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quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
javadrinker wrote:So as mentioned above, I was the lucky recipient of a Golden Ticket (my second one ever) and I got a bottle of Stuart Cellar's 2004 Cabernet Franc. I had a chance to try this one once before during a visit to Temecula wine country and remember really liking the wine but I didn't take any formal tasting notes.

I opened the box about 20 minutes before dinner was ready. The bottle wasn't warm but I thought I'd cool it down a bit so popped it into the freezer for that short amount of time. It was a nice temp when I popped the cork but dinner was ready so I didn't have time to let the wine get some air. I didn't decant the wine either. Poured some wine for myself and my parents and sat down to a nice dinner of steaks and baked potatoes.

First thing that surprised me was that the wine didn't need too much air time. It was the slightest bit tight at first sip but it was essentially ready to drink. It was all light and fruit at the beginning. No real nose to speak and an explosion of cherries. No alcohol coming through either (only 13.4% listed on the label). I swear I thought I was drinking a Sangiovese.

The description on the back of the bottle read "elegant rasberry and light cherry...accented with aromas of light oak and spice". The description continues with "notes of vanilla and black pepper...with balanced tannins". Well, I never found the rasberries but the cherries certainly were there. Didn't find the other stuff at first either.

Then after about an hour...bam...there was the light oak. Both on the nose and the palate. Nothing overpowering at all but nice. Then the pepper made an appearance. The tannins came and went soon after. The alcohol became a bit more pronounced on the nose after awhile but nothing that took away from the wine.

My parents don't feel completely comfortable in using wine-speak yet but my dad definitely found the pepper and oak after awhile. My mom actually used the phrase "concentrated fruit" near the end...only it was in Spanish. Still, kudos mom, kudos aplenty.

So all in all, personally I really liked this one. It was much lighter and fruitier than I expected or remembered but it was just as good. It probably wasn't the best pairing with the steaks but it wasn't a bad choice either. This is another great wine from Marshall. If I didn't already have almost 200 bottles sitting around in less than ideal storage conditions I would probably consider upping my order.

Oh...and there was one more surprise in the box. It went quite nicely with the wine. Thanks WD.

subinsignia wrote:I have to apologize. I was the Tatria lab rat. I was in PAsadena and not home until last night and missed the three Fed Ex attempts to deliver (Tuesday thru Thursday). I went up to the office to pick it up and they tried to not give me the unknown box of wine to me saying it was prepped to return. I told them their system told me I could pick it up anytime today, so after about 20 minutes of futzing around they gave me the box.

Once in the car I opened it and found the Tatria and the Three Sisters Senita cheese. What great surprise! I feel bad that my trip to Pasadena prevented an earlier report. Anyway, here is the late wine report.

I opened the bottle, decanted it and sampled it immediately. A distinct toast and coffee nose and flavors on top of the traditional meritage flavors and that good Temecula cab franc set of flavors, too. Big tannins that need a little time.

After 15 minutes the tannins started to soften but it was not ready yet. After 30 minutes some distinct softening occured and the wine rounded out somewhat into an even bigger mouth feel. After 60 minutes it was fully ready and now over an hour and a half into it I find it still superb.

The tannins have opened to a now softer level of firm intensity. The wine fills the mouth with coffee, toast, bell pepper, cassis, dark fruit with a little heat, and a sort of vanilla/caramel hint. The flavors linger on the tongue and palate. The wine is super, about 90 points I would venture.

There is a hint of orange to the color of this wine, reminding me of an aged bordeaux. While not aged a lot and still appearing to be a cherry light purple red in color, the sunlight coming in the front windows going through the wine gave it that orange aged glow. I'd wager this wine has 5-7 or more years of life in it. It is not a big bordeaux to lay down for the ages but it is a super wine that is made to drink now and for the next few years. I am glad I bought this and will be back at the winery later this year or early next year.

I apologize again for the late review, but Wine David caught me away from the mothership with his gift. I'll sample the cheese later! Thanks again!

spdrcr05 wrote:Okay... in the interest of being complete.. here is my VERY late labrat report. To be fair to me... I posted when I purchased that I was leaving town and couldn't rat. There, I'll stop whinging and start writing.

So, The Divine Miss Wendy and are just back (i.e. we landed late last night) from my work trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico. TDMW came out for the last 5 days of a 10 day jaunt to see the beautiful desert southwest where I had lived for a period in the mid-90's. So we are fairly up to speed on our spicy food quotient... which didn't stop us from getting take-out thai from our favorite place, Thai Basil in Chantilly, VA.

With dinner secured (pad thai for TDMW & extra spicy Thai fried rice with Chicken for me) I then committed a cardinal sin... I simply popped and poured. In retrospect, that was probably a mistake as we both noted that this wine was a tad hot on the nose and initial taste. I immediately noticed the bright red cherry color and some extremely long legs. The initial flavor was even with a strong tannic bite but balanced by some very big ripe fruit flavors, however it was lacking in what I can only call integration. My initial impression was that I was drinking a most excellent zin... but WAY too soon. As I go through the thread, I see that Marshall himself says the window for this wine is 5-7 years from vintage ... which means 2011 at the earliest. I'd say that I most heartily concur with this assessment. I'm truly grateful for the labrat bottle as now I don't have to open one of my purchases to discover this.

TDMW comments were as follows, "it's smooth.. it has a strong alcohol smell, like it needs to sit for awhile. A very nice finish though"

We let the rest of the wine sit for an hour or so and as dinner progressed it began to open up very nicely. The tannins became even more pronounced and the fruit more forward without the heat from our initial taste... however still very distinct tastes in very distinct and abrupt transitions. Boom fruit... tongue curling tannin... long finish.

So to summarize... a very good Zin... well on par with anything else I've had, just not ready to drink without at least an hour or more (I'd start with 2 if I was going to open one of my purchased bottles) in the decanter. I think I'm going to sit on mine for at least a year and more likely 2 before I open one.

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Offering of 10/23 -- Three Sisters Artisan Cheese

This offering's pack:
javadrinker (Serenita)
subinsignia (Serenita)
Tasters at NoVA/DC #7 (both)
Tasters at NYC #5 (both)
Tasters at DTW #3 (Serena)

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Tasters of NYC #5

Cesare wrote:We had this at the nyc tasting last week and it was very good.
Edit: cheesery website

HitAnyKey42 wrote:Someone put out a nice cherry spread type thing (if Krugsters wrote down what the jar was, please share) and I absolutely adored this cheese with a little bit of the cherry stuff on top of it.
I also had a few pieces of the cheese with the chorizo sausage that was also there. Was really good with that as well.

