What a pleasant surprise. Yesterday afternoon the FedEx gal stops by with a box out of nowhere (I missed the email on Monday, re: Lab Rat - Your Wine is Coming) - so I genuinely hadn’t a clue what to do with it.
I’m in the Chicago area so the bottle was quite cold, I let it … heat up … in the basement overnight and just cracked it open a few minutes ago.
I poured a small glass, took a few sips. Let it sit for a few minutes took another few sips - and repeated a couple more times. I have the rest of the bottle decanting which I will have with some food tonight, TBD on that.
My initial impression was simple - “wow, this smells wonderful!” - the smell was deep and complex, it just smelled good. Made me really excited to try it.
The first taste, and really every sip thus far in the first 20 or 30 minutes, was hot or tight. Or maybe both. To be honest, sipping, making notes and then compiling them is not something that I would list as a strength on my resume. That being said those are the two words that came to mind immediately, seemed like it needed some time to open up and I just couldn’t taste everything that I think is there.
It’s quite smooth and goes down nicely. There is no doubt that this is a well-made wine. The rich dark purple, beautiful smell and it’s just really smooth. I’m hopeful that in a few hours when we sit down to eat we’ll get a slightly different version of it.
I’m on the fence whether to pull the trigger on this, mostly because it’s a bit more expensive than wines I typically drink. I’ll make my decision tonight!
Big TY to Casemates for including the opportunity to Rat. I’m more impressed now with all of the other Rats that have come before me with their elegant and informative reviews. That’s a real skill!
@sammypedram I liked the wine much better after it sat in the decanter for 5 hours. The nose was not as intense but the wine was much more balanced and enjoyable. I had it with spicy Italian sausage, arrabbiata sauce and tri-colored pasta. Maybe not the ideal dish but I certainly enjoyed it. I’ll be pulling the trigger on a couple of bottles.
Happy repeal of prohibition day! On this day in 1933 prohibition ended. When enacted in 1920, there were 700 wineries in California. By the end of 1933 there were 140, having been restricted to producing wine for religious purposes only.
And a note from Loren Sonkin (who used to make a little syrah, Sonkin Cellars, but think that venture is closed down) from IntoWine:
Purple in color. The nose is deep with black raspberries, blood and grilled meats. Some vanilla and spice and black pepper. On the palate, this is deep and tight. Delicious. Black raspberries. Plenty of tannins. Long finish. This is quite young and tight but it has bold black raspberry fruit. Probably should hold for a few more years and then drink over the next decade plus. Impressive. This retails for around $55 which is a fair price. Grade: A Score: 93 7/10/18
Maybe I should have told him to try that wine first before they started opening up all their baller bottles! They probably had palate fatigue by the time they got around to the Scott Harvey. Yeah, that’s it.
If anyone in Northern Virginia needs the Case price, but it’s just a little too much, I’ll take 1-3 of these off your hands with cash or trade. I need the case price. And I shouldn’t be buying anything anyway!
Enticing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dark chocolate, white pepper and exotic spices lead to a fleshy mouthfeel that oozes with yum-factor. Expect to find wild blackberry, violet, blueberry, dark chocolate, white pepper, exotic spice, bright fruit and the Buoncristiani signatures of balance, depth on the mid palate, and a lengthy persistent finish. Seventeen months aging in 40% new French oak barrels rounded out the palate even further, while adding more texture, aroma, and flavor components.
Vineyard And Winemakers Notes
To ensure our highest standard of quality, we source this Syrah from vineyards managed with our same strict viticultural philosophy. The 2013 blend was handcrafted from small lots harvested exclusively from our block 1800 ft above sea level at Stagecoach Vineyards in the Vaca Mountains above Oakville, and Larry Hyde’s Hyde Las Trancas Vineyard in Oak Knoll. Sourcing and blending Syrah from these ultra premium vineyards helps us create our Artistico profile of uncompromising quality.
The Buoncristiani brothers created the series “Artistico” to fuse winemaking passion with other forms of art expression. Our Syrah label features original artwork to complement our blend for each vintage. The different vineyard and barrel components are blended in several phases creating optimum complexity while retaining balance, varietal character, and superior quality. This wine was aged in barrels for 17 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered in March of 2015.
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Appellation: Napa Valley
Unfined and Unfiltered
Barrel Regime: Seventeen months in French oak barrels, 40% new oak
A Passion of Four Brothers
The Buoncristiani brothers are bonded not only by blood, but also by a shared passion, vision, and dedication for handcrafting ultra-premium wines that accentuate the enjoyment of life. Matt, Jay, Aaron, and Nate were born and raised in the Napa Valley from a long lineage of Italian winemakers and wine lovers. They take pride in performing all aspects of enology, viticulture, wine production, and art design to share a true expression of winemaking passion. Handcrafting these limited production wines themselves allows for the utmost attention to detail in every drop of every gallon in every barrel.
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@chipgreen I get how you’re doing the calculation, but why not include the freight? It’s definitely part of the acquisition cost of the wine. Including the freight makes it a 20.49% savings. Just sayin…
@dgbickle The thing is, a lot of buyers have “free” shipping via VMP. So you’d need two calculations, one for those who don’t pay extra for shipping, and one for those who do. Or so I believe. I don’t know. It’s early. Need more coffee.
@dgbickle@InFrom Although I can’t presume to speak for @chipgreen, I believe you’re correct in your assumption about the possible difference in shipping costs, depending on whether the buyer has free shipping, being the reason for not including it. However, when I do the calculation, it comes out to 14.28%, not 14.27%. Also, I’ve occasionally wondered why remark about sales tax? Since it’s based on the same percentage (in my case an exorbitant 1.0875%) of the price, it wouldn’t make a difference in the savings %.
Do you mean 8.75% sales tax or really only 1.0875% tax? Because the latter sounds amazing, while the former is about what we pay, depending on which version of CA tax gets charged. (Anywhere from 8.25%-10% in SoCal.)
As for why @chipgreen includes the sales tax comment…I suspect he’s used to wooters/casemateers being nitpicky about such things.
Yes, the reason I do not include shipping or tax is because those numbers are not the same for everyone. Some people pay shipping, some don’t. Sales taxes are all over the place depending on where the buyer lives. For me, it’s 6.75%.
The discount would have been posted as 14.28% but I made a concession awhile back to a guy who complained that I was rounding off numbers when calculating the discount, so I agreed to shave .01% off each figure which would yield the exactly correct number down to the one one hundredth of a percent, the vast majority of the time. Trying to remember who that was… hmm, any ideas?
@chipgreen@klezman I must not have had my coffee. The sales tax in Erie County, NY is 8.75%. I use 1.0875 (not 1.0875%, duh) as a multiplier to get the total cost, including tax. Thanks for catching that.
Stagecoach vineyard fruit always interests me. Not familiar with the Oak Knoll vineyard, though. If someone from the winery drops by, would be curious to know the approximate % of fruit from each vineyard.
@chipgreen Nate Buoncristiani is traveling today so can’t jump in on the boards but here is his response via text: “It’s about 50% from Stagecoach and the rest is from Hyde Vineyard’s in Carneros, Larry Hyde’s Vineyard in Oak Knoll, and a small amount from Coombsville. The vineyard in Oak Knoll Larry Hyde owns. He is the owner of Hyde Vineyards in Carneros. The Oak Knoll property is called the Hyde Las Trancas Vineyard. It is connected to the HDV facility in Oak Knoll.” Any other questions you all have, I can shoot him a text!