cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
sasnakra wrote:Short LaBrat review of the 2004 InZINerator:
Excellent, fresh zinfandel, smooth, and a great lingering finish. Nine thumbs up (explained below in the longer version).


Following the Wine.Woot.com advice, I have my Wine.Woots delivered to my office. Normally this system works great – however, had I not dared dream of actually being selected as a LaBrat…well consider the following. Some of it’s a blur, but I do remember seeing the FedEx label, opening the box, the interesting graphics on the bottle, and the suddenly formed small crowd outside my office – not unlike sharks sensing blood in the water. After looking into the eyes of this thirsty crowd, I decided my best hope was to stage a rare, impromptu, mid-day Wine.Woot tasting. So I called upon eight of my dear follow office mates to assist (OK, they had heard of the “free” wine and I didn’t have to call very loudly – they just stayed and refused to leave). It’s good to have friends.

Luckily, I carefully paired the 2004 InZinerator with a fine Italian sausage pizza (leftovers that I had happened to bring today for my lunch) – sometimes things just work out all by themselves! Then I opened the bottle to breathe for approximately 45 minutes. I briefly considered decanting into a spare glass coffee carafe (lucky for Woot science that I re-thought before contaminating the wine – who knows where that carafe had been).

Let the tasting begin. In a scientific-like process, not unlike the infamous ‘lost’ Myth Buster episode involving dry ice, grape Kool-Aid, a Chihuahua, and 100-feet of bungee-cord….but lets not get off track….the tasting. We carefully poured, swirled, examined the color, sniffed, and finally tasted (mostly in that order). Within our diverse group – the overall reactions and comments were very positive. The zinfandel had a very good, fresh fruit smell, pleasant and not artificial smelling. The color was slightly lighter than expected and that of many of the recent zins. Taste was smooth, with a lingering finish – again a very pleasant experience. Our sample didn’t have a strong alcoholic taste – very drinkable. Overall, our part-time scientist gave InZINerator a unanimous ‘nine thumbs up’ (soon to be recommended as a national standard for wine tastings). The only remotely negative comment was from one poor individual, who after seeing the label graphics on Monday – made the decision not to order. She explained that her husband would have not taken a wine with such a label seriously. Being the caring group we are – we quickly pointed out to the big dummy, that had she ordered the Woot and her husband had dismissed it – she would have won big time!

On a serious note, Scott Harvey has produced another excellent wine (as we Wooters have grown to expect). I am certainly looking forward for my shipment to arrive – then maybe I can go home to my dear wife, who unfortunately didn’t get to be in on the LaBrat experience.



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cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
bkarney wrote:I just tasted it, I agree entirely. Just tried a swig through the VInturi - not necessary, at all. I really enjoy it thus far, roommate yet to try but it was opened maybe 10 min ago. I'm getting a lot of sweet fruit initially on the nose. Also something like anise or all spice or licorice (good grammer right). I'm tried comparing it to the all spice in my pantry (as I suspect this is it) but I apparently didn't listen to my chemistry teacher as I got a big whiff of it....too big. I'll be back in a bit with some spicy italian sausage, pasta and some fresh(ly frozen) red sauce



bkarney wrote:To continue on with my LabRat report: First and foremost, I really enjoy this wine! As I said earlier there is a lot of sweet fruit in the nose, and the same spice as before. I'm not nearly the expert that many of you all are but I'll do what I can in describing what I got out of this wine.

I guess the first thing you need to know is that I love spicy food. With that in mind, I have a lot of trouble finding a wine that doesn't taste like water next to some of my creations -- enter the Zin. This particular one has my butcher's spicy Italian sausage along with my homemade SPICY sauce (that I freeze when the maters aren't in the garden). As I happily expected this stuff held it's own, yet made them both better! I'm really enjoying this wine. Roommate report: "Delicious."

While I would say the InZINerator would be fruit-forward it was by no means overwhelming. The spicy notes, showing themselves towards the end of the finish, nicely balance the fruit. I'm also getting some cherry on the finish with a little bit of heat - that is quite enjoyable. There are tannins, but they are barely noticeable. It is a big wine, but very balanced. From the minute it was corked to the time that I finished a cigar with it, it was delicious! Glad that I got my order in prior to the sell-out, only regret is that I didn’t order more. Thank You WD and Scott for this awesome opportunity. Despite WD's hint that tomorrow's offering isn't wine, I really hope it is...



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cheron98


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Offering of 8/28 -- Gourmet Kitchen Infused Oil & Vinegar Medley

This offering's pack:
ArcheDiver (chili oil)

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cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
ArcheDiver wrote:Decided to post here instead of the first offering's forum to maybe help sway the undecided. I got labrated the chili oil today, and by an odd coincidence today is also my two month wedding anniversary, so great excuse to cook dinner for my wife. After much debate I decided to pan sear some scallops in the chili oil. first seasoned the scallops with just a touch of salt and pepper. Then into the oil on high heat, about 1.5 minutes per side until they had a nice golden coloring. I took the scallops out to rest then threw some minced garlic and shallot into the pan. Added a little broth and some corn startch to thicken. Put the whole thing over some fettucine (random point.. wife and I wound up debating the fettucini.. should it have been cooked through or al-dente? opinions welcome). Served with a bottle of 2006 Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc. I must say the sweet chili oil gave a nice touch of flavor to the scallops. I'm looking foward to trying some more recipies and experimenting with the others when they arrive.



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cheron98


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Offering of 9/1 -- Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah - Three Pack

2005 Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills
2005 Petite Sirah Vineyard Blend
2005 Petite Sirah Paso Robles

This week's pack:
MarkDaSpark (Sierra Foothills)
chad1323ross (Paso Robles)
davidgrahammd (Vineyard Blend)

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MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Will comment on main thread, but link here:

Also quoting, and hoping edits will show here too.

MarkDaSpark wrote:Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 1:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
4:10 PM PDT: Waited patiently (well, mostly) in the blind for the Golden Ticket Petite Sirah. Upon sighting my prey, one of the rare Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills, I drew a steady bead and bagged it. Unfortunately, due to the heat on the savanna, the body temp was 87deg, so immediately placing it in the proper cooling vessel (wine cooler) in order to preserve its’ freshness, I return to camp.

My native bearers (JavaDrinker and TimByrd) are anxiously awaiting my return with the trophy to properly prepare it for the sacred rites.

Will let it chill down a little prior to opening a vein to let the blood drain into the sacred decanting vessel (a WD exclusive offer).

Part 2 will commence approximately at 1840 hours (6:40 pm PDT). However, due to the length of the hunt, there will be additional parts commented during the evening.



if not well, Cheron likes to post ....


