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quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
ltraffis wrote:What a night,,,left work and by the time I got home I was in a Lake Erie lake effect snow storm. haven't read email for a couple days, but main concern was to clear the drive of 6" of wet snow. Wasn't going to clear off the walk to the front door, but I saw tracks to the front door. Thought maybe a package came. As the snowblower made it to the front door, I saw a delivery ticket on the front door. Darn it, UPS was here and and they didn't follow protocol...they deliver to my neighbor. Yikes, it's a FEDEX Tag!!!! Could this be the golden ticket??? Ran into the house and it was 7:30 pm. I had an hour to pick it up. Told the wife what happened and her response was "your going out into that foul weather to pick up a bottle of wine?" My response was "Bye". I backed the Jimmy out the drive, kicked it into 4 wheel drive and headed north. I slid through the first stop sign, and stayed focused. Got to the main streets and they weren't bad. Headed I-71 North and only 2 of 3 lanes were opened. Then I ran into slow moving traffic - 45 mph. This isn't good. then all of a sudden I thought of how I just go for it on this site. Try it, you may like it. So I said: Come Rudy, Deny, and Dixy lead me down the path. Into the third lane I went, passing three weiners driving on wet pavement. Passed them then pulled over back into a safe lane. Ironically got behind a UPS truck. (UPS and Fedex are on the same street. Ok guys..follow that truck. Got the golden ticket made it home and opened the package 1/2 hr ago.

ltraffis wrote:Opened the package to only to find the golden ticket and... To the juice... Opened the bottle, popped the cork. In great shape. Poured a little out and did the sniffy sniff. For a just opened bottle, it was very nice, not hot, with mild fruit, little tobacco maybe from the cork. Color: Typical of this variety. brick red, lightly translucent with little in the glass. A swirl, sniff and taste. WOW, nice. Very smooth with strawberries, second taste maybe some cherry. Wait...go to the basement and get some Tooth...Same process...the Tooth is more sour and a little bite, a little lighter in color, but not much....I like the EHP more because it's smoother.

ltraffis wrote:Ok after an hour of decanting...EHP has opened up, still very smooth to the finish, taste tart cherry, maybe a little fig/prune, very nice. Tooth is stil sour with a little bit. EHP seems to be more polished. For those that do not like a heavy wine, they will like EHP. Tooth is ok. I think more wooters would like EHP. Had EHP with some sharp cheddar, then reheated pork roast with asagio, still liked EHP. Can't compare it to a full cab or merlot, because it isn't. It's a very nice sang balanced with merlot/cab. Light and smooth. I've got a dozen on the way and now I have to consider more for Holiday gifts. For the price, it's very nice.
Hope my input helps and thanks to WD and others at WW.com for a chance to provide input and drive through a snow storm.

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


quality posts: 236 Private Messages MarkDaSpark

Copy of volunteer labrat report on EHP vs. Toothstejnn from main thread:

Volunteer Labrats Reporting Sah!

Clayfu, TimByrd, JavaDrinker, & MarkDaSpark reporting inebrieted Sah!

Mission: Infiltrate Hwarosarang Korean BBQ and observe 2005 Woot Cellars Sangiovese Tøøthstejnn (aka "Toothy") cage match vs. 2005 Woot Cellars Emergency Holiday Provisions (aka "EHP").

Components: JavaDrinker sacrificed a Toothy from his wine bunker, and MarkDaSpark sacrificed his Vegas "Early Holiday Present" from WineDavid and WineFarm (& George!). Clayfu scouted the location of the cage match, and brought a 2005 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard. TimByrd showed up to drink the food and eat the wine. Or was that eat the food and drink the wine?

Early Scouting report on Toothy: Color is a ruby to deep garnet. Weak at first, but eventually opened better. Concensus was that perhaps 1 more year in bottle was needed. However, TB likes Toothy more than EHP. All would like to try with Pizza (or Pasta).

Early Scouting report on EHP: Color is a ruby to deep garnet. Strong start. Clay's initial impression was Pinot Noir like. Cherry aroma. Almost received Clayfu's seal of approval. Received Good Conduct medal instead (Clay: "Wouldn't buy it, but would pay $10 for it")

Clay opened the Switchback about 2:00 pm. And stated he has left it for 72 hours before the tannins disappeared. Lots of blueberries, chocolate, and some coffee. "Heaven" was the comment from the sole PSycho .....

Food: Terrific! Excellent Korean BBQ. Yummy!

Results: EHP was the winner over Toothy. But a surprise attack by the PS left EHP reeling.


T: 85
J: 85
C: 84/85
M: 86


T: nc
J: 87
C: 89
M: 89


T: nc
J: 89
C: 92/93
M: 92/93

Recommendation: Since you can't get the PS on Woot, Grab the EHP! And keep the Toothy for another year!

Tasting Pictures with food

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.


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
mscalisi wrote:Ok, I just kicked the last of my guests out. We all had too much to drink, and I hope I don't hear from the apartment manager tomorrow...

So, 7 of us tasted the Emergency Holiday Provisions tonight, and we compared it to a bottle of toothstejnn (as well as some Amador Foothill Zin, Fonseca port, St. George Spirits Pear Liquor, and pizza...)

Cousin Jeff tought the toothstejnn was "more rugged", but overall liked EHP better saying it tasted very "clean"

Mike (Me) really enjoyed both wines. I thought the EHP was less tanic than the toothstejnn and I tasted flavors of cherry and perhaps a little plum in the EHP. I thought the toothstejnn tasted a little hotter despite the very similar alcohol levels. Both were great with pizza.

Nancy: Prefered the EHP, and felt it had more layers, was more complex, heartier, and went better with food than The Red

Ashley: Liked the bouquet of EHP and thought it was an excellent holiday wine with excellent (uh-hem) vaining. She also thought it had good "clarity" and had a smokey tone. Joining the party later than Nancy and without hearing her comments, also thought that the EHP was better with food and that the Toothstejnn was more of a stand-alone wine. Ashley would like to give EHP to her family.

Tom: Liked the bite of EHP and thought it was meaty and thought The Red was a little tame in comparison. He felt that The Red's label didn't represent the wine very well. He echo'd Ashley's comment that EHP tasted a bit "smokey"

Tim: Said EHP was good, meaty and bold. He thought there was something in the aftertaste he didn't like, possibly attributed to the Merlot which he isn't a fan of.

Jim: Though the EHP was more acidic and "Racy"

Overall, people liked Toothstejnn but every body like Emergency Holiday Provisions better. I'm glad to have a case of each!

Thank You for allowing me the privilage of labratting! I hope my comments are helpful.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 12/8 -- Block 13 Cabernet Sauvignon - Four Pack

This week's pack:

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
jerwin wrote:I received my golden ticket this morning from Federal Express, those deliverers of all good things. I immediately ran to the kitchen grabbing whatever implements of wine management I could find. I wrestled the bottle out of the box, sliced the 'lead' off the top (it can't really be lead can it??) and plunged the screw deep into the willing cork. It pulled out smoothly and without fuss. I threw it on the ground, yelled at my wife to not bother me, grabbed a wine glass and the now vulnerable wine bottle and ran to my office.