I kept going back for that cheese as I highly enjoyed it. Don't know what else to say about cheese, so I'll leave it at that.

Now to figure out if I can actually afford to buy some of it. I'll decide tomorrow and go to bed for now.

afranke wrote:Mmmmmm...microbial coagulant...*drools*

I remember this cheese being on the harder side, almost like a Parmigiano-Reggiano, but much more mild. I agree with HAK, putting cherries or quince along with the cheese on top of a cracker was delicious.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I tried tasting the cheese with a splash of thatguy's amontillado at the same time, and the flavors that came out were spectacular.

Krugsters wrote:As mentioned earlier we had this at the NYC Spain tasting.
I did not take notes and can't remember the exact flavor profiles of the cheeses.
I opened both varieties and cut them up into cubes.

I noticed that they both were, for me, on the sharper side so I decided to pair them with a Really Good (that's the name of the company) tart cherry fruit spread. I also had out on the table quince, honey and Dalmata (sp?) fig spread.

When nibbling, I like to tone down sharp cheeses with a touch of sweetness and if serving this for a Thanksgiving or holiday party I would suggest just that.
This would also pair nicely with sliced delicious red apple or pear.

I remember them being sharp, nutty with a texture close to Parmesan but not as crumbly, an easy eating cheese. This would be fantastic in recipes, grated over pasta or baked. It has enough flavor to stand up to the heat and add punch to a dish.

I put these on a separate cheese plate for the tasting. Unlike the Spanish cheese plate, this plate was empty by the end of the evening.

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javadrinker wrote:Sadly I don't think so. This cheese was the extra surprise packed with my labratted Stuart Cab Franc. I got a slice of the Serena cheese. I'll be completely honest in that I didn't like the cheese at first bite. It was a bit tart for me. But after awhile the cheese really grew on me, especially with crackers. Like HAK above I can't really describe cheese but I remember thinking that it tasted a bit like Parmesan. I thought I was crazy for thinking that. Then I read the description a few minutes ago and there it was..."a hard cheese with some of the bite of Parmesan and some of the sweet nuttiness of Gruyere". What I thought of as tart was that bite they described. And the sweet nuttiness was definitely in the hizzy. $30 for 2 lbs of cheese is more than I'm comfortable spending plus way more than I can eat by myself, but this was pretty tasty.

TByrd & Sparky, I'll bring some with me tomorrow if you guys want to try the cheese after dinner (or even before). I doubt the restaurant will let me bring it inside so it would have to be a parking lot tasting.

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Tasters at DTW #3

tommythecat78 wrote:Had the serena at DYW#3 over the weekend. Paired well with the Iron Horse Cab Franc. It also paired well with the Vampire Pinot Noir. The wine itself was just OK, but with the chees it worked really nice. Flavor wise I couldn't tell you. It was definitely parmesan-y. Really good stuff.

cheron98 wrote:So *I* was damn lucky enough to attend two tastings over the past couple of weeks, both of which were the lucky recipients of this cheese. I preferred the serenita over the serena, but both were DAMN tasty. The serena makes a great pairing with the Cab Franc (as tommy mentioned above) and the serenita paired with Old World style Merlot... match made in heaven.

SO good. So glad to see it so soon. Because I just ate the last of my serena last night

oppsie wrote:I have been informed that if I don't report on the cheese I will never be allowed on the premises again.

Therefore I will report on the cheese.

It was good.


Previous descriptions are accurate -- it's like a slightly softer, crumblier (meaning before grating) parm with a nuttier flavor. Pretty good on its own, I wish we had tried it with some fruity jammy accompaniment. Or some balsamic. Drat, we totally biffed on that.

cyborgdo11 wrote:I recently had the Serena and personally wasn't a fan. The cheese was a bit too dry and bitter for me.

cheron98 wrote:We should've pulled out the balsamic for this. My god. This stuff and the balsamic vinegar from woot a little while ago - holy good. The balsamic adds the touch of moisture and sweetness to it that really makes the cheese shine.

Thought I had finished it off the other night, but I did actually have a small little bit left - enough to make me a yummy frittata and have a try with some balsamic. This stuff really behaves like parmesan, so if you like parmesan, you'll love this. If you don't... well, you probably won't like this either.

4-5 1/8" slices of Serena
3 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp salsa
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried chives
1 bell pepper (your pick of color!), diced
2 tsp oil (remember the infused oil? i used that)
pinch of salt

Heat a skillet over medium heat with the oil. When it thins out and spreads evenly (because it may not get to the smoke point), toss in the bell pepper and salt. When the bell pepper has begun to brown, drop in the salsa and stir.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. When the liquid from the salsa has bubbled off, pour the eggs into the skillet and spread to coat. Arrange the cheese slices around the top, and sprinkle the seasoning and chives over it all. Cover and let cook for approx. 5 minutes, or until the eggs have set and are cooked all the way through, and the cheese has melted.

Serve up with a glass of Gewurztraminer, or a yummy Mimosa.

Are you all hungry now?

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Tasters as NoVA/DC #7

spdrcr05 wrote:We had these at NoVa/DC #7. I'm currently traveling and don't have my notes handy, so I'm winging this to the best of my recollection. I do remember I enjoyed both cheeses, with my personal preference being the Serenita.

They had a firm, but not hard texture, a ripe, but not stinky aroma. The Serena had a mild nutty flavor that reminded me of a very mild parm. The Serenita to my palate was more complex and rich. I remember thinking to myself that I was very curious to see what some heat would do to these and wanted to take some home to cook with... as I expected it to be very good.

I'll call home at a more reasonable hour and see if someone can find my tasting notes.

cheron98 wrote:So *I* was damn lucky enough to attend two tastings over the past couple of weeks, both of which were the lucky recipients of this cheese. I preferred the serenita over the serena, but both were DAMN tasty. The serena makes a great pairing with the Cab Franc (as tommy mentioned above) and the serenita paired with Old World style Merlot... match made in heaven.

SO good. So glad to see it so soon. Because I just ate the last of my serena last night

jwhite6114 wrote:The package that was shipped to NoVA for NoVA #7 arrived fine. The cheese was still cool (though not cold) when it arrived and was perfectly fine when we tasted it that weekend.

Speaking of which, these cheese were well liked at NoVA #7. As the lucky guy who got to keep the left overs, I am having some right now (hence my previous question about grilled cheese -- IT'S LUNCH TIME!).

Both cheeses are quite firm (can't slice them too thick with my wire cheese-slicer -- bends the wire). The Serenita is quite pungent with a tangy scent (appealing, not stinky). On a plain Carr's table water cracker (which I believe Costo DOES still have), it is a little much. Of course I am not pairing it with anything (it is LUNCH time, remember?); this would go much better with a wine or complimentary food. Interestingly, I find the Serena to be milder in scent and flavor, but it has a stronger bite at the end (kind of like some swiss cheeses). This one might pair better with something on the sweet side (IMUO -- the U standing for unqualified). The Serena makes me want more as soon as the linger flavor leaves my mouth.