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

MarkDaSpark


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MarkDaSpark wrote:Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 1:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
4:10 PM PDT: Waited patiently (well, mostly) in the blind for the Golden Ticket Petite Sirah. Upon sighting my prey, one of the rare Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills, I drew a steady bead and bagged it. Unfortunately, due to the heat on the savanna, the body temp was 87deg, so immediately placing it in the proper cooling vessel (wine cooler) in order to preserve its’ freshness, I return to camp.

My native bearers (JavaDrinker and TimByrd) are anxiously awaiting my return with the trophy to properly prepare it for the sacred rites.

Will let it chill down a little prior to opening a vein to let the blood drain into the sacred decanting vessel (a WD exclusive offer).

Part 2 will commence approximately at 1840 hours (6:40 pm PDT). However, due to the length of the hunt, there will be additional parts commented during the evening.




Edit: BTW, there were plenty of clear "ketchup" packs in the box. Must have been on the truck too long though.



Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 2:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
8:15 PM PDT: After draining the blood into the WD supplied sacred vessel, we allowed it to sit, tasting at several intervals.

Java was smelling a candy aroma, which we later determined to be violet. Softer tannins than expected. After 3 hours decanting, it is starting to open more. Tannins are different, a little stronger, but not bad.

Tim agrees that there is more on the nose now. We all agree more time is needed on decanting.

more to come ....


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MarkDaSpark wrote:Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 2:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
8:15 PM PDT: After draining the blood into the WD supplied sacred vessel, we allowed it to sit, tasting at several intervals.

Java was smelling a candy aroma, which we later determined to be violet. Softer tannins than expected. After 3 hours decanting, it is starting to open more. Tannins are different, a little stronger, but not bad.

Tim agrees that there is more on the nose now. We all agree more time is needed on decanting.

more to come ....



MarkDaSpark wrote:Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 1:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
4:10 PM PDT: Waited patiently (well, mostly) in the blind for the Golden Ticket Petite Sirah. Upon sighting my prey, one of the rare Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills, I drew a steady bead and bagged it. Unfortunately, due to the heat on the savanna, the body temp was 87deg, so immediately placing it in the proper cooling vessel (wine cooler) in order to preserve its’ freshness, I return to camp.

My native bearers (JavaDrinker and TimByrd) are anxiously awaiting my return with the trophy to properly prepare it for the sacred rites.

Will let it chill down a little prior to opening a vein to let the blood drain into the sacred decanting vessel (a WD exclusive offer).

Part 2 will commence approximately at 1840 hours (6:40 pm PDT). However, due to the length of the hunt, there will be additional parts commented during the evening.




Edit: BTW, there were plenty of clear "ketchup" packs in the box. Must have been on the truck too long though.



Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 3:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
9:10 PM PDT: Java thinks it has gotten tight after 4 hours of decanting. Getting alchohol on the nose. No fruit on palate.

Tannins are big now. Java and I agree that it needs more time in the decanter, but that it will come back (fruit, etc.)

Tim has laid down to rest ...... so Java and I are going thru his wine cellar ...

more to come ....


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quality posts: 174 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Labrat Report - Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah Sierra Foothills Part 4:

Day 74 (Sept. 3, 2008):
9:45 PM PDT: Less alchohol on the nose and palate. Java thinks (he was shuddering as he said this) Clayfu might be right. I'm not sure, I think. Tim is getting less fruit, more aged wine smell.

Java got some pepper that time.

If you buy now, drink before 5 years. Don't decant too long. Went well with the lamb kabobs.


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cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
chad1323ross wrote:Official Lab Rat Report:
Ursa Vineyards 05 Petite Sirah Paso Robles

Opened and decanted at 3:45 pm. Good cork, no bad smells.

Very dark purple in color - almost like 'plum juice' was a comment.

Nose: heavy fruit - plumbs and berries. blue berries! certainly an alcohol tinge to it. somewhat astringent

Heavy dark fruit on first sip. Plumbs, dark berries and blueberries! slight spice. very low or very smooth tannins

515p poured a sip - tannins have tightened up. fruit has subsided. cherries - sweet, almost. very long wonderful finish. still some of that wonderful blueberry. less spicy.

530 more blueberries again this time. tannins seem to have mellowed quickly after last sip.

600 drank a variety cheese and crackers - really changed the wine. more pepper and spice to the forefront. delicious!

All in all, a very good wine. I enjoyed it, though I'd say it was a bit more mellow or, i dunno, 'soft' than most PS I've had.

Rob, who's enjoying this wine with me, says it kinda lacks that typical ps punch. kinda mellow, but very good. nice long finish - chocolates? and pepper.



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cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
davidgrahammd wrote:Decanted the bottle of 2005 Vineyard PS at 7.

At 830 there was still some tannin and bite to it but the fruit was starting to come through.

At 9 (2 hours in the decanter) it was a totally different experience. The tannins greatly mellowed. The fruit and a hint of pepper was much more to the front.

This is not a big flavor overpowering wine. It will go well with fowl, cheeses, etc. The basalmic vinegar sold a few weeks ago would complement it tremendously. It could easily be dominated by a hearty red pasta or cut of beef.

Lets just say...we cannot wait to have more

We both really enjoyed it and greatly look forward to the other bottles on their way.



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cheron98


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Offering of 9/4 -- Castello di Amorosa 2006 Gewurztraminer - Three Pack

This offering's pack:
themostrighteous

Volunteers:
ScottHarveyWines

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cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
ScottHarveyWines wrote:Just got on and see that the Castello di Amorosa Gewurztraminer I bought a case of a couple of weeks ago is on. Since I have a few bottles left I can do an unofficial labrat report. The wine is dry, not mediuym dry, with a good Gewurztraminer varietal nose of Lychee nuts and apricot. It has a hint of citrus English hard candies and pear drops with linalool and a slight grassy or dill like Sauvignon Blanc nose. Gewurztraminer's natural bitterness if toned down, as it is in this wine, creates a nice complexity that can remind you of Sauvignon Blanc. I also get ginger, spearmint, saffron and passion friut. Seems to be made in a medium ripe style that gives you a little bit of buttered pop corn on the palate. The wine has no turpines that you would more likly find in a Riesling. The wine has good weight wich makes it accompany food well. I had it a couple of nights ago with a almond crusted Dover Sole in a lemon caper butter sause over crispy grilled spinach. Finished the whole bottle. Not to many good dry gewurztraminers out there. This is one of them.