Now for the science part.

I poured a 'lil bit into my glass, just like they do on TV. I swirled it around, which is called 'violating the esters' or something like that. Immediately my nose (the one on my face) filled with a combination of fruit and a little alcohol. The color is a deep red, not that whimpy red that you get with the girly wines. I like that. I put a bit in my mouth (below the nose, cause I sometimes get them mixed up which causes sneezing). What I got was tanins on my tongue! Lots and lots of nice rich tanins with just a little fruit mixed in. There is definitely fruit up front, but more tanin than fruit, and some nice complexity that insures that five years from now it will be even better (as if I will have any left in five years, whatever are they thinking?). On the finish, more tanins as the fruit dissipates, which is what I want a Cab to do to. So far, I am liking this wine!

Suddenly, realizing that I JUST opened this bottle, it has hardly had a chance to inhale much less unpack, so I decide to let it breath for 30 minutes.

(chirp)(chirp)(chirp)(sounds of heavy breathing)

30 minutes later:

Wow. For 10 bucks, this is a hell of a Cab. it is still a little heavy with the tannins, but in that nice Cabernet sort of way. This wine needs a 3" prime NY strip next to it with those garlic mashed potatoes or some of those excellent hash browns you get at Ruth Chris. Mushrooms and a hint of truffle would make this wine very happy indeed. It has opened up nicely and lost that hint of alcohol I detected in the violated esters some 40 minutes ago (hey, I got distracted...). The tanins are settled but the bit of fruit is gone. I think this is OK, I don't think a Cab should show much fruit, but I also root for the Seattle Seahawks, so I clearly can't be trusted with opinion.

I have had much more expensive (think stupid expensive, maybe abusive expensive) Cabs that have not as much going for them as this one.

Now leave me alone, I have to finish this bottle.

90 Minutes after opening
The tannins have settled down and some of the fruit is back, making a very balanced and complex Cab indeed!

No way my wife is getting any of this. She can drink that white stuff she gets on sale for $5 at Safeway.

SOLD OUT??? Really? Hmm, maybe I will put a couple on Ebay! ;>)

Never mind, it seems to be back. Hey, gimme a break, I had to drink this whole bottle by myself in my locked office just so I could get this LABRAT report out. The sacrifices I make!

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
ahuesman wrote:Labrat checking in to do my duty and report to the wine woot masses . It must be my month. Last week, I was first sucker on the decanter I’d be eyeing for too long to have not already purchased. Then this week, I finally get the nod from woot gods to get my first official Golden Ticket which arrived the same day as the Balsamic vinegar I ordered.

A little disclosure. I love wine (like that would be a revelation coming from anyone here). I think I’ve bought enough wine to have a black square just from this corner of woot. I’ve read that to learn to get better at tasting wine and describing the aromas and flavors that you have to drink a lot of wine. Well, I guess that despite what my wife might say, I have not had enough wine to be able to skillfully put into words what my olfactory senses and taste buds are telling me. But I do know when I like a wine, don’t like a wine, and love a wine. When I realized the responsibility of being a rat, I actually got a little nervous. Because if by chance I didn’t like the wine, I couldn’t soften the message by describing the complex flavors in it. I would simply have to say that I didn’t like it. I love that I was selected to be a labrat, but I wasn’t going to lie.

The good news is that I really like this wine. No, I love this wine. When I opened it and poured a small glass, I did notice some hints of pepper and black cherry. I couldn’t really detect much alcohol. I took a sip just after pouring and noticed how silky this wine felt. From my minimal experience, I couldn’t believe that it was a cabernet I was drinking as it seemed balanced and was not overly robust. The flavors I noticed at first were earth and leather with black cherry. On the finish, I detected some berries although don’t ask me which… just berries of some sort. There really didn’t appear to have much heat to it either.

After about 30-45 minutes, I was surprised that this wine opened up even more. What I thought was pretty balanced out the bottle was now even better. Any small hint of alcohol was all but gone. The earthy tones remained although I was getting more of the fruit at this point.

I’m still drinking it and experiencing the flavors, but this is an A+ wine in my book. I loved the Corison Cab and I love this wine as well, especially for the price. WD was right on the money. The QPR for this wine is astounding. I ordered 3 sets as I usually do and wish I could order more. I’d say my bank account thanks me for that, but at this price it isn’t the hit it normally receives for the quantity ordered.

Now, I’m off to finish the bottle while making some gingerbread men. I was going to try to do both, but I couldn’t be distracted from my duties.

Thanks Winedavid and woot for the opportunity! I hope I’ve served the woot gods and community well.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
Storm33 wrote:RAT #3 here...darn, wanted to be first but honestly, I was busy enjoying the wine (and I'm not a morning drinker). Before I get into the story, I'm going to tell you all that whoever isn't in for at least two, you made a mistake!

The wine arrived this morning, so it had a few hours to settle before I made it home. When I got home, I tried to hold off and preserve the bottle while my wife prepared vegetables for roasting - it was dinner night at the in-laws. I almost made it, but she was taking too long with the prep work. I pulled the cork, and put it up to my nose...instant essence of rich fruits, smoke, and subtle spice.

I poured just enough for a good taste, lifted the glass, and buried my nose in the glass. Strong notes of licorice, dark fruit, and subdued smoke were absolutely intoxicating (pardon the pun). I took several deep breaths before I could retreat enough to actually take a sip!

The first taste of wine was excellent, with good body and lots of fruit, balanced with licorice and spice. I agree with previous rat reports that the tannins were bold but smooth, and left a nice finish with hints of blackberry, currants, and spice.

Then I corked the bottle and headed over to dinner. We re-opened the bottle as soon as we arrive, and poured when dinner was ready: pancetta-wrapped pork roast, seasoned with garlic, rosemary and thyme, served with roasted potatoes, mushrooms and asparagus. This is where my senses were overwhelmed. The only way I can describe the flavor mixed with the pork and vegetables (roasted mushrooms in particular) is OH - SO - INCREDIBLE. I quickly began to strategize on enjoying more than my share of this bottle. Opened a bottle of EHP that we brought along, and refilled everyone's glass with that!

Don't get me wrong - the EHP is yummy, but Block 13 is a different level.

I quickly found my way to the internet after dinner and made sure I have a "gift" of more Block 13 on its way.

What an enjoyable experience. I want to take another opportunity to thank the Woot Gods (see p. 5) for this "blessing" and I certainly hope that my description of this wine prompts a sellout. Well, sort of - I wouldn't mind snatching several more bottles in the next Woot-off!

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
wjk wrote:As luck would have it I got a one of the golden tickets for this week's selection. I suppose that's *one* way to get new people to post...

