I hadn’t intended to start drinking before 10AM this beautiful Saturday morning, but “rat” duty calls. What a fantastic way to start the weekend!
I received the 2014 Wedding Cuvée Friday evening and put it in the fridge overnight.
I’m definitely a sparkling wine fan and getting to be a “rat” for the first time with an Iron Horse Rosé made my day!
Winemaker notes say “dangerously easy to drink” and I couldn’t agree more. I’m ready for glass number two. In general I don’t get much on the nose when smelling sparkling wines, much better with reds in that area, but I did get a mild orange note.
Tasting this wine is pure pleasure. The long finish is real. I get a mild tart-ness that lingers for minutes after each sip. In my mind that ties in perfectly with the pink grapefruit and lime as described.
I tried a bit of 73% cacao “Extra Dark Chocolate” early in the second glass and it pairs perfectly. Yummy!
For comparison to other Casemates rosés, I’ve been a big fan of the Gruet sparkling wines sold here but the recent Gruet rosé is almost flavorless compared to this Wedding Cuvée. Comparing it to the Van Ruiten 2017 Rosé, this Wedding Cuvée is more “structured” and less fruity.
We placed a bottle of Wedding Cuvee on each table at our wedding reception and a 3L at our own table. My wife bought Bride and Groom champagne flutes which we were drinking from, until one of our drunken guests knocked mine out of my hand on the dance floor. One of my buddies got a plastic pitcher from the bar for me and filled it with leftover Wedding Cuvee from the unfinished bottles. I started drinking straight from the pitcher and ended up carrying it around with me the entire night, refilling along the way. Good times…
Well, after a month or two of pestering (annoying?) poor @winedavid49 over on the “Clue” thread…I’m in! It’s not exactly the kind of IH offer I was envisioning, and I’m not usually a big fan of surprises in my orders, but it’s IH and they never disappoint!
Now…I start my no-buy (actually a “low-buy” since the Selyem allocations come out in a week or so).
@chipgreen@karenhynes@klezman i don’t think there’ll be any T Bar ( so cool that offer way back when is still resonating…) but if you check out the iron horse website, you can deduce some higher priced wines in each of the categories. think single vineyard for the still category. i don’t think there’ll be any LD’s in the mix, but everything else is on the table for the sparklings.
I can’t imagine a “bad” IH surprise either. That said, my hesitation in jumping on this offer was the inclusion of (still) Chardonnay. I’m not much of a Chard fan, no matter who makes it. I’m sure I’ll be more than happy with whatever I receive (even the Chard)!
Madrid…Good for you! I hope you don’t plan to come back before next weekend. The predicted high temp middle of next week is around -11F. Madrid looks more suitable for humans.
I bought 2 of the 4 packs (space, funds, and known upcoming purchases have to factor in ). I didn’t feel particularly incentivized to go with a case and I feared for another early sell out! I could probably be convinced to part with a couple.
Yes, 3 or 4 would make more sense. 1 upgrade per 4-pack with a potential bonus upgrade for the case purchase. In the past, when I have doubted the details and gone small (Meeker mystery offer comes to mind) I have regretted it. WD and the wineries are pretty good about doing the right thing when it comes to the variables on some of these offers.
With that in mind and the Joy of an Iron Horse offer, finally, I’m in for a case!
@chipgreen@CruelMelody@radiolysis Just order 3 4-packs. That should net you 3 upgrades for the same price as a case (unless someone wises up to this scheme and automatically “downgrades” the order to a full case).
@chipgreen This is interesting. I believe every single Casemates offering has had non-trivial savings for buying a case, and usually substantially so. What is the story here? Math error on @WineDavid’s and Iron Horses’ part? Probably not.
My guess is that Iron Horse prizes particularly highly getting samples out to people to try, rather than moving product. I think most vendors here are somewhere between 100% MoveTheProduct to 50% MoveTheProduct / 50% GetPeopleTryingOurStuff. Perhaps this is a case where Iron Horse’ motivation is ~100% GetPeopleTryingOurStuff. If so, a good deal on 4-packs makes sense.