I LOVE cheese, but am no aficionado. If it's creamy and melty, chances are I'll enjoy it. My take on these cheeses is that they would make for excellent ingredients to make a favorite dish that much more special, or as tasty bits with wine and other foods. These are much better than the typical grocery store cheese, but I would not want them all by their lonesome like I might with a more standard cheddar or swiss.

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subinsignia wrote:Late Labrat here with Serenita. I was out of town and picked it up today. After days of no AC in the very cool midwest, the cheese is still ready to go!

This is a an exceptional cheese. Hard, a bit oily after it's travels, it has a nutty flavor that would be superb with syrupy Germans, sauternes or ports and some apples, pears, and the like. A but too soft to grate, I'd love to chill this down and try to anyway!

Thank you for the opportunity to try this truly otstanding cheese!

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Offering of 10/27 -- Gundlach Bundschu Three-Pack

2005 Pinot Noir
2005 Mountain Cuvée
2005 Merlot

This offering's pack:
kuni (Mountain Cuvée)
vaaccess (Merlot)
sorted123 (Pinot Noir)

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vaaccess wrote:***LABRAT REPORT***
So, who has wine stains all over their cube/desk, has a WCC business card, a GunBun baseball cap, and an empty bottle of GunBun Merlot? *points thumbs at self* THIS GUY!"

I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Labrat and am happy to report that I've taken the task very seriously and have spread the wine tasting to others I work with. Sadly, however, my ISO supply of desk articles doesn't include a cork screw, so I had to resort to using a screw driver to push the cork into the bottle. Sadly, however, the day's worth of meetings didn't leave me with a lot of mental power...So...I discovered that pushing in a cork forces the wine to be compressed and as such, the wine will spew all over the place once the cork is forced out of the way.

The good news is that the nose on this wine is awesone. Whether it's sniffed on a stack of papers, on the front of an LCD, or the sleeve of a dress shirt...This is good stuff. (Fortunately I wore a wine-colored shirt today!)


Along with not having a cork screw, I didn't have proper wine glasses so I had to resort to the classic Styrofoam cup. When swirling the wine, I just didn't get the legs I would have expected, but I decided it wasn't the wines fault.

For those of you that know me well, or even moderately well, you'll know that I either like a wine or I don't. But, I'm not as good as others at picking our flavors or smells. However, I can tell immediately whether a wine taste or smell is something I like.

While the wine was just slightly astringent at the beginning, it did mellow out fairly quickly and when it did it gave way to a very well balanced wine. It is definitely not a "fruity" wine, but is one that I would consider to be "old world" style. Along with being well balanced, there were a fair amount of tannins in the mouth feel, but it wasn't overwhelming and led to a really good taste/feel for this wine.

As I continued to drink the wine, I couldn't decide whether I liked the nose or the taste better. (You know how some wines make you want to plant your nose in the glass to give it a good sniff like it's a dog in heat?...Well...Maybe that's just me...) Regardless, it smells damn good...That's all I'm saying. And, to go with that smell, it has a very controlled, very smooth, very yummy flavor that makes me wanna yell, "Screw you Miles...I love a good Merlot!"

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sorted123 wrote:***LABRAT REPORT***

The day wasn't all bad. Despite a “Fatal System Error” on my PC, and the brutally windswept walk home through a veritable graveyard of dead umbrellas (today's score: Mother Nature 1, New Yorkers 0), there was the pleasant surprise of a bottle of GunBun 05 Pinot Noir to drink. Wicked!

In the interest of full disclosure, I visited G-B in the late 90s (friends of mine in SF adore the winery and insist on taking all their visitors there) and had a great experience. So I pulled the trigger on this immediately. That said, I think my palette has definitely developed/matured since then, and I've not tasted a G-B wine in several years. (This is also PRECISELY why I joined Wine Woot—to be able to get cool, interesting--and affordable--wines like this that rarely make it to the east coast.)

So... the wine:

The retail on this ($40ish) definitely ranges closer to a Saturday night bottle for me than a Tuesday night bottle.

Nose: A bit peppery off the bat. But then mellowed in short order, showing dark berries.

First sip (after 15-20 mins in decanter), tastes like a fairly quintessential California Pinot Noir. A little tight. Bit plummy, actually. Definitely some acid and a little heat (maybe even mint?) on the finish.

45 mins: This is already a different wine now. As it continued to open, the flavor and mouthfeel both grew “richer” and “deeper” to my palette. Really nice. Reminded me a bit of a rather full-bodied (French) Gamay I had recently. That may not be a compliment to the winemaker, but I enjoy Gamay.

1 hour+: Continues to gain depth. Dark fruit. Very lush. Really lush, in fact. I've been drinking a fair amount of French Burgundies recently and this, to me, actually seems “bigger” and “new world” in comparison. You could read that as “less subtle” but... for me, this is a positive.

My girlfriend's palette tends toward juicier/spicier wines and she deems it “delicious” (not that either of us would say there is a lot of spice here).

We ate some some cheeses (aged parm, a goat brie, an Irish bleu) and sourdough baguette with this—not ideal pairings perhaps but the wine still held up nicely. Will definitely serve with meat when my order arrives.

Conclusion: After 90+ minutes, the wine had become almost a bit “chew-y” (in a good way). Still very lush. A little sour cherry showing up now. Definitely enough backbone to hold up to a piece of lamb. I'm no wine expert, but I have drank (drunk?) an awful lot of the stuff. This, to me, is a solid and really lovely wine. Especially at this price. I wish I'd ordered more now.

I hope this has been helpful, and appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the community!

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kuni wrote:SO! Here it goes, the first RAT report for the woot.
Thanks for another wooter in my office which had helped me with the first tasting notes in my life!!!

I am not good with the words, and will keep it simple so you guys will get an idea how the wine is.

2005 Mountain Cuvée

First impression after opening up.
Medium body, hot which you will deffinately feel the alcohol, and of course the SPICE will be the first things to be noticed.

After about an hour decanting, slightly chewy.

I usually drink wine by itself, but this one would be a one which would go with Italian Food. (tomato sause base) Which it seems like a Chanti taste. We didn't really feet the MERLOT which consists over 60% of blend.
Some chocolate, but we all didn't taste the fruit which was described in the winery website, what ever kind of berries at all.

So the conclusion is,,,,,
May need another 1 or 2 year, and should age well.