The bottle I received was a 2005 Gundlach Bundschu "Block 13" cab. The distinction between this and most of the other GB wines is that the grapes have been sourced from non-estate vineyards. Apparently still from Sonoma County, but not GB soil...

I brought it over to a friend's house and we drank while editing video from his brother's wedding.

I have to say that the wine easily outclassed a more expensive BV cab from a few nights ago. It was fruity, but not overpowering and belied the reality that it was almost 100% cabernet. Quite a good wine for the price, I'm eagerly awaiting my next four bottles. Thanks David.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 12/15 -- Titus Vineyards - Two Pack

This offering's pack:

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
mbecker wrote:*Labrat First Impression Report*

Initially - WD, thank you so much for the free bottle of wine for tasting. I don't think I have ordered by the deadline in quite some time so it was very unexpected. A nice glass of wine at work in the afternoon has a way of setting the day right.

As a frame of reference, the woot wines I have most enjoyed have been Corison (of course), Ty Caton (I may like the Field Blen.d the best), Wellington (really loved the 02 Syrah), and maybe the Frazier (Lupine).

These are some initial notes from a pop, pour and taste in office coffee mug. I will try again tonight and provide additional notes.

Nose was chocolate raspberry and other non-distinct berries. Initial taste is earthy, tart, with some chalk, tobacco and perhaps some cherry. I would not call this a fruit bomb at all. The tannins are very present and linger on a medium to long finish. Perhaps some dark baker's chocolate on the finish. As the wine opens up (15-20 minutes) the flavors become much more integrated.

More notes to follow this evening. For those on the fence I am quite happy with my purchase and may pick up another set.

mbecker wrote:*Follow up tasting notes*

I continued to drink the wine through the evening but I got home sorta late so no fancy dinner pairing. I also dont usually drink nicer wines with foods as the flavors get lost on my palate. I did try a bit with the trio of artisan cheeses from the offering a few weeks ago. I have to say the Point Reyes blue cheese was an excellent pairing and balanced well with the strong finish of this wine.

The flavors remained fairly consistent from before. Perhaps the wine became a bit more integrated and full. I also ran a glass through the Vinturi aerator (this thing really seems to work) but noticed no differences. Next bottle I open I will test a bit right at opening. By the end of the evening the flavors seemed to get a bit muted but the bottle had been open for about 8 hours. I did save a bit for a final tasting this evening and sealed with a Vacu Vin stopper. If I notice any differences I will post a follow up.

Final verdict - great full bodied CS but not a fruit bomb, decent qpr, decant 1/2-1 hour but not much more, pairs well with cheese, may want to try after 6 mo to a year but drinking nicely now.

mbecker wrote:*Final Tasting Note*

After sitting overnight there were actually some noticeable changes. The finish developed some licorice and anise notes and the other tastes became even more integrated. The tannins and sour cherry mellowed a bit. I have never understood if this means there is additional aging potential or if the wine just benefits from a longer decant. But in any event, I enjoyed the wine even more tonight and would recommend pulling the trigger for any last minute fence sitters.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
luckyinla wrote:Here is my long-awaited lab report. (Sorry, but I dwell on the left coast & tonight was my daughter's Holiday performance at school.)

As soon as was reasonable, I left the singing performance with with my youngest daughter, aka "the star of the show". I left my husband & older daughter at school to deflect the other parents & their children. After all, I had wine to decant!

I arrived home, quickly petted Duncan & Daisy (the 4-legged children), and opened the Titus. I poured 2 small glasses into our Riedel Vinum Bordeaux glasses, & the rest of the bottle into a decanter. Immediately, I began to swirl with earnest. The nose was tight, and mostly I detected sweet cherries & alcohol. My first sips tasted of plum, strawberry & cinnamon. And yes, I detected a bit of dark chocolate on the finish. Overall, the wine was smooth but slightly disjointed. It had a nice mouthfeel with strong tannins. I remembered to ask my husband (who appeared out of nowhere while I was focused on the Titus) his opinion of the wine.

DETOUR: My palate is not nearly as sophisticated as many, but I work on educating it as often as possible. My DH, on the other hand, has an almost "non-existent" (or shall we say unrefined?) palate.

His response is "I like this wine". (Then his usual question is, "What did it cost us?", but I digress...)

After 30 minutes in the decanter, we had our next glass of wine. The nose still was predominantly cherries. However, the wine had begun to evolve. It was much more balanced, & the fruits had toned down a bit. I still tasted cherries, but detected blueberries, still cinnamon & now a bit of coffee. The mouthfeel was much creamier & smoother, and the finish longer. My husband's reaction? "It's smoother." (Yes, he's a man of many words...)

Our last glasses were poured 1 hour after decanting. At this point, the alcohol had dissipated. (I am very sensitive to high levels of alcohol, and prefer a more balanced wine.) Now the wine tastes of cinnamon, chocolate and sour cherries. There is a bit of pepper mid-palate and then a l-o n-g finish, lasting at least a full minute. My husband's reaction? "Reminds me of the 2004 Hartwell Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown we bought." And that is high praise indeed!

To give you some sense of my palate, I prefer "old-school" cabs. I don't particularly like fruit-forward, Parkerized wines. I loved this wine! I am very happy I bought it, and am thinking of finding a way to "sneak" more into the house...

This wine has a lovely appeal for cab drinkers. There is a lot of fruit and alcohol to start...but there is so much more! It is well-balanced, and with a bit of age, the wine should be very balanced & smooth. And, when we added the component of food, the wine simply complimented dinner, and became a lovely drinker. I was sorry when the bottle was emptied...

Thanks to all for this amazing opportunity to lab rat this wine. (And if you're on the fence, close your eyes & jump! You may just regret this gift to yourself if you don't...)

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 12/18 -- Iron Horse Sparkling Two Pack with Four Wine Flutes

This offering's pack:

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
thatguy314 wrote:I apologize for the delay. An emergency came up at work yesterday (someone destroyed some irreplaceable lab reagents and I had to try to manage some of my own labrats). I figured you would forgive me as the item is sold out.

To review: 1 iron horse wdding cuvee and one flute glass.

Appearance: beautiful plae color, not as beige/tan as most pinot-based bubbly I've seen.

FROM ZWEISEL: Interestingly for a california wine, it opened up with a whif of barnyard, followed by strawberry, some nice minerality and a little cream.
FROM WD GLASS: the barnyard is alwmost gone. The strawberry component is much much larger, as is the cream. There are also some buttery hints coming through now.

FROM ZWEISEL: Crisp, off-dry, slatey, with hints of strawberry jam. There is some slight butter on the finish. While I remember this wine fairly fruity, most pronounced from this glass is a slate-like minerality
FROM WD GLASS: Drastically different. I think this is mostly due to the fact that zweisel is so tall and narrow it pours a very delicate pour, which just byt he nature of the wider mouth, this pours bigger. More sugar in my mouth results in a much sweeter flavor in a slightly more "syrupy" texture (thought it was quite pleasanant, it is not a negative description). Also the minerality strangely was less slate and more limestone.