Well, they can’t fool me. I’m going to buy a whole case, and show them I won’t be manipulated! (I’ll show them!)
Hopefully just a typo or maybe they want some wiggle room to include better upgrades in the cases. They have favored full case buyers in the past afa upgrades and with no additional discount for the case purchase here, it would be surprising and disappointing if the upgrade ratio was lower for the case purchase than the 4-pack.
It appears so based on the description but as mentioned above, I have previously taken the descriptions too literally and ended up missing out on the better case allocations. (Still a little upset about the whole “no guarantee” of 2 Handprint Merlots in a case on that Meeker deal only to find out that the shortage was all about the Vinitwo del Finito of which I already had 10 bottles and didn’t care if I got more).
My first lab rat experience - Iron Horse 2015 Chardonnay
I get to my shop (where I have my wine delivered) Saturday and they inform me that I have a new box. Odd I say, I dont remember ordering wine over the last week or so, but I have forgotten orders in the past… And then I get a text from a friend who was chosen to be Lab Rat and the light bulb went off “ahhh haa, my first lab rat experience, Sweet!” So wifey and I chill and open it tonight while binge-watching.
I will start with some insight: Chardonnay is probably my least favorite white style, but we gave it a go anyway.
On the nose we both got the Green Apple and I also got Melon and a hint of lime. On first taste my wife said “pasta water or white wine butter sauce” and I said Melon rind with that slight lime from the nose. The second glass plays out the same for both of us and gladly finish the bottle. The wine has a pleasant, soft mouth feel and lingers on the pallet. This Chard is not a Vanilla bomb and is a very nice drinker; I could see it working very well as “porch pounder” in the warmer months.
@chipgreen@klezman I guess it’s fun to win the lottery every once in a while! I admit I’m a total noob at this and fail to realize how lucky I was with this offer, but maybe it’s partial recompense for missing out on the Eis Wine offer which I really wanted in on…just didn’t log in till it was already sold out.
I wanted to purchase three boxes of four, but my husband thought buying a case would give us really nice upgrades—one less upgrade than three boxes, so we should certainly have expected very nice upgrades, right? NOPE!
The Chard upgrade…fine.
But exchanging a Classic Brut for a Brut X… not fine.
We were slightly disappointed when we opened the case, but were REALLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN WE SAW WHAT OTHERS RECEIVED—Especially when we realized what was received by those who bought only a box of four.
…the words “l told you so” ring in my head. The “mystery” offers have not been good to us…PAVI MYSTERY LIBRARY!
The addition of fully upgraded packs was an awesome surprise, although I disagree with giving them out to 4-pack buyers for several reasons. First, it technically cost more per bottle to buy a case vs. the 4-pack. Also, while I argued above that the Pinot Noir North Block is like a double upgrade, that is getting a little creative in order to try to justify that case buyers got a relatively even ratio of upgrades compared to 4-pack buyers.
Considering that this was the first deal to have no additional discount for case purchases, I was certain that case buyers would get an upgrade advantage but that did not happen. Had the “lottery” packs gone out to only case buyers, at least then we could have said that the chance of getting one of those gave us some kind of advantage for going big on the offer.
I should add that even though I expressed disagreement with the distribution of the “lottery” packs, the fact that they even existed was an incredible and unexpected bonus! So, not a complaint, just feedback. My own packing error affected case aside, I think this was a great offer and was thrilled to finally see some Iron Horse on Casemates!
@arianaWCC@chipgreen@Winedavid49 Fully agree (as a non-‘lottery’ winner). Even though Iron Horse and the Eis Wine came in late first year/beginning second year, the inaugural year of CaseMates has managed to tick off all the ‘want to see’ items on my wine list, including mead! (with the sole exception being a winery I really don’t expect to see on CaseMates, that being Corison). So happy to see Iron Horse back!
By nose: raspberry, mandarin orange peel and nutmeg. In the mouth stone fruit, pink grapefruit, Tahitian lime, blood orange, raspberry with a gentle mouthfeel.