I do see some great reviews on other wines, so can't wait to try them.
(since I have gotten 2 sets!!)

Hope this would help some of you out there!

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Offering of 10/30 -- Andretti Winery Chardonnay - Six Pack

This offering's pack:



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m5rammy wrote:Labrat Report

First of all I have come to the conclusion that I prefer wines with a fairly low alcohol content (go ahead, call me a wimp), but here goes.

I was thrilled to be a labrat (Free wine, the best kind!). My wife and I shared a glass, she said "mild, fruity taste, somewhat smooth, not too sweet or dry, good moderate flavor. I like it", and I agree that it has mild flavor (in a good way) but the alcoholly part was a bit sharp (remember what I said in the first paragraph), even so, it was nice.

I re-stopped the bottle and put it back in the fridge, and a few hours later my son (in his late 20's) tried some and said he didn't really like it, that it was too mild and had a bitter aftertaste.

(bitter aftertaste?) So there you have 3 opinions (good, nice and yuck). Also we put some into a chili, I'm sure that will be good, too. I'll let you know later.


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ladyofwine wrote:Ladyofwine's opinion of this woot wine:
2005 Andretti Chardonnay, California Selection:
Light nose, but with a bit of astringency. No detectible oak in the bouquet and I can't quite pick out the fruit on it...it's so light that it doesn't seem to exude any one apple, apricot, or green nature. It's almost medicinal without being unpleasant.
On the palate: bright, crisp , I keep wanting green apple to show up. A triple creme cheese (think D'affinois) would help here. Full mouth feel, nice finish but falls off the back of the palate a bit. I didn't cool it down too much so I feel like I'm getting the true sense of the wine - just very light, not sweet. Alc. says it's 14.2 and it seems true to that number.
Barbie said: I like yours better, then, the second sip was better than the first.
Jeff came to work after a 5 day vacation with a cold so he's in quarantine and can't smell the wine.
After 30 minutes: the nose pretty much goes away, or becomes non-distinct to me. I still can't figure out which fruit is coming at me...maybe I just don't know enough fruit....that's it from Calistoga. LZ

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INTLGerard wrote:I’ve had the opportunity to taste this wine and my experience was quite different. For me the more input the better which helps me to perceive what’s in the bottle. So FWIW here’s my take as a volunteer rat. The appearance has a pale gold color with light to med intense aromas of green apple, stony fruit and subtle vanilla. On the palate I get the white stony fruit, melon, some vanilla notes layered with a full bodied creamy texture. There’s a good amount of alcohol adding weight but not excessive attack of heat in the back. The alcohol is high but there is enough acid to keep my palate from tiring and enough restraint on the oak to not overwhelm the fruit. Overall found this to be an easy to drink everyday chardonnay with a pleasantly smooth mouth feel and fresh crisp fruit. At this price I’d consider this a very good deal for an everyday wine.

For me when there is quite a bit of alcohol present it can throw off strong overpowering medicinal esters especially with a warm white wine. I think if you chill this down and air it out it may open up more.

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tomatillo wrote:LabRat reporting in.

Golden ticket and Chardonnay arrived this afternoon. No cheese, no candy, no extras. Sigh. If only this would have happened with one of the more expensive reds!


Chilled bottle for several hours, waiting for wife to get home and lend her also untutored palate to the fray.

Then, while awaiting the 11 year olds to arrive for the evening goblin festivities, we decided to crack the bottle early to ease the stress and sneak a few tastes.

Wow! Lots of legs! As red wine drinkers, we don't usually waste our time looking at the whites we're served, but this guy has legs! We strained and strained to detect multiple fruits: pear was there, wife kept chanting "citrus, citric, citrus..." until I began to smell and taste it, too. No apple. Perhaps a scent of vanilla and definitely an initial attack of cream, which fades fast.

NO bitter aftertaste (like one of the other reviewers experienced). Light butter, I think I could taste just a hint of oak, but my wife maintains there was none in her glass. And she insisted she knows oak. Absolutely none! (I always defer, when she starts REALLY insisting..)

Both of us argued about a trifle acidic/initial tart taste, mellows a bit with the swish. Enough to keep it interesting but not overwhelming.

Refreshing, simple forward pear mellowing and fading and then also fading to a bit of tanginess. A residual very minor buttery afternote. But again, not overwhelming. Not a thin wine, but certainly not syrupy, a bit of 'heat' and none of the repugnant effervescent feelings I've experienced with cheap whites.

Thousands of times better than the typical house white foisted on us in many local St. Paul/Minneapolis restaurants and our private club over by the river, which the New Mexico delegation and Laura Bush stole from us for a few days during the RNC. No great loss.

At $7/bottle, this is a hell of a deal. Don't hesitate, even if you're not a white wine drinker, because it should be at minimum acceptable to your non-demanding friends who want white (making you happier to hoard the good reds for people who really appreciate them). Everyday drinkable, a bit tasty and inoffensive. A good safe wine my wife will gladly drink again.

Oops. Got carried away with the tasting. Just got back from the evening bonfire and found very little left in the fridge. We must have enjoyed it more than we realized!

Bottom line:
Much better than the 'everyday' whites served us by our parsimonious friends. Not a butter bomb or an oak blaster. I'm truly confused when I read some of the others' reviews here and the propaganda about this wine on a few of the other internet sites. We just didn't get the same intense flavors which we felt others interpreted as 'obnoxious.' But then, we're not that sophisticated when it comes to these things.

We liked it.

Edit: And for comparison: After this, if we find any more of the Woot Rock Hollow or (God Forbid!) the Elvis in our cellar, it's going down the drain. Why suffer if we can drink this stuff at $7?

2nd Edit: Weird note. This was one of the hardest corks to get out of a bottle I've fought in many a year. I've got one of those levered 'rabbit ears' devices which usually pulls a cork, natural or not, without a second thought. I seriously thought something glass or metal was going to break this time around! Never have had this much of a fight.

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scottw2 wrote:Wow, I have spies. Didn't know I was so popular.
I really didn't like the wine much. Kind of bland for my taste. I need more oak & aroma. This wine was lacking in both, but I'm a scotch drinker.
On the other hand, my wife, a wine connoisseur, found it refreshing & did not have any complaints. therefore I give it a passing grade for the price as she was very happy with it. The six pack arrives tomorrow & she will have a good time consuming them.

