker, then this is your new favorite.

russguss wrote:Lab Rat Report
10Knots 2006 "Moonraker"
As a first time Lab Rat, I was excited to get the email that I was going to get a bonus bottle of wine from Woot, then a little nervous about having to write a report for fellow Wine Wooters. We drink a fair amount of wine in our house and I know what I like and don't like in wines, but have never written a review.
Here goes:
The wine arrived around 1pm. It was a Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah blend which was exciting, we have been drinking a lot of blends lately and enjoying them.
Opened the wine, it was a deep garnet color, with blackberry aromas. The first sip was bursting with berry flavors. We paired it with 3 cheeses, an Irish Cheddar-not so good, a French Brie-my favorite, and a Danish Havarti- worked well.
Decantered the wine after pouring the first glass. Paired with a braised beef dish, roasted potatoes, and roasted carrots. Complimented the food well. The wine opened up nicely, becoming more fruity, maybe plum or cherry with a definite hint of spice.
The wine continues to improve with time ,it's smooth with a long finish. I will be buying some on Friday to try again.

resmithson wrote:My first Lab Rat. I read them not write them, but received the "Golden Ticket" and happy to do so.

Opened the bottle and the nose was brash not harsh but brash.

Poured partial glass let set a few minutes the nose is full of fruit.

First sip it sits on the back of the tongue and was heavy, fruity maybe even a bit sweet.

Let it sit as I fixed dinner a sirloin grilled med rare with course ground black pepper and a baked potato (butter, bacon, chives, cheese).

As the wine had time to open it became quite tasty with the flavours of various berries and plums sitting on the middle of the tongue sliding forward for a nice smooth finish.

The wine went well with dinner and had some fruit and hard cheese for dessert which the wine caressed.

Later in the evening I noticed a hint of leather and coffee maybe that was because I finished off the evening and another glass of wine with a nice cigar.

All in all I’m in for three and have no problem drinking by its self or with various foods.

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Austin Hope Winery 2009 Grenache, Hope Family Vineyard - 2 Pack

This offer's pack:

pellis23 wrote:Labrat report

On tuesday I got the email that told me of my pending golden ticket. Wednesday it arrived, a 2009 Austin Hope Grenache. I quickly tried to line up a co-taster and made plans for one of my best wine-drinking friends to come over and drink it with me tonight (Thursday). I'm a fan of Paso Robles wines; the only wine club of which I'm a member is in Paso (Tobin James, if you're curious), and am familiar with and enjoy the jammy style that is common for the region.

I got home from work an threw together a quick meal of black pepper pork loin (Trader Joe's ftw), sauteed squash and some balsamic figs, prosciutto and goat cheese. We opened the wine and gave it a go. A bit thin straight out of the bottle, not much body, but also pleasantly surprised that it was pretty restrained and didn't hit you over the head with alcohol (15.5%!) or fruit. This was a nice change from the usual Paso wine, perhaps a bit more old world than you'd expect from California. At this point, we both agreed that we tasted a bit of black pepper, and I got a hint of plum or something.

Now we paired it with the food and it went great with the pork, but seemed to get a bit lost with the figs. Poured a bit more, this time through a Venturi. It definitely seemed to open up a bit, with flavors of stonefruit and a bit of dark chocolate coming through. As the bottle, and evening, wore on, more flavor and character really started to come through. Thsi wine definitely will ebenfit from some time and/or decanting. We both commented on the medium tannins -- they were there, but didn't leave you pickering. When we started talking finish, the words that were discussed were "gasoline", but not in a bad way, "acid" and "bluberry".

We readily drank the bottle and enjoyed it, and is a must but for the woot price, but a bit of a harder sell for the from-the-winery price. It could be described as a great first date wine -- it's a good, solid wine, won't offend anyone, but might not be the highlight of the evening. If you do order, it needs some air, but definitely has decent QPR at this price.

JohnMathieson wrote:LABRAT
Austin Hope 2009 Grenache

I was so excited to finally get to be a lab rat after a couple of years on wine.woot! I got the email, but then missed the FedEx guy and had to go pick it up, but I knew I had to fulfil my duty to my fellow wooters who have given me so many great reviews, so I trekked over to the depot and grabbed it.

We drink quite a lot of red, but rarely Grenache, so this was interesting. Our normal fare is mostly Californian or new world Zin, Pinot, Malbec, Cab and lots of interesting blends. We are particular fans of Paso Robles Rhone style blends. Anyway, onto the wine.

We opened it up at 5:50pm, the excitement being too high to wait until six. Poured a couple of glasses and took a look. The color is light, a gentle cherry red with a little brick to it. Swirling the glass shows tears forming almost straight away. Putting aside thoughts on how sad this wine must be, I decided the high alcohol content (15.5%) is showing up here.

Next the nose: it has leather and dark fruit, maybe plum. First taste is similar, dark sour cherries, and a lot of tannin. Long, long after-taste with almost a lemon tartness to it. I think it needs a little air. My wife thought there was cherry on the nose, and pepper in the mouth. We agree that it is delightful, and has an ‘expensive wine’ depth to it. I think that is coming from the length of the after-taste. Our 14-year old daughter checked out the nose (sadly for her, she is still 7 years from tasting it!) and got sour fruit too.

Twenty minutes in the glass and it is definitely softening. I am quite sure this wine needs more bottle age to really shine. Given the extra time the tannins have dropped back and the peppery fruit is coming through.

An hour in, and it has softened further, though it still tastes young and full of tannins. My dearly beloved says that it is significantly softer, and is now giving her a big cherry taste. I am tasting unripe tart strawberry. Over a dinner of a spicy pork risotto it cut through nicely, the tannins now working to great effect to keep the wine enjoyable over a quite strongly flavored meal. Mmmm.

I think this will be greater with a little aging. Grenache is normally a blending wine and I can taste why – it is a little one dimensional – but very enjoyable. Buy some, and then force yourself to hold off drinking it for a while, it will be worth the wait. I plan to buy some and give it a couple of years.

I hope this is helpful for you, it is my first wine review ever.

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Tercero White/Rosé Grenache - 4 Pack

This offer's pack:

gostarkygo wrote:First and foremost, thank you Winedavid and crew. It is an honor to be chosen to be a labRat.

The wine in question is from Tercero Wines in Santa Maria California and it is the 2009 Rose. The label lists the blend as 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvedre and it was labeled as Santa Barbara County. It states the alcohol is 13.5% by volume.

I believe that context is very important when it comes to sharing a wine tasting experience via the written word. Since I know almost none of you, I feel it is best to share a few bits of info about my wine background. I am 44 years old and have been drinking wine for about 10 years. I have learned that I prefer older wines and that knowledge has led me to collecting and cellaring. My cellar currently stands at about 500 bottles and is comprised of roughly equal parts of four styles of wine: Brunello di Montalcino(primarily from Valdicava and Cerbaiona), Burgundy(primarily Clos-de-Vougeot and Gevrey-Chambartin), Bordeaux(primarily wines not made in the Michel Rolland style) and New World Pinot Noir (primarily Hirsch Vineyards and Expression Wines). With that out of the way, what follows is are my opinions and impressions. I hope they help.

The wine arrived on Wednesday afternoon. I kept it at room temperature until about 2:30 Thursday afternoon. I then chilled the wine down to 55° and opened it (twist off, if anyone cares). The color is sort of peachy-rose. The nose is inviting with green apple and slightly under-ripe pear. My first taste was wonderful. It is very dry and has nice acidity. The green apple quality is there with a very pleasing tartness, like the aftertaste of a green jolly rancher.

I resealed the wine and kept it chilled. I let what was in the glass sit for about 30-40 minutes and tasted it again. It had come up to 70°. My second taste was even better than the first. The wine seemed to have gained some electric quality, because it sort of exploded in my mouth. The green apple was still present, but I was now getting some watermelon and small freshly picked strawberries. The wine is very crisp and clean. The acidity is so well balanced with the tart fruit. It feels as thought this wine would be good for another couple of years in the bottle.

I brought the remainder of the wine out of the refrigerator about an hour later. After letting it come up to 60°, my parents and I tasted it. They both loved it. My mom said it is very easy to drink and she worried that it may go down so easily, that she could over do it. She also wants me to get her some. I continued to love it. We broke out some brie and crackers and the wine improved.

In conclusion, I like this wine and I am going to buy some on W.W. I am also going to plan a trip to the winery and taste their other wines.

happywino wrote:LabRat Report: Tercero 2009 Grenache Blanc, Camp 4 Vineyard

Imagine my excitement when I received an email telling me I had be selected for my first ever rattage!!!

Well come Friday, my excitement turned to terror as not only was this wine not up on the was a wine woot-off!!! OMGOMGOMGPONIESOMG!!! What was the protocol for this? After several hours (ok minutes) of terror (not terroir) I realized I would simply have to pay attention to the wines flying by and submit my report as soon as “my” wine showed up…so here it is :o

Tasted/Drank this with “the little lady”. First taste and we both decided I had chilled it a little too much, almost no nose at all with not much going on with the taste either. Dry, a little acidic, nothing to write home about.

After about ten minutes in the glass there was a lot more going on in the nose and palette, definitely citrus, maybe a little pineapple, much more fruit coming through, much more balanced that the first impression.

The more we drank it the more we liked it. Dry (no residual sugar I am sure) but some nice fruit as it warmed up. I would definitely recommend against serving this too cold, maybe chill it in the fridge and pull it out 15 mins before you wanted to drink it and it would be just right.

This would be a great summer wine…if summer were not mostly over, if this were earlier in the year I would definitely buy so, not sure if it would hold up for next year or not though, I like to buy my summer wine the year I am going to drink it

Hungry wrote:Lab Rat Report for Tercero 2009 Grenache Blanc

I'm a long time wooter, first time lab rat, thankful for the golden ticket, but anxious since I am not a sophisticated wine drinker. I know to appreciate a good bottle of wine, but don't ask me to describe it :-)

For what it's worth, I received the bottle and put in the fridge overnight. Opened it with a couple friends. Here's our collected note:

- On the nose: subtle and elegant.

- In the mouth: crisp and refreshing, on the dry side. My friend said he sensed lemon.

- Finish: strong, more sweet than sour, long lasting, a little complex for me to describe.

- Alcohol: label says 13.5% and it feels about right.

- 30 minutes after opening: after taste seems stronger, a little more sour now but still balance.

Overall this is a very elegant wine that is easy to drink - an excellent picnic wine. I'm tempted. Would be a much easier decision if I didn't pick up the Woot Cellars 2010 Triacipedis a few days ago.

Hope it helps.
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Pear Valley 2009 Grenache - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

jenhen309 wrote:

Lab Rat report:

What an honor to be chosen! By virtue of dating the golden ticket holder, I was able to swipe his bottle and share it with 4 women. I sent out an email in the morning relaying my troubles: I had to write a report about some free wine. While I felt confident that I could handle this task on my own, I worried that finishing the entire bottle in one sitting would have made the report brief (wine is good – buy some). Everyone was to arrive at 6.

The wine arrived mid-day in perfect condition. Grenache. Not a wine that I’ve had a lot of. Actually, my only recollection was Kent Rasmussen’s 2009 Esoterica grenache rose. That might be nice. To the internets to find suggested pairings! I settled on a selection of salami and crackers to start, followed by a spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes and bacon. Mains were pasta with Italian sausage, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and onions and a roasted tomato sauce made from the same heirloom tomatoes. I grabbed some brownie bites for dessert.

5:50 – running a bit behind. Pull out Esoterica. Plate salami and cheese.

6:10 – Everyone arrives. Explain that Esoterica is the same grape made in a different style. E. is nervous about the tasting. “I don’t know all the words.”

“It’s okay. You’re not writing the report. You just have to tell me what you think.”

E.: “Okay. I can do that. I do like this. This is really good.”

6:45 – Dinner’s ready. Rinse the glasses and open the golden bottle.

I think it’s a bit understated on its fruit. Maybe I should have decanted it.

G. “You know, it reminds me of a vino noble from Italy”

J. “Whoa, that smells of a lot of alchol.”

I look at the bottle. It says 14.8% by volume.

E. “Does it smell smoky to anyone else?”

It’s pleasant, but it needs a bit of time.

We start digging to food and continue catching up.


E. “No, it smells chocolaty. Like a good dark chocolate.”

C. "Yea, it's definitely opened up more now."

J. “I think this is a strong cheeky number. Just how I like them – a little spicy and steeped in liquour.”

G. “It’s like your favorite alcoholic friend.”

J. “Who is wearing a fruity perfume.”

The wine is smooth. I don’t have the most sophisticated tongue, but there’s a bit of wood. Some chocolate tones and subtle fruit flavors. It goes really well with the meats and tomatoes. Decanting would improve this, and I hope one of the other Lab Rats had the foresight to do this.

E. “Is body a word? Is that a real term?”

It is, and this wine falls in the medium-body. It won’t smack you over the head like some of the zins. It’s not outshining the meal or the conversation. It’s a supporting but loved member of the cast.

Interrupting a discussion on King George 1, 2, and 3:

G. “You know it’s a bit sweet.”

C. “Really? Sweet?”

G. “Well, not like cloying sweet, but a very pleasant flavor. I think that as this has opened, the wood disappeared leaving chocolate and smoke. There’s a nice savory aftertaste.”

There is. I can’t put my finger on the flavor, but it’s light and enjoyable.

C. “We have to try this with chocolate. I tried a merlot once and the flavors really exploded.”

I didn’t think that this wine was set up for chocolate, and it wasn’t. It’s not bad, but neither flavor was improved.

Our verdict: Delicious. Easy to drink and paired well with meats. I think this will be a great wine as we move into fall with stews and hearty meat dishes. Definitely serve with bacon.

sdsmith93 wrote:

I found out I was a Lab Rat the day before the Grenache was to arrive. I was not going to be home that day so I had to drive to FedEx to pick it up. I opened the package at home and uncorked the bottle of 2009 Pear Valley Grenache. The cork smelled like strawberry. I poured a little into a wine glass and smelled the wine…it smelled like red wine and oak. I tasted the wine. It was so acidic that it burned my mouth and tongue. I let the glass sit for about an hour and a half, sipping along the way and waiting for the acid to recede. It was horrible, too acidic to drink. It was late so I re-corked the bottle, put it in the fridge and decided to try it again Thursday night.

A friend and I made dinner…grilled Portobello mushrooms with cherry tomatoes and Havarti dill cheese; Tagliolini pasta with arugula pesto; antipasto salad of olives, tomatoes, avocado, and mozzarella; and sliced baguettes to dip into olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We tried the again cool first then at room temperature. It was amazing, considering the way it tasted the evening before. The color was garnet-y (Pantone 202C, to be exact.) The Grenache appeared watery and clear. It smelled of vanilla and plum. The initial taste was soft, watery, and dry. With food this impression changed to soft, creamy and dry. The acid was still present but not as overpowering as the previous night. The middle phase was vanilla, oak (maybe just the suggestion of oak) and kind of earthy. The final phase ended with a short-lived alcohol wave that turned into a light bodied, acidic, fruity taste.

Overall this is a non-complex wine that probably would make great sangria. I am glad that I didn’t toss it the first time I tasted it. It needs a long time to decant. It is more acidic than I like. The alcohol content is high (14.8%) and needs food to temper it. I got a headache both nights I drank it, with and without food. I am glad that I went to get the Grenache the same day it was delivered, as I would not have liked it at all if I had only one night to drink it. That said, I cannot wait for my Gazzi pinot noir!!!

