Either I'm just lucky (which I find unlikely, given current events), or someone connected my whining about how I missed the old days of lab rattage with my shameless pandering to the Sebastiani guys and their wonderful variety of offerings.
No golden ticket (hell, FedEx didn't even call like they normally do, which turned into a fiasco that would have been humorous if it were not for the fact that it concerned wine wandering around unprotected in this South Texas heat), but I was the recipient of a (free) (unanticipated) bottle of the 2012 Big Orange Chardonnay/Viognier blend on Friday, June the 14th. Please note that I thought about buying The Crusher Big Orange Viognier too long last year and it ran out. I did buy the Old World Orange Pinot Gris, which I found nice, but too sweet for my taste.
My husband and I drank it last night while preparing and eating dinner. The bottle had been in the fridge since its arrival on Friday afternoon, just over 48 hours.
PNP, nice light orange color, not as dark as the Old World. Husband immediately stated that the wine was OXIDIZED and I had to explain the process to him; he was mollified when it passed the sniff test. Anyway, swirling and sniffing produced pear and melon and minerals for me and he wanted to say citrus notes but was afraid he was being influenced by the color.
First sip me: toasty, general tropical fruit, possibly pineapple?, minerals. First sip him: not much identifiable.
Of course, it's too cold.
Over the next couple of hours, it evolved quite a bit... the wine got notably more viscous and developed a lovely mouthfeel with some tannins apparent. More minerals emerged, along with lots of stone fruit... apricot/peach/nectarine... still retains some citrusy notes that I was thinking were reminiscent of lemon marmalade.
Now for the bad news... while I recognize that we were drinking it a bit young, and that its short childhood contained more abuse than wines should be subjected to, I wasn't as pleased with it as I expected. The wine seemed to be lacking in acidity to me. I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it "flabby", but it was suffering from the lack of refined structure a little bit lower pH would have given it. It was yummy, but not the apparition of total divinity that I was expecting. I also trend towards the spectrum of limited oak and partial-to-no malo, so maybe this wasn't my cup of tea.
I'm a big Viognier hound, so maybe it can be blamed on the Chardonnay blended in, I dunno - I only got the one bottle, not the entire spectrum (there I go, whining about only getting one bottle ; ).
I did buy The Crusher Rose for Valentine's Day a few years ago and found that to be a lovely bottle, bright and complex and mouthwatering.
Anyway, I glowed all weekend in anticipation of opening this wonderful present, and I thank the powers that be, whoever they are and whyever they chose me.