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Offering of 11/3 -- Etude Winery Fortitude Trio

2004 Frediani Field Blend
2005 Shake Ridge
2006 Semillon

This offering's pack:
cosmo108 (Semillon)
mkelley2 (Shake Ridge)

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mkelley2 wrote:We quaffed a bottle of the Shake Ridge the other night with pizza. Nice nose; medium on the palate and opened up fairly quickly. Decent finish...lingers a little bit. Blackberry on the nose. Would be good with pasta or a burger. Drinkable now. The Sangio mellows the potential jamminess of the zin. Still a bit confused as to the primitivo versus zinfandel grapes. Primitivo is theoretically the father of zinfandel in Italy, but as these grapes are all grown in California, would seem that both would simply fall under the Zinfandel varietal. A nice wine for the price. Believe it is fine to drink young; not sure how well it would age. Am an Etude fan, so had fairly high expectations.

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cosmo108 wrote:Well, I received a bottle of the Semillon. I was hoping for the charbono blend, but who could turn down a free bottle of wine. Thanks, WineDavid.

I have been drinking wine on a regular basis now for the last three years. Lately, I've been enjoying wines with a more rustic flavor. Most of the wine I consume is from Sonoma and Napa. Most everything I buy comes within a 100 miles from my home - trying to reduce my footprint.

I have only had a few Semillon, most from France.

The nose is quite pleaseant. I get some , pear, tropical notes, a little honeydew, and something unique that I can't quite place.

The wine has nice weight. I would say that it is a medium to a heavy body white with a smooth mouth feel. I get a little alcohol, some lime, melon... a little austere. I can't say that I am a big fan.
I did some reading about aged Semillon becoming more honeyed. I wonder if this wine would age well. I think a little honey would be nice.

Overall, not a bad wine. I guess not really my style. I think it would go well with some grilled chicken or with some turkey.

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Offering of 11/10 -- Mumm Sparkling Trio

2003 Mumm Napa Blanc De Blancs
2001 Mumm Napa Grande Année
N.V. Brut Rosé

This offering's pack:
smartheart (Brut Rosé)
jjhrad (Blanc de Blancs)
gre211 (Grande Année)
saxwizerd45 (Grande Année)

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smartheart wrote:Lab rat report: Mumm Napa Brut Rose NV

3 tasters. Tasted as aperitif. Accompanying crackers and cheese.

Me: Nice color and sparkle first noted.
Delicious taste. Strawberry stands out. Dark cherry. Lime toward the finish. Hints of bread and nuts.
Carries on the good tradition of the reanamed Mumm Napa Blanc de Noirs with which I am well familiar. Wish I had a bottle of the predecessor Blanc de Noirs handy to "compare" and note any changes but alas I've drunk it all up. Comparing strictly from memory, I'd say this Brut Rose is a tad softer and the Blanc de Noirs had a slight bit of not unpleasant bite. But that might have been due to outside factors such as age, storage conditions, etc.

Guest taster #1 Balance of flavorful strawberry and cherry tastes.
Aesthetically appealing--color and effervescence.
Will seek out and buy.

Guest taster #2 "A river of refreshing darkish fruit flavor." (The other two tasters found the fruit distinct but somewhat more subtle than this taster.)

Conclusion: All 3 rats thought highly of this wine and found it delicious.....and all 3, including the 2 new to it, intend to enjoy it in the future.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Yes, for the holidays, but also to bring some sparkle to any regular day.

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jjhrad wrote:Labrat report:

This is my first labrat report so go easy ;)

I was excited to see a FedEx box arrive this morning. I immediately began to chill the box at work so that I would not have to wait for it to chill when I got home.

My wife and I opened the 2003 Blanc De Blancs and avoided the influence of outside flavors. I participated in the last Mumm woot purchase and visited Mumm back in the early 1990's--it has long been one of my favorites.

I do not "taste" sparkling wine very often, but usually go what what I know on those special occasions. This 2003 had a good color and a appreciable amount of effervescence. The initial taste was one of interest. Having such a large percentage of Chardonnay, the taste of fruit is predominant. The initial aftertaste was almost a bit bitter, but I expected this to smooth out a bit after it had been opened for a while. I revisited the taste after a little more than an hour and found it much more palatable than when the bottle was first opened.

I always like a good bottle of Mumm, this bottle included. It is a different taste than I am used to in a sparkling wine, but that is not always a bad thing. This was a bit sweeter, more fruit forward than the traditional Brut, but I have no doubt that it will still appeal to a great number of sparkling wine fans. I expect that I will like the other two a bit more, but we will see.

Thank you for the opportunity wine.woot.

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gre211 wrote:My first thought--Yippee!!!! I'm a Labrat. The 2001 Mumm Napa Grande Année came in a small Fed-ex'd box by its lonesome, with a clever "golden ticket" stating I"m the "woot.wine Charlie Bucket."

The maybe bad--The wine was attempted delivery yesterday, but because of the holiday, the office was closed. The bottle, out of the box, was warm, and I don't know if that effected the test.

Because it is now Wednesday, and I don't know if there will be a new woot tonight, I placed the wine in the office refrig for 4 hours prior to tasting this afternoon--sorry, wife, no testing (but based on below I don't think you will be disappointed).

I should also say that I ordered last Thanksgiving's Mumm Woot and our Thanksgiving table really enjoyed the three varieties. I happily ordered a case for this Turkey Day in the first 5 min it was offered.

On to the test. The labrats ranged from casual drinkers (I'll have a glass of red), to people like me who can tell the difference between Trader Joe's $2 chuck and a more expensive wine, to those more sophisticated. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 best:

David gave it a 4 -- Too yeasty and went flat quickly.

Steve gave it a 3 -- No finish.

Pier gave it a 7 -- As someone who likes dry wine, I would drink it. I liked the front. The fondue/kirsch portion is a little odd, but I would drink it. It grows on you.

Norma gave it a 2 -- Bitter and sour.

Kathy gave it a 2 -- It had a harsh taste. Acerbic, almost vinegary. Too dry. Almost tasted better after bubbles deflated. In its defense, I do not usually like dry wines.

Me- a 2 at best. -- -- Extremely dry. Extra extremely bitter-30 minutes later I can still taste it,and it's not pleasant.

I am looking forward to tasting the other bottles when they arrive. Maybe the Grande Année was an anomie.


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saxwizerd45 wrote:**Labrat Report**

First, a caveat. I would say my "palate age" is 6-8 months old, so, discern from that what you will!

Color: Pale golden
Nose: Pretty floral. Actually, all I get is flowers... and maybe the slightest hint of apricot.
Down the hatch: Even a small sip coats my palate. It gets really "big" and creamy in my mouth. I get fruit on the attack, apricot and... underripe raspberries? Whatever it is , it has some tartness to it, which I like... (is that my untrained palate trying to interpret "acidity?") The flowers are back in the middle. On the end, it's like someone stuck a piece of Wonderbread in my mouth! It's a pretty cool sensation. I get both the Wonderbread taste and feeling of letting it sit on your tongue. I took the last sip about 5 minutes ago, and it's still there a tiny bit.