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themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
themostrighteous wrote:'tis that time...

reporting for duty to labrat the 2006 Castello di Amorosa Gewurztraminer!

please note that, as is my practice, i am tasting this for the first time at room temperature. i intend to subsequently taste this at 50-55F, and i will post significant changes in the profile of this wine at that time, if any.

eyes - clear but pale golden straw color w/ medium legs.

nose - Gewürztraminer literally means literally means Spice Traminer or Perfumed Traminer. this is where the proverbial rubber hits the proverbial road w/ this varietal. so... to say that this wine is aromatically EXPRESSIVE is an understatement. the nose opens w/ a floral bouquet of rose petals & violets, yielding to broad-ranging citrus notes & closing w/ a distinct grapefruit overtone. there are certain wines that i could literally smell all day w/out taking a sip, and this is most definitely one of them - it has a GORGEOUS nose.

mouth - and yet my labrattery compels me to take that sip nevertheless. this wine is completely dry, ie its noticeable acidity (3.36 pH) effectively masks its potential sweetness (0.48% RS) (as Scott Harvey taught us here a couple of weeks ago). the level of acidity suggests that this would indeed be a most food-friendly wine - which makes the fact that its body is almost Sémillon-like fascinating to me, ie i just have not experienced that combination (high acidity, full body) in too many wines before. its flavor profile is very similar to its aromatic profile, but that floral bouquet is almost completely muted, those citrus notes make their presence felt upon entry, and that distinct grapefruit overtone becomes dominant in the palate.

closing details - moderate finish, impeccably well-balanced, engaging complexity.

i hope that helps. i don't really have the storage space for ANY additional wine at this point, but i can't let a little thing like that get in the way, so i intend to up my order by another set. i would appreciate if someone can remind me how i might go about doing that.

EDIT: it's a tad too late for me, so i will taste this at 50-55F tomorrow & post my notes then. cool?
do you know... what biodynamics is?

cheron98


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Offering of 9/8 -- Benziger Family Winery Red Trio

2005 Merlot Feingold Vineyard Sonoma Mountain
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Farm Vineyard Sonoma Valley
2004 Winemaker’s Claret Sonoma

This offering's pack:
dianefreda (Cabernet Sauvignon... and Sauvignon Blanc?!)
InHoc (Claret)
elections2k (Merlot)

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cheron98


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dianefreda wrote:I read and re-read the ticket and it didn't say anything about not mentioning the second bottle. Anyway, as i said we called friends over and had the Stone Farm Cab with venison sausage and cheese. de-canted for 1 1/2 hours in the decanter and 1/2 hour in the glass. It was WONDERFUL and even though the alcohol content seemed high it was not apparent at all. It only got better as we went along and I can't wait until my regular order gets here. Moving on to the meal it was chicken so we opened the Sauvignon Blanc, it was perfect! Very crisp and quite nice. This has been a great experience and such fun! Everyone has alot to look forward to. I am not good at picking out specific flavors, I just know what I like and I liked these.



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cheron98


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InHoc wrote:I received the Claret about 30 minutes ago, and opened it immediately.

I'm quite skeptical of wine reviews (not wine.woot, but Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, etc.). I do find that I agree with Robert Parker, more than I disagree. I mention this to give you a reference for my biases. I love fruit and complex structure. My favorites are Martinelli, Turley (I'm still hanging in there) and Rafanelli. Sonoma ZIn is probably the pinnacle of wine for me. The bordeaux-style claret is a great match.

The initial nose on this wine is hot (alcohol), but it settled down within a few minutes. The color for a 2004 indicated a full-bodied wine with just a little age on it - not as inky as a PS, but a deep red. The legs are fantastic. My wife and I are getting a tremendous amount of blackcurrant.

On that note, my wife has, unfortunately, become quite discriminating about the wines that she drinks, and she has mentioned that she really likes this and wants to know how many I purchased (so much for bottle shock!).

More notes to follow as it opens up.



InHoc wrote:We're at about 1.5 hours, and much of the fruit has faded to the back, and a spiciness has come forward. Not a hot, alcohol spice, but a cracked pepper-type of spice. It really does have that mouth-coating feel to it.



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cheron98


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elections2k wrote:So, an otherwise lackluster Monday afternoon started looking up with e-mail from WineDavid tipping me off to my upcoming good fortune. Aside from having to wait 24 more hours to see what would accompany the Golden Ticket, I experienced all the usual emotions that go along with the prospect of free hooch: lust and yearning chief among them.

Once at work yesterday, my ears pricked up every time I heard the elevator, waiting to hear the mail guy shuffling toward my cube. But at noon there was still no package – three hours after the usual delivery time.

Flummoxed, I hit up the FedEx site to track the package. “On Truck for Delivery” it said, and I was reassured. However, as the afternoon waned, I got increasingly worried. “On Truck for Delivery.” F5 “On Truck for Delivery.” F5 “On Truck for Delivery.” Damnit!

Just after 6 p.m., the FedEx message changed. “Delivery failed. No recipient over 21 years old available.” Finally, it hit me: after a purchase on the regular Woot! Site I’d changed the shipping info to my home address and hadn’t changed it back in my rush to go in for two of what I consider to be a pretty nice WineWoot.

Thus began a mad rush through the Chicago suburbs in an attempt to liberate my free (and currently incarcerated) wine. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending in the form of the Feingold Merlot.

Dinner was grilled lamb and vegetables and couscous, but I started with the wine on its own. Nice aroma, pleasant color, but I found it a little tight on the first sip. Less up front fruit than I expected and quite dry. I did not decant, but would do so next time.

The wine opened up a bit as I worked the grill. Some dark fruit started to come out, but still the overall effect was thin on the tongue, still quite dry, some leather notes. Hmmmm … perhaps this will improve with the meal.

Happily, it did. The lamb, nicely charred and a little fatty in that good way, finally pulled out some of the blueberry mentioned on the label. All in all very enjoyable, but something I’m not sure I’d have on its own a second time. Smartly paired, however, this would be great.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the other two bottles in this trio hold.

Thanks WD!



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cheron98


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InHoc wrote:Early Lab Rat report!

I, too, was awarded double rat status this week - all things considered, it's been a very good week.

We had the Sauvignon Blanc about two hours after our last taste of the Claret, and paired it with a triple-cream brie on Carr's water crackers. It sat in our wine fridge at 44 degrees for about 6 hours after arrival. The wine was crisp and refreshing; the melon came through, although we had a hard time tasting the green apple in the tasting notes. We watched the video, and absolutely picked up the pineapple and pear that George MacLeod refers to. This is not a grassy SB, nor is it too sweet. It was a great compliment to the rich cheese.