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Offer of 9/28/2011 -- Galante Vineyards Estate Red - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

fuzzyuu wrote:
Lab Rat Report:

First, I'd like to thank the wine.woot.gods for giving me a golden ticket. Though I've been drinking wine for more than a decade, I still pretty much consider myself an amateur as far as being able to pull out real subtle flavors. So here is my shot at being a lab rat.

Holy Fruit Wineman! That was both the misses and my impression right after uncorking the Galante Vineyards 2006 Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon. Plum and raspberry. Somewhat sweet, but not overly so. Definitely a lot of mouth. Needs a little time to breath, but is still very good right out of the bottle.

Now, we weren't super prepared in the food department, and as well, didn't have a fantastic evening to cook and really enjoy it since we were off to the ball park for our last game of the season. But after letting it breath a little while, decided to try a few things with it. First up was some salmi, the Monisana from Olli Salumeria. Honsetly, not a good pairing. Just brought out sour flavors and bitterness. Next was some Raspberries from the garden. Now that hit the spot. It was seamless going from raspberry to wine. After that was some Castelvetrano Olives, our favorite olive! Oh my. Taking a sip of this after eating one of these olives brought out a warm sweetness that I can't place my finger on, but it made the olive shine in a whole new light. We had a little bit of dark chocolate around, nothing fantastic, and it was meh as far as pairing. The two just didn't complement each other. Finally, we decided to cook a small steak. That was pure pairing heaven. Just a little salt and steak seasoning, cooked a nice medium rare again really brought out the smoothness of this wine.

As our evening went on, I can't stress how much I just kept thinking raspberries, which is fantastic because it is my favorite fruit. Even as everything smoothed out, the primary flavors didn't change. It's one of the better cabs that I've had in the last couple of months and seems like a fantastic offering!

adams828 wrote:
My first golden ticket - w00t indeed!

Sorry for the late posting, just hitting a late lunch break now. Can't make any promises to my wine tasting savvy, but here we go..

'08 Red Rose Hill Cabernet
Pop n' pour
Got home, opened and poured a small bit.
Medium garnet color, and my first whiff was oak, cherry and spice. My first thought was this is nothing like the cabernet I am familiar with. Poured about a glass and let it sit...

Both 15 and 30 minutes later.
Now we are talking - still mostly oak and spice, but you can tell the fruit is trying to make a presence. Moderate tannin and finish. Amazed that there was little of the typical alcohol bite of the usual valley cabernets. Figured I should eat (Massaman Curry - sorry I hadn't planned better!) so came back later...

2.5 hours later
The fruit is here! Give this some air, and you will be amazed at how it comes into balance. Would love to have this with some appropriate food next time, but enjoyable on its own with the additional time.

This is what wine.woot is all about - getting to try different winemakers and styles and learning about wine. Who knew a 'Cali' cab could taste like this?? I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this tastes on day 2. I think this could be even better with a few years on it!

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Offer of 9/30/2011 -- Esterlina Vineyards Cole Ranch 2010 Dry Riesling - 4 Pack

This offer's pack:

bhodilee wrote:

It is late. I am exhausted and this is a labrat report.

Labrat Report: 2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch

I have started this four times. I need to drink more to properly lubricate the free flowing nonsense that I am known for. (that and ending sentences with prepositions) I can’t drink though because I have to go in front of my board tomorrow and tell 3 of them they’re out of a job at the next election cycle. Whatever, so here I sit, sober and sad. Sad because there’s half a bottle of wine left that I can’t drink. It only clocks in at 12.4% so I could drink the whole thing and start a bottle of something else, but I won’t.

Things that instantly draw me to the winery before I even taste it. The Yelp reviews paint it as this wonderfully beautiful place with great wines and extremely cool people. Can’t go wrong there. Also, this wine comes from Cole Ranch which is the smallest AVA in the US, clocking in at just 189 acres. Very cool, makes this special cause there’s not much to go around. My dad’s farm is 200 acres over in Iowa. It’s a very small farm; it’s larger than this whole AVA. I’m routinely on 1000+ acre Ranches and farms in Nebraska. Not many of them are as tasty as these 189 acres. If I’m ever in the area I’m doing a tasting. Fair warning Sterling Family! Also, you need to watch this video about them, very cool family.

2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch

Color: Really pale yellow. Paler than I had initially thought, but it’s pretty enough.

Nose: Word of Caution, this is allergy skewed. It’s not a powerful nose. Very subtle, does not leap up and smack you in the face. I like that. A lot of times all I can smell is the alcohol, in this I’m not hit with that at all. There’s honey and apple, which for me is always present in a Riesling. I’m getting a little limestone….actually it’s more like the reaction of Limestone and HCL that I’m getting. I love that smell. I have an elderberry bush in the backyard. Pain in the ass to maintain but it kicks Lilacs ass for fragrance and the flowers last longer, plus you can make awesome jam and pies with the elderberries (wine, not so much, though Elderberry hooch is responsible for me not remembering much of my wedding reception) Anyway, this has that smell. That honeysuckle on roids that is all elderberry. As it warms, the nose is becoming more prominent. No Petrol here, that’s surprising to me. I keep going back to it. I like it a lot.

Drinky: Ok, so I pulled this out of the fridge and let it warm up half an hour. Served right around 63 degrees. I think that was too cold, my initial reaction was, well, this doesn’t taste like much. Ten minutes in the glass though and it has flavor, which is kind of the whole point.

Very very smooth. Because the alcohol is low it just flows over the tongue with zero heat. As it warms up it gets more viscous, which is my fav thing about Riesling. There’s honey, tart apple (granny smith maybe) other stuff I can’t place. Very good, but again, not all in your face. Absolutely subdued, not as acidic as I would have thought (this will play a role later). It’s a dry Riesling and it is that. It has a residual sweetness, which Scott tells us is due to RS and Acidity being in balance (I think, I tend to forget things). It is sweet in a pleasant way, not cloying at all. There’s a lingering finish, completely pleasant. Makes you want another sip, then another, and another, then your glass is gone and you can’t drink more because you can’t be hung over for work. Damnit. I like this wine if you can’t tell.

Food I screwed this up. Online it said Riesling and any spicy food, goes well with Mexican. So I got Mexican, when my instinct said Thai. To be honest, this wouldn’t have stood up to Thai any better than it did the Mexican. This is what I had:

Zancho... Just like a Sancho but better! This 12 inch tortilla is filled with refried beans, seasoned beef, chipotle sauce, sour cream, onion, cheese, tomatoes and black olives, then it's topped with our delicious White Queso.

Basically, this is a plate of delicious fat. I could only eat half. The queso absolutely overwhelmed the wine. I gave up pretty quick on it and switched to water with the meal. This would probably be great with shellfish. It’s just too subtle to cut through the cheesey gooey Zancho goodness. Thoroughly enjoyable on its own.

I’m tired, I have half a bottle left. I’ll report more tomorrow but so far this is two thumbs up. My wife says it’s good, she hates every wine I give her. There ya go.

Edit: I take back the acid statement. After two hours in glass I finished it off and got smacked with a nice little acid bite. It just took it a bit to show up. Maybe because it's a 2010, but then, we don't generally drink whites aged now do we? Anyway, I still have half the bottle so I'll drink the rest tonight and let you know what it's like 18 hours later.

wineyum wrote:

I received my first Golden Ticket today! Thank you WineWoot, I will try not to disappoint.

I will disclose- I love wine (aka wineyum) and drink my fair share, but I cannot claim any significant wine education or knowledge of any sort.

I opened this 2010 Esterlina Riesling almost as soon as I reached home at 6, so that my parents (who were babysitting my three year old) could have the first sip with me. It was slightly warmer than I would prefer, but chilled enough (I chilled it at the office).

The color is a lovely very pale yellow- about as close to clear as a wine can get. The first sniff was a surprise. The first aroma that hit all three of us was vanilla. The second sniff also revealed floral tones. This wine really smells great!

Like the aroma, the taste of this wine was also a surprise. I first noted a crisp floral note, but that was followed by a longer finish of oak, vanilla and honey. The wine has a bright, refreshing edge of a Riesling, but it also reminded me a little of a light chardonnay. Over the course of the night (it’s my rat duty to keep re-tasting every hour or so, right?), my impression remained the same. As the wine warms, the honey notes become stronger and the floral diminishes.

My DH arrived home late and thus didn’t try the wine until right before dinner, at about 8:45. He did not agree with my opinion that it had any chardonnay-like traits, so maybe I have no idea what I am talking about. You will just have to buy the wine and decide for yourself! Interestingly, he also first noted a vanilla and then floral aroma (with no knowledge of my tasting notes). He identified honey and floral as the dominant tastes and did not note any oak. He described the wine as refreshing, not too sweet, and as leaving a slight tingling on the tongue, but not in an unpleasant way.

It paired well with a light dinner of shrimp, garlic, and scallions sautéed in olive oil and served over angel hair pasta.

We thought it was a pleasant, solid Riesling that would be a great summer wine. It is very easy to drink- refreshing but smooth, and a nice finish. The bottle is now empty, so I guess that speaks for itself!

I barely managed to stay awake to post this tonight, so if people have questions, I’ll talk to y’all in the morning!

polarbear22 wrote:

2010 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch

Sorry, I could not stay up until 1:00 to post this and get up at 5:00 for work. So here is the next in the series of labrat reports.

Taking my responsibilities seriously, I wanted to use a proper Reidel. But, I only have Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc glasses. So the first sips were to match the glass. After a quick sample, determined that the Sauvignon Blanc glass worked better than the Chardonnay glass.

The color is a pale straw. On the nose, I get green apple and what I will identify as lemon. Nice and fresh.

The taste is dry and crisp with nice fruit, mainly green apple. Great acidity. Initially, the finish was short and clean, due to the acidity. But nothing lingered. My wife said it disappeared. (Her other comments were that is very nice, and smooth.) Which made me go to the next sip that much faster.

I find this style of Reisling to my tastes. The fruit and acidity give it a nice balance, so there is a hint of sweetness without RS. And it is not so bone dry and minerally to lose its character.

While nice on its own, it paired very well with homemade fish tacos. Not a lot of sauce or fat, so the Reisling had the acidity to cut through and cleanse the palate.

After about an hour or so, and with no food, the finish stays a little longer with a pleasant tartness.

To be clear, we just stocked up on a couple of cases from the Finger Lakes, so I will not buy this time. This is a nice example of a Dry Reisling.

EDIT: The note on the back label was from E.L. Sterling. Are their relationships to other "Sterlings" we know?

wineyum wrote:
Lab rat writing in- I concur that it is definitely not a syrupy sweet wine- I do not like sweet wines at all. This was actually not as dry as I expected, but I also did not find it sweet. I didn't comment on the dry, off-dry issue because I frankly don't drink that many Rieslings and did not feel qualified to do so, but I would not have liked the wine if it was very sweet. Bright, light and smooth would be more accurate. Like Texicaliali, my hubby's take was "refreshing" and I don't disagree with that.

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Offer of 10/1/2011 -- SakéOne Momokawa Mixed - 6 Pack

This offer's pack:

CAGrl wrote:

I'm a labrat!!!! Caveat being I'm not really good at distinguishing flavors and breaking it down. So I hope I don't disappoint.

Anywa, I received 2 bottles, Pearl (Nigori) and Organic Nigori. I received the package and put in the refrigerator to chill. And according to the direction, I shook the bottle and poured both out to try without food.

The Pearl is creamier, whiter and murkier looking. The Organic Nigori seemed to be a little clearer. Both smelled the same to me.

Regarding taste, Pearl was a little grainier in the mouthfeel. It is tasty and has a bit of a bite to it. Kinda expected for 18% for me. Couldn't really figure out the underlying taste but it is yummy. My mother in law and father in law both liked this better than the Organic Nigori.

The Organic Nigori is smoother to me although my mother in law thought the Pearl was smoother. It doesn't have that grainy taste to me. Both my husband and I liked this one better.

Both were a little sweet and my in laws thought Pearl was sweeter than the Organic Nigori.

We made some chicken teriyaki and I tried it with food. It went really well with the food. It was refreshing and complemented the salty chicken dish. When I put some sriracha sauce on the chicken and drank some sake, it went well with the spiciness of the sauce.

Well, hope this helps. Sorry for not being able to really break down the components of the sake. I really like both bottles though.

beefytaco wrote:
sausage, egg and cheese consumed - and now it's time for some sake drinking!

Momokawa Ruby
This is the first time (to my knowledge) that I've had domestic sake, and I'm thrilled to be drinking it. We have a small Kyoto-style Obanzai restaurant on our block with charming owners and a well curated sake list. That's where all of my real sake knowledge comes from. So only recently have I started appreciating sake.

So back to the Ruby... the bottle immediately lets you know what you're getting into with "lightly sweet sake" on the label.

The appearance in the glass is clear, possibly pinkish. Perhaps I'm biased by the notes on the SakeOne website, but I'm getting ripe melon on the nose along with a bit of heat. In the mouth, it's a soft, medium body with perceptible sweetness and the flavor of soft ripe fruit. Ya know - overripe soft pears and bruised apples. I know that in fruit those aren't ideal flavors - but it's really nice here.

I want to have something to eat with this. Something to tame the RS. Having seen dozens of sake + cheese classes offered around town, I scoured our fridge for cheese. The only respectable thing however was some creamy, ripe stilton (yum). Nothing really heightened or overshadowed, but also nothing revelatory.

Here in NYC I can't find a respectable glass of sake for the price of this 750ml bottle. This is my first exposure to SakeOne - and I look forward to drinking more.

polarbear22 wrote:

Momokawa Silver
Sorry a late night with Bowtie's rapier wit and sake after menage a trois was too much and I overslept.

I was excited to be labratting a saké, particularly the Silver which is my favorite in the Momokawa line.

I tasted the saké three different times. I only pick up one aroma that I associate with saké. Reminds me of being in the woods after rain, so damp earth and organic. The lack of aroma may be the glass I used, since I couldn’t find the Reidel Saké O glasses.
Silver is their driest saké. It is very crisp and clean. We tasted something metallic, which they describe as steel. This is a very clean metal taste, not like sucking on a coin or something. There are just hints of pear that we picked up. We also could taste the slight brininess after reading their notes. It really seems just on the edge of the taste. Finish is nice and clean. No harshness of a cheap saké or alcohol burn.

This is my favorite saké for sushi. It cleanses and refreshes without having any flavors that would interfere with the fish. The other bottles in the Momokawa line get progressively sweeter, and I prefer the Silver and the Diamond for most evenings. Though the Ruby and Pearl have not lasted all that long in the past. And if I see the G Joy saké again, I will buy it in an instant.
A few years ago, we were in Oregon visiting the Willamette Valley for wine. We found ourselves in Forest Grove for breakfast, and I recalled it was the home of Saké One. I talked my friends into a visit and tasting. Turns out the other couple did not like saké. Thinking it was just that they never had good quality saké, they agreed to the visit. We tasted quite a range of sakes, including some of their imports and some saké cocktails. My friends decided it was a worthwhile visit, as they learned they don’t like good saké either. So saké is not a taste for everyone. But their son and I enjoyed experiencing a full range of saké at one time. The higher priced imports did taste better, but not in a way that shames the Momokawa. It showed us the QPR of the Momokawa, and that, like wine, there is something better that is worth paying for from time to time.

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Offer of 10/2/2011 -- Pellegrini Family Vineyards Merlot - 3+3 Pack

This offer's pack:

bhodilee wrote:

Sorry this is late, but I'm f'n tired.

