2016 Raywood Vineyards White Zinfandel, Central Coast
This delicate White Zinfandel is full of red fruit, and balanced with a bit of sweetness to make this off dry wine clean and brisk in the finish. Enjoy this wine now on summer day picnics, with spicy Asian dishes or just sipping at your leisure.
Tot. Acidity: 0.60g/ml
2016 Raywood Vineyards Moscato, Central Coast
This Moscato has intense floral aromas coupled with an amazingly fresh, fruity, and smooth flavor profile, creating a mouth-watering finish. Fun to quaff with friends anytime for any reason. Let the party begin!
Winery: Castoro Cellars
Owners: Niels and Bimmer Udsen
Founded: Early 80’s
Location: Paso Robles, CA
The husband and wife team of Niels and Bimmer Udsen established Castoro Cellars with the goal of producing world-class wines from Paso Robles-appellation grapes. Each vintage presents a new challenge and Niels is more than willing to constantly and creatively experiment. This on-going research is only one of the things that ensures they meet their goal.
Niels’ long-time nickname “Beaver,” evolved further when he was working in Italy and his friends soon took to calling him “Il Castoro,” which is beaver in Italian. The name and the motto stuck. Castoro Cellars’ “dam fine wines” sport a picture of a beaver on each label.
Castoro is now a winemaking team effort. The team includes Niels, and his mentor Tom Myers. Together they discuss and decide how they want to handle each variety.
“There’s a lot less romance in the every day wine world than appears from the outside,” Niels explains. “The winery isn’t a showplace, we don’t have big stone pillars and art collections, but we have everything we need to make great wine.” Establishing their own winery out in San Miguel and being able to produce their wines in one place as opposed to producing different wines in different locations, still ranks as one of Niels’ most gratifying experiences.
AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
FedEx Ground: Monday, September 17th - Thursday, September 20th
Most wines are produced to be consumed young. Think I read somewhere that 95% of wines are made to be consumed within 2-3 years of release but some of those wines will cellar well for years longer. (I wouldn’t expect these to be among them, however).
Wines that can be aged for many years, even decades, include serious reds that have (usually) seen substantial oak treatment and dessert/ice wines with high sugar levels, as the sugar acts as a preservative. Very few whites are good for aging long term although some Rieslings (especially German ones) and Chardonnays (especially French ones) have stood the test of time.
I haven’t tried either one, but I think they’re for immediate drinking: unlikely to improve with age and more likely to lose whatever youthful charm they possess. There is a definite market for wines of this type and this is probably a good price if you like the style. I’d guess this is a better buy if you live somewhere it stays warm through September and into October (Indian Summer), than if you live in Northern Maine or Northern Minnesota, where there’s a chill in the air by Labor Day…
@chipgreen@gstadter the embedded question “best place to learn which wines are typically expected to age” is a good one. I find CellarTracker.com doesn’t have a drinking window for many wines offered on Casemates, but that’s the best I know of. Some Casemates sellers will say in their description, but many don’t say.
Even when CT does have a drinking window, it’s often unreliable. One trick I use to help determine the usefulness of a CT drinking window - click on “add my dates” and look near the bottom of the page where it will say something like this; “Best enjoyed between 2018 and 2024 (Based on 2 user opinions)”. Now you know how many CT users opinions were used to predict that drinking window - in this case, only 2 users. Not very reliable but if it was 20 users I would take some stock in it.
@chipgreen@gstadter Agreed…there’s usually 0 or very few for the Casemates wines. I’ve added my own drinking window based on the vintners comments on here for ones that I’ve bought. @chipgreen is there a better source that you know of? I see people on here commenting on drinking wines 10+ years old,
I do not have a source for reliable aging advice but re: the 10+ year discussions, RPM is the “Resident Wine Expert” in the Casemates (and former wine.woot) community. He believes that high quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines should not be touched until they are at least 10 years old.
Not everyone shares that opinion although one of the reasons for it is that Cab Sauv wines sometimes enter a “dumb phase” where they seem to lack flavor and fruit. This “dumb phase”, when it does occur, is usually in the 5-10 years from vintage time frame. So, the logical thing to do is either drink up while they’re young or hold 'em until they’re mature.
I would be interested to learn more about the “dumb phase” phenomenon myself, like does it affect most wines at some point? To my knowledge, I have never heard of white wines going through it and the only other red where I’ve heard it discussed is Petite Sirah and it’s believed that the “dumb phase” for PS is somewhere between 10-20 years from vintage, at least that’s what former winemaker Peter Wellington has said, IIRC.
But what about other reds - Merlots? Malbecs? Syrahs, etc.? And what percentage of Cabs and PS wines go through it? If you had 6 bottles of a nice Cab, say Chateau Montelena for instance, would there be some bottle variation or could you reasonably expect them to age in nearly identical fashion? So many questions… sorry to have unintentionally hijacked your aging concerns and turned them into a “dumb phase” discussion, although the topics are related, at least in some cases!
if you like Moscatos this wine should not disappoint. It presents all the expectations of a Moscato without the effervescence. It is a sweet, light, crisp, easily drinkable wine with a nice bouquet of fruit aromas, peaches were forward in this wine for me. The finish is smooth and last. Can be served early in the evening or with a light dessert. Chill and enjoy.” Lab Rat Report-CR for IWQ
Can I be honest with you? This Casemates thing is pretty awesome. An email arrives from my new friend, Ariana. She’s sending wine, WOOHOO! Now the (Lab Rat) race is on. Like previous rats have noted, I need to get ahold of Fedex to have the package held. Just in time! WOOT! Mission Accomplished! Whew! Wonder what’s coming. Ariana didn’t say, so I scour the FedEx order confirmation screen for any details I might have missed. As my mind processes the purchase order, my full-on smile turns mediocre. Purchase order number: RaywoodMoscato.