Like the previous La Brat, I find this bottle to be pretty dry, but I really really like it. To my palate, this baby gets a 90. The best sparkler (i've only ever had a few) I've ever had.

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Offering of 11/17 -- Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Trio

2006 Estate Pinot Noir
2007 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir
2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

This offering's pack:
dewthedru (Estate Pinot Noir)
kaleorockssocks (Whole Cluster Pinot Noir)
mgdsh (Willamette Valley Pinot Noir)

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kaleorockssocks wrote:So this is my first LabRat attempt;

I was so thrilled to receive that golden ticket. I was sent the 2007 Whole cluster Pinot Noir. I must say this wine was a delight. The whole-cluster fermentation really manifested itself in a very light, fruit-centric wine. There was a really nice light color with good clarity. I think a little more time on the oak could really add some complexity here, but the lightness and drinkability really made it a hit at my house for dinner. I can see pairing this with some lighter fare or perhaps some food from the grill, as its soft finish will compliment the subtler flavors. Overall, this bottle has made me really anticipate receiving the rest from Willamette Valley Vineyards. Great Job!!

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mgdsh wrote:Another first Lab Rat attempt here.

Wish I could have gotten these few words in sooner, however it looks like FedEx dropped the ball and didn't pick up the lab rat overnight on Monday. So it shipped out Tuesday and I was on call Wednesday night. I was just about ready to switch with someone but I saw the ball bouncing and thus it sell out.

So here I am on Thursday night experiencing my first lab rat opportunity.

I had the Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot.

The first thing I noticed was that the color and the wine were very light. On the nose again, the wine was very light. The most distinct smell is a scent of pepper and light spices. The rest of the aromas are very subtle. There is a hint of sweetness.

Upon tasting (immediately after opening), you do sense a lot of the same notes that are on the nose. The pinot has a mild sweet flavor to it, that's very smooth, a little earthy and easily drinkable. It went great with the burgers I had lined up for it. Most wine drinkers would appreciate the smoothness of it with out being overwhelmed by the taste of light pepper and spices with hints of cranberry.

Maybe I was too tired to notice, but on the glass 1 hour after decanting it tasted very similar to the initial glass. If I had to pick out one difference, I would say it tasted just a bit smoother & lighter.

Hopefully that helps in the event the Willamette shows up as a repeat as a woot off or at your local store.

Feel free to ask this newb any questions.

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dewthedru wrote:allrighty...opened the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir last night and gave it a tasting and am going to try and describe it. someone here noted that i should do all right since i have a decent amount of PN in my CT. well, the reason i have so many of them is because i'm saving them for a couple of years and have only had a few of the ones i've bought here and elsewhere.

the wine arrived on wednesday afternoon and was chilled until friday afternoon. i opened it up as soon as I got home at around 5:00 and had a quick sip. since it was a bit too cold and hadn't breathed at all, i wasn't really able to get much of an impression of the flavor or smell. i poured a glass and let it sit for 45-60 minutes, tasting it every once in a while to see how it opened up.

the first thing i noticed was the dark color. i don't know if this is a PN trait or not but i was surprised by the intensity of the color. not sure why this impression is so different than the other rats.

as time progressed, the taste got better and better. the wine became fairly smooth and easy to drink. it wasn't sweet at all but you didn't have the heat or acidic aftertaste you get in other wines.

i was hoping to pick out some individual flavors but didn't come away with any distinct impressions. i would say the smell and taste most closely resembled dark cherries.

my in-laws and wife each had a glass. they aren't necessarily red wine drinkers but they all commented on how smooth it was and how much they were enjoying it. which meant there wasn't all that much for me.

i liked it. while not the very best PN i've ever had i'm certainly looking forward to receiving my shipment. i will absolutely be serving it to my family at thanksgiving and will likely reserve the bottles of Estate for myself. i wish i had gotten 3 sets instead of just 2. however, i travel to portland all of the time so i can just grab some there.

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Offering of 11/20 -- Trio of Artisan Cheeses

1lb Winchester Gouda
1lb Point Reyes Cheese
11 oz Cypress Grove Purple Haze Chevre

This offering's pack:
Attendees of SoCal #4
Attendees of NYC WWT #6
Various Volunteers

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Attendees of SoCal #4

sanity wrote:We ratted the Gouda at the recent so-cal tasting event in Vegas. It was a really tasty representation of how a Gouda "should" taste. Most of what you get in the grocery store is very rubbery and has very little flavor, so if that's all you've ever tasted, then this will taste like a different cheese altogether. This is very flavorful for a mild Gouda; somehow the wrapper was tossed out; many of us thought it was the medium aged Gouda.** The brochure that came with the cheese listed their other cheeses, which sounded very interesting, including some Goudas aged well over a year. The Gouda was the first cheese to disappear off the cheese board that included both 3 Sisters, the Point Reyes I purchased locally, 2 other Goudas, both flavored, and the goat cheese, same brand different flavor.

The Point Reyes is one of my favorite blues. It is a well balanced creamy blue cheese that is wonderful with syrah. Did anyone try this with the Esoterica ports we opened?

The Cypress Grove goat cheese has a complex flavor that entices you to keep going back for "just one more bite".

**HAK, later I'll be posting in the drinking/imPairing thread about something I did with the 3 sisters that is so easy, and would be very impressive if you were to cook for someone else. I also had one of those "aha!" moments with the cheese and a wine about which I'll post.

cheron98 wrote:Watch it, not 3 lbs. That third one is 11oz.

And while not bad, I wasn't overly impressed with the gouda. But like I told my dear PSith Master, gouda isn't one of my favorites, so it has to be really super extra fabulous for me to be impressed by it. But I found it to be a little forgettable. Then again, we had so many cheeses, including the 3 Sisters stuff which I absolutely adore... I could be misremembering.

Regardless, there's blue. And yes I've had this blue. And I just don't like blue. Gonna have to pass on this one.

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darienk wrote:Bought the 3 lb wheel of Point Reyes when it was offered last time, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I'm willing to take a chance on the others, because I doubt the connoisseurs at wine.woot would toss us anything that wasn't above-average quality. Here's to some tasty treats come the second week of December.

cooneym11 wrote:Funny, just had the purple haze last week with an '03 Bandol. The cheese was delicious, very smooth creaminess of a chevre and nice balance of the fennel and lavender (really not that dominant). Not sure what the price was, so no idea if this is a good deal, but being wine.woot, it must be.

From Product Description:
You won’t find cheeses like this plastic-wrapped in individual slices. You won’t find them anywhere, in fact, except California and Wine.Woot.