Labrat Report: Pellegrini 2007 Cloverdale Ranch, Alexander Valley Merlot.
Dinner tonight will consist of two T-bones that are probably clocking in at 18oz, cause that’s how we do things in Nebraska. Seasoned with Salt, nothing else, we don’t disgrace perfection with other crap. We’ll be having a twice baked potato with it and that’s it. No vegetable because I started cooking late cause kids suck, and I wanna watch the Nebraska-Wisconsin game (I can’t believe we’re ahead 7-0, literally shocked; Jared Crick is looking like Suh Reincarnate). Currently the steaks are resting and I’m sniffing the wine.
Color This thing is a DEEP red all the way to the edge. (Suddenly, this game is looking like I thought it would).
Nose: Right out of the bottle, green pepper like crazy, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be shocked to find some Cab Franc blended into this. Took the glass outside where the steaks were grilling and suddenly everything changed. I took a good whiff and all I could think of was Christmas. Couldn’t place what I was smelling, but that’s the thought it instantly evoked. Later I decided it was really juicy cherries and cranberries. Which made me want to make a compote of the two, which I’ve never done. Now that I’m back inside I’m back to a peppery kind of smell but more black than green. Pleasant, but I want Christmas back. Can’t wait to actually start eating the steak to see if I get that back.
Taste: Caveat, I’m not a fan of Merlot. I’ve had good ones, but by and large, it’s just not for me. Even the good ones I probably wouldn’t buy again. Ok, dinner is over. I think this Merlot is closed and needs to open up. It didn’t add much to the steaks (which were great). I’ll wait a bit and pour another glass. So far, I think it tastes like a Cab Franc.
Ok, so I cheated and went to the winery page and looked it up. 100% varietal Merlot, this is closed for sure. I’ll try again at halftime. Though again, I definitely got the cherry on the nose outside. Maybe there’s too much dog and baby in my house to overcome for the nose.
Alright, halftime is over; let’s see what we got, besides a mercy killing of the Huskers. (I’m not a fan so I’m kind of looking forward to going to work and listening to my coworkers.)
Taste 2: Action!. Yep, this woke up after about 45 minutes. Cherries, but not like Sangiovese(love). Medium tannins, lingering finish, pleasant. This really isn’t hot at all, which I was concerned with coming in at 14.5%. Well balanced wine, whoever made this knew what they were doing. At this point the glass is a foot and a half from me (can we just all agree to refer to this unit of measurement as a Ron Jeremy from now on?) and I can smell it. The nose knows and this one has come alive. That cherry that was so in my face while grilling is there, but not like it was. I think I’m gonna go outside and see if it comes back.
It did not. Definitely take a glass of this outside when you’re grilling your steaks.
Conclusion: This is a well-made wine, but it’s still a Merlot and not my thing. If you like Merlot, I suspect you’ll be VERY pleased with this wine. If you don’t like Merlot, this isn’t changing your mind. This will get added to the very short list of Merlots (Wellington, Madison) that I enjoyed, but not enough to go out of my way to acquire. If it comes with a few other wines that do interest me, I’d push the button. This is the kind of wine you can happily serve at a party knowing it is well made and will not disappoint (plus then, you don’t have to drink it yourself and you can make the obligatory LOOK BEHIND YOU! Miles jokes). Based on this, I’m confident the other wines in this grouping will be well made and worth purchasing. I have half a bottle left; I’ll let you know how this works tomorrow.
Apparently, this is not this wine’s first go around here. Previous rat report here. Perhaps, slightly prescient, we shall see.
Random update: Just got done watching Wisconsin destroy Nebraska. I should move to Wisconsin. I like cheese, I like beer, I like sausage, and I’m fat. I’d fit right in. So anyway, there’s about three sips left in this glass. I haven’t touched it for oh, about 45 minutes, and IT’S ALIVE. This kind of morphed into a much better wine. Not sure where it came from, but this is now a WINE I enjoy, not just a Merlot that’s pretty good. I probably still wouldn’t buy it on its own though, but if I was asked to bring a Merlot, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring this.
Final update tonight: Somewhere, somehow this morphed into Cab light. Well played Pellegrini, well played. Looking forward to tomorrow lunch, this should go great with the pizza I’m making.

wineyum wrote:

Hello again, fellow wine wooters! I was lucky enough to receive not one, but two wines to Rat this week. The Wine Gods are smiling on me.

This afternoon, at about 3:30, I open a 2007 Pellegrini Cloverdale Ranch Merlot. My mother is on hand to take the first sip with me. Color is a deep ruby. The first sniff of this wine is, “Wow, that’s strong.” Initial aromas are pepper/spicy and plum, but there is also some alcohol. A deep whiff will make your eyes water! My mother comments that the wine has legs, which supports the alcohol smell.

On first taste, the wine is tart (almost sour) and has really strong tannins. Neither of us likes it much, but I suspect that some decanting will improve the situation immensely. I pour about ¾ of the bottle into the decanter and we chill on the porch with our remaining glasses.

My husband and father arrive home about 4:30, and we give them a glass. My dad’s first comment is, “Boy, that is sour.” My husband likes it better, notes that he is not a big Merlot fan, but that he thinks this is a nice one. He describes it as earthy and peppery. They both agree that the tannins are very strong. I try another tasting at this point, and find that the tannins have mellowed somewhat, but are still too strong. I decide to be patient and leave the rest of the wine until dinner (not a very long wait, as we are eating pizza dinner with our three year old tonight).

Dinner is ready at six. However, I am a beer and pizza kinda gal, and after one sip of wine, I decide I can’t really do any “tasting” with pepperoni pizza on the tongue. Plus, it is not the best pairing choice and neither the pizza nor the wine are benefitting from the experience.

I pick up my wine glass again at 7:15. It is a different wine. Decanting has allowed the alcohol to diminish and the tannins to mellow. The tannins are still prominent, but they now complement rather than overpower the wine. The tastes of plum, berries and earthiness are still there, but they are now present in a smooth complex taste with a lovely medium to long finish. The distracting tartness has mellowed and the tongue is no longer overwhelmed with tannins at the back-end of the sip (most sips, anyway).

For those of you who like to know about sweetness, this is definitely not a sweet wine. It is a classic dry Merlot, which is one of the things I like best about it.

Conclusions: This wine is definitely a Big Red. If you like mellow, smooth wines and don’t like tannins, then this is probably not the wine for you. This is a complex wine, with layered flavors of plum, berries, earth and pepper. I suspect that we only experienced a little of what this wine has to offer and that it will get even better with aging. I think decanting is a must at this point in its young life.

Thank you WineWoot for the opportunity to contribute to this great forum of wine lovers.

beefytaco wrote:

Breakfasted with sake, and then for a mid-afternoon snack I moved over to the wonderful:
Cloverdale Ranch Merlot

Popped and poured, I was met with a big meaty Merlot. A bit oaky and hot on the nose, I took a sip and found a wine punching way above it's $15 weight class. While it needed some air, I was impressed by the acidity and structure. I poured two glasses to sit for an hour or so, and headed into the kitchen to prepare something to pair with it.
I found a random assortment of raw veg, I ended up with a tomato, garlic, red pepper, serrano + thyme "jam" and some toasted bread.

This wine is very well made. We enjoyed it much more with air - we decanted, but I'm sure that an aerator would also serve the purpose. Full body, subtle tannins, bright cherry, short-ish finish, plays well with food.

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Offer of 10/3/2011 -- Sextant 2009 Chardonnay - 6 Pack

This offer's pack:

StarM wrote:

Wow -- a Golden Ticket . . . . Dreams really do come true!

After getting the email alert & the FedEx phone call, I was on pins & needles waiting for the arrival of the elixir of the gods . . . And, when it arrived on my doorstep, I was not disappointed -- the 2009 Sextant Central Coast Chardonnay. I’ve been following Sextant’s offerings, and because of summer heat issues, I had opted out of the last two. And then I was in Paso Robles in September, mid-week after Labor Day, and their Paso tasting room wasn’t open during the week -- Yikes, very sad.

After tasting many above-average Paso, Sta. Rita, Monterrey & Central Coast Chardonnays while we were out there, I was thrilled to see Sextant’s Chardonnay in the box -- and we were not disappointed.

A few notes -- I do like Chardonnays -- I like steely, flinty crisp Chablis style Chardonnays, and I like round, rich creamy California Chardonnays. They are different treatments of the same grape, yet each with their own emphasis and effect and place in a wine portfolio. I don’t like Chardonnays that are so crisp that they lose any roundness or hints of rich white fruits, and I don’t like Chardonnays that are overly oaked or so creamy/buttery that they are cloying. So, with that being said . . . . here we go . . . .

Opening the 2009 Sextant Central Coast Chardonnay -- temp is about 55 - 56’ -- Color is beautiful golden straw color -- very clear, yet a hue with depth. Nose on opening -- creamy butter with tropical fruit. As you swirl, the fruit becomes much more prominent & the white peachiness comes out.

First sips -- first reaction -- very round, no sharpness on the palate, but no overt creaminess or cloying on the finish. Tastes like a mature Chardonnay -- doesn’t need any holding time to balance out the palate -- well rounded and balanced comes up in a couple of people’s notes. No noticeable oak on the nose or the palate.

The palate begins to open up a bit as we drink the first glass without food -- descriptions include stone fruit, with hints of citrus and “not quite ripe” nectarine & mandarin orange. You really get the fruitiness with just a hint of “greeness” or “citrus” depending upon how your palate picks up the acidity. As the glass warms up closer to room temperature, the hints of honeysuckle, maybe ripe honeydew melon, start to come through. The creaminess and buttery aroma are more pronounced as it warms up.

Second glass was an hour or so later, after being held back in the 55’ cooler, with food. Served with roasted chicken, zucchini, red potatoes -- nothing particularly fatty or spicy. The acidity in the wine came out & made a significant change on the finish. Became much more of a food wine than we expected, and provided a nice acidic, almost crisp, palate cleanser with each sip. Didn’t really expect that. I guess that’s where the lack of oak really comes across.

This is a nice lightly rounded Chardonnay -- it’s not crisp by any standard, but yet it does play nicely with food. Similarly, it’s not a big oaky, buttery Cali Chard, yet it is round and smooth with a silky mouth-feel. The stainless steel tanks definitely make a difference with this one. I think if it had been fully oaked, it would have been over the top; but the balance of the ML fermentation against the stainless steel (and only 10% oak) allowed the richness of the grape to shine through without overwhelming it with the vanilla oakiness that too frequently disguises the characteristics of the grape.

Overall -- Easy to drink without food or with a nice light dinner. I think it would be a nice wine to take to a party when you’re not sure what’s being served or don’t want to offend -- or similarly, a nice wine to serve as an opening aperitif or with heavy appetizers. Could mend the stand-off between crisp SB or Pinot Grigio drinkers and the round creamy Chardonnay and floral Viognier fans. I think I preferred it without food and a bit on the cooler side. Depending upon the price point and the offering, we’re in for at least one.

Kudos to the winemakers & hope to visit next time we're out that way.

Many thanks to WineDavid & all of Wine.Woot -- and to all of you fellow Wooters, Cheers!

Now, off to bed . . . my work here is done.

kommaanda wrote:

Fulfilling my lab rat obligation even if only for posterity, so I'm trying to keep it short. Warning - we're not a white wine household.
Finally received the bottle this morning. Cooled it all day long to go with dinner tonight.

I don't have the best nose but I am picking up tropical fruit. If I had to pin it down I would lean toward pineapple. My wife and our 6 year old (whose sense of smell I trust a lot more than my own) between them picked up hints of honey as well as apple and citrus.

First taste. From now on it's me. Wife still has to work tonight and we don't give the 6 year old alcohol just yet. Definitely a hint of oak but not in a bad way. It doesn't linger too much so I can deal with it. Gives way to citrus and possibly green apple. Very smooth right away.

About an hour in - it's getting buttery but again not in a bad way. Overall a lot better balanced than I would expect at this price. This chardonnay doesn't offend in any way and I might have gone for it at the beginning of summer but would pass at this point.

Sorry for the late post. All blame goes to FedEx.

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Offer of 10/3/2011 -- Porter-Bass 2008 Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay - 4 Pack

This offer's pack:

texacaliali wrote:

LABRAT REPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!

(POLARBEAR22 is stuck on the Cape without a connection, so he sent this on Sunday to post today)

Here goes.

2008 Porter-Bass Chardonnay

The labrat e-mail recommended that I decant this wine. Since periodically, I can follow good advice. I did decant the wine. However, sticking with advice is not my strong suit, so I immediately poured some into a glass. They were right, this needs to be decanted. The small amount in the glass was acceptable after 30 minutes or so, but we let the remainder decant for an hour.

The wine is a deep golden color in the glass. Deeper than most wines I have had recently.
On the nose, there is a clear mineral note. There is just a subtle fruit note that seems tropical, and possibly some apple.

The wine has a big mouthfeel, lots of viscosity. Moderate oak. I expected there to be strong buttery flavors with the big mouthfeel, but the butter is barely there. This Chardonnay is more tart and mineral, with a little lemon. It is creamy with nice acidity.

The finish is moderate to long, with nice acidity and tartness.

We drank the wine over two hours. It remained with the large mouthfeel and creaminess. It got a little less tart, but the nice acidity remained.

My wife described this wine as having what she likes in a Sauvignon Blanc – crisp and tart – but with more body and richness.

We had this with chicken soup made with leftover roast chicken. It would have been better with the chicken the first time. By the time anyone reads this, we will be having fresh oysters on Cape Cod. I wish that we could match this wine with the oysters. I think they would have gone well together.

So on to some research. The winery website was down this weekend. I hope they are up for the offer. This wine was stirred on the lees, which is what brings out the creamy mouthfeel. The light oak and lack of MLF makes this wine more Burgundian in style. I won’t go further and try to peg it to a region in Burgundy, as by this time the wine is gone.

I did find a note that this started at 22.5 Brix.

This is unlike most of the CA Chardonnays that I have had recently. Not a fan of the buttery Chards for most occasions. I prefer the crisp, unoaked Chardonnays. The big mouthfeel made this different, yet it was crisp and creamy without being buttery. We really liked this, and plan to purchase a set. SWIBM be damned.

beefytaco wrote:

I was incredibly excited to see this bottle in our package - while I am not very familiar with Porter Bass as a winery, all of the Sonoma superstars make a Heintz Vineyard chardonnay and I had high expectations.

As advised by the labrat email, we decanted - and the wine sings with air. Give it an hour or two, and to further overuse a meaningless phrase, you have a wine that tastes very 'Burgundian.'

Because it's late, here are my tasting notes, list style:
nutty, toasty nose with heat that blows off somewhat over time
golden yellow, lemony color
slight roundness
big minerality
apple, apricots
obvious oak, but not distracting
interesting, balanced
bright acidity, killer structure, integration
A freaking great bottle of wine

Having consumed way too much 7-8% ries this summer, this is hitting like a freight train... the alcohol provides a slight harshness that I'm out of practice with.

Our dinner was:
sauteed shrimp w/ butter, garlic, and chives
carrots braised w/ ginger in butter and oj
mizuna salad
Paired brilliantly, especially with the dishes containing butter.

I was looking forward to seeing the price here, and at $21.25/bottle shipped, I will definitely go in for a 4-pack.
A huge thank you to Porter Bass and Woot for this opportunity!

kylemittskus wrote:
G*$ D@#$&%!!!!! I just typed my entire report and then lost it. Anyway, as I was saying...

First of all, allow me to apologize. I was supposed to rat for the sake, but didn't get the package until today due to confusion (on my parents' part) as to what the FedEx guy tried to deliver. They thought it was their wine club shipment. It wasn't. I hate absent rats and I became one. Please forgive me.