Meh, I don’t really care for Moscato.
Did I mention this Casemates thing is pretty awesome? On the way home from work Tuesday night, I pick the bottle up (thanks for holding the package Safeway!) and pop it into the fridge. It’s not until Thursday evening when I take the bottle out of the fridge and pull the cork.
The honey aroma hits my nose. As I pour a bit into a clean Casemates glass, I notice that it’s slightly thicker than a chilled Pino Grigio and maybe a shade or two darker. It starts sweet on the tongue, finishes with some slight tartness and in a second or two - no residual.
I pour a glass for my wife. Not her cup of tea. We both agree - it’s not as sweet as a Boone’s Farm or Manischewitz, but it’s seriously sweeter than the William Hill North Coast Chardonnay it was parked beside in the fridge.
Bottom line: We drink a wide variety (reds, whites, sparkling, etc.) but generally avoid sweet wine. If sweeter wine is your thing - don’t let this Lab Rat’s opinion move your cheese.
@emtsees not my cup of tea (or should I say goblet of wine :)) either, but I know lots of people who only drink sweet wines (even the abomination known as sweet red :)). I’m guessing that Casemates sales on this offer will determine whether we see more sweets. Part of me wants this sale to fail so we see fewer sweet wines here, but part of me wants it to be successful so Casemates will be successful. Very conflicted here…
For as many types of wine that are out there, there are as many customers that will buy them. All our palates and tastes are different. Sutter Home made a fantastic red Zinfandel but it was their White Zinfandel that really set them on fire. Yes, it had some sweetness , but that is what customers wanted. Little has changed. Those of you who started out with White Zin., Boones Farm, etc. have moved up in your tastes which will continue to evolve. Once you are a true wine lover you will be able to evaluate any wine as to how good it is or not, no matter what your preference is. You may not feel as comfortable doing it but you can. Why do I say this? Well, I spent some 25+ yrs in the wine business and over 30 yrs. conducting tastings.
I certainly remember the quite nice (and very inexpensive) red (mostly Amador County) Zins that Sutter Home was known and respected for in the late '60s and early '70s before white Zinfandel happened.
I say happened because the first time they made it sweet was the result of a stuck fermentation, or so the story went. They made a little white Zin before that, which was essentially dry and was actually quite good. Didn’t sell very well, just as Sebastiani’s very decent dry light rose of Pinot Noir (called Eye of the Swan) didn’t sell well. I think the first vintage I had was the '73 - when someone threw it in as a 13th ‘bakers dozen’ bottle when I bought a case of the '70 red Zin for a party.
collegebob, if you’ve been in the trade a long time, you may remember how in the '50s the Wine Institute did quite a bit of consumer research trying to determine what people actually liked and would buy, as opposed to what they would say they would buy. One of the most notable (and acted upon) findings was that the average table wine drinker (as opposed to those who drank clearly sweet or fortified wines) actually preferred reds at about 1% residual sugar to much drier wines. Similarly with whites, up to about 1.5% residual sugar. Which is why most of the jug reds and jug whites, as well as much of the varietal white wine other than the tiny amounts of Chardonnay out there, were finished with 1% to 1.5% residual sugar. Sales were much improved!
Times have changed and table wine palates are much more attuned to drier wines now, though it’s remarkable how popular the very plummy, jammy wines harvested at high Brix are… and I’d be most them have more residual sugar than they let on… Maybe not a full 1%…, but .8 or .9% …
@chipgreen@rpm Yes, I remember the first SH White Zin. It was dry and only sold in 10th bottles at first. As they sweetened it the popularity rose greatly. Carey Gott at Montevina back in the 70’s produced a very dry WZ and I believe Wh. Cab. that were delicious. Yes, the Sebastiani Eye of the Swan was very pleasant drinking and as you noted didn’t sell as well. Others like, Simi’s Rose of Cab., Mirassou’s Petite Rose, and Pedroncelli’s Zin Rose were also on the dry at first and also very pleasant drinking. They were also very reasonably priced unlike many of today’s roses and more colorful “white” reds.
For Chardonnay’s the Kendall-Jackson was probably the first really popular chardonnay with some RS. They didn’t tell anyone at first, though some of us could taste it, but it was well liked. Also true about the plummy and jammy wines with just under 1% RS. With .6 to .9% it is just above threshold…enough to take the edge off but not appear sweet. Heck, if it sells the wine and people think it is “dry” then no harm done.
Yes, a lot has changed from the 60’s and 70’s to the present. Especially price differences vs quality. Thank goodness for Casemates.
Yes, I would recommend argon wine preservation systems. I have used them in the past and still have
one bottle though I rarely use it. Once I open a wine it usually doesn’t take more than a day or two to finish it.
Ugh, just mention Boones Farm and my head starts pounding!!! LOL Being young, stupid, and living without a care in the world during the 60’s and 70’s seemed to be fun times!!! Maybe just not the best years!!
Finally some whites on here that I would love to drink and share with TC, and I can’t pull the trigger because 3 weeks ago I bought a couple cases of beer. Casemates, you have horrible timing. Or I do. Either way, no money on booze for the foreseeable future.