We were a little surprised that this is the first release of this wine, as it really was quite elegant. Benziger clearly produces great wine, but we were surprised that a winery's first vintage from this vineyard would be so refined.

Overall, it's been a real pleasure to sample Benziger wines and I hope to see more of their product in future wine.woot offers. I think these were w.w purchases #27 & #28 for me, and clearly among the best (although I was flamed for panning the Saki!)



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cheron98


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Offering of 9/11 -- Benziger Macleod Vineyard Sauvignon - Three Pack

This offering's pack:
InHoc
dianefreda

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cheron98


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dianefreda wrote:I read and re-read the ticket and it didn't say anything about not mentioning the second bottle. Anyway, as i said we called friends over and had the Stone Farm Cab with venison sausage and cheese. de-canted for 1 1/2 hours in the decanter and 1/2 hour in the glass. It was WONDERFUL and even though the alcohol content seemed high it was not apparent at all. It only got better as we went along and I can't wait until my regular order gets here. Moving on to the meal it was chicken so we opened the Sauvignon Blanc, it was perfect! Very crisp and quite nice. This has been a great experience and such fun! Everyone has alot to look forward to. I am not good at picking out specific flavors, I just know what I like and I liked these.



dianefreda wrote:Sorry about giving away the Thurs. offering in my first report-I was sent an e-mail not to say but it went to work and I was home nursing a bad bad case of poisen ivy and didn't see it until this AM. I totally agree with the other lab rat that this white is wonderful, crisp and very elegant. Given my misery (itching) this was such a treat. Thanks



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cheron98


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Offering of 9/15 -- SakeOne Saké Sampler Trio

Organic Ginjo Junmai Saké
Organic Nigori Saké
G Joy Saké

This offering's pack:
bhodilee (Organic Ginjo Junmai)
Aflaedge (Organic Nigori)
npickett (G Joy)

Volunteers:
jkwest (G Joy)

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cheron98


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bhodilee wrote:Prelimary Report on the Organic Junmai

Junmai First Impressions: More to follow, this is just a first sip to see what I should have with dinner.

First off, the Junmai has a little cloudy appearance in the glass. This isn't to say it's milky, but it's not perfectly clear either. I like it. The nose is Sake all the way, little citrusy note but I'm getting mostly rice. Flavor is perfectly balanced, seriously where's the alcohol? Wherever it is, it is NOT on the palate. This isn't your jet fuel type sake. Flavor wise, it's citrusy with a coconut milk back. The coconut flavor is kinda there but not in an overpowering way. By the way I'm drinking this maybe around 68 degrees. Rest of the bottle is in the Fridge. The finish is long and smooth, reminds me A LOT of rice pudding if that makes sense. So far this is a great understated, smooth Sake. I think I'll go with something Mild for dinner as I dont' think it's big enough for spicy dishes. Vietnamese place I frequent is closed on Tuesday nights so dinner is up in the air. I'm thinking Chinese since there are many places to choose from. I dunno though. Back later as a reply and a part two. So far I'm very happy to have been in for three, they're not gonna last long.



bhodilee wrote:Labrat Report Organic Junmai Ginjo (or is ig Ginjo Junmai?)
I take back my Coconut assessment, it's closer to slightly underripe banana. Very nice flavor and the finish is still rice pudding with banana. Dinner was Lemon Chicken and it paired ok, the Sake was better than the food so I didn't eat it all. I was going to pair it with Pork and Eggrolls with fish sauce and that would have been gold, but the place was closed. Anyway, this is a mild Sake so mild foods are good with it. The Lemon Chicken was too Citrusy. More to come after I give my daughter a bath.

Edit before final report: I think this Sake would work great in place of coconut rum anywhere that rum is called for. In fact, had I the skill (I'm looking at you MM, you have the skills) I would make a Sajito with this (I trademarked the male name) I think it would be great in place of rum in a Mojito. Third glass coming up now, fourth glass before I post again. End of coherence...



bhodilee wrote:Labrat Final Report Organic Junmai Ginjo
Gonna stop at Glass 3, I've got a long day tomorrow.
To recap, this is an exceptionally smooth Sake, Green Banana, Citrus, Nagging Wife ( no wait, that's my life right now, has nothing to do with the Sake). Okay, where were we, Green Banana, Citrus, long smooth finish of Banana Rice Pudding, no discernable Alcohol. Just a really nice Sake. Super Clean taste, like if a mountain stream were made of Sake. If you don't like Sake you may like this, if you do like Sake, you'll love this. It was quite good and I can't wait to have a tasting party (drunkfest) with the other three bottles heading my way. Well done SakeOne!

Addendum: The last sip was room temp, which is about 80 today and there was very noticeable alcohol at that temp. With it chilled though the alcohol wasn't at all noticeable. So drink this chilled and if it warms up stick the glass in the fridge for five minutes.



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cheron98


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npickett wrote:G Joy sake labrat reporting in. Grabbed some sushi for dinner and "twisted" this one open. First assessment "hrmmm what is that smell?". My eight year old daughter took a sniff and said "bananas!" then it clicked for me too. Smell of banana without the overt sweetness. Very smooth, but I do notice the alcohol. I'm quite enjoying it. Thank you. I'll try to get some more opinions soon.



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cheron98


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Aflaedge wrote: Labrat Report on the Organic Nigori Junmai Ginjo

The results are in from the Nigori tasting and asian BBQ party. The uncapped, freshly shaken bottle brought forth fresh cut bananas. A mellow fragrance that gives a whiff of things to come but by no means fills the room. Dinner, comprised of Teryaki chicken, shrimp, onion and green pepper kabobs with coconut cous-cous, proved to be a decent precursor despite lacking the spiciness of recommended pairings. After pouring an ochoko for each of the three deputized labrats, and one for myself, I asked them to take a sip and write their first impressions.

In no particular order the consensus found the Nigori quite fragrant, slightly sweet and full of presence. The banana carries through to the end but only as a soft layer and not like a milk shake held hostage by artificial flavor. The fullness brought on by the sediment prolongs the aftertaste by providing a texture on the tongue. The alcohol sneaks in and out quickly leaving one to wonder if it was even there in the first place. This quiet impact gave me confidence to pour another cup. Two rounds later the guests dispersed and I was left to finish the tasting and validate the chocolate pairing.

If ever there was a understudy to Ambrosia and Nectar it would be Chocolate and SakeOne Nigori. I couldn't agree more with Sakeguy2 on this point. While sweet or semi-sweet would work, I recommend a dark chocolate. That way the bitter and sweet flavors wage a delicious war for control of your taste buds. Although I haven't found one yet, this combination should surely have its own mixed drink if a worthy chocolate liquor could be found. During this second tasting I would also like to note that the coconut flavor did not appear as previously advertised. I was afraid that the dinner might have drowned it out initially, but almost two hours later and still nothing.