Second of all, due to the heat we've had in So Cal this past week (except now it's raining), this wine is cooked. My report isn't going to be worth much because of that. I can get nothing from the bouquet besides cooked, bad smell, and the palate is more of the same. However, I can tell you that this wine has two things that I can discern even though it's cooked. The first is that the mouthfeel is fantastic! Creamy and rich, maybe even slightly viscous. The other is that this wine has a strong, acidic backbone. Oysters, white fish, scallops, ankimo, I want them all with a bottle of this and I'm set. Again, I have no perception on the wine's actual flavor profile, but the acidity along with the creamy rich mouthfeel leads me to come to the following conclusion:

If you're dropping $25-$50 and up on White Burgundy (I have been), this is easy @ $21/bottle, IMHO. Other rats whom I trust (Polar Bear) say this has minerality. If they say so, I believe it. Add that to the mouthfeel and the acidity that I can perceive, this is an EASY buy at $21. Yes, I know it's $21. But look at Burg prices.... did you look? Good. EASY. This is some serious juice. And if I can tell that without any flavors, I'm impressed.

For reference, I have no problem blasting a wine that I am given to rat (I've done it before). I tend towards bigger wines. I like more fruit than earth, but want both. Favorite varietal is PS. Favorite white is Roussanne. Favorite region is the Rhone. Favorite color is orange. Oh, that's not necessary. Sorry. In m whites I like big mouthfeel, acid, and these days in my Chards, some butter, vanilla, etc.

I don't know how much help I'll be able to be with my cooked bottle, but I'm around all the time (the experts call me "addicted") so if you want any clarifications, just post.

Thanks WD, as always. Sorry I screwed up with the Sake, but I think we're even since my bottle is cooked.

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Offer of 10/14/2011 -- Torii Mor Winery Oregon, Pinot Noir - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

slein wrote:

Lab Rat Report – Torii Mor – 2007 Eola Amity Hills Select – Pinot Noir

I should probably preface this by saying I haven’t found a Pinot I really like. I tend to like a fuller wine not a fruit bomb, but I tend to prefer the CA style wines over the old world wines.

I had to drink wine on the night it arrived as we were out with friends tonight. Upon opening the wine was so sour as to be undrinkable. Overall the wine seemed a bit thin, but sourness may have been masking other flavors. Decided to decant and let sit a little. Opening it right after shipping was not ideal, but logistics dictated it.

30 minutes later still very sour, but seemed to be mellowing. Decide to wait longer.

After 60 minutes in decanter the sourness was largely gone. To me the wine had little fruit flavor and reminded a more of a French style wine. Although it had more tannin/spice on the finish than the French wines I have typically had. The wine was quite dry long after a drink with almost a leathery or earthy taste. This wine had little detectable smell. The main aroma was a bit of alcohol (even though the alcohol % is relatively low).

Approximately 3 hours after opening and decanting the wine still had a pretty long finish but the tannins/spice had definitely decreased. Felt like there were not a lot of identifiable flavors. A bit of an earthy/leathery taste with little fruit flavor. Overall this felt like many Pinots I have had. That is to say a bit on the thin side for my tastes. My wife like it at this point, but had a hard time identifying flavors in it as well.

After decanting for a long period, which may not be necessary if the wine can rest a little after shipping, I felt this was not a bad wine, but didn’t really pull me in either. The tannins seemed a bit strong so aging a little longer might help.

bsevern wrote:

2007 Torii Mor Olalla Vineyard Pinot Noir - Oregon, Umpqua Valley

Having been a wine.wooter since my first purchase of a Chase Family Cellars
mini-vertical of Zinfandel in 2008, I was pleased to receive the opportunity to be a Lab Rat for the first time! I received a bonus package with my golden ticket, two bottles of varietals that, if made well, I really enjoy.

I opened the bottle at about 7:00PM, poured half a glass, and let it breath for about 15 minutes. I decided to pour the balance of the bottle into my decanter at the same time.

The wine has a beautiful dark ruby red color, and a swirl around the glass launched large, slow moving legs.

An initial whiff of the nose was very aromatic and balanced. Scrutiny of the bouquet gave me bacon fat (something I rarely find pronounced in California Pinots), big red fruit - sour cherries, a bit of ripe strawberries and cranberries, with just a hint of nail polish which I suspect was the alcohol (not in an offensive way, after all this is an alcoholic beverage). It has a big nose.

First sip and wow the tannins are big, but fairly well integrated, the wine is smooth with just a bit of tannin bite if you will, some might say it's a bit tight. The juice carries the alcohol well, not the slightest hint of heat, and while I wouldn't call it a fruit bomb, it is indeed very fruit forward with layers of red fruit - strawberry, cranberry, a bit of raspberry. I found it to be well balanced and focused. I suspect this could evolve nicely in the bottle for a few more years, although it's very drinkable now.

Interesting how the wine developed as it opened up, adding additional layers of fruit as well as a bit of earthiness to the equation. I'm finding this is really a very nice Pinot!

On the finish initially I got a bit of cherry cola (oddly never to return again), then ripe red fruit, and a tinge of tartness. Very enjoyable long finish, this is well done.

Although it's drinking great solo, it's time to pair it with a Cuban style dinner - rice and black beans, plantains, red peppers, and Cuban style pork. Interestingly the pork really brings out that bacon fat element of the wine, and the wine has enough acidity to hold its own, it's a very nice, albeit a potentially atypical pairing.


I've only had a few Oregon Pinots, apparently not exciting enough to prompt further exploration of Oregon Pinot, but the Torii Mor Pinot Noir inspires me to further explore Oregon Pinots, I really enjoyed it. This seems to be a $55 bottle of wine on the Torii Mor website, so it'll be interesting to
see what Wine David was able to pull off for a QPR on this. If you like Pinot Noir, I would absolutely recommend giving this one a go, and trust me if it wasn't good, I'd write just that. I hope the second bottle in my golden ticket box is as enjoyable in its own right as this was. Thank you to all the great wine.woot folks for allowing me to enjoy some very nice juice, now and over the years!

PS - It also went nicely with Traders Joes dark chocolate

diligent fish wrote:

Lab Rat reporting in:

I have waited years to become a lab rat, and when the day finally arrived, wouldn't you know it, I'm on vacation in Santa Fe. However, my parents and their neighbors were more than willing to partake in the wine. In true woot fashion, they wrote this limerick:

There was a young fellow so sublime.
Who signed for a box from Woot-wine.
He opened it quickly,
And aired it completely
But was it long before it’s true time?

We waited a while for the first pour.
Would the Pinot be bust or a Noir?
The cork was expelled,
And gave up a swell
Of grape that was short of the hour.

Now came the time for the taste.
Without going into much haste.
The swirl went around,
Without a drop to the ground
And let me tell you it wasn’t a waste.

But it’s time for truth-of-the-vine.
Is it a dry, full-bodied new wine?
The taste buds did cry,
It’s smooth but not dry,
And needed to wait at least nine.

We put this wine to the test,
From Willamette, out in the West.
So now in conclusion
We give our solution,
Torii Mor is a “silver” at best.

EDIT: This was the 2007 Chehalem Mountains Select Pinot Noir


Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reviewers: dsapp and “wife of dsapp”

Wine: 2007 Torii Mor Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Select (USA, Oregon, Willamette), Release Price: $45

Stemware: Reidel “Burgundy Red” Glasses

Decant: limited (15 minutes, then consumed bottle over next 90-105 minutes).

Shipping, Storage, and Temperature: Wine was shipped overnight via FedEx from California to Connecticut. It arrived “cool to the touch” at 1:30 p.m. It was then placed in 56-degree cellar for 4 ½ hours until decant as described above. Not ideal circumstances.

Disclosures: My wife and I greatly enjoy pinot noir and drink quite a bit of it during the fall season (Foxen and Roessler as our typical “daily drinkers” and Sea Smoke and Kosta Browne as our “special occasion” wines). We are most familiar with pinot noir from the Central Coast and Sonoma. We are not very familiar at all with pinot noir from Oregon like the one we are reviewing here, but we are open to trying it and learning more about it. As such, readers should consider us open-minded and curious drinkers of this wine, familiar with the varietal, and enthusiastic about the task at hand.

Comments on Wine with Food Pairings: Our Review

Pre-Meal: “Our First Impressions”

Comments on Wine: While the meal was being assembled, I decanted the wine and poured a couple ounces in each of our glasses. The cork removed cleanly with no issues, and the wine showed no visible sediment. Color was bright ruby to light garnet, with a gold tint. It was a very light-bodied pinot noir in appearance. Nose: for me, it was “library dusty with a little dark plum.” The nose was not red fruit-forward, or cherry cola like we sometimes get from some Central Coast pinot. It was also not the mushroom, earth, mineral, barnyard pinot we get from some Burgundy, and high-end Sonoma. It had a slightly grainy tannin structure. After our first taste, my impression was that this is a very muted fruit pinot that isn’t terribly complex. I wondered if it might be asleep. My wife picked up a slight hint of “green” (specifically not sprouts) and a little unripe raspberry, not sweet, and maybe a little maraschino cherry. No significant flaws.

1st Course: “Pinot with a Nice Stinky Cheese”

Stanser Rotelli, washed rind/reblochon-style cow cheese from Switzerland, purchased at Fairfield Cheese Company ( No bread or crackers. Ate with a knife and fingers, the way it was intended.

Comments on Wine: My wife remained very open-minded about the wine, hoping that it would develop over time. After 30 minutes in the decanter, she reported something new off the nose: “a hint of cheese mold.” No, it wasn’t from the Stanser Rotelli. I asked if it was “good” cheese mold or “bad” cheese mold, and she said it was faint, but good. She was relieved that the wine was “doing something and showing a little more complexity.” But it took a lot of effort on her part. We agreed that this wine takes a lot of patience and open-mindedness. Fifteen minutes later, I managed to pick up a slight vanilla bean on the nose. The finish remained pleasant: not long, but it was dry and smooth. Again, no significant flaws. The cheese pairing was good, and the wine seemed to perform better with food than it did alone upon initial pour.

2nd Course: “Classic Pairing with Roast Chicken”

Rotisserie Free-Range Chicken with Lemon Pepper Rub from The Pantry ( Again, limited use of utensils. Used knife and fingers to separate meat from the bone off fresh chicken.

Cut Green Beans from The Fresh Market. No seasonings.

Parmesan & Thyme Baguette from Patisserie Isabelle et Vincent ( Used to sop up the juices from the chicken. No butter.

Comments on Wine: We continued to try our best to be patient with the wine. With nearly an hour in the decanter, the flavors were still quite muted, and to both of us, the wine’s appearance and style seemed “somewhat watery and diluted.” To make sense of this, we went to the winery’s website and read how the weather upon harvest was wet and that the fruit was a bit swollen as a result. This seemed consistent with what we thought was in the glass. Of course, some drinkers may call this wine “subtle,” but we thought it was overly so. It was “too wet” if that makes any sense. The food seemed too much for it, but it didn’t perform as well without the food. If I had to compare this wine to another one that may be familiar to some Wooters: In style, this pinot reminds me a little bit of the ’06 Roessler La Encantada Santa Rita, but, if I remember correctly, the Roessler was more expressive.

3rd Course: “Finishing Off the Bottle with a Cupcake”

A Gourmet Blackberry Cupcake, Origin Unknown.

Comments on Wine: We don’t often think of pairing pinot noir with either fruit or sweets, but this turned out, to our surprise, to be a successful pairing. After a full 90 minutes in the decanter, the final glass showed its best. My wife picked up some hints of meat, not bacon, but maybe some unseasoned smoked pork or a crock-pot brisket. I thought I picked up some black licorice gum too. It would have been nice for us to save a taste for the next day, given that the last glass was the best. But we didn’t do so.


Final Thoughts: “The Verdict”

We were very excited to have been picked to review the 2007 Torii Mor Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Select. We’ve been ordering wine from Woot! since 2006, and this is our first time being asked to perform this important task. Thanks for the opportunity!

So, what’s the verdict? First, we admit that our personal taste for pinot noir leans towards mushrooms, smoked meats, damp dirt from under a bush, coffee, chocolate-covered black cherries, and even that cherry cola so often present in wine made near Santa Barbara. The ’07 Torii Mor Pinot Noir offered none of that. Is that a problem? No. But this wine is subtle to a fault: so much so that we found that it lacked complexity and flavor. Maybe it is asleep or in a “dumb phase.” It appeared and tasted watery and diluted. That being said, for a very patient and open-minded drinker, this is an interesting wine to try, and I’m glad we did. It was an educational experience. For us, the style seems deliberate and it may in fact be a very nice example of how wine is impacted by weather during harvest.

While I won’t personally be ordering this wine from Woot!, it is an eminently drinkable wine. There is nothing offensive or “off” in its flavor. If you have the patience to decant it for several hours, you may be rewarded more so than we were. It would also be interesting to open this alongside a pinot noir of the same vintage and at the same price point from California to study the differences. I wish I had done so with a bottle of ’07 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir sitting in our cellar. That would have been fascinating!


LabRat Reports|CT
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quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 10/16/2011 -- Broc Cellars 2008 Dry Stack Grenache - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

Merlynxlii wrote:

Labrat checking in! Wish I could have put this up earlier in the day, been out of the house all morning…

I tasted this last evening with my significant other, A. I’ve included both of our notes through various points over the evening (mine are noted as B). Most of the report will be rapid fire quick notes, as opposed to full complete thoughts… And with that, here we are!

7pm – Poured straight into the decanter
Overall Appearance:
Fairly dark with a deep red center… nice looking ruby glint around the edges in the glass.
A – Oak. Campfire. Somewhat sharp on the nose.
B – Lots of oak. Wet mossy. Not much in the way of fruit yet. Hot.
First taste:
A – Serious oak. Smooth, almost creamy in the palette. Well blended flavors. Overall good, though not too complex.
B – Dark berries, licorice. Smooth overall and not too heavy. Strong mid-palette flavors. Good texture, coats your mouth and pulls away for a long lingering finish. Nice and simple.

7:30pm – Light snack of crackers with Point Reyes blue cheese
B – Brings out the bite in the blue cheese. The creamy texture of both goes well together. Not much change flavor-wise… Some pepper showing itself on the finish.

8:15pm – Dinner! Spaghetti and tomato basil meat sauce
A – Garlic bread brings out some sharp flavors in the wine. Similar flavors as above. More pronounced spicy flavors.
B –Peppery in the nose. More fruit aroma, raspberries maybe? Garlic definitely brings out more intense and sharp flavors. Still smooth and relatively nice to drink.

8:45pm – After dinner sipping
A – Overall nicer without food. Definitely preferred to sip this straight.
B – Still somewhat hot on the nose. Licorice is more intense. Interestingly, drinking the wine without food now in contrast to with the food before, the herbs and spices in the pasta sauce had overwhelmed the fruit flavors of this wine. Much more pronounced now, strong berries. Still smooth and little more complex than before. Lots of fruit now.

Final Impressions:
A – Not my favorite, but it is nice to work through over the evening.
B – Good easy drinking wine. Could go better with a milder meal than we had, but we enjoyed it the most late in the evening, just sipping it as we talked. Pleasant and enjoyable. This is a fairly classic example of Grenache, and I think it is a good deal at the offered price. This would be especially true if you haven’t had a chance to try a primarily Grenache blend… Enjoy!

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Offer of 10/17/2011 -- Armida Winery Poizin and Antidote - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

greyslade wrote:

Lab Rat checking in!