FINISH: the same for both. Crisp and mineral with a hint of jam. Stays nicely in your mouth. Out of the SZ it seemed a littel drier, but as I said, the sips were generally somewhat smaller.

The G/f's notes were a littel more abridged: "barnyard and strawberries, beautiful color, buttery taste. WD glass enhanced creamy flavor"

Compared to the Pomery: the WD glass offered a mroe muted aroma but fairly similar flavor. In both cases, we lost some of the more earthy yeasty notes, but in both cases the wines were equally enjoyable but different.

I applogize for the bad images... had to use my camera phone.

Thanks for the opportunity WD, everybody. While I'm sorry I couldn't influence sales, I'm sure everyone will really enjoy this wine.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98

Offering of 12/21-- Clos La Chance Trio

2005 Chrimson Topaz Meritage
2006 Buff-Bellied Zinfandel
2006 Estate Grenache

This offering's pack:
spdrcr05 (Meritage)
ltraffis (Zinfandel)

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
spdrcr05 wrote:So the bottle that arrived at a balmy 49 F sat on the counter and had reached a scorching 65 by the time my more than able guest Rat Cheron98 showed up.

We pulled the cork a little before 6 and poured it into the decanter and then immediately put a taste into our glasses. My first impression was that the wine was a little tight ... I got a strong cherry smell and lingering elements of black fruit... there was something else I couldn't quite pin down.

Cheron's notes mention the sour cherries and we both thought that the first taste was very tart (Cheron's note was "cheek puckering") and transitioned to a mocha like finish.

After about 5 minutes we started to get more cranberries on the nose and the element I couldn't pin down was a hint of vanilla ... not a strong smell, more like the dried husk after the seeds have been scraped out. After about 15 minutes, the initial tartness had faded. While we put this into the decanter, the wine was very low on tannins at this point and we both agreed decanting wasn't really necessary.

Our dinner order was placed and delivery impending (take out chinese), but we thought we'd try it with something else. I had some Pumpkin Pie Squares I had baked over the weekend and both agreed that this wine doesn't pair well with anything sweet. Cheron said it "tastes like paper"

Thinking we could find a much better choice, I pulled out a nice smoked sharp cheddar. The wine was much smoother and the tartness was back but in a good way! The cheese brought out a non-unpleasant earthy smell and extended the finish long enough that we began to feel the soft tannins pulling at the edges of our tongues.

After an hour or so in the decanter, we still got a strong nose of sour black cherries but it was much more complex as some of the residual alcohol had blown off (the bottle says 13.5% but we both think it's actually a bit higher than that). I picked up a strong smell of plums and Cheron got that as well and noted hints of blackberry & Lavender. The tannins were more pronounced but not overwhelming providing a nice balance and finish to the strong fruit attack at the beginning. This is when we began to really enjoy the wine.

Overall... a good wine. At this price point I'm glad I purchased it. It's ready to drink now, doesn't need to be decanted and will pair well with most foods as long as they aren't sweet. Open the bottle let it sit for a few minutes to blow of the initial hit of alcohol, pour and enjoy. Cheron gave it an "86 to 87", which I'd agree with.

As the evening progressed, we were joined by my friend Mary Frances who came for dinner and InShadows who came a bit later.... neither of them particularly enjoyed this wine, but they are both partial to sweeter choices. IS brought a bottle of The Mothervine Scuppernong from North Carolina which we all enjoyed once the Meritage was gone... this was a much better pairing with the Pumpkin Pie Squares I mentioned earlier.

Thanks to Cheron98, InShadows, & Mary Frances for for keeping me company for the evening... wine & food aside, it was a really good evening.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
ltraffis wrote:Couldn't wait any longer: Bottle still feels a little cold, but I popped the cork and poured a little in a glass and more in a decanter. Maybe it will warm up a little faster and open up in the decanter!
Remember this first taste is with the wine a little chilled.....
Color: rasberry/strawberry/cranberry/garnet similar to the 04 Chase Zin
Smell after a little swirling: very little heat with a nice berry bouquet, not strong.
First taste: Hmm...light and berry mix of raspeberry/strawberry, with a little licorice and a hint of mint on the back palate. Light cherry/vanilla finish. Again very little heat. Nice, but seems a little tight.

After 3/4 hr decanting:
Very smooth, very, very little heat, almost not worth mentioning. Still getting the raspberry and cherry with a hint of cherry vanilla on a nice smooth finish. Nice balance comes to mind. Maybe a very slight touch of heat on the finish now, but hey, there is alcohol in this stuff. Not enough heat to raise any concern.
Continue to consume...light teasing tastes of berries, not a big banger that knocks you off the stool. Nice balance and nice finish. Note: I'm use to a lot of cabs, earthy merlots, and spicy Carmenere. This Zin is a nice change of pace. Something like the Chase Zin, but maybe a little lighter, but very well balanced. 1st day conclusion: Still getting some nice cherry/vanilla finish 10 minutes later. I could get hooked on this very easily. Glad I opened the wallet just before Christmas. I was concerned that the 06 may be a little young, but this juice is ready to enjoy now and probably the next two years.

Didn't see how it performed with food, since we ate earlier at the OG. Ironically, the waitress brought a bottle of Zin to the table and I cracked up knowing what I had out in the car and the task at hand. If the other two bottles are as nice as this one, I made the right choice.

I'm still hedging on a great Christmas Day Wine Woot deal - a real gotta go crazy kind of deal, not a blowing smoke up the chimney deal because the office is closed----Santa's coming. Thanks again WD for a great year...Happy and safe holidays to all. Hope to report back on Day 2 since I'm only putting in a half day tomorrow and there is wine left in the bottle.

BTW..where is everybody??? Wine.Woot parties, last minute shopping, other c-pubs, or sitting on icy and snowy highways (hope not). Stay nice and cozy. Enjoy family, friends, good times, and all of those wootmas toys!!!!

I have to figure out how to embed a pic...don't understand the formatting guide, but my E & C Eng son will figure it out in about 3 seconds. G'nite.

ltraffis wrote:Ok all, I've got to wrap some gifts shortly, so here are the results from Day II sampling of the "Buff-Bellied Zin" with some slow cooked crock pot stew. Mmmmm, carrots, potatoes, and beef. I didn't decant today because I pumped the air out of a half full bottle yesterday.

Still taste light raspberry and cherry, but food really pulls out the vanilla and spice with more heat on the smooth finish I saved a little to taste before I close for the night so let me finish it..........Tart to start with a smooth vanilla/cherry/very light spice finish. Nice wine....thumbs up!

Hope somebody reads this....I've never seen the chats this slow....Did I miss an invite somewhere? Don't tell me everyone is over at WD's sucking his cellar dry! Happy Holidays to ALL and to all a good night..or at least until 1:00 AM EST .