A food friendly wine that works with most styles, sauces and preparations. Pairs well with full flavored fish, pork chops, and chicken. Also try with crispy kale and stir fried vegetables. All you really need is dark, bittersweet chocolate!
Vineyard and Winemaker Notes
This is Iron Horse’s most romantic bubbly. We describe the 2014 Wedding Cuvée as dangerously easy to drink. Pretty pink in color and capped off with a pure mousse, this fruit forward, elegantly dry bubbly, displays ultra tiny bubbles and an exceedingly long finish.
Harvest Date: August 8 – 30, 2014
Acid: .79 g/100ml
Bottling Date: April and May, 2015
Residual Sugar: 0.5 g/100ml
2014 Classic Vintage Brut
By nose - rising dough, orange marmalade and baked apple. By mouth - ripe red apple, mandarin orange and hazelnut.
A perfect wine with poached eggs, smoked salmon and toast, salade Nicoise, hard cheeses, classic roast chicken with Yukon gold potatoes, harvest pear crisp with candied ginger.
Vineyard and Winemaker Notes
The 2014 Classic Vintage Brut is considered the “flagship” of the Iron Horse bubblies as it shows everything the family strives to accomplish, striking memory bells that say “champagne” in quality and finesse, but with flavors that are unmistakably Sonoma County, Russian River, Green Valley and most distinctly Iron Horse.
Appellation: Green Valley
Harvest Date: August 8 - August 30, 2014
Acid: .79 g/100ml
Bottling Date: April 2015
Residual Sugar: .50 g/100ml
2015 Estate Chardonnay, Green Valley
By nose: great complexity with touches of pineapple, melon, green apple, kiwi, and yeast. By mouth: minerality, pineapple, lime, and a gentle mouth feel (a result of extensive batonnage).
Our Estate Chardonnay is a classic food wine. Try it with roasted cauliflower and cannellini bean salad, thyme - roasted chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes and a salad of baby greens, smoky ham and corn chowder. Salmon rillettes on buttered brioche would be a perfect hors d’oeuvre.
Vineyard and Winemaker Notes
The 2015 Estate Chardonnay is signature cool climate, foggy Green Valley in an exceptional vintage. It represents seven individual blocks on the estate giving it wonderful complexity with a silky texture.
Appellation: Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Blend: 86% Hyde Old Wente, 14% Rued Clone Chardonnay
Acid: .64 g/100ml
Bottling Date: July 2015
Residual Sugar<: .20 g/100ml
2013 Estate Pinot Noir, Green Valley
By nose: cassis, licorice, blackberry, red cherry, raspberry and roasting herbs. By mouth: cola nut, dark cherry, blackberry and dried herbs.
This is an elegant and very versatile wine with food. It is delicious with salmon, smoked duck, pork tenderloin with rashers of prosciutto ham, heirloom carrots and spaghetti squash, classic coq au vin, mushroom ragout on sourdough toast, triple creme cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.
Vineyard and Winemaker Notes
2013 was an outstanding vintage - both in quality and quantity. Newly replanted vineyards, heightened wine making and the uniqueness of Green Valley Pinot Noir all come together in a truly gorgeous bottle of wine with raspberry, red cherry flavors, a very pretty, soft, ripe entry and a long silky finish.
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation: Green Valley
Harvest Date: September 9-14, 2013
Acid: .50 g/100ml
Fermentation: 100% malolactic
Bottling Date: July 2014
Residual Sugar: >0.2g/100ml
Included in the Box
4-bottles: You will receive 4 bottles, though at least one will be replaced with a higher value bottle of wine
1x 2014 Wedding Cuvée
1x 2014 Classic Vintage Brut
1x 2015 Estate Chardonnay, Green Valley
1x 2013 Estate Pinot Noir, Green Valley
Case: You will receive 12 bottles, though at least two will be replaced with a higher value bottle of wine
Iron Horse is one of Sonoma County’s most prestigious, small, independent, estate, family owned wineries located in cool, foggy Green Valley. Iron Horse Sparkling Wines have been served at the White House for five consecutive presidential administrations, beginning with the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meeting in Geneva on November 20, 1985, which led to the end of the Cold War. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named Iron Horse Sparkling Winery of the Year nine times. From the beginning, Robert Parker has said, “These impressive Sparkling Wines…possess more texture and flavor than just about any sparkler I have tasted from California.”