With two thirds of the bottle gone, I've called it quits for the evening. In summary, the banana fragrance and smooth finish are two excellent qualities to look forward to for this and future offerings. Pair with chocolate after dinner for best results, and always, always, always serve cold. Konpai!



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cheron98


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jkwest wrote:So....I took one for the team and went to BevMo! and bought a bottle of the G Joy Saké.

I got home, stuck it in the fridge for an hour and decided it was time to try it out. The black ceramic bottle is a beautiful design, first off...wow! I broke the plastic seal, unscrewed it and took a huge whiff straight from it....talk about deceptive....the aroma was mellow...subtle hints of honeydew and apple with a slight contrast of rubbing alcohol, but, not in a bad way. I poured it into a Spiegelau Authentis White Wine Glass...it looked distinctly like a Sauv Blanc...swirled it around a bit..huge legs, rightly so, due to its 18% ABV.

Took another sniff, same as before, but, the alcohol was a bit more prominent...took a swig..weird! Its clear but, has the creamy flavor of a melon and asian pear..swallowing brings out some spice that lingers quite longer than regular red wine. My dinner pairing just happened to be some tomato rice and jerk chicken that ended up being well suited for the sake.

This being my first experience with higher quality Ginjo Sake, I was pleasantly happy with it. My wife, on the other hand, could barely get a swig down..then she did the "eechhhh"! that you get from cough medicine..she's solely a red drinker, its fine.

After dinner, I decided to have some fun with the Sake and try mixing it with different juices that were in my fridge..

Cranberry - nice!! The tangy cranberries did well to counteract the bitter alcohol flavor...my wife even said she could handle that after a few glasses of wine..

Passionfruit - meh...turned it into a cloudy, murky yellow mess..it was a potent wine cooler, and, I'm not a wine cooler fella, so this would be better suited for someone fruitier.

Acai/Blueberry - the best! I could have served this to the kids and they wouldn't know otherwise...but, I wouldn't...really..

I had a V8, but, I decided to pass on that for the evening..

Now, to get down to the price value..This is a good price, no doubt...my local BevMo! had this and four other in the Momokawa family and this and two others would have ran me roughly $4 more than the woot offering after shipping. If you can't find this stuff local, buy this one now! I'm really glad to see I can get it locally when my four bottles run out.

Thanks, SakeGuy!! I feel that Sake may now how a permanent place in my house now.



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cheron98


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Offering of 9/18 -- Little Vineyards - Two Pack

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

This offering's pack:
jenludwig
jpkrause
mommyrants

Volunteers:
polarbear22
TimByrd/MarkDaSpark
javadrinker/clayfu

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polarbear22 wrote:Just started sipping a bottle from my cellar (if Little 2004 CS, lest I not be clear). So this is not an official labrat report, but the offer got me interested in a bottle of Little.

Color is a nice deep garnet, still able to see through. Cabernet fruit on the nose. There is a little alcohol on the nose in the cheap glass I am using, but no heat when I drink. Still a little tight tannins, so needs more than 30 minutes to open up. The tannins are smooth, not chalky. Good long finish.

This wine has plenty of time left. No need to rush to drink it.

I may post more on this later.



polarbear22 wrote:Sorry, not sure that the bottle lasted until it had fully opened up. It was wonderful. Very smooth and long finish. This is just a really nice Cab. It complemented the rubbed and grilled pork chops, and went well with the little piece of dark chocolate. Definitely one of those nights when I wish my wife didn't drink wine, so I could have more. (Don't have to worry about her reading this, she knows I am a wine hog.)

Java - I look forward to your labrat report. I did not set the bar too high for wine rating skills.



polarbear22 wrote:We also had wine farther up the cork than normal, nearly halfway. But the wine was still good.



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cheron98


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timbyrd wrote:You know I'm the strong, silent type. (To the extent compatible with being a delicate flower, of course.)

I will say there were wine stains 2/3rds of the way up the cork, so our experience may not be representative. We opened it about 8pm, and it peaked an hour or so in. After three hours, it was not showing at its best.

I didn't get any astringency until I tried some of the dark chocolate that Sparky brought. He thought the chocolate countered the astringency.

-- T



MarkDaSpark wrote:Assistant Volunteer Labrat (codename: Igor) reporting!



Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to find my notes from the RPM Tour visit to Little Vineyards (we tasted their '04 & '05 CS) and upload the pics. System crashed during the pictures portion.

You can kind of see the cork in the bottom left of the picture above (sorry, should have taken a picture of the cork itself). It looked okay, other than their were wine stains about 2/3's around the cork. Didn't seem too soft. Opened it around 8:00pm, and we tasted it throughout the evening til about 11:00 pm when I left.

I brought some Brix (Extra Dark Chocolate - for CS) along. As TB mentioned, I thought it cut some of the tartness, and he thought it was more tart with the chocolate.

The wine had a very nice Ruby Red color, with medium depth but very clear. I think we both got Earthy aromas of medium intensity. But I never got anything other than that for aromas. Unexpected, since I don't remember the earthy aroma from the RPM tasting.

I thought it had a medium body, tart acidity, medium tannins, low intensity, and a short finish.

It never improved (to me), which leads me to believe the wine may have been "cooked". It just didn't seem like a CS, nor did it taste the way I remember it did during the RPM tasting. I remember enjoying both the '04 and '05 from the tasting, per my notes.



I'm trying to see if I can zoom in on the cork in this picture, since my camera took it at 22mb, so I should be able to, if my software would only cooperate.


Edit: Okay, here's the cork.



It's behind the plastic wrapper, but you can see the red stains on the side of the cork.



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cheron98


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javadrinker wrote:Javier and I (clayfu) also have the stained cork, but it doesn't taste cooked to us.

A bit of heat mars the medicinal cherry flavor on the nose with hints of cocoa. Toasted oak with jammy ripe bold strawberries with a streak of green pepper and medicinal herbs. It's a pretty big wine. Even though it is a big wine, it's not a mouthful of wine that's typical of "higher" end "big" cabs. Your whole mouth isn't covered with any of the jamminess which.. kinda vacuums. About a 5 second finish with a backbone of tannins.

This is not a long lived wine, also typical of big cabs, very ripe fruit but going to be short lived. You're looking at a drinking window of about 5 years at the most. I would guess even less based on the fact that the fruit in the wine almost completely disappears within 1.5-2 hours with some air contact. The wine is alot thinner and it turns into tart/sour cherries opposed to gobs of ripe strawberries.