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Offering of 12/29 -- Cathedral Ridge Pinot Gris - Three Pack

This offering's pack:

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foobarski wrote:*** Cathedral Ridge Pinot Gris Labrat Report, Part One ***

Because the universe works in extremely strange and mysterious ways, I have been given the gift of being one of the final wine.woot Labrats of 2008.

Whether or not this is a gift that keeps on giving remains to be seen.

The Man From Fedex was at my door about 2:00 (ET). I placed the offering into the fridge immediately. Around 4, I pulled it out, opened it, (using my handy-dandy wine.woot tool kit corkscrew, natch) and poured off two small glasses for the Better Half and myself. Let 'em sit for a couple of minutes, then commenced to sampling.

Neither of us got a whole lot of anything specific on the nose. It just felt tight. Drinking it, the thing we both noticed most prominently was the alcohol, my wife even more so than I. It was quite smooth, very pleasant to drink, but just not a lot of complexity there, more heat than anything else. I can't put my finger on it ... it just seemed like there's something more there that we somehow couldn't find in that first pour.

After the initial sips, we had some VT sharp cheddar and crackers, which worked with it. It also seems like it would really pair well with spicy or garlicky seafood or chicken - it would hold up to something powerful. (In particular, I'm thinking it would be awesome with fresh pesto.)

I poured the rest of the bottle into a decanter, and put it back into the fridge. We're heading out shortly for our traditional New Year's Eve dinner (Mexican!) but, being an old-fart married couple, we'll be back to the homestead afterward, at which point we'll pour full glasses, and I'll try to provide an update, hopefully before they drop some dude's uncle Clark at midnight.

foobarski wrote:*** Cathedral Ridge Pinot Gris Labrat Report, Part B ***

I didn't have a chance to try the suggested "recork-and-shake" technique, but ...
After several hours sitting in a decanter in the fridge, we both found the wine to be MUCH improved. The alcohol was considerably less prominent, and the fruit was coming out to play. I also caught a little of the suggested vanilla on the finish. Very, very pleasant drinking, all by itself, although I still believe this wine is probably at its best in combination with food. (Perhaps the lingering taste of the spicy Mexican we'd had for dinner helped?)

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Offering of 1/1/2009 -- Wellington Port Vertical Trio

This offering's pack:
NO OFFICIAL RATS due to Holiday


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Cesare wrote:Quick unofficial labrat report:
After having an interesting 1999 Summers Charbono to ring in 2009 today, decided to open the 2003 Wellington port tonight. We tasted this in the tasting room in July and bought a bottle, along with a bottle of white port.
This wine looks beautiful with a nice dark garnet color and great body. It is not syrupy but just slightly thicker than regular wine and it really sticks to the glass and has great legs, but this is to be expected at 19% alcohol. On the nose I smell dark fruit, alcohol (maybe some of the brandy coming through as well), it really just smells as great as it looks. On the palate this is kind of sweet and sour at the same time. Wow, this has some tannins! It's not as sweet as you would expect, you could almost call it jammy but not cloying and it coats the mouth perfectly. I get sour cherry and some chalky tannins and alcohol and also good acidity. The finish is smooth and long lasting with a bit of a bite at the back end. I feel the alcohol and tannins on my gums for a long time. Overall this is pretty balanced as ports go, yes it has plenty of alcohol but it's in balance with the amount of fruit and tannins and no component overpowers another.
This is made for drinking on days like today when it's 20 degrees out and you're just lazy and relaxing at home. I also wanted to note, it helps to have some decent small port glasses. I got some cheap Spiegelaus at a williams-sonoma/pottery barn outlet and they work fine, just don't use a big red wine glass or something.

Cesare wrote:Day 2 of the 2003 port:
Kept it in the fridge overnight, still holding strong. It really didn't change much, the fruit is still there, the tannins are there too but maybe a little smoother, the finish is kicking... mmm so long. The very back end of the finish tastes different- that little spicy bite is gone so I guess this did mellow out some. Interesting. Funny, if I hold the glass in just the right way and give it a sniffy sniff I get total chalkboard for a second.
This stuff is solid and a good value. Why isn't it sold out yet?! (Or at least bouncing)

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ddeuddeg wrote:Another unofficial labrat report:
Christmas dinner with the nieces and their husbands tonight (postponed from last week): my favorite stove-top roast beef recipe with the Gun-Bun Block 13 Cab from early last month, a great pairing. Dessert was an ever-popular holiday treat, my special eggnog cheesecake with nutmeg on top spelling out Merry Christmas (To some people, it may seem late for that, but it is the 10th day of Christmas, after all.). The 2003 Wellington Port was absolutely wonderful with the cheesecake. We got it at the winery last summer, and are absolutely thrilled to have a chance to get some more. After the '94 Vintage Croft on New Year's Day, we wondered how it would compare. It's a different style, but it certainly held its own.

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Offering of 1/5 -- Wellington White - Four Pack

2 2007 Roussanne
2 2007 Marsanne

This offering's pack:
TeelaJBrown (Marsanne)
digit3 (Marsanne)
jtan99 (Roussanne)
annsalisbury (Roussanne)

cheron98 & oppsie (Roussanne)

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cheron98 wrote:Ok ok ok, so, volunteer labrat report on the Roussanne, with my lovely assistant oppsie! Full post will show up on apairitif sometime later when I get around to finding my cables and being less inebriated.

On color:
Me: Yellow. Just plain yellow, clear to edge of glass with good clarity.
oppsie: It looks like piss.

On nose:
oppsie: Lavender and mild brie.
Me: lavender, cheesy of some sort, wood chips, and something vegetal that I just can't place.

On taste:
Me: Smooth, bready like white bread, with food it gets apricot. A little oily and I thought it had the Viognier in it, but no, that's the Marsanne. Didn't seem real complex.
oppsie: tart peaches, "I like the viscosity", brief kiwi-sweetness on the broad part of the tongue

On finish:
Me: Kind of short finish, but smooth, with kind of a clarified butter taste. Not heavy like you find in your typical nasty Cali chards, but just like, there.
oppsie: "good long finish"

Me: Fairly simple wine, but good. Really nice with the fried scallops, the dressing on the salad made it a little tart though.
oppsie: Could drink the whole bottle in one night, easy. Worked with scallops, not so much with dressing - the blood orange essence compromised the flavor of the wine. "Appreciate the lightness on alcohol."

She's still driving home, after 2 glasses of the Roussanne and a glass and a half of the Mumm Grande Annee. With cupcakes. Key Lime Cupcakes. Which were delicious and went really well with the Grande Annee. Which retained its fizziness after 5 days in the fridge using the metrokane velvet champagne stoppers. ... ok enough hawking another wine & product...