Ok folks, my wife and I are wine novices (but loving the journey), so here it goes ... our first review:

Just like when I first got a hold of some Boss Monster, I thought this was going to be another mediocre wine wrapped in clever packaging. Well, just like my actual experience with Boss Monster, this wine very much exceeded my expectations! Far more rich and flavorful than I could have predicted. It's very pleasant to the nose. The taste is dark and tart on the palate, starting with dark fruit followed by a lingering cherry and pepper (love the pepper afterglow here). The wine starts off dark, with a tartness that succumbs to sweeter tastes with a finish of red fruits and peppercorn. This wine is very enjoyable; my wife and I agree this is one of our top three favorite reds. Concerning antidote, it's also definitely thumbs up. The fragrance is mild. Once it hits the tongue there is more going on than one would expect. It's a bit sweet on the finish, though not like a dessert wine. This is one of the more interesting whites we have tried. For the price point, this set will be hard to beat and I will definitely be getting more today ... now actually!!!

Thanks Woot - this was so much fun!!! Hope to do it again some time!!!

VorlonBlue wrote:

Lab Rat Report:
First, I'm thrilled that I was finally given a chance to Lab Rat. Thank you! My wife and I tasted both bottles Friday evening.

We learned quickly 47°F is too cold for the Antidote, it completely hid most of the bouquet of this Pinot Gris. It was better at 55°F or so. The Antidote has a traditional cork stopper.

A very pale light yellow.

It has a light sweet bouquet with slight floral/hints.

It’s a dry wine, very dry actually, with a very subtle sweetness, hints of pear and very faint star fruit notes and a slight minerality (chalk/lime) with an overall acidic tartness to it. We picked up a distinct not so pleasant metallic after taste on the dry down. As expected with a Pinot Gris we didn’t pick up any oak notes.

We’re big Turley fans and love Zin’s in general but we approached this one with caution after our “Eh” Antidote tasting. All I can say is we loved the Poizin! Served at 66°F without decanting. We appreciated the use of a screw top, it let's me get to prize faster!

A beautiful dark inky red almost opaque color!

Hints of graphite with notes of dark fruit. (Think black berry, black currant.)

Wow! This is a young wine you can pick up on the tightness of the tannins right away. This will age well for the next couple of years but I wouldn’t push it too far. Jammy! There are clear notes of cassis, plum and black cherry fruit with a pleasant hint of oakiness. The finish on this is also superb and the wine opens up favorably over a period of an hour and it was fun to note how the wine got livelier as the night went on. This is a great example of a zin and the price is hard to beat.

bluewave12 wrote:

thanks for the chance to be a labrat!

Comments on the poizin
"huh" (translation: did not like it straight out of the bottle)
"berry & spicy"
"I like it"
"full body, fruity"

"stone fruits, black pepper, medium light body, very easy drinking wine. Not as spicy or peppery as traditional zin"

Comments on the Antidote
"flowery aroma, lemon"
"not bad"
"I don't like whites"

Both were easy drinking wines but they were not very bold. Overall we favored the Poizin over the Antidote.

Red: 3 thumbs up, 1 down.
White: 1 thumb up, 1 neutral, 1 thumb down, 1 N/A (doesn't like whites)
Poizin bottle: 4 thumbs up

Edit: sorry everyone for posting a few hrs before the new woot - it has been a while since I bought wine before this last purchase so did not realize the offerings were daily (I got the email but had forgotten).
Also, opened up the 2006 I still had stored away and it is very tasty. Purchased exactly 4 yrs ago (it's still 10/17 PDT).

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Offer of 10/18/2011 -- Emery Estate Unbridled Cabernet Sauvignon - 4 Pack

This offer's pack:

okiedukie wrote:

Lab rat here, checking in after just getting home from an awesome 15-hour day at the office. (Ugh.) I’ll get my full write-up posted tomorrow morning, but I’ll throw out a Twitter-sized summary for now:

Well balanced and approachable cab. Fruit on the nose (plum & berry); high tannins; decanting helped. Quality matches price point.

okiedukie wrote:It was a wonderful surprise to get the Golden Ticket on Friday. Long-time wooter, fist-time ratter. Life (and by life I mean work) has been insane recently…but you always make time for wine. Even more lucky on getting a Cab! Personal favorite varietal and W.W has shown me some amazing Cabs (Corison, Jocelyn Lonen, to drop same names).

So, I got the Wine Buddy (WB) to come over for a tasting, with some pizza and football. The tasting was more collaborative than anything else, with our notes in general agreement.

Pop and Pour
The wine had a nice deep burgundy color to it. WB noted a “robust” and “fruity” smell to the wine.

On first taste, we both agreed the wine was drier than the smell indicated, as the tannins were very prevalent and leading the charge. I could feel the wine sitting on the sides of my tongue.

I noted there was a fair amount of fruit, but felt muddled and difficult to separate. I could only pick out some blackberry, and made a note of lemon rind.

On the whole, the wine just felt very closed, although not unexpected from a young Cab.

One Hour Decant
Ah, much better! The fruit was finally coming to the front on the palate, matching that nice smell we had been getting. We could both taste the plum and cherry. WB noted some vanilla. The tannins were still prevalent, though, and still leaving that dryness in the mouth.

Unfortunately, it appears that WB and I are both lush pourers, as we were down to about two swigs in the decanter at this point. So, the data ends here.

On the whole, the Unbridled was one of the more reserved Cabs I had tasted. The wine had a nice balance of fruit and tannin, but nothing in it had that “wow factor” (to borrow a catchphrase). But still very approachable and easy to drink. It was interesting to read the other rat drinking the wine over two days, with the second day showing off the complexity of the wine. I just don’t recall the last time a bottle went unfinished around my place.

For those on the fence, I’d say go for it. The price is about right and may pay off big time with a few years in the cellar.

darylproductions wrote:
Hey, I wasn't expecting this wine to come up until Wednesday (that's what my the email that gave me the exciting news that I was a Lab Rat said!), but it just so happens that my wife and I finished it off tonight so here goes:

First off, gotta say that whoever came up with the Lab Rat concept is a very smart cookie. I've enjoyed reading them to help decide whether to buy, and was very stoked to finally get a "golden ticket" myself. My wife and I both enjoy drinking and learning about wine, and we're usually pretty close on our preferences and our evaluations, but not always.

The package was delivered at my office Friday morning and we figured we'd let it settle in for at least a day before we popped it open. Also, figured that we should probably evaluate it over a couple of days, by itself and with a couple of different foods. Honestly, my first thought when I saw the bottle was "Cool, something from the higher end Wild Horse Unbridled label", since we've had some experience with those, but then I realized that it was from Sonoma not Paso.

We opened it on Saturday evening and poured two glasses, one through a Vinturi and one not. Initial thoughts:

Me-nice color with purple through the center and a slight red tinge on the edges. A bit hot (alcohol bite) on the initial smell and the first sip but that is to be expected. Getting lots of dark fruit. Some green characteristics are also showing up however, but not necessarily the classic good green pepper you might get in a cab. The aerated glass I felt, had a deeper and wider nose to it, but overall still had a tightness to it.

Wife-really likes the way it smells, dark coffee, blackberry jam, slightly floral? She pointed out some astringency and a "tanginess" that she didn't like so much. She said she didn't catch much difference on the aerated glass, but she had more reaction than I did on the non-aerated one.

Then we poured a glass so we could revisit it as the night went on and it had a chance to open up, and corked the other half of the bottle to enjoy the second day to see how it changed. I thought the tannins softened up the longer it was breathing, she didn't taste much difference. I found myself wishing it had a little richer feeling to it, but overall I had a positive impression of the cab.

Day 2-poured another glass and let it warm back up. Wow. Different. Strange, but the richness I was looking for is now there. There is more spice and some chocolate as well. Even got a little bit of eucalyptus. My wife says the floral aspects she was getting yesterday are now more pronounced and clearly a rose smell. The green character is still there, and the tannins feel rather soft. Nice acidity, but not gonna be your high end classic cab. Has the vibe of a good everyday kind of wine, and at the price I see it is being offered for I don't think you'd be disappointed. Lots of flavor, full bodied and a good mouth feel. I think perhaps the slight astringency keeps it from the next level. Definitely not one-dimensional though, it is interesting.

We tried some with a lamb sandwich, and the meat was just too much for the tannins in the cab. But when we paired it with a simple pasta with tomatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms and rosemary, it was more than man enough to hold it's own and shine.

Thanks again for the chance to be a rat, we'd love to do it again sometime!

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 10/21/2011 -- Scheid Vineyards Estate White Sampler - 4 Pack

This offer's pack:

slein wrote:

Lab Rat Report – Scheid Vineyards – 2008 Sauvignon Blanc

I have to admit I felt a little uneasy when 1 of the 2 wines I was asked to be a lab rat on was a white wine. I don’t drink a lot of white wine and when I do it is usually because I need some for cooking or it is a hot day. My general preference is for a dry white wine with little oak or butter flavor. This generally rules out Chardonnays so I was happy to see that this was a Sauvignon Blanc. I have a hard time tasting whites. I generally feel they lack complexity over reds and just focus on a wine that is a pleasant drink on a hot day.

The wine arrived about a week ago, so it sat in a wine fridge for about 4 days before going in the fridge for a day. Upon opening the aroma was muted but there was a light floral and citrus scent. As my wife noted, the overall the aroma was mild. As for taste the wine had a bit of floral and citrus flavor. The wine was crisp almost sharp with a slightly sour note on the finish. I thought the end had a bit of a grassy flavor, but it was mild. The flavors in the wine were pleasant, if not a bit sharp, but I had a hard time picking out specific tastes.

After 20 minutes the wine seemed to mellow a bit. This could have been in combination with the wine warming a bit. Seemed like the sharpness decreased a bit. Overall I felt this was a nice drink on a warm day, but it seemed to lack a little complexity in flavor. A nice clean wine, but I had a hard time finding too many flavors beyond a general floral and citrus taste. I found the wine to be pretty similar across the next 2 hours I tasted it.

I enjoyed the wine and would buy it at a reasonable price for a summer drink. I will probably skip this deal because it includes a Chardonnay and a Gewürztraminer, which are wine stlyes I usually do not like, and because my funds are a bit tight.

diligent fish wrote:

Lab rat reporting in!

Wine Reviewed: Scheid Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2008

I am primarily a red fan, so keep that in mind with this review. I critiqued this wine with my wife and two well versed wine drinking neighbors.

We all agreed that this is a shallow and simple wine that lacked depth and complexity.

The nose showcased a stainless steel finish.

The body exhibited a lot of acid.

The finish lingered on my pallet for quite a while, which wasn't quite a good thing, at first. Though, the more I drank the better it became.

My neighbor's first reaction was that it had a melon note, but then we all agreed it was really more like green apple. This is not a wine to drink on its own. After the first few sips, my neighbor brought out gouda, vermont cheddar, and comte. It was more drinkable with the gouda and cheddar, and dreadful with the comte.

We think that for under $10 a bottle it is an acceptable wine, but not one that we would chase.

dsapp wrote:


Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reviewers: dsapp, “wife of dsapp,” and “bro-in-law of dsapp”

Wine: 2008 Scheid Vineyards Gewürztraminer (Monterey, California, USA), Release Price: $16 (wine club price: $12.60)

Disclosures: My wife and I tend to be red-wine drinkers. Less than 10% of our cellar is white, and that tends to be dessert, Rhone-style, or sparkling wines. We were thankful for participation in this task by my brother-in-law who is visiting us from California.

Stemware: Reidel “Chablis” Glasses

Decant: none (twist-off ‘n pour, consumed bottle over 60 minutes).

Serving Temperature: The bottle rested in a 56-degree cellar for one week. Thirty minutes before the meal, the bottle was refrigerated so that the serving temperature would be about 52 degrees when I twisted off the top and started to pour.

Comments on Wine with Food Pairings: Our Review

Pre-Meal: “Our First Impressions”

Comments on Wine: Our first impressions were quite positive. My wife picked up floral notes on the nose, along with fresh but unripe apricot, a hint of rubber, honeysuckle, and wet stone. I added dried pineapple, pear juice, and green apple. All flavors were pleasant. After the first taste, we characterized the wine as having medium viscosity, and a nice non-greasy mouth-feel. My wife described the taste as diluted wildflower honey too, and as my bro-in-law put it, the wine was “as crisp as I wanted it to be, but not overly so.” The finish was intense for about five seconds, and then faded away over the next ten seconds. The wine had a nice minerality that was perfectly pleasant.

Meal: “Indian Food” (Classic Pairing for Gewürztraminer)

Food Pairing: Take-out from Coromandel restaurant in Southport, Connecticut (, widely considered one of the better Indian restaurants in Fairfield County. We ordered, as follows: One order each of Chaps Theeyal (tandoori rack of lamb with shallot, coconut, and tamarind spiced sauce), Launi Gobi (cauliflower tossed with tomato, garlic, and cilantro, a Himalayan dish), and Balti Baingan (grilled baby eggplant with balti spices), with sides of plain Naan, Raita, and Mango Chutney.

Comments on Wine: The wine stood up well to the flavorful, spicy meal. My wife felt that the meal brought out even more minerality in the wine, particularly wet stone. I felt that the wine provided a nice fresh palate cleanser for every bite of the spicy food. My bro-in-law said, with a smile, that it was “like a refreshing sea breeze.” The wine was a little sweet, as we expected, but to our relief it was not fruity. Interestingly, the wine calmed down the spice of all of the dishes, except for the eggplant, which it intensified, pleasantly so. After the meal was over, we enjoyed our last sips. My wife picked up a titch of cantaloupe rind on the mid-palate. I enjoyed a little green apple on the nose. The flavors were fading a bit, but the wine had served its purpose admirably during the meal.


Final Thoughts: “The Verdict”

The 2008 Scheid Vineyards Gewürztraminer is not an adventure in itself, but it pairs very well with an adventure in spicy food. At this attractive price point, we’d highly recommend it for a weekday meal of Indian or Thai food. Usually, my wife and I drink beer with spicy food, but this Gewürztraminer gives us another enjoyable and well-priced option.


aeddie wrote:

2008 Scheid Pinot Gris

We had visitors in from the UK so we were able to have four assessments of the Scheid Pinot Gris.

This is a nice looking bottle of wine – it’s a screw top bottle has a very presentable label, glass feels about right for an inexpensive white wine and the color of warm straw all add up to a bottle that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to opening front of anyone. Woot labeled wine on the other hand is not a favorite to be taken to parties as my wife feels the odd hilarity expressed in the labels isn’t quite right. I on the other hand love that and make the point of choosing the Woots just so that I can see effect of people becoming bemused by the label. But back to the Scheid Pinot Grosi:

We had the wine chilling in the fridge so by the time we came to drink it was nice and cold (maybe too cold…). The wine on opening has a very pleasant nose of mandarin oranges, maybe watermelon. On first taste it is a medium white wine, a little oily with low acidity. It is smooth initially with a little sharpness at the finish.

After the first sip we sat down to eat chicken parmigiana with pasta and warm ciabatta bread. With food the wine faired very well the finish being much smoother. The wine suited the meal and the meal rounded off the wine very well.

The four of us all enjoyed the wine, the nose especially being memorable. My wife is more a Sauvignon Blanc drinker, so she was the least appreciative of the wine and in fact probably wouldn’t buy it. The other 3 of us were more sympathetic and did enjoy the wine. Lets face it, it didn’t last long and a second bottle would also have been polished off quickly had Woot so obliged.