This seems like a consume NOW type of wine, just pop and pour.



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cheron98


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jenludwig wrote:I'm here, I'm here! It's bouncing, I'd better be quick! We in no way said we were 100% qualified to present tasting notes, but here goes our best efforts. We popped and poured, not being the patient types! There were four of us. I tried to write down everyone's initial reactions.
Nose: Chocolate, plum, musty (like an old library - but in a good way), cherry (yeah, the husband always says that if it's a red, but I got it too this time), berries, big ripe berries, a definite amongst all of us. Leather, one said OLD leather.
Color: I said ruby, hold it up to the light and it has a brilliant hue. Others said plum. One asked if they really had to say what color it was, who cares, she just wanted to taste it.
Taste: tanins were not heavy at all, very low oak flavor on this one, if at all, and berries were a stand out. Remember, we didn't let it sit at this point.
This was pre-dinner, we tasted with Blue corn chips and a homemade al fresco salsa. I would not have expected this to be a good pairing, we all really liked it though.
Wine responses:
T: I like it...a lot.
A. It is innundating me with taste
C: I really like it, and would give it a 5 (out of 5 after I prodded).
Me: Mmmm....I wish we hadn't jumped right in!
C: Can I have some more?
That last to me is the indicator of a great wine. If someone asks for more
After a half hour it had opened up very nicely. The minimal tannins that were there smoothed out really nicely. It also gets a lot more berry smell as it opens up.
I don't think this is a long lasting wine. I think probably another hour or so and it would have peaked. Very yummy none the less. I disagree with the winery website stating it would cellar for 10 years. I was in for 3, and I think I'll pop one every 5-6 months or so. I think past 5-6 years and the wine will be beyond it's prime.
However, this was a fabulous wine, and the price point wine.woot is offering it at makes it more than a bargain, even if your not a labrat. Hopefully this gets posted before the giant yellow buttons stops a bouncin'



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MarkDaSpark


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Since Dearest Cheron is tired, and has gone to sleep (and to keep my post count higher than her's), here is a labrat post:

jpkrause wrote:My first lab rat report. I was going to report aftet tasting upon opening and then again after decanting for an hour or two, but seeing as how the button is bouncing, I'd post my initial impressions.

Disclaimer: I have thoroughly enjoyed 2 previous offerings from Little on Woot, so this is a lot like asking a rat to rate cheese. I have not read any other lab rat reports, so I am posting and then I will read others to see how my opinion matches. I am no expert, but I enjoy big fruity reds, especially Cabs, Zins, and Petite Sirahs.

Upon opening, I noticed that the cork is only pale purple, with some bleeding about 1/3 the way up the cork. I was expecting a deeper coloring for a 2004. There was no crystalization on the cork.

The color of the wine is deep, dark purple. I noticed no sediment as I poured to a decanter.

Poured my first glass straight away into my big-ass glass. Gave it a swirly-swirl, then a sniffy-sniff (too many episodes of WLTV). The nose is very hot right out of the bottle. It overwhelms the hints of Cabernet fruit. This alone to me suggests a need to decant or cellar.

In the mouth, it is very smooth up front, but the heat kicks in mid- to back palate. It is tannic, but did not make my face pucker, I'd quantify them as 'medium', and it lingers briefly. I'm noticing more oak than fruit, which is in stark contrast to the '03 that I had last weekend, which seemed completely opposite. Personally, I am enjoying this every bit as much, but for different reasons. It's funny how the 'same' wine can vary so much from year to year.

My initial impressions are that it ought to improve after opening up. My amateur opinion is that it will cellar pretty well for a few years.

---

After 20 minutes in the glass, the heat on the nose has diminished somewhat, allowing some of the fruit to get through. Ditto in the mouth... much smoother after letting it stand for a bit.

Will try it again in another hour or so.



Edit: Part 2


jpkrause wrote:It's an hour later than my initial report. The nose has more fruit than before and less heat, as may have been predicted. Much smoother in the mouth as well. It's now leaving its tannic footprint on my inner cheeks. Definitely dryer than the '03.

The wifey also found it to be less of a fruit bomb, but found it to be smooth and also enjoyed it thoroughly.

And, I've learned that it does not pair well with Healthy Choice Frozen Fudge bars. It definitely calls for dark chocolate.

Thanks, WineDavid, for the opportunity to be a rat for a day. Especially on this, the 17th most important day of the year, Talk like a Pirate Day. Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!



Good Job!


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

cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
mommyrants wrote:So...I'm labratted for the first time and the offering sells out!

I'll share anyway.

1. What a gorgeous color. Ruby/Garnet read.
2. Not remmotely too hot and alchoholly - as this was without breathing.
3. Rich cab flavor, but not huge. This would pair well with a mild filet but would stand up to a beefy prime rib as well.

We went out to dinner last night and had ordered a Rodney Strong. Much more expensive. Not nearly as good.

Sorry I didn't get this in before the sell out. This wine sells itself. Very glad I got 3. This is great for drinking and would also make a great gift for a wine lover.



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cheron98


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 9/22 -- Titus Vineyards Lot 1

This offering's pack:

[url=http://wine.woot.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?PostID=2591058]spdrcr05 (with tripgrad & InShadows)

HitAnyKey42

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HitAnyKey42


quality posts: 29 Private Messages HitAnyKey42
HitAnyKey42 wrote:So I got home just before 4:30 pm EST...popped open the bottle as we started to get the steaks and other things ready. After a few minutes, poured the first two glasses through my nice new Vinturi aerator (thanks again Krugsters! ).....


Then even before doing the first sniffy-sniff or tasting, I prepared the steaks. Rubbed on a mix of crushed fresh garlic and a garlic/rosemary mix, then coated the steaks with Kosher salt to sit for the next half hour...


Then poured about half the bottle into my lovely WD Decanter...


While my mom was slicing up an eggplant, a pepper, and an onion...I quickly prepared a simple cheese/quince platter from the leftovers from the Sat tasting party:


As Cheron asked me to state exactly how it was prepared, this is what we did for the eggplant to be grilled. Put the slices of eggplant and pepper in a baggie and sprinkled with ground garlic sea salt and some olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Shook it up in the bag and then put it on the grill.
Then in a frying pan, we sauteed some homegrown red & white onions and mushrooms in a little olive oil.
The steaks had the kosher salt washed off, then dried, then tossed on the grill. And I put a little bit of McCormick's Montreal seasoning on them while they were cooking.
Sliced up the steak, poured the onion/mushrooms over it, served up the eggplant/pepper mixture and viola!!