Hmmm...Pretty sure they carry the purple haze at the co-op on NE 15th and Alberta in PDX.

McHaggis wrote:(EDIT: whoops...meant to quote the earlier comment that the Pointe Reyes is great stuff)

Well now I know about 2 of the 3. I recently tried the Purple Haze and it was really fantastic. You definitely get the floral flavor of the lavender and it manages to be delicious. Didn't remind me of soap in the least, which I might have expected. ;)

The same maker has a truffled goat cheese that's also excellent and considerably stinkier. Went great with some pears cooked with butter and brown sugar.

So who's tried the gouda?

jokofoto wrote:The Purple Haze is fantastic. Delicious.
So good, that I was in for 1 before I read any comments about the other cheeses.

The Point Reyes sounds very interesting.

krissyMS wrote:When in california two years ago, I had the Point Reyes, and the Purple Haze. The bleu is the best hands down, and the haze was so yummy... the hint of lavender was intoxicating... Maybe it helped that we were in the Russian River Valley, going wine tasting, having a picnic in lavender fields, and drinking my favorite red - Bella's zin... count me in for 1!

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Attendees of NYC WWT #6

HitAnyKey42 wrote:I'm actually trying to decide if I want to get an order of the cheese this time around. I ordered the Three Sisters one and have that sitting in my fridge right now waiting for when I'll actually get around to opening them.
I did quite enjoy the Gouda which we got sent by WD to us for the NYC WWT#6 and it was rather quite tasty. I'm not a huge fan of Blue however, but everyone has said such great things about the Pointe Reyes that it's getting hard to resist getting a set.
I think I'd like to hear some more details from the cheesemaker or someone to advise one specifics of each cheese with regards to how long they'll last unopened, best way to store them AFTER opening (and how long they'll last after opening), and what types of foods & wines each cheese would go best with. If I get some good input on that, then maybe I'll be in for an order. Otherwise, I suppose I can get myself to pass and wait for something else.

kttest wrote:A couple of things I forgot to mention:

Another thanks to Cesare's mom, Rita, for the delicious canneloni and for transporting Zio Carmine's wine back from Molise!

Also thanks to WD & WF for the yummy Gouda, it seemed to be a big hit, since the only thing left was the rind!

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Offering of 11/24 -- Woot Cellars, Emergency Holiday Provisions - Six Pack

This offering's pack:

Attendees of SoCal #4/Vegas
Attendees of Seattle
MarkDaSpark & co

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pengu1n wrote:Ha ha, we crashed the wine.woot server.....
Service Unavailable is all I get now.....

Don't labrat me as I already had it.

Ok, WD can delete it if he doesn't want it out there.

Label =Awesome, and funny
Wine = Decent everyday drinker.
Again sandwiches between the Corison Cab and the 2003 Noceto Riserva Sangiovese, this didn't compete. But you are also not comparing apples to apples there either.

I found this a tad on the sweet side compared to the Noceto Riserva. Strawberries, and cherries abound in this wine. Light color as your typical sangiovese is. Possibly a little bottle shock since it was overnighted and only had a couple hours rest?

I picked up a case as this is a wine that I can open up and drink a bottle while I scarf down a bowl of popcorn watching a movie by the fire. Also a wine that you can drink all by itself as it doesn't need food to cut it. This is also a bottle I know that will get finished at any holiday party I bring it to.

For me the Toothstejn may have a little more character to it if people want a comparison.

pengu1n wrote:Anyone having issues, my guess is you are using IE? My co-woker would get an Error 500 using IE, and it worked great in FireFox.

This wine is not dry by any means. I don't think I have had a dry sangiovese from Noceto yet either from the wine club. Not sure where Lighter got that from. I would say that this one is more of a fruit bomb/sweeter than the Toothstejn for those who want to know.

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Vegas Attendees

cheron98 wrote:Correct. Different blend. TS had the qualifying quantity of Sangio to be labeled AS a Sangio, whereas this is just a blend. My theory is that of all the sample bottles that went out, 2 were favored above the rest. One of those became Toothstejnn, the other became EHP. That's my theory at least. So some of you who've had the samplers probably had this at some point.

cheron98 wrote:Sparky has the notes Where the toothstejnn is more cranberry as the predominant flavor, this one is decidedly more cherry. Slightly more full-bodied, iirc. But I didn't do a side-by-side. Just that I remember being more impressed by this one than the toothstejnn. Definitely a pop-and-pour. Nice and smooth straight out of the bottle. Although you should use a glass. Really.

aces219 wrote:tmr, why such a crabbypants?

I have tasted this wine twice (Vegas and Seattle), and both times I really enjoyed it. It is not going to change your life, but it is hella-awesome qpr. I think it has more structure than the Toothsteejn but is not as food-friendly (less acidity, not as dry). Great party wine. I am not sure about the aging...I'd say probably quite a bit better a year from now, but beyond that, who knows. I got a case. I don't need more than a case of any (affordable) wine, since I don't tend to gift any away.

I think this is probably the Wannabe Red that we had at a Seattle tasting (at my house...may have had a different one at dkralston's) in the past. In retrospect, the wannabe did not taste like the Toothsteejn as it was bigger than that.

sanity wrote:I opened my bottle last night, in anticipation of this offering. I tasted it at the Vegas tasting also, and enjoyed it, and I did not taste anywhere close to the 30+ bottles many others tasted, mainly because I manned the BBQ for the pork and lamb.

Opened the bottle, 1st sniff: very musty. The color was lighter than I anticipated, very pretty and bright.
After a few minutes: musty, herbal (bay leaf?) boysenberry, cherry, tobacco.
1st taste: berries, spice, tobacco. Very dry, acidic*, medium tannins**
2nd taste, after 1/2 hour: more berries, still some spice, pepper, less tobacco.
1 hour later, with homemade pizza: smoother tasting, good with food.

edit: I did not buy the Tøøthstejnn (shocking, I know), so can't compare. I'll look forward to what Cheron has to say when she compares the 2, or anyone else willing to pop a couple for the team.
*Acidic in a good way, for me. I knew it would pair better with food.
**The tannins here make me think decanting or opening ahead of serving is a must. I think it would benefit from a pour through a venturi (mine will be under the tree, I hope!). I enjoyed it more after an hour. I'm definitely holding a bottle for next year to see what happens with the flavors.

This is a fine party wine, a tasty addition to the mix, and a good buy for the price. And then gift bags! Thanks WD!

nallie wrote:Comparing a sangiovese to a supertuscan is like comparing hersey's milk chocolate to chuao dark chocolates. Some prefer one, some prefer the other, but the latter has so much more depth of flavor, complexity and finish that it is almost unwise to call them both chocolate.