Woot today are offering a selection which includes a Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe for the next tasting I’ll buy the four and my wife can keep to the Sauvignon Blanc.

All in all, I’ll be buying the selection offered today. The Pinot Grois at $14 a bottle seems a bargain. If the other 3 are as good as the Pinot Grois, I’ll be happy.

texacaliali wrote:**************LABRAT**************

"Please find my notes from my review of the 2008 Scheid Estate Grown Chardonnay for Fridays sale. If you could please post if for me, I'd be grateful as I'll be away from Internet access." Thanks!- BSevern

2008 Scheid Estate Grown Chardonnay Lab Rat Review

When I first started drinking wine 25 years ago, I gravitated towards whites. Now I find that I mainly enjoy reds, except during the summer when I do enjoy good refreshing whites. I've been on a quest for the "perfect" chardonnay

I'm on the frence when it comes to styles of Chardonnay, between California buttered popcorn style and more Burgandian old school traditional styles. To me both have their place, and both can be very enjoyable if done right. OK, on to this one!

It has a screw top, not a problem, this is becoming more and more common place. I screwed and poured (hmm...nevermind) and swirled the wine around the glass for a minute. It has a nice golden color, not cloudy, and produced lots of very slow moving legs.
The initial sniff showed a lot of oak, and citrus aromas.
First sip and bam!!! The oak monster has me in a strangle hold!! Wow, very oaked, and tannic! I'm sorry, but I do not enjoy it in it's present state, I'm going to let this sit for a while to see what happens.

30 minutes later - nope.

60 minutes later - hmmm.

90 minutes later - it's opening up, the Oak Monster is starting to retreat.

120 minutes later and a lot closer to room temp - it's drinkable, but for me it's still a lot of oak. The nose is a lot better, I get great baked bananas on it now, but on the palette it still hasn't come together, I get muted pineapple, oak and acid. For me near room temp made all the difference in the world, yet this wine still seems over oaked without a particularly strong fruit backing.

I really wanted to like this, and I thank wine.woot for allowing me the opportunity to try it, but in the end I didn't find it to be a Chardonnay that I would buy. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, and I look forward to seeing what the other rats impressions of this wine are.

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Offer of 10/22/2011 -- Passo Doble Masi Tupungato 2009 Argentinean Malbec - 6 Pack

This offer's pack:

JJHACamp wrote:

First time LabRat. Was pleasantly surprised to get package in mail on Thursday.

Popped and poured with 2 friends Friday afternoon and decided to go with the Robert Parker point scale on the tasting. Brought wine home for wife to try later in evening.

So here goes:

Base Wine gets 50 points to start

Color and Appearance gets max of 5 points:

First reaction was that color seemed a little light for a malbec. Although we're all not novice wine drinkers, we couldn't remember ever having a Corvina...and that's 30% of this blend..our scores were either 3 or 4.

Aroma/Bouquet gets a max of 15 points:

At first I got a little leather and dried cherries on the nose but that seemed to dissipate over time. Reactions on aroma were not bad but not great...the words normal and average popped up...our scores were either 9 or 10.

Flavor/Finish gets a max of 20 points:'s the big category...for flavor we got (after some time) a little violets and blueberries..not much on the mid-palate...and not very malbec-ish at all...which makes some sense since the description seems to make this an Argentine version of a Ripasso-type wine...the finish was "rough" "metallic" with "a little sulfur". This started to even out a bit as 4 hours later when wife tried it, the finish was a lot smoother. Our scores were all 10s.

Overall Quality and Aging Potential gets max of 10 points:

This wine is very reminiscent of a typical table wine. It wasn't bad..and it wasn't great..not sure there's any aging potential at all. This wine is ready to drink now (and now that i see the price point for's definately a drink now wine). we gave this 4 points.

So taking the high scores from everyone we came up with a 78 and i think the Parker description is right on for this wine:

"70 - 79:
An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine."


kat8480 wrote:

Lab Rat review:

Passo Doble2009 Malbec.

I assume I am a “B” list Lab Rat. The wine arrived today and I have to review it for tomorrow. This may be the best job I’ve ever had.

Just as a point of reference I am a blue collar guy who enjoys a good glass of wine. I am partial to Californian reds mostly Cabs. I’m not impressed by the price of the wine more if I enjoyed it or not. My wife is out of town and my wine drinking buddy has a surprise party so with no advanced notice here goes.

I opened the bottle and immediately noticed the aroma was not very pleasant a little musty
I poured two small tastings, the second I poured through my Venturi (which I recommend to anyone). The first sip was very harsh to be polite. The Venturi glass seemed much smoother but still had to grind my teeth after the swallow; it’s bitter, but also soft to moderate tannins. I decided to cook dinner for myself and the kids while it opened.

Forty minutes later it’s a completely different wine. I can say the aroma is much more pleasant and the wine is smoother. As for berries and cherries I have no idea. It just became a smoother wine to taste. Clearly not a cab but let’s have a second tasting.
Dinner is complete and Shazam……the wine opened.

It’s been two hours since I corked the bottle and two completely different wines. When opened it was not very enjoyable, (I am being polite here). Now it’s become a smooth quite enjoyable wine.

As I stated I’m a Californian Cab man, I stick with what I like and wines can vary so much in price it’s hard to stray. Woot allows me to experiment from time to time. I don’t know the price point on this wine but if Woot offers it around $10-$12 it s worth trying something new. Not being a sommelier but having killed a few grapes in my time let this one decanter before serving you will happy you did.

jonstrib wrote:



A very nice honor to receive my second Lab Rat assignment. My first review was in 2007 for the Calistoga CS offer, before Cheron was packing the reports. I have tried and enjoyed many Mendoza Malbecs (Norton, Colome, BenMarco, Trapiche, Catena Alta, Pulenta, etc.) and was excited about the opportunity to try this offering.

As others have noted, this wine is 70% Malbec and 30% Corvina, a grape that was not part of the Malbecs I have tried-usually, other Malbec blends I have had are with other Bourdeaux varietals. The addition of Corvina here differentiates this wine from a "typical" Malbec.

The Masi was poured into a Reidel Bourdeaux glass and paired with a spagetti with meatball casserole. The color was a reddish violet, not as purplish or dark as other Malbecs. On the nose was red fruit and some briar. The flavor was a bit disjointed and rough with more red fruit dominating and not much compleixty. using the Vinturi assisted in bringing both the nose and palate into more integration and allowed the underlying aromas and flavor to develop. At that point, more cedar, plum and tar was detected and there was more balance. The relatively low alcholol and the pH level in addition to the Corvina allow this wine to pair nicely with more Italian-based dishes (as opposed to a big, flavorful grilled ribeye).

Over time and post-meal, the wine held together for a while and the finish was smoother than initially-although not that long. More plum, cinammon, tobacco and sour & black cherry were now prevelent.

For people new to Malbec, I would suggest buying several different Mendoza wineries with either as a single varietal or a more traditional blend as well as this Masi so you can experience the different profiles. This particular wine is a bit different than a standard Malbec-not a bad thing at all, just another style.

As the offer does not come to my state, I cannot purchase the offer (interesting I could get the Lab Rat sample, WD-probably because it was coming from Woot not the winery). The QPR is in line but my own prefence is to generally not overload on any particular wine/winery. For those experienced Malbec people, this wine affords a unique twist.


gkarrish wrote:

It was a very pleasant surprise to find that I'd been chosen as a lab rat! This is my first time, and some small, paranoid part of my mind had wondered whether the selection process was fixed; unless WineDavid is about to hit me up for a post-hoc bribe, my suspicions have been laid to rest. But I digress... on to the wine!

On first pour, the Malbec appeared a translucent garnet color. Its nose was very subtle, and I couldn't detect much except for a hint of acid. Upon popping and pouring, I could taste some sweetness and some acid, but not a lot of complexity. It was a bit warm but not too hot. After 30 minutes it was beginning to acquire some depth, with what might have been floral notes. By 60 minutes it was filling in at the mid-palate with red fruit.

I sipped it on its own, and with a meal of pasta with spicy marinara sauce and fried-garlic pizza. This wine paired well with my meal, as the acid from the marinara was echoed in the Malbec.

To expose my own bias, I tend to favor big, bold red wines with a tannic backbone, which this wine is not. This doesn't strike me as a wine to cellar for the long term, but it would benefit from a little bottle time and/or significant aeration. Having lurked around wine.woot for a while, it seems that having an Argentinean wine (or any international wine) is something of a rarity. At this price point you can't go far wrong. I hope you've found these notes helpful!

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 10/24/2011 -- Rival Wine 2007 West Side Syrah - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

gkarrish wrote:
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as a lab rat for this Rival 2007 West Side Syrah.

From a visual standpoint I enjoyed the bottle's design and elegant script, and the wine itself poured with a deep purple hue. I was concerned that its 14.5% alcohol (and long legs when swirled) might be hot, but the first sip laid my fears to rest with dark fruit, acid, and bramble.

The wine opened up over the next few hours, emerging as an extremely well balanced wine in a restrained, European style. Blackberry, acid, and a hint of leather came through with a peppery finish that I found very pleasant. In my opinion this is a well-made, versatile wine that would stand up to steak or lighter fare, and is delicious for sipping on its own. No doubt it could spend some time in a cellar, but it is ready to drink now.

After a little googling, it seems that this is the winemakers' first effort, and an extremely impressive one at that. I hope to hear from them, including what the 10% cabernet adds to the syrah. This is my kind of wine. Despite my status as a starving grad student, at this price I think I'll have to make it a home.woot-warming gift to myself.

kat8480 wrote:
Wine Rat Review
Rival Paso Robles west Side 2007 Syrah:
As I have stated in the past, I am partial to California reds mostly Cabs. On Friday I choked down a Argentinean Malbec that could also be used to strip paint. It took several hours to open and become palatable. This wine is far from that!
My wife and I corked the bottle before dinner and had a small taste. The cork was blackened and the aroma was very very nice. I thought this was a bottle of Merlot rather than a Syrah. The sample was extremely smooth. I began to think perhaps I was mistaken and I do like Syrah.
We poured a second tasting through our venturi and once again a very light smooth treat. I don’t get too involved with the cherry, berry, tar, thing. I think I could taste a hint of cherry and chocolate but to be honest I couldn’t tell if it had donkey dung in it. As long as it tastes good I’m happy. My wife said this wine was very smooth and not much complexity. I could cut and paste other reviews to sound cool but the idea is to be honest and give a regular average consumers review so I am.
We enjoyed some nice rib eyes and both thought this wine would go nicely with pizza or a pasta dish. The wine continued to open as we had a third sample. I was pleased from the first taste till the last drop. I have not been told the price or whether this will be available to us in NY. If its priced between $12-$15 dollars I’m in for three.
For those of you that saw my last post this is NOT!! … NOT!! Panther piss this is a very nice smooth wine from the first taste until the last.
Thank you Woot for introducing me to it.

JJHACamp wrote:

2nd report from the same first time Labrat shipment. Friends and I popped and poured this along with Saturday's offering, the Passo Doble from Masi Tupangato.

We're serious home winemakers making a couple barrels of Paso Robles we were really looking forward to ratting this wine.

As with the Masi, we used the Robert Parker scale, so the format of this report is the same as the one I posted on Saturday.

Base Wine gets 50 points to start

Color and Appearance gets max of 5 points:

5s across the board for this inky purple Syrah..not a big proponent of "legs" but they're definitely there in case anyone else is interested.

Aroma/Bouquet gets a max of 15 points:

Nose is dark berries and some oak..Not a lot of oak and not a little, but it's there and it was just the right amount to go with the blackberries and other dark berries. We gave this a 12 for the pop and pour but dropped this down to a 10 after checking wine again 4 hours later..a lot of the fruit had blown off.

Flavor/Finish gets a max of 20 points:

for flavor we got still got dark berries..a little cedar..from our experience, this is a very very good example of Paso Robles juice..there's a nice long finish..and a hint of tannins..not too chewy...but it's there....Our scores averaged out to a 15. Later in the evening, this also dropped a couple points as the finish just wasn't there anymore..Still a really nice wine but interesting.

Overall Quality and Aging Potential gets max of 10 points:

For a 2007, we thought this was tasting a little young..We loved the taste of this wine (partial as we are to Syrah) and thought this was a good wine to buy now and lay down for a couple years. I'd like to know a little more about who makes it, as their website was a little sparse. We thought this was a very well made Syrah and gave this 8 points.

Taking the high scores again we came up with a 90, but taking into account the change over time of the wine, I think i'd amend it to an 88..a good solid Central Coast Syrah.

The Parker description is:

"80 - 89:
A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws."


jonstrib wrote:


Past woot Syrah offerings I’ve tried include Wellington (’03, ’04, ’06), Madison, K Vintners, Saxon Brown and Firestone. The Rival Paso Robles is a good addition to my other Syrah woots and actually may be my favorite out of these selections.

Upon pop and pour into a Riedel Syrah glass, the color was a nice purple reminiscent of Bordeaux varietals. Swirling allowed the legs to show, if that is important to some. The initial aromas were black cherry, tobacco and spice, which was confirmed on the palate. Right out of the bottle, the Rival was fairly balanced and the alcohol (no heat), tannins and acid all were in proportion.

Passing the wine through the Vinturi accentuated the intense dark purple and brought allowed the black fruit (black berry and blue berry) to come through along with the black pepper and spice, with a component of leather and milk chocolate. The wine really expressed itself at that point and I recommend the Vinturi or decanting. The finish was pleasing and tapered off nicely-not too short at all. It is a medium-full bodied wine.

The Rival was paired with a grilled NY strip steak (trying to get in as much as possible on our charcoal grill before winter) and held up well and complimented the black peppercorn seasoning and richness of the steak. Later, the wine was really delicious on its own.

This Syrah did not have any vegetal (thankfully from this perspective) or barnyard aspects but it is not a fruit bomb either. The dark fruit plays a prominent role but is balanced by the spice, leather and pepper. It appears to be well integrated and structured and the QPR here is good. It is quite enjoyable and recommended as a very pleasant Paso Robles Syrah.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 10/29/2011 -- Copa Del Rey 2009 Chilean Chardonnay - 6 Pack

This offer's pack:

awilcoxphd wrote:

LAB RAT report:

I am NOT a lover of Chardonnay. I am a total lover of wine and order regularly from woot, lot 18 and Invino because I rarely have time to get to an actual store (scary but true).

When I order wine delivered, it's usually more than one bottle at a time, so imagine my surprise when Fed Ex drove up with a SINGLE bottle. I was once given a single bottle, but it's stashed in my cellar. This had to be something I either forgot about or (god forbid) was being gifted.

Imagine my FURTHER surprise when I opened it to find a bottle of Chardonnay (oh dear.) and a GOLDEN TICKET. OCH! MISTLETOE FRENCHING? GROSS! I thought I'd won the lottery. Mind you, I never win anything, other than more cases appointed by Judges. NEVER.

Suddenly Chardonnay was looking pretty fabulous. And, I think you'll find THIS Chardonnay lovely. For a non Chardonnay drinker, that's a huge compliment. I almost called my Chardonnay expert girlfriend to get HER to drink it and write the review, but she's busy. And I live in the country a million miles from her, so here goes:

The wine looks light blonde colored, crystal clear and welcoming, with medium to fast legs and an aroma of oak, pineapple and a little mineral.

It tastes like very mild butter, clearly some but not overwhelming, followed by apricot, and melon with some slight citrus.

It has a medium, creamy and smooth body, a bright texture and finishes long. The finish is lightly oaky with that touch of butter and very fine slight citrus taste.