So the steak turned out absolutely amazing, tasting great and being one of the most tender steaks any of us had ever had. Mom was blown away at how much the Kosher salt did for it (and now plans to do the same thing for some lamb she has).

But anyway, on to the important thing and why you are all reading this lovely novel/picturebook I'm writing....THE WINE!!!

The color is a nice deep garnet red, though when held up directly to the light brings out a nice glowing bright red. Interesting contrast between light directly behind it or not. The legs of this wine are long long stretching beautiful legs that you would love to have wrapped around you in a loving embrace of bodily flesh (too graphic?...well, too bad...that's what you get from my mind ).
I took my first sniff-sniff and taste of the wine probably after it had been in my glass (after going through the Vinturi) for at least 15-20 minutes. There was some initial heat and very little fruit on the nose, which I expected with it still being so soon. I was surprised however, that it only had moderate tannins. Yes, the cheeks did pucker up a bit with some swishing in the mouth, but not as much as some other wines I've had that were decanted even longer. Must be the Petit Verdot that helps balance it.
Some fruit started surfacing after about an hour (I think I was still on that first glass and hadn't moved onto the decanter'd wine yet, but I could be wrong as I didn't mark that in my notes). It's not blueberry, that much I could tell. I'm thinking more a dark blackberry. Definite hints of spice on both the nose and palate. Maybe a slight floral bouquet, and the heat has subsided almost entirely. It has a very nice long finish.
While finishing up with some of the last bits of dinner, still had a bit of the Manchego cheese & quince and this was rather tasty with the wine. It would certainly go great paired with some nice sharp cheese and quince.

After a bit over two hours or so, the wine was really opening up. Still quite robust and smooth, flavors and nose integrating nicely and still having a nice long finish.

This was a fabulous bottle (which I still have almost half left for tomorrow...and half a steak...maybe a stir fry tomorrow) and I'm so very thankful for WD sending it over to me. I personally plan to wait at least a year and a half or two before I open up my first bottle, and will try to hold onto my other bottle to see how well it's doing 6-10 years from now. I now wish I had gone in for 3 AND gifted myself some.

BRAVO TITUS!!!


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NYC Tastings

cheron98


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tripgrad wrote:GangRat of Titus 2004 Lot I
Host decanted entire bottle b4 guests arrived.
Blue Stilton with crackers for 1st course while beef kabobs broiled.
1st impression: beautiful dark red with scarlet edge; long legs
nose: raspberry soaked leather
1st taste after 1 hr in decanter: cherry with moderate tannins on finish
Stands up very well to the strong cheese
Excellent paired with the marinated beef
After 2 hours, finish is a lot (!) smoother.
We suggest that you cellar for a while and open for a special meal.
Peace



spdrcr05 wrote:Wow... what's the line about never following a better comedian? With my extreme lack of tech savvy, my lack of pictures is going to seem VERY anti-climactic.

I'll start by thanking InShadows & TripGrad for sharing this rat-errifc experience with me. Both of them kindly offered to bring something, and the excellent steak kabobs from IS & TG's very tasty blue stilton complemented this offering quite well.

As stated earlier, I popped the bottle at 6:30 based on Loweeels recommendation, expecting my guests around 7. Northern Virginia traffic being what it is, TG arrived a little after, and IS was delayed until almost 7:30. In retrospect this was a very good thing. My initial impressions of this wine were from it's very dark garnet red color and hot nose. While I didn't taste it at this point, it had a very strong smell, with the alcohol overpowering almost any other impression that I might get.

Our first pour was at 7:30 shortly after IS arrived. I swirled my glass and was immediately struck by the legs. This along with the nose I got earlier lead me to believe that the published alcohol content on this might be a bit low. First whiff was predominantly ripe blackberries on the vine, with a hint of raspberries. My first taste showed a VERY tannic wine that pulled at the sides of my tongue. I loved the mouth feel and found it to be very drinkable with the aformentioned blackberries but a stronger taste of dark cherry coming on initially followed by a black pepper spice taste. As the kabobs were under the broiler, I initially began pairing it with the blue stilton and found it to be an excellent match to the sharp flavor of the cheese, the tannins cutting the fat very nicely.

Around 8, the kabobs were done and we plated them along with our second glass each. Another 1/2 hour had softened the tannins quite nicely. Still there, still pulling at the edges and puckering the cheeks a bit and pulling at the sides of my tongue, but not so overwhelming as earlier. I was having trouble grasping the nose and additional flavors and resorted to grabbing bags of fruit out of my freezer. TG said "raspberries" right as I stuck my nose in the bag of raspberries. I hate it when that happens. Ripe berries... still the hint of black pepper that adds some kick... and a curl of tannin that lets me think that I'm REALLY glad I don't have to sacrifice one of my purchases to know that I want to sit on this at least a year (if not 2) before trying another one. The wine was excellent with the marinated steak, peppers, and onions of the kabobs. While I don't think I would fully enjoy this wine on its own at this time, it will match quite well with any flavorful dish you might be serving.

Overall, a very good wine that IMHO shows some great aging potential. I'm glad I'm in for 3, especially considering the number sold here, the lack of availability from the winery, and the demonstrated rising prices from some of the retailers as discussed earlier in the thread.

Loweeel... not that my opinion matters much... tomorrow, forget 30 minutes... take a taste at 60... and go from there.



InShadows wrote:I do not know how I can follow up these excellent reviews. When it comes to wine knowledge, I am just a pauper, but I shall try my best. First off I would like to thank spdrcr for his hospitality and generosity. As tripgrad and spdrcr mentioned the bottle was decanted for an hour before the first pour. It had a powerful deep black fruit nose to it and maybe a little bit of licorice on it and was a beautiful deep garnet color. Also noted already the wine had great legs but a little deceptive with it being so early. The first sip also pulled at my tongue and cheeks. With the great legs and puckering action I felt as if I was being embraced by Okoi from Basilisk. I tasted dark cherry and black pepper. The cheese that was provided by tripgrad helped to tame the tannins a bit. After the kabobs were done we were ready for our second glass. The wine had decanted now for an hour and a half. It was much tamer than the first glass. The wine was now a bit smoother and the bouquet was more pronounced. The raspberries were pronounced now but the black pepper was still there. The licorice had seemed to subside. Overall it was a very good red and for those that were able to buy I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

Now I’ll attempt to do some pairings with this wine. Food is so overdone so I’ll continue with what I started with SakeGuy2 and do movies and music.
Pairings:
Decanted after only 1 hour:
Music: Because of the tannic nature and my personal preference for low to no tannins I would have to go with something somewhat annoying but still catchy and likeable. So I’ll go with jwhite’s favorite band – Hanson - mmmbop. If you are a lover of the tannins then I would suggest Tool – Forty Six & 2.
Movie: Initially it’s a grinding assault on your mouth so I would select Robocop: Unrated Director’s Cut.