So now oppsie needs to make a decision of in for 1 or in for 2. "frag, you know I'm in for two," she says. "Soon as I get home. With DH birthday coupon. Which better work."

Edit: oh yeah, wine was served at 50 degrees according to the nifty little thermometer thingy I got from spdrcr05

cheron98 wrote:Day 2 of the Roussanne:

It's displaying more chard-like characteristics tonight. That faint buttery flavor that was present last night has bloomed into full-blown buttered popcorn. Getting a lot of vanilla, too. Kind of like... vanilla-caramel-buttered popcorn. With a splash of lemon-lime on top. And mango.

It seems more developed tonight, a little more complex. Had it with new england clam chowder.

cheron98 wrote:Day 3 of the Roussanne:

WOW! What a change from last night!! The butteryness is just GONE. Completely.

I pulled out the stopper and was welcomed with a citrus-floral scent of oranges, grapefruit, lavender and hibiscus. Just exploding out of the bottle at me. In the glass was all that plus chamomile tea.

Take a sip - smooth, crisp, refreshing. herbal tea, lemon, orange... the finish is silky smooth and vanilla and mint. Just... wow.

If you ever thought about decanting a white - this would be the one to do it with to get these kinds of flavors on the first night. Holy cow. This is BEAUTIFUL, Peter!

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TeelaJBrown wrote:Labrat report: 2007 Wellington Marsanne

This is my first labrat experience, so I apologize in advance if I leave any details out. I read a few other labrat reports to make sure I knew what I should report back on, but if I leave out something you want to know, please tell me!

I've not tasted a Marsanne before. When I popped this I immediately thought of a Vioginer I had not too long ago.

The color is very pale yellow, and very clear. On the nose I got pear, grass and some floral notes. I tasted right after opening and felt that it had nice acidity. My sister tasted it and thought she tasted more oak than I did. I made her taste blind and she asked me if it was a Chardonnay (neither of us have a huge amount of wine tasting experience, fyi, so take that with a grain of salt).

About an hour later i tasted more fruit notes -- this'll sound weird, but I swear it tastes like Asian Pear to me.

I'm going to try it again tomorrow, but so far I really like this wine and think it would pair really well with some snapper or tilapia. Wish I had some. Maybe I'll buy some tomorrow to try with it.

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jtan99 wrote:I got one of the Roussanne! I will report tonight. I got home late yesterday, didn't expect to be a labrat, so there's a door tag from fedex. Since I have to go in to work today, I called them, so I can pick it up this morning. I put it in a cooler bag (I always have this in the car, in case i buy wine) with some ice so it'll stay somewhat chilled later. I plan on having it with spicy tuna rolls, since from reading the wine seems light... we'll see how that goes.

jtan99 wrote:Labrat Report on Roussanne:

I'm terrible at describing wines, I can never identify what berries or whatever... but I'll try to describe it as best as I can.

Color: Clear, pale yellow.
Nose: Floral, crisp, very aromatic - gets better over the 1+ hour before it's gone.
Taste: First impressions: round/balanced, very smooth going down, finish lingers to the throat for a while. Very pleasant.

I'm a red wine drinker, my cellar is like 85% red, and this is definitely a red wine drinker's wine. I shared the bottle with four family members and it's definitely not enough to go around, everybody enjoyed it, usually you know it's a good wine, when it's gone before you know it.

We had it with spicy tuna roll, that's not a very good pairing on my part. The wine is good on it's own, the sushi doesn't bring out anything of the wine.

I've also tried it with some Gouda, more specifically "Gouda Uniekaas Reserve Best" from Whole Foods. The saltiness of the cheese actually brings out the sweetest in the wine, very enjoyable, people kept going back to pour more wine to go with the cheese.

Hope this helps.


Many thanks to WD for picking me as labrat for this offering.

SB, I have also signed up to visit Wellington in March for the barrel tasting event, BTW the dates you have on your website is wrong. Hope to see you there.

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(This is the Marsanne)

digit3 wrote:Hi everybody,

My wife called me late this afternoon on her way back from the FedEx hub and told me that "I've got a golden ticket" in her best Charlie Bucket imitation. It's funny but since FedEx left a call tag on our door with a 21+ signature required I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out who was nice enough to send us wine. It didn't even cross my mind that I was a LABRAT!

Anyway, WineDavid thank you for chosing me as a rat this offering. I have been on Woot for 2 1/2 years and this was my fifth Wellington purchase. So far they are batting 100% with my taste buds

After the wine arrived about half an hour ago, I pulled out some Riedel chardonnay glasses (gasp) and my trusty Campagnolo wine opener and popped the cork out of this bottle of Marsanne. We live in northern MN where it is currently a balmy 14 degrees F so needless to say these notes are based upon some pretty chilly wine.

The color is very pale yellow. Initial aroma is nicely floral. Although I have been working on warming up my glass with my palms and it has opened up significantly since uncorking the bottle, I cannot put my finger on the nose. I do pick up on some of the alcohol but certainly don't get model airplane glue as some suggest typifies this grape. There is also a bit of oak. I'd be a liar if I told you that I am pulling out honeysuckle and almond paste.

My wife and I are both working on glasses of this without food. I have no idea what to cook tonight and wanted to get after the wine prior to rooting through cupboards and the freezer. Perhaps this will taste different with food but so far I am having a liquid dinner.

In flavor as this baby opens up I am getting some of the oak but certainly not a blast of wood that turns me off from new world chardonnays. There is a spiciness to the finish and a bit of perhaps butterscotch. It isn't a massive wine but considering the alcohol level I think that it might even benefit from being put down for a while. I'll probably park my Woot order in the cellar until the robins return.

I wish that I had some added experience with this varietal but like many others I do not. I like the wine so far quite a bit and it is a pleasant change from my mid-winter all-red wine diet.

Glad that I ordered a four pack and I look forward to trying the Roussanne. I realize that there are only so many hours left of this offering but hopefully more folks will pull the trigger and buy these interesting wines!

Thank you again for LabRatting me! I wish that I could have received this earlier so that I had more time (and some food) to make comments.

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annsalisbury wrote:The only other Wellington Roussanne I have had was the '04, and my (very) abbreviated tasting notes said, "Very good!" If you want a break from the Chardonnay / Sauv Blanc / Viognier treadmill, this would be a good wine to buy. It is really different (in a good way).

I think this was newly bottled because cork was barely wet. Per previous suggestions above, I chilled the wine, and when opened it was ~49F degrees. For those particular about vessels, I poured the wine into a generic "white wine" glass from Spiegelau.

Color was a medium gold yellow (viewed under CFL lighting, so YMMV). On the nose, I got sour apple and maybe a bit of orange (acidic), along with a light almond (or maybe butterscotch) smell.

Initial flavors were something soft and creamy (but *not* a creamy mouthfeel), with an acidic / puckery finish. None of the flavors were too strong; they were well balanced. The finish was pretty long for a white (in my experience), and the wine was medium bodied.