Really quite delightful and would probably pair well with various cheeses, chicken dishes and even some spicy foods.

I apologize for posting this a little late, but we were at a wine tasting last night (which included a famous Chardonnay that is not, imho, as good as this one, although the Sancerre was tough competition).

cmfoil wrote:

LAB RAT report:

I will start this out by saying that I'm mostly a red-wine fan, leaning towards cabernet sauvignon and merlot, and I have far from a developed palette. Absolutely excited to be a lab rat. I am pretty sure my entire apartment hear me squeal

First try (unchilled, no food)

Appearance: a nice, creamy pale straw yellow. A little watery looking, but pleasantly so.

Smell: At first I am hit with an smell of freshly cut citrus, then pineapple. There's a lower note that reminds me of peaches. After sticking my nose in the wine a bit longer, I resolve there's some hints of butter in as well.

My husband, impatient, grabs my glass and takes one sip. I asked him what it tastes like. "15 bucks a bottle", he says. He surmises that it would be a good deal if it's on woot for 8-10 dollars a bottle.

I take my first sip. The front of the wine is sharp- it makes my molars hurt. Pleasant tropical notes in the midde, then there's a bitter taste after the first sip that reminds me of grapefruit pith. The final taste left in my mouth is butter.

I take a few more sips. No more tingly molars. Overall the wine feels too alcoholic at room temperature. I decide to bring up the wine site- 14.5% alcohol. There's a slight lingering vegetable taste in my mouth, almost like peas. (I tasted the wine again today, and I still stand by this!)

I decide it should be chilled.

MUCH better.

The mid-palette becomes much more pleasant. Some nice loud,bright notes of green apple and pineapple show up to round out the whole thing. Grassy notes at the finish, which softens into a lemon taste. Pretty long finish.

We don't buy white wine very often because we rarely find opportunity to drink it, but I would think that this is good QPR.

jpact wrote:

When I returned from a business trip on Thursday afternoon, amongst the pile of waiting mail, was a small "wine" package from FedEx. I had just placed a wine woot order over the previous weekend, but it wasn't for just one bottle, so I was somewhat alarmed. Did the order size get screwed up? I started to open the box, concerned that I was about to enter the customer service bureaucracy, when suddenly I spied the golden ticket from WineDavid39.

Lab rat! How cool is that?
(Don't need that bureaucrat.)

Copa Del Rey 2009 Chardonnay. I wasn't familiar with it, but since cocktail hour wasn't too far off, into the fridge it went. About an hour and a half later I screwed off the cap and poured two glasses. First impressions:

The color was pale yellow / straw, and had good clarity. Looks a bit on the lighter side within the spectrum of Chardonnays that have crossed my path.

On the nose I was immediately stuck by the freshness of the fruit, hmm, tropical and lush, with a hint of tartness, not like an apple but more like lemon or lime. Uhm... pineapple? Yeah, I'll go with pineapple. On further reflection I noted that I didn't note any oak.

Took a sip, and on the palate I found the oak. This is a full-bodied wine and the tropical fruit manifests more in a sweet-syrup sort of way (vs. the freshness on the nose.) There's also a buttery fatiness that is full and rounding in the mouth. Very drinkable.

The finish is dry, but it lasted with a touch of bitterness for me. I wouldn't say it was unpleasant, and was easily defeated by another drink. My wife didn't notice it.

Overall it was a very nice diversion from my regular bourbon on the rocks and my wife's regular glass of red.

We poured ourselves another glass to have with dinner: leftover summer turkey chili. I wasn't sure how well the Copa Del Rey would pair, but with the dominant ingredients of turkey, rice, corn and black beans I figured we be OK. Well yeah, it was OK. I think the starchiness of the rice kind of subdued the wine and left the whole pairing bland. So I suped up the chili with some sour cream and salsa verde. That made the chili infinitely better, and the wine pairing somewhat better. I was afraid that the acidity in the verde would kill the chardonnay, but it attacked the starchy rice and allowed the wine to re-emerge. In summary, not exactly a harmonious food pairing, but a fun exercise nonetheless.

Day 2.
The next morning we packed up the car for a long weekend away with the kids, and my wife had the foresight to bring the open bottle. After our first day of activities, we retired to the hotel, popped the Copa in the fridge, and went swimming with the kids. We returned to the room at cocktail hour and coaxed one more glass for each of us out of the bottle.

The wonderful aroma was not as evident as day one, but the wine was also colder, so maybe it was a temperature thing. The wine went down easy and that slight bitter aftertaste I was complaining about on day one was nowhere to be found. After a couple of hours in a warm humid pool room, the Copa was perfectly refreshing.

In summary, this is a good everyday wine, for when you want to drink the wine (as opposed to talking and bragging about the wine.) Before this offer came up I was thinking this felt like a $10 chardonnay, so in my opinion the $50 six-pack is a nice value.

Thanks to Woot for the Lab Rat opportunity, and happy drinking to all!

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 10/30/2011 -- Piro Piro Piccolo 2010 Pinot Grigio - 6 Pack

This offer's pack:

jplamb wrote:

2010 Piro Piro Piccolo, Pinto Grigio

After 136 woot purchases (all but a handful made on Wine.Woot) over the last 6 years, I finally received my first golden ticket. On Thursday I was excited to see an email notifying me of my lab rat status for not one, but two upcoming offers. One was the Pinot Grigio being offered today which I immediately stuck in the fridge to chill and the other being a red wine for later in the week which I stuck in my wine cellar for a later review.

I'll start with a disclaimer, which the exception of the occasional bottle of champagne/sparkling wine my wife and I are exclusively red wine drinkers. When doing wine tastings I do generally try the whites though, although I don't generally have much interest in drinking an entire glass of any of them.

My mother in law stopped by with several friends on Friday and we were able to get them to join us in the tasting so we had a larger panel including some white wine drinkers.

We served the wine chilled in Riedel chardonnay glasses.

Initially on the nose there was a lot of citrus. On tasting it there was more citrus flavor, especially grapefruit, giving way to a more a more florally smooth finish. I also got a little bit of green apple. Surprisingly for me as I always think of Pinot Grigio as being sweet this wine was very dry. No oak here at all either. I immediately thought this was a Sauvignon Blanc with the dry citrus taste, as did the other tasters.

The overall consensus of the group was that it was a crowd pleasing dry white wine. It wasn't anything that anybody that tried it was going to seek out specifically but they all said they would drink it again if it were offered to them.

As for food pairings it would likely pair well with a nice sharp cheese and of course a white fish.

Overall a good value crowd pleasing white. I had 7 different people taste it and nobody found it objectionable and the white wine drinkers quickly finished their glasses.

rlmanzo wrote:

Brief labrat post:

Sorry for the short post but I'm buried under 14" of snow in CT with no power and a waning cellphone battery. My apologies.

Let me preface my comments by saying I am not a white wine drinker.

We drank the wine over two nights.

Overall a very pleasing wine. Wonderful aromas of green apple, mild citrus. Excellent mouthfeel and a clean finish.

It blows away most $10-15 whites.

Excellent with chicken piccata(our meal Thursday).

Highly recommended, if just for the amazing mouthfeel.

billmoore wrote:

Labrat Checking In:

Funny how excited people get when they find out they have won the golden ticket. There really was a golden ticket for Charlie (me) in the box. Prizes always make life fun!! I got two prizes in the same box.

Note: I am a normally a California Cabernet drinker and have little to no experience with a Pinot Grigio. Here is the rattage, I hope this is helpful in your decision process:

Fruity, citrus with floral notes

Poured into the glass
It’has a wonderful mouth feel. Green apples, lemon, no oak, it's not wimpy, snappy acidity, crisp, fresh and bright, grapefruit. No sweetness at all.

Next Day (put under vacuum and in the refrigerator)

Same as before, just as good as day one ( never had wine for breakfast before, not offensive at all)

Perfect with salads and light seafood dishes (oysters, clams on the half shell, shrimp, crab and lobster)
I had a friend taste it who is a Pinot Grigio lover, she said A+ one of the best she has had.
If your a Pinot Grigio fan, grab this offer this is a very good deal at this price.

Santa Barbara County
About $16-$19 a bottle from the from wine stores (plus shipping)
The grapes come from the Sierra Madre Vineyard in Santa Barbara, Part of the blend is fermented in stainless-steel tanks, another part is fermented in old oak barrels, fermented in a concrete.
13% Alcohol

I'll be checking back in Wednesday with a red report (yes, life is good)

mbmiche wrote:

Apologies for the late rattage. After my nearly hundred-hour workweek, sleep caught up to me before I could finish my report.

I was super excited when I opened my e-mail last Wednesday (or was it Thursday… It has been a long week..) and found out that I would be a lucky lab ratter for a (hopefully) delicious wine.woot gem!

I have been building my cellar with the assistance of wine.woot (and at the behest of SHMBO) for a few years now, and have come to enjoy a wide range of varietals. White wines, however, tend to be the quencher of choice for my wife, and I prefer a chewier red. Unfortunately for you, she is pregnant (but yay me!), so you’ll have to take the commentary from the second string ratter this week (thought I’d get in my Sunday football reference—I intend to finish the bottle with some Fritos, French onion dip, and a little Redzone—A pairing not likely to be equaled for some time…)

Although I definitely enjoy drinking wine, rarely do I have to bust out words like minerality or mouth feel. But here goes (please forgive any misuse of the terms below)…

First impressions: Fun label with a touch of whimsy, but serious enough to know that this is not your garden-variety pinot grigio. No foil capper over the cork—unique. This wine must have a little personality. Rich straw color with a hint of green peeking through if the light hits the bottle just right. Can’t wait to get this into the fridge.

Later that evening:
Nose-very little quaffable aroma right out of the fridge. Some citrus coming through and maybe a hint of minerality (wet stone and cork), I asked the wife (who was more than happy to smell and may have even wet her lips…), and she said, “smells like a pinot grigio.”

Upon first sip (5 minutes removed from the fridge), Intense (like “wowza!”) lemon with a bright, almost overpowering acidity. Definite lemon rind on the back of the tongue and the mouth feel was crisp and slightly aggressive, but definitely not unpleasant. There was a slight spritz right out of the fridge hinting at freshness and the steel fermentation that faded as the wine warmed giving way to a silky smooth mouth coat. As the wine warmed over the course of an hour, the slightest hint of oak (very subtle, almost vanilla—maybe this was the wet stone I smelled earlier) peeked in to say hello. The “in your face” lemony citrus also slowly subsided leaving room for hints of lime and sour apple to poke through. I don’t remember ever drinking a white that evolved this much—definitely not a one note white.

Second glass (and no, a glass of wine doesn’t usually last an hour in front of me, but I am making the sacrifice for you…) There is a little bit more cork, oak and lemon poking through in the nose. The lemon is still aggressive on the tongue, but fades quickly in the mouth allowing more apples with the (very slight) vanilla oakiness that was just starting to appear earlier to dance around and be the star of the party for a while. The wine is still incredibly crisp and fresh, and the same enticing silky smooth mouth coat lingers after every sip.

The bright acidity and lemon of this wine would pair perfectly with a creamier sauce or a heartier white fish (an hopefully the French onion dip that I will be breaking in to soon…).

Final verdict: “Holy QPR wootman!” At less than $13 per bottle shipped, this is a screaming deal. I have never had a white that danced around as much or revealed as many layers as this one. As a primarily red drinker, this wine could make a convert out of me. If for some reason you purchase this wine and (on the VERY off chance that) you do not like it, whomsoever you gift it to will be extremely happy!

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 11/2/2011 -- Jemrose Vineyards Estate 2008 Foggy Knoll Grenache - 2 Pack

This offer's pack:

mbmiche wrote:

The Woot Gods (or at least WineDavid) must have been smiling upon me when I was picked to lab rat for both the Piro Piro Piccolo Pinot Grigio offering this past Sunday (fantastic wine, screaming deal) and the Jemrose 2008 Foggy Knoll Vineyard Grenache. After such a great experience with the Piro Piro this weekend, I knew that the second wine didn’t stand a chance. Boy was I wrong.

First impressions:
Label represents sophistication, a touch of class, and a pinch of restraint (as evidenced by the back label—“Foggy Knoll Vineyard: Early morning fog cloaked hilltop bathed in late afternoon sunshine and warmth. Total cases produced: 275” placed atop a faded cream shadow of Jemrose Vineyard). Hopefully the wine will evince this same restraint…

Pop and pour:
Nose—No single predominant aroma right from the bottle. There is a bit of berry and a hint of alcohol heat peaking through, but nothing too distinct. After running through the Vinturi, blackberries and strawberries show up to the party with a noticeable (but pleasant) hint of pepper (and alcohol heat). Color—The wine is a deep cranberry red fading only at the edges to a light watermelon. The juice produces distinct and sluggish legs.

Right from the bottle the wine was very restrained. Mouth feel was silky smooth (and even pillowy—is that even a word?) but the flavors had little staying power. Hints of raspberry and strawberry were present, but faded quickly and left the slightest hint of oaky spice (with very subtle tannins) before disappearing completely. There was very little alcohol heat on the back of the throat, and that too disappeared quickly.

After running the wine through the Vinturi, the wine began its metamorphosis. The supple texture of the wine lingered a little longer coating the tongue in a silky blanket before giving way to the soft drying action of the subtle tannins. As the wine sat, this action became more pronounced (as did the alcohol heat before it disappeared after about an hour). For a little while, the slight oakiness hinted at a buttery richness that was very pleasant (but lasted only briefly) before the tannins took (a very balanced and enjoyable) control again.

With the evolution of mouth feel also came an evolution of flavor. At various points, blackberry, strawberry, and raspberry all shared the driver seat (with strawberry getting a little more time behind the wheel). Black currants stopped by for a brief visit (and mentioned their neighbor black cherry), but eventually gave control back to the mixed berries. Pepper lingered in the background throughout and kept close company with a very subtle (but ever present) tea leaf flavor (too subtle to be a tobacco leaf). Even as I write this lab rat report, new flavors are peeking through as others shift to the background. I can’t wait to see what this wine has to offer tomorrow!

Final verdict:
If you enjoy bold, in-your face flavors and jamminess in your wines, then this may not be the wine for you. If, however, you enjoy a more subtle wine that exhibits restraint and class, then this luscious offering is right up your alley. For the mouth feel experience alone, this wine is worth the price. When you consider the soft layers upon soft layers of harmoniously developing flavors, and the appeal of an expertly produced small quantity wine, this offer is a Jem(rose)…(sorry, I had to).

jplamb wrote:

2008 Jemrose Foggy Knoll Vineyard Grenache

We tasted the Jemrose Grenache pop and pour, through the Vinturi and decanted over a period of 3-4 hours.

Pop & Pour
Immediately after pouring into the glasses, subdued nose fairly tight on the finish. Lots of bright red fruit including strawberry and raspberry. After just a few minutes in the glass the wine started to open up quickly giving way to even more red fruit flavor on the finish. Within 10 minutes the wine was drinking very well.

After running the wine through the Vinturi it opened up even more. The wine became more balanced with a longer finish. More bright red fruit on the mid palate and the finish. Didn't get much dark fruit and definitely no earthy flavors at all (which is what I would expect on a Grenache).

After about two hours in the decanter the wine was still fairly similar to the Vinturi results but with more of the fruit moving to the finish and a little less mid palate. The wine has an even longer finish after breathing for a while, around 20 seconds. Very balanced wine, great flavors throughout.