Decanted after an hour and a half:
Music: I would suggest Soundgarden – 4th of July. I have no valid reason it just seems to go with it.
Movie: The movie selection is also based on the 1 hour taste. The movie had to be about a guy who personified bravado and failed initially but in the end after another half-hour of decanting came back and overcame his trial and tribulations. So I am selecting The Hustler for the movie to pair this best with.


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Loweeel wrote:9/24/08 -- Titus Lot 1 -- 65/30/5

45 mins in decanter. Nose: predominantly black raspberry liqueur, with white flowers, hints of molasses, vanilla, and nutmet on the nose.

Very dense. No heat. AMAZINGLY dense -- more impenetrable than the Ursa. Incredibly structured, initiall hint of confectionary, then some smoky meat.

This wine frakking COATS THE frakking GLASS. Legs nicer than Tricia Helfer's. Wawaweewa!

The tannins are very noticeable, but they're very integrated and chewy, not stand-alone liquid sandpaper.

Very distinct transitions between attack, mid-palate, and finish. this wine is something special, folks.

65 mins: the nose is jammier, more liqueur, more blackberry. White pepper and black pepper on the finish balancing the nutmeg and molasses, with hints of baking spice. This is getting more complex and awesome.

90 mins: The finish turns to black cherry.

105 mins: here come the tannins.

This is a massive, elegant, integrated wine. It will pair wonderfull with things with a hint of sweetness like bbq ribs or burgers or brisket. I would give this at least 2 more year; it isn't quite ready yet. Though it got very well integrated, and is excellent, it will only get better.

if you bought this, hang on for a few years.



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cheron98


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Offering of 9/25 -- Saddleback Cellars - Two Pack

2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This offering's pack:
rooboy (2003)
tklempay (2004)

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cheron98


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rooboy wrote:LabRat Report - 03 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

WD – Thank you very much for this opportunity!

This wine, along with the excellent learning environment of winewoot, has greatly expended my understanding of wine, in particular cabernet sauvignon. I now clearly understand old world vs. new world and tannins.

6:30 – uncorked wine:
Smell: dark plum/blueberry
Taste: a touch hot at the start, but quickly disappears, mild tannins, and moderate fruit (this is not a fruit bomb – new world). At this point I rate this as a good to very good wine.

7:00
Smell: dark plum, ash/charcoal
Taste: no heat, slight tannins, light to mild fruit (blueberry?), and light vanilla/oak. At this point I rate this as a delightful wine. This wine slightly reminds me of the 2003 Sadler-Wells Cabernet Sauvignon (in a good way!).

7:30
Smell: light plum
Taste: A bit increase in tannins/heat – now on tip of tongue (before in back of mouth). Mild good fruit taste! Paired well with cracker and olive tapenade. At this point I am set on increasing my original order from 1 to 3 sets.

8:00
Meal: marinated T-bone grilled, grilled sliced potatoes, and salad. Heat returns with moist food, but not in a bad way. The combination of red meat and this wine was excellent! Also, it went well with the chocolate brownie we had for desert!

In the end, I can sum it up by stating what my wife said at the end of the bottle – “Did they only send you one bottle?”

This is an excellent bottle of wine. It is not a big fruit wine. Thus, it doesn’t compare to the likes of Silver Oak – I don’t mean this in a good or bad way. It is just a different style cab, i.e. old world. I very much appreciate it for what it is and am grateful for the opportunity to share my experience with you!



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Cheron is busy today, so here's a Labrat report on the Saddleback 2005 CS from tklempay:


tklempay wrote:LabRat for Saddleback 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley

Charlie Bucket here - the golden ticket arrived yesterday...first time rat here. To give you an idea of my background, I have ordered a good bit of wine here, been out to Napa a few times, and thoroughly enjoy a nice glass of red wine. But, I'm a novice when it comes to recognizing smells and flavors and recommending what foods to pair this with. Of the wines I've ordered here, I'd say my favorite wine makers have been Ty Caton and Wellington. Recently, I really enjoyed the Zahtila 2004 Cab. So, for the more sophisticated wine tasters out there, maybe that will give you an idea of my tastes.

But here's my take...

7:30pm - uncorked bottle and took a good whiff of the cork. To me, it had a strong but pleasant smell to it, my wife smelled it and said, "tell those Wooters that it smelled like acid" (she was kidding but knows I'm a woot addict) and my 8 year old son smelled it and gave it a 2 thumbs up. I don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing but he likes to smell the cork whenever I open a new bottle. I think we'll find out in his teen years if this is good or bad :-).

I also poured a small amount of wine into 2 glasses for my wife and I. The bouquet was as strong as the smell from the cork and once again, to me, it was a good smell. But like I said, I couldn't tell you "what" was in that smell, just that it was good for my senses. We both took a drink and the words, "very drinkable" came out of our mouths but we both agreed to decant it for 30 minutes before drinking more.

8:00pm - Our meal last night was sushi as we look forward to Sushi Saturday's. Now, I hate takeout sushi but we couldn't take the bottle of wine to our favorite sushi restaurant (wait, it's our only sushi restaurant) so we compromised. The wine went very, very nicely with our meal. My wife is a 1-glass drinker and I'm usually a 1 to 1 1/2 glass wine drinker and I couldn't believe that I had drank a full glass of wine before I had finished eating. Being that I wanted to fulfill my duty as a LabRat, I went above the call of duty and filled up the glass a 2nd time.

I had about a 1/3 of the glass of wine left when it came time for dessert, fresh, out of the oven, homemade chocolate chip cookies. Honestly, I didn't care for the combination of that wine with the chocolate chip cookies.

But I didn't want to end the evening on a sour note so I poured myself a 3rd glass and glad I did. The 3rd glass of wine had a wonderful smoothness to it and no after taste. Very, very enjoyable. And the fact that I drank 3 glasses says something as I normally wouldn't drink that much.

And for tonight, there's probably enough left in the bottle for a single glass and I plan on grilling a nice steak to go along with it.

The bottom line, is it worth the $70/set? To me, yes, I look forward to the arrival of the other 6 bottles I ordered. I'll drink one set soon and cellar the other 4 bottles. If the wine is this smooth today, I have a feeling it's going to be fantastic in 10 years.




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