Given that there were almonds (maybe) on the nose, I thought I might pair the wine with a few. Not recommended. It flattened out the initial flavors and the wine was all finish (i.e., acid). Next I tried pairing it with the roasted gorgonzola crackers from Trader Joe's, and that was a great pairing, as it really brought out the flavors of the wine.

As the wine warmed a bit, I noticed that more of the initial flavors came through and the acid in the finish was tamed. So you might be able to have it fit your preferred flavor by changing the serving temp.

Now that I see Cheron's comment about further oxidation, I'm off to run it through the Venturi.

annsalisbury wrote:I appreciate both her discipline and her observation. Running this through the Venturi changed the character of the wine nicely. The nose became a little oaky and more almond with only a hint of the sour apple.

The flavor changed in a similar way. The Venturi settled down the sour apple (acidic) finish and the flavor was more herbal with a richer mouthfeel. I got some oak, toast, and jasmine, along with some mineral.

I may provide an update later with another taster's opinions. Unfortunately, it will likely be after midnight CST.

Thanks again for the opportunity, WD.

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Offering of 1/12 -- Maloy O'Neill Blend Sampler Trio

2005 Lexicon
2004 Infante
2005 Easy Ed Red

This offering's pack:
merbill (Lexicon)
smithelpaso (Easy Ed Red)

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merbill wrote:OK, the alcohol rant doesn't appear to be coming (yet), so here's my rat report. I had the Lexicon with chicken parmesan and my wife.

In the glass, the color is more red than purple, leaning toward garnet. Reminds me of Pinot. Solid legs. Nose is quite fruity, darker fruit - not strawberry but cherry and raspberries. Tiny touch of green pepper. No apparent heat from the 14.9% alcohol. So this looks like a pinot and smells more like a cab.

Sipping now. Cherries (some sour, mostly not), tongue coating fruit, light tannins (mainly in the middle), a little heat on the back - not unpleasant. Fairly long, tasty finish (there's that pepper again). A little tart (just a little), but basically pretty well integrated. Complemented the tomato basil sauce of the parmesan, but I don't think I'd pair it with something too strong, like KC BBQ. There are no "face-smashing tannins" that I can detect, or any other big time stuffing, so I wouldn't expect it to be a long ager. I have a vinerator, but didn't feel the need to use it.

My wife liked it a lot. Smelled nice, easy drinking, fruity, "smooth". I think we both appreciated the obvious balance of this wine.

The Chicken Parmesan had no comment, but seemed to enjoy the experience.

Overall, we enjoyed this and I'm glad I bought it. As I said in an earlier post, I am biased towards blends because I like the idea of a winemaker expressing his craft. Also both our palates are fairly young (even though we aren't), so we're still at the like-fruit stage vs. the like-terrior stage. To paraphrase what someone said earlier, this is a very well made new world wine. Not a full-on fruit bomb, but you know what team its on.

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smithelpaso wrote:First time rat here, with not nearly as much experience as some of you. But I know what I like and what I don't.

The Easy Ed Red I like. It was very smooth, with a nice feel in your mouth, and easy going down. It had substance from the fruit, but no bite, no tartness, nothing to jolt you. I am not schooled enought to identify the fruit taste, but it was full and pleasant, not thin like some other cabs I've had. It had a slight sweetness, but I wouldn't call it sweet.

It was as advertised, went well with take out smoked brisket, and I will buy more.

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Offering of 1/15 -- Swedish Hill Finger Lake, NY Four-Pack

2005 Optimus
2006 Cabernet Franc-Lemberger
2007 Riesling
2007 Dry Riesling

This week's pack:
fulkerb (Optimus)
sneezytoo (Cabernet Franc-Lemberger)
smithelpaso (Dry Riesling)
ecue (Riesling)

nematic (Dry Riesling)
Lighter (Dry Riesling)

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nematic wrote:Fake labrat report

So, I'd never tried the optimus, so I went out tonight looking for that. The wine store I hit didn't have any of the SH red blends, but did have both of the Rieslings, so I picked up the dry. Even with 0F outside weather, the wine inside is warmer (~70F) than I would drink it at. However, my impressions are dominant pear nose, with lemon (or maybe lime, my brain can't decide) and wet slate/stone under that. Mouthfeel is quite full, almost coating, and initially it tastes sweeter than the 0.3%RS. Finish is dry. If I could change one thing with this wine, I would increase the acid - although a lower drinking temp would likely also help that.

Edit: Hopefully this makes up for my complete labrat (Original content not provided.) on the wellington NdN a while back

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sneezytoo wrote:I was fortunate enough to be gifted with a bottle of the 2006 Cabernet Franc-Lemberger.

Unfortunately we missed the delivery this morning and went to UPS to pick it up this evening. We waited almost 2 hours for the driver to get back to the terminal so it was after 9 pm (Pacific) when we got it home. We had eaten dinner much earlier so did not enjoy the first tasting with a meal as I would have preferred. As soon as we got home Hubby (more of a beer guy anyway) immediately uncorked it and with one taste pronounced it mediocre and went to bed.

Before I start on my notes let me clarify that I enjoy wine and know what I like (when I taste it!) but do not consider that I have an educated palate. I like several different varieties of wine, both whites and reds. I tend to favor dry more full bodied reds and dry but fruity whites (I was inspired to order this quartet primarily for the Rieslings). My favorite reds tend to be blends, Syrahs, and burgundy (depending on the situation and food offerings). Now for my best effort at describing this wine:

When first opened it was rather thin on taste and not at all distinctive. After sitting for about 30 minutes it began to blossom. It developed a very pleasant flavor, fruity (berry?) at first, but the peppery undertones continued to develop. I found the tannins to be moderate, they are there, but not too overwhelming as in many of the CA reds that I am exposed to. As an experiment I broke out some snacks to pair it with. It was nice with a Danish Fontina that I had open, but I think it would have been better with a full bodied cheddar. I then tried it with a piece of high quality dark chocolate and that was an excellent combination.

Overall I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is very pleasant on the palate and has a satisfying finish. I am going to re-cork it and finish it with dinner tomorrow. I will post an update after that.

sneezytoo wrote:Hi all. I opened last night by saying that I had been "gifted" with the Cab Franc Lemberger..."ratted" was actually the correct term.

As a follow-up to yesterday's post- we paired the remainder of the bottle with dinner tonight; hearty burgers with grilled onions and peppers, and a wilted spinach salad. First of all the wine was even better tonight that last night (don't know whether it had finally recovered from its' "long ordeal" on the UPS truck in almost 80 degree weather or I was just more receptive). Anyway, the Hubby, who sampled it immediately upon opening last night, (and proclaimed it mediocre), was a little more impressed tonight. He said the flavor was good, but not as strong as he would like (understand that he is a lifelong tobacco user whose favorite wine is an inexpensive Merlot...or beer...or rum!). I on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed it paired with the heartier foods.
To compare it to other “Wooted” wines that we can recall our opinions… Both hubby and I like the 2004 Saxon Brown Syrah better, and we both liked this far more than the 2000 Corizon Cab. Hubby’s favorite of all was the Woot Cellars Humbug, which I enjoyed, but not as much as this.
Sorry if I am rambling, but I am just trying to let you know where we are coming from in our opinions, as we are not regular posters or sophisticated enough on the topic to discuss acidity, PH levels, etc.