I am not partial to sangioveses. Probably because I grew up on cabernets, I find sangioveses, to my taste, thin and uninteresting. This wine is only slightly more than half (57%)sangiovese grapes. The rest of the blend is cab and merlot, which each add structure and depth.

The first thing I noticed about this wine was the balance, which I personally find critical to a good wine and typically is lacking in inexpensive wines. The next was complexity; for a wine in this price range this was particularly unexpected. It is fruity, but -as iByron says - could not be considered sweet. Perfect for parties and sipping alone, it would also pair nicely with many standard American dinners. In my opinion, a successful supertuscan for $10 is unbelievable. I'm already in for a case and am toying with getting another, even though I have over $4,000 worth of wine in my wine credenza right now.

Buy before it bounces, babies. Once that button starts bouncing, the servers will crash harder than javadrinker after a Vegas weekend at Hooters <Love you, Javadrinker.>

tenuki wrote:Meant to chime in earlier, then was going to bring EHP to game night and refresh my memory first and get more opinions. Unfortunately none of that happened. I remember really liking the wine at Vegas. Honestly can't remember the nose not that I'm great with that anyway, bright fruit (strawberries and cranberries), smooth, long finish. Very drinkable and yummy enough to refresh our palates after like 20 other wines (yeah, I know some of you powered ahead and probably finished all 30+ by then :P).

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polarbear22 wrote:I have been ratted. Slight problem though.

Bottle arrived while I was out doing errands. My wife opened it for me and was in the kitchen. When I got home all excited and rushed in to see it, she thought she was being attacked. Wine and glass everywhere. I soaked some up with a towel and will squeeze and strain it (no glass shards) later. First we have to clean up the mess. Next time, I won't let her read the labels.

Slight eau de dishtowel on the nose at this point. Will make for a difficult lab rat report.

polarbear22 wrote:Clever, tricky wife. She put the real EHP into a decanter and put some of my homemade wine into the bottle for "realism".

I'll be able to post a full labrat report later today.

polarbear22 wrote:Labrat Report

This is pre-food, but the button she is not bouncing, so I twisted my wife's arm to share a glass with me.

Using the Corrado scale, here are my comments.

Color: 4/5
Nice garnet with consistent color to the edges. Not a deep, dark color.

Nose: 12/15
Floral, Fruity (berry), black pepper and hints of a little tobacco and bell pepper as it warms

Flavor: 7/10
Fruit, cherry with spice that seems to diminish as the wine sits. Very nice balance of acidity and fruit. The acidity also seems a little less as it sits.

Finish: 8/10
This has a finish of 45 seconds as the fruit and spice just fades. Initial tastes had some strong black pepper on the finish, but it seems to be going away. I see why some thought this was sweet, as the fruit just lingers.

Aging: 3/5
What do I know? This does not have the tannins that I expect in a way that is a long ager, or a wine that needs aging. But the balance seems like it will allow this wine to hold for a while. (And after the Humbug tasting so much better after a year, I am holding some.)

Overall: 4/5
I like this wine. Great drinking alone, but it has a nice acidity to go well with food. (Will taste with leftover meatball parm grinders in an hour.) Seriously thinking of ordering another case.

Total Score: 88 (call it 87-89)

I may be a little generous in my scoring on flavor and finish, because I like this wine.

My wife made a couple of comments on aroma. More importantly, her first reaction was “very nice”. She does not like to try and pick our aromas and flavors, but she knows if it’s good, it’s good, and this is good. And she put the brakes on a second case.

Someone asked how this ranks with other Woot Cellar offerings. I put it up with Monkey Prize as one of my two favorites, although the Humbug may move up. Above Polyphemus and Toothstejn for me. Can't wait to see how this ages.

Time to go pour another glass.

polarbear22 wrote:After four hours, this wine still tastes great. Most of the spice is gone, but the fruit is strong. DW still has some pepper on the finish. A little more of sour cherry than at the start.

Very nice wine. How can I sneak an extra order into the house?

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dixbry wrote:So, I do have a friend coming over to help me sample this wine out. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to go ahead and post some initial thoughts for everyone. I have three rugrats running around driving me nuts at the moment, so I deserve to crack it open now, right?

Here are my thoughts (taking in mind that I by no means have a highly trained palette):

Look: Light maroon color
Clear and Bright

Smell: Tobacco
A hint of chocolate?

Finish: Spice
A little bit of a bite

I think that this is a great everyday drinker. It is very smooth. And I do think that this would be a great wine to give away as a drink. Tasting this has made me decide to purchase another set of 6. And I do like this alot better than the Toothstjnn.

I will add my friends thoughts when she tries it...but I would recommend getting it now before it is gone!

And thank you for letting me be a labrat..it is just what this gal needed!

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INTLGerard wrote:EHP
Color is a ruby to deep garnet center fading to a soft garnet rim. I let this open up over the course of the afternoon. I get aromas of cherry, strawberry, currant, cinnamon spice, white pepper, vanilla with notes of earth and leather. The palate is soft and silky with a mix of cherry, strawberry and cranberry flavors with layers of vanilla, cinnamon spice and hints of earth and leather. Good balance with ripe tannin and a silky texture that lingers on the finish. A pleasant example of how Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet marry well together. A very enjoyable and easy to drink wine that will make a good party pleaser as well as compliment the dinner table. At this price whether you’re planning to hoard, share or gift this everyone wins. Very cool label to boot! IMHO

Hope this is helpful...
Happy Turkey Day to all!

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bboog wrote:I am very, very excited to be giving my first labrat notes. Here goes:

This is 15 minutes after opening, at room temperature, no food:

Color - light in color, definitely somewhat transparent but consistent to the edge, almost the color of a pomegranate juice cocktail or a berry tea, closer to red than purple

Nose - mostly cherries, i get just a bit of cinnamon or spice as well. there is also a very slight mineral aspect that seems to be wearing off over time. a tiny bit of heat/alcohol note on the nose that also seems to be getting more slight as it opens.

Flavor - cherries and cranberries. i think this wine is notable in that I taste NO oak at all, it is very fruit forward with some very slight mineral notes that, like the nose, seem to be wearing off a bit. Maybe a bit of a sour note on the finish, which is tasty. Finish lingers for about 30 seconds.

Mouth feel - very smooth, not much by way of tannins or acidity

Overall - I really like this wine. It find it easy to drink on its own (have not tried with food yet). I can see how some folks will not like this wine though, if you know what you like and your type of wine is the typically european, lots of meat and soil flavor, tannic, thicker wine... then this wine is not for you. This does not actually taste like the other Tuscans I have sampled, as it is a little fruitier.

For $10, it's a no-brainer.

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