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Way to wear her down. Hopefully you can appeal to the angels of her better nature more than once a year going forward. Iron Horse is my favorite. I’ve been hanging on to my Commanders Palace bubbly, I was hoping to be able to pop it for a NO Super Bowl win, stupid refs.
The Classic Brut was supposed to be part of the base mix but has mostly been subbed for with the Ocean Reserve (at least in these early reports). There were two upgrades in your case - the Ocean Reserve and the North Block Pinot. Also, for some reason a third Estate Pinot was missing and there was an extra Wedding Cuvee instead, pretty much an even swap between those two.
Four pack contents:
2015 Estate Chardonnay
2013 Estate Pinot Noir
2014 Classic Brut
2014 Brut “X” (sub for the Wedding Cuvee)
Love the Brut “X”, of which we were out- so glad to see it. The funny part was, I was looking forward to trying the Wedding Cuvee, which we haven’t ever had. (Joy, you got the next offer planned yet? )
X4 2015 Nat Geo BdB
X4 2015 PN North Block
X4 2015 Chard Rued Clone
Got nice upgrades on the Chard! Thanks Joy and Co! One of my casemates wants to buy some PN, any idea how to value the bottle?
Edited because I have had a BdB before, don’t know how I forgot.
Now that I’ve seen the link to the PN above, I see that I really hit the jackpot! Wow, you guys, thank you so much! I have never been treated so well in one of these “surprise” cases, and I want to tell you how much that means to me. Having a bit of a rough time right now, so will save it for when things get better to celebrate. I have a rule, 1 glass when sad/mad, 2-3 if happy/celebrating.
Received notice yesterday that I missed an unexpected delivery and assumed it was this bottle. Turned out to be a Lab Rat opportunity instead, which I surely appreciate but am still hoping that the missing IH upgrade has not been forgotten?
By the ph,I suspect the pinot is the only one my household would like, though bubbly never goes amiss. How does this cuvee compare to the fizzy Anne Aimee or gruet from prior deals? Especially regarding the tartness and acidity.
@Jamileigh17 The Gruet is a decent bubbly. Iron Horse will knock your socks off in comparison! There is not an Iron Horse bubbly or still-wine that I do not like. Always consistent. They make some of the best bubblies around with a lot more finesse than the before mentioned bubbly. These are well-made, well-balanced, brut wines. We have a lot of Iron Horse in our cellar and are members of their wine club.
We just had a bottle of the '14 Estate Chardonnay. It was lovely with a nice minerality and long finish. I absolutely LOVE the pinots from Iron Horse, specifically the Thomas Road or Deer Gate (not available here). When we want to buy a special pinot/drink a special pinot, we go for one of these. The Estate pinot is solid. It comes from a young vineyard. IIRC, this vineyard was planted new around 2000. We saw the new plantings while on an RPM Tour.
I see upgrades are available! I wonder to what? Bubbly or still?
@sndg Soon-ish would be good. You want to get there before David Munksgard retires. Don’t know how soon that might be, but they do have an assistant winemaker working there already, and whether or not she’s willing to continue the truck tour, she won’t have the knowledge/experience that David has, after being there 20+ years. @bahwm went on the tour with him in the summer of 2017, and it was a terrific experience, one not to be missed.
Just got home from a trip and opened my box: @Winedavid49
2x Chardonnay estate
1x Pinot noir estate
1x classic brut
Weren’t there supposed to be 2 bubblies, 1 chard, and an upgrade?
I don’t even like Chardonnay. I got this for the bubbles. My intro on WW to the 2005 Wedding Cuvee and I was hooked.
I have not. The last message I received was from CS about a week ago telling me they were checking to see if they had replacements in shippable condition. Haven’t heard a peep since then.
Have you received yours?