The bottom line is that I thoroughly enjoyed this wine and would certainly do it again. I would not hesitate to serve it to company or buy it for wine loving friends for a gift. Hubby would not go out of his way to buy this (or almost any other wine!), but he would drink it if I served it!

I am trying to get one friend, with a more sophisticated palate to taste the last of the bottle, and if it can be arranged, I will post his comments too. Otherwise, I hope that this helped some of you who still are “on the fence” and many thanks to the Woot Wine Gods for favoring me this time around!

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Lighter wrote:VolRat here.

I went to the store yesterday looking for the reds in this offering. No luck. But both Rieslings were prominently displayed with a hand written note about the fresh award and a sale price. I got the dry because I'm trying to get the taste out of my mouth from a cheap Cali Riesling that was a gift. It's hard to be gracious when you really, really want to spit all over the table. Normally drink NY Rieslings, Dr. K. and Autumn Hills being the go-to in different price ranges. I'd not done Swedish Hill because of an icky experience with one of their college undergraduate party wines. Which all the NY wineries still peddle. Perhaps in the shadow of the Great NY wine: Wild Irish Rose.

I liked the Riesling a lot. Not as complicated as the Dr. K, but a much fuller mouth feel. Plenty going on, just not a full blown mystery novel. Nice long finish.

With zippy southwestern food it went very well. Actually surprised because sweet tea, Dr. Pepper and/or semi dry Riesling are my normal grabs for this cuisine. I tend to think of dry Riesling as my go-with for Asian. This Swedish Hill has that very slight on the tongue sweetness that comes out of thoroughly dry wine. Very, very nice.

Mrs Lighter carried her glass upstairs to knit along with a second, tiny glass of the Cali Riesling. I heard the Cali go down the drain a few minutes later.

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smithelpaso wrote:Rat here with the dry Riesling. I'm not a white wine aficionado so I can't gush over the experience. I do believe this wine rates above many others I've had the misfortune to drink, but it won't convert me.

That said, I found that VolRat's post accurately describes the wine better than I could, and I quote from that post:

"I liked the Riesling a lot. Not as complicated as the Dr. K, but a much fuller mouth feel. Plenty going on, just not a full blown mystery novel. Nice long finish.

This Swedish Hill has that very slight on the tongue sweetness that comes out of thoroughly dry wine. Very, very nice."

Thanks VolRat for the words.

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fulkerb wrote:Rat here with the 2005 Optimus.

It's, ummm, pretty elegant. Dry, obviously. Quite balanced. Soft finish. We enjoyed the bottle with chicken and pasta-- not at all overpowering. Excellent table wine. Would do business again A++++++++++++++++

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ecue wrote:Sorry for the delay.

My labrat review:

I got my hands on the delish Swedish Hill Finger Lakes Riesling 2007.

It's got a nicely developed pear-fruit forward flavor to it with a very light velvety nose. Really, dig in and give it a huge sniff. No "ack" effect whatsoever. Jus a nice wiff of sparkling top notes.

This is a light wine you might want to savor a bit more in between sips, but some cali-riesling fans may not think it's bold enough. Friendly enough for a 1st time wine drinker, and not überdry. Light on it's feet.

1st sip = "..."
2nd sip= "Owe, nice... pear, almost appleish... clean finish...."
3rd sip= "Like walking through a garden at midnight with mist collecting on your picnic basket filled with fruit..."

While I'm a patient wine lover that enjoys waiting for a wine to peak, this one (2007) seemed good to go as it was. I'm very, very happy I ordered 3 and wish I could have ordered more through woot.

I can't wait to try the Cab Franc.

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Offering of 1/19 -- Roessler Winery Pinot Noir Trio

2006 La Brisa Pinot Noir
2006 Red Label Sonoma County Pinot Noir
2006 Peregrine Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

This offering's pack:
sessha (Peregrine Santa Rita Hills)
kolen (La Brisa)
Routerhead (La Brisa)
bo0oby (Red Label)

CinnamonRuth (Red Label)

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CinnamonRuth wrote:For those who are interested… I have been enjoying our local restaurant week with a friend and happened to see the Roessler Red Label Pinot on the wine list during our most recent venture. I convinced him we had to get it, thanks to its recent Woot status. The wine was surprisingly full-bodied for a pinot yet it was flirty enough to pair perfectly with each of our dishes, which certainly ran the gamut: pear ravioli, baked brie and raspberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette, pan-roasted salmon (Dan Heim is right!) with spinach and pesto mashed potatoes and filet mignon with gorgonzola and a red wine reduction and grilled asparagus. A chocolate lava cake to finish. It stood up to the filet no problem. Amazing wine – my friend was impressed. I have to go in on this trio to honor the overall adventure. But I would have no problem drinking the wine on its own either.

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


quality posts: 123 Private Messages cheron98
kolen wrote:Lab rat report for the La Brisa:

I’m not sure how to begin. The enclosed So… you’re a lab rat brochure suggests including an anecdote about the FedEx delivery truck, or perhaps a paragraph about the privilege and excitement of being Chosen, but that’s not really my style. I’ll fast forward to the wine.

I like the label. Classy but contemporary. More wineries should realize that packaging is part of the experience. It seems like there’s nothing on the shelves between look-at-me and boring.

I popped the cork and reluctantly poured a glass for my wife. I tried to argue that the lab rat rules prohibit sharing the wine with others, but she already read the brochure.

I opened the bottle around 9pm, so we drank it sans food. I bet it would be great with a mushroom risotto, but it stood well on its own (at some point I nibbled on a square of Scharffen Berger extra dark… not the best combination).

First impression: Cherry with a little barnyard mustiness. Not bashful. My kind of wine. I would guess the grapes came from Carneros, not the Sonoma Coast. It drank well without decanting. It seemed like a nice sitting-in-front-of-the-fireplace wine. The fruit faded to subtle hints of black tea and sage. Also paired well with the Fleet Foxes (yes I just heard them for the first time on SNL and yes, I know you have been listening to them for the past six months).

One caveat: I have an eccentric palate. I like complex in-your-face wines. I like Parkerized 93-point wines. My wife is the opposite. She likes balanced and smooth tannins. We both liked the La Brisa, so I think it might have universal appeal.

Bottom line: At this price point, the La Brisa represents a ridiculous QPR. If possible, please up my order to three. And a sincere thank you WineDavid. People should trust you by now. How silly we still have to do this little lab rat dance. But glad I could do my part.

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