A very well made wine, full bodied but still light and fresh flavors. If you love red fruit flavors you will love this wine. This wine is ready to drink now, even better if you decant it for a little bit before consuming (as most wines are).

billmoore wrote:
Labrat Checking In:

2007 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll Vineyard

Funny how excited people get when they find out they have won the golden ticket. There really was a golden ticket for Charlie (me) in the box. Prizes always make life fun!! I got two prizes in the same box. This is the second lab report (life is good).

Note: I am a normally a California Cabernet Sauvignon drinker and have little to no experience with a Grenache.

Here is the rattage; I hope this is helpful in your decision process:

Answered the door; thanked Federal Express, got the wine, pulled the cork, first smell, VERY NICE!!! Great aromatics (this is going to be fun).
Great depth on the nose, exotic and expressive - roses with really nice tones of red fruits (red cherries, red berries, strawberries and some bits of red fruits and red floral) possesses really good and pure tones.

Poured into the glass through the vinturi
Pretty ruby color, a little thinner than a cab.

First taste - light, tight, structured, the palate is medium bodied notes of cherries, spice box, roasted herbs, pepper, and very, very slightly sweet, nice acidity.
Not as deep or complex on the palate as it is on the nose.

Next without the vinturi
Similar but smoother - this was unusual. Nine out of ten wines I prefer through a vinturi. This one I prefer without the vinturi.
Good length on the finish.

One hour later
• The very nice smell has diminished some
• Smoother - the wine is now richer (not as thin), let me say that again smoother
• Slight touch of sweetness is gone
• Cherries for sure
• Nice, clean, only modestly oaked, well structured, balance

Two hours after opening
• This is getting better and better. I want to finish the bottle but I would not being doing my rat job if I did.

Next Day (put under vacuum and in the refrigerator)
• To my surprise did not change much, very good same notes as above.

• This wine should be very good for about four or five years
• This should be a Black Tie Buy
• For you people that love point values I'd give it a ninety one (this is good stuff)
• If you’re a Grenache drinker, buy three
• $38 a bottle from the vineyard, and similar pricing from wine stores (plus shipping

•This is a good deal if you are into good wine (those of you that drink the more expensive stuff often)
•Was offered before in a WOOTOFF in September
•Grapes were picked in October 2008, hand harvested and de-stemmed at the winery. Fermented with native yeasts and aged 19 months in French oak barrels using only 10% new oak barrels. A small percentage of Syrah (5%) was added to add complexity to the wine.
•Sonoma, Alcohol: 14.1%, Total Acidity: 6.4 g/l, Final pH: 3.31, Cases: 275

Always ready to be a rat!!!

rlmanzo wrote:
Another (brief) labrat report.

Still with no heat, light or water here in the frozen north. This is an iPhone entry. Patience is wearing thin...

Regardless, the wine.

Although I am a red wine drinker, I must admit Grenache is not one of my favorite varietals. I have enjoyed several Chateauneuf de Papes but have found most new world offerings, especially those from Australia to be overly alcoholic, oak monstrosities.

After opening the box with the golden ticket I was a little concerned.

I was pleasantly surprised with the wine.

Lighter in the glass, somewhere between a Pinot and a merlot. It has a pretty, fruity nose, almost floral. Taste is lighter but certainly fruit forward. Definitely California, not the southern Rhone.

It has a full but clean mouthfeel. Finish was shorter than I'd like.

It is a superb food wine and went well with Lemony chicken piccata as well as pasta in a light cream sauce.

Overall a very good wine. I think it would be a perfect choice for w Thanksgiving dinner. It can be sipped a serves to augment the dining experience without overwhelming the meal.

My wife described it as simply "delightful". I would agree.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 11/4/2011 -- Mouton Noir 2008 Montgomery Place Red - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

evillica wrote:

Hours after witnessing the miracle of life as demonstrated through the birth of my 2nd child, I lit up a stogie, had a sit, and thought I ought to email the rest of my clan the good news about the new baby.

Upon the loading of the backed up messages, my wandering eyes spied an email from Wine
Country Connect! My first Labrat, upon the birth day of my son? Truly an unexpected gift! My thanks to Woot for (what I am sure was) this completely intentional and thoughtful surprise.

Now, to the wine:

pop and pour:
red blend wine. nice rich purple color, have I bought wines from Orcutt, CA before? minerally and thick in my mouth, pleasantly tannic, maybe red berry... but not too fruity so far. the bottle says 14.5 alcohol, but I'm not blown away by booze, which for me is a good thing. sniff: nose not doing a lot for me here.

one hour later:
so with the newborn I didn't have a lot going on for dinner. pork tamales that I had in the
fridge, with some good cheddar cheese. pairs well- the tamales aren't too spicy, but I am
starting to notice some spice in this wine. ginger-y? not sure- maybe I'm referring to that type of spice level as opposed to the flavors, if that makes any sense. wine coats the glass, nice mild acid, yet i would consider it pretty punchy (strong) for a red blend (in my experience i find those mild... but I don't often reach for these red blends, so your mileage may vary). i think i smell the spice, but still the nose is not blowing me away. maybe i need a special glass...

30 min after dinner:
spicy, spicy! i smell the alcohol now, too. minerals are also stronger. maybe blackberry, too. brought out some See's dark chocolate truffles to try with it. it cuts the richness of the truffle well, and doesn't have much of the thickness from earlier. with the chocolate i get more berry. wait, is that the booze? I'm 1/2 bottle in now, and while I could easily polish this off I've got children and wife to tend to...

a pretty tasty beverage I would say! i definitely would not call it your Friday-night special occasion wine, but it is above a Tuesday nighter! Maybe after that rough Monday, or the Thursday you wish was Friday. It is something you could easily drink with roast beast, cheese or dark chocolate. for me, I probably would not sip on its own.

thank you, Woot, for the opportunity- i hope I gave you guys something to work with!

kusjp092 wrote:

First time lab rat, reporting for duty. I got the email yesterday and unfortunately didn't have time to prepare an appropriate meal. Therefore, pepperoni and Italian sausage pizza accompanied my tasting.

I don't have an experienced palate, so you'll just have to do with generalizations, I'm afraid. I typically enjoy syrah, cab sav and tempernillo, as far as reds go.

Also, I wrote this review prior to the wine coming up and woot! and therefore am surprised how little of the blend merlot constituted in the wine. I felt like it really dominated this wine. And while I'm not a big merlot fan, I enjoyed this wine. I think the price point is reasonable for the juice and am considering going in for one.

Montgomery place, 2008 California Red Wine 
Opened at 7:45
Color: garnet color, somewhat cloudy though, almost opaque
Smell: strong tannins
First taste: very structured wine, merlot backbone, chewy (though I hate that term)
Finish: lingering finish due to texture

Deeply structured, complex wine. Delicious on the first taste. 

30 mins in glass
Wine has softened a lot with time in glass. Merlot elements coming through more. 

With pizza:
Dry finish does not pair well with food. Doesn't really bring out anything in the wine, except the alcohol. 

An hour in glass:
Continues to open up. A very good wine. Fruit has now taken over and tannins mellow. 

Two hours in bottle:
Hasn't softened much more. Continues to be well structured. 

This is a good wine with a lot of complexity. Good tannin backbone that will provide for aging another 3-5 years. Very drinkable now with some time in the decanter. I would say it's a good value at $25 a bottle or so. Probably an 89 on a ratings scale.

alcjb wrote:

This is a strong fruity California blend with some oak. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, and easy to drink but with a slight taste of tannins. This is a strong candidate to purchase for aging in the bottle. Thanks wine.woot for the opportunity to taste this offering I'm buying one.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 11/5/2011 -- Philip Shaw 2006 No. 17 Australian Blend - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

davenippon wrote:

Since my birthday is next Tuesday, the appearance of my Golden Ticket on Thursday was a real treat with great timing!
I am very happy to be selected as one of today’s rats and am nervous about writing my very first critique, but here goes:

The wine is a 2006 vintage Philip Shaw No. 17 – a blend from the Koomooloo Vinyard which sits at 900 meters in Orange, Australia, consisting of 55% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The label on the front of the screw-capped bottle is a reserved creamy white rectangle with very simple text showing the name of the wine and a bit of additional information, but the rear label is a colorful cartoony image reminiscent of the opening scene of the TV series “King of the Hill.”

Immediately upon popping the cap the wine pours a nice deep almost purpley red that holds pretty strong color all the way out to the edge where it fades to a nice garnet with a fine lighter edge against the wall. Viewed from underneath the upheld glass the wine has a very nice deep garnet color.
The nose has a definite blueberry note upon pouring and swirling along with maybe a little minerality or perhaps that’s the alcohol? Nothing unpleasant at all. It smells good!

Initial mouthfeel is a little thin and a bit acidic but the acidity fades into a nice, fairly jammy aftertaste. Dark red fruit and some oak. I noticed a hint of alcohol burn down the throat with the first sip but not since then. It is pretty nice just like this and shows a lot of the Cab Franc and Merlot jam up front with a pretty noticeable bump of tannins on the back. A little thin here straight out of the bottle but not bad at all “as-is.” I am interested to see how it drinks after a run through the Vinturi into the decanter. I’ll do that and be back soon!

After a couple of hours in the decanter the wine has developed a more floral, rich nose that still has a solid blueberry note but also deeper red fruit and some chocolate and maybe a little tobacco. The previously mentioned acidity has mellowed into a nice, juicy mouthfeel with plenty of dark red fruit and a nice tannic finish that lingers and gets more complex for several moments. Paired with some Irish cheddar the wine really shines and is delicious. My wife had already prepared some cedar planked salmon for dinner and, even though I would have loved to have grilled a nice steak, the wine stood up well and enhanced the smoky, cedary salmon very nicely.

Final opinion:
I really like this wine. It is not as big or as complex as some I’ve had but it is a nice, rich, easy drinking red with a little bit of in-your-face fruit balanced with some solid tannins. I’m a fan of big reds and of deep color and though this is not a huge wine, this wine makes me happy. Thanks Wine.Woot for the early present!!

schenfeldt wrote:

On Thursday, November 3rd we received a FedEx note that they couldn’t deliver a package. I order enough off of Wine Woot that I couldn’t be sure if I was missing something I had ordered – but I strongly suspected my first Golden Ticket – and the next day it arrived! My dream comes true!

On opening, we both took a look at the bottle and think it is interesting – the front looks classy – with a mysterious No. 17 referenced. The back has a cartoon of some people enjoying wine – and my wife loved the duck, puppy, and bunny in the grass on the picture.

We opened the bottle and gave it about an hour to breathe. The screw top seems solid – quality. On pour, the wine looks good – perfect color for a cab.

We decided on a three-phased tasting approach as many have done here – standalone, with cheese, and with a meal.

Phase 1:
So we each sampled a glass, with my wife noting a cherry and a deep fruit nose, and me noting cherry, plum, and the lack of any minerality. As we tasted – the taste was more substantial and deep than the nose – this is a moderately complex, well made wine. Its very nice – and I would certainly purchase – expecting a retail price in the $20 range. It has a solid earthy taste with more fruit than the nose, and a good mouth feel and depth.

Phase 2:
For our second tasting, we sampled with some Gouda cheese. My wife said the berry flavors jumped out at her. I would agree – and I also tasted some minerality that I didn’t taste before. This wine pairs very nicely with this cheese.

Phase 3:
About an hour later, we had additional glasses with dinner. For my wife and kids – this is pasta in a pumpkin sauce. For me and my fear of most things carbs – I’m having some extra spicy buffalo wings. So – will the wine overpower the delicate pumpkin sauce? Will the wings overpower the wine?

I’m happy to report that the wine held its own very nicely with dinner – and didn’t overpower the pasta and sauce too much – although it pairs best with stronger tastes for sure.

I would recommend this wine – I don't think it is a screaming value for the price, but a solid value - and I suspect it will age quite nicely.

Thanks for being patient with my first post and first review!

sigepchops wrote:

First time lab ratting. Box came in at work, not realizing how much explanation it would take, I exclaimed "I've been lab-ratted".

Burgundy 750ml bottle w/twist enclosure, "Philip Shaw No 17"; Bordeaux blend
Appellation: Orange; TWAOW says Orange is high altitude, volcanic soils growing on the slopes of inactive Mount Canobolas; region known for notable pure natural acidity.

Poured 4 oz into balloon glass and remainder to decant.

Pours opaque purple/ruby; moderately aromatic with cassis, stonefruit, some heat.
Notable acidity in the taste, strong tannins, just shy of harsh (glad I decanted most of this) moderate body, stone fruit and red berries with a medium finish. Finish overshadowed at this point by semi-parching tannin.

After 1 1/2 hours in decanter: the heat in the nose is almost gone, replaced by green pepper, still has stone fruit, cassis. The tannins calmed seriously down, much more drinkable and open.

After 2 + hours in the decanter, my wife arrived at the hacienda and sampled more with me. At this point it had settled into a very drinkable, pleasant, red. The crisp acidity and balanced tannins at this point make it an almost "refreshing" red.

Had about 4 oz left in the decanter 24 hours later, did not seem substantially different from the 2 hours of decanting the night before.

Overall impression: nice, serviceable red blend, would go great with red meat/sharp, salty cheese. Definitely improves with decanting; might also be a good candidate for putting a couple years of hunker-down on.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offer of 11/6/2011 -- Longboard Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir - 3 Pack

This offer's pack:

kusjp092 wrote:

I was selected to rat this wine. I wrote the following prior to the woot! Coming up, so I wasn't aware of the price point beforehand. I will not be going in on this offer.

Again, I'm an Inexperienced wine drinker, so I stick to generalities when describing wine. Hopefully, you can get an idea though from my impressions. I tend to like syrah, cab sav and tempernillo, as far as reds go.

Longboard vineyards, 2009 Pinot noir, Russian river valley
Opened at 7:30
Color: Very light red, true to Pinot style
Smell: a bit of heat, Some berry coming through
First taste: very heavy fruit, not much in the way of tannins or structure
Finish: not much finish, does not linger

Not a lot of complexity, but a very drinkable wine. Definitely an every day drinker

30 mins in glass
Heat has mellowed, unfortunately, so has the fruit. Very non-descript wine.

With pepperoni & italian sausage pizza:
The heat helps the wine standup to the food. This wine may be better suited as a pairing with a nice spicy main course.

An hour in glass
Heat continues to mellow. Fruit has continued to come through.

Two hours in bottle:
Continues to soften, easy drinking fruity Pinot now.

This is a solid every day drinking wine. I would say a good $8-$10 bottle. Probably an 82 or so on a ratings scale. Delivers the fruit without much noise.

evillica wrote:


sorry for the lateness of my rat! the 4-day old newborn in my house has given me very little time to sit down and evaluate, so here she goes:

pop and pour:
nice label, cork was a little brittle pulling out of the bottle. using the pinot/nebbiolo
glasses for this one. pours out the color of strawberry jello. slight wiff of booze with
berries and cedar box? definite red cherry taste. not a lot of complexity, but highly

one hour later:
light and enjoyable quaffer. gonna pair this with leftover veggie lasagna and mac n' cheese, pairs okay-- maybe too spicy for the tomato sauce. i can see this going with a fatty salmon or sweet scallop.

smell is definitely more woodsy and spicy that fruity. drink is very smooth, but doesn't have a sharp acidity. strong red cherry flavor.

i'll post more if i can later tonight... cheers!

edit: *gulp* finishing the bottle. a pleasant spicyness, with a cleansing but not too strong acidity. cherry flavors throughout, but slightly one-dimensional. in the end, a good Pinot which i would rank JUST below the d'onstspille on the QPR ratio. thanks again for letting me rat!

NOTE: There has not been any rattage since this one. What up, WD?

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