Oriel Russian River Zinfandel and Napa Valley Cabernet - 3 Pack

Oriel Russian River Zinfandel and Napa Valley Cabernet - 3 Pack
$49.99 + $5 shipping
2 2005 Oriel Hugo Russian River Valley Zinfandel
1 2003 Oriel Soluna, Napa Valley, CA
CT links above

Winery website

Previous offers:

Courtesy of CJ:

So join or create a gathering!


I’ve never been around for an Oriel offer. What’s the general consensus among the Woot faithful about this producer? (They keep showing up, so they must at least be good sellers.)

Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen/tasted “nutmeg” in a Zinfandel. Interesting…

Dan Goldfield and Philippe Melka - that’s certainly impressive.

Of course, you know what I want - stats please! pH, TA, Brix at harvest RS.

Cold soak on these…anything else…

Thank you!


Got this from the 12/15 offer for the Zin:

Are these considered outside their prime now or should they cellar well for a few more years? I see no numbers on abv and ph - haven’t looked through previous wootings yet.

Edit: Nightghost, looks like there are numbers on the Zin offered back in 2010.

Goldfield posted this in that thread RE: the zin.

pH-3.41, TA-0.779 gm/100ml, ETOH-14.48, residual sugar-DRY, Brix at harvest - 24.7

No winery participation on the cab.

Still lots of hesitation for both the cab and the zin, and with very little winery participation most haven’t gone for it.

Seems like these have a frequent history of being offered here on WW. The reviews make these seem a bit like tepid bath water. Hope someone who ordered them will weigh in with their opinion…

The CT review for the Zin may not make it sound like tepid bath water, but the quality sounds right there.

In particular, I could use some Zin - especially if I can drink it now or at least soon.

Dan Goldfield’s reputation is superlative, but this sounds scary to me:

IMHO, Zin should be on the sweet side, but the ones that go too far (“Port Zins”) turn me off (nothing against an actual Zin Port).

Is it because they aren’t a winery per se, but a rather isn’t Oriel a negociant?

Here’s the low-down on a negociant, from the 30 Second Wine Advisor back in 08/08:

So my take is that there isn’t a consensus about this particular negociant because I don’t recall any winery participation nor any rattage. So all that’s left is speculation, and maybe CT reviews.

On the plus side, these are nicely aged. I could be concerned that 8-year old cab is getting into a dumb phase (not that I would recognize a dumb phase, myself); the oak treatment suggests aging is a good thing. I think some past discussions have said that 2005 was a pretty good year, relative to 2006. Given that 2006 Zin is supposed to be good now, and that 2007 is supposed to take longer than 2006, and that 2005 and 2007 were both supposed to be good years, the 2005 Zin should probably be in a good drinking window now.

Unless (a) I’m thoroughly confused as to vintages, or (b) this wasn’t ever good enough that aging would help. The fact that Oriel appears to operate like Cameron Hughes suggests we’re not going to get winery participation because Oriel didn’t do the winemaking and doesn’t have the records.

This is an offer crying out for comments from the brave souls that bought it last time.

Did it last time. Liked the style. In again.

I have never been on WW before but since I have experience with this particular company I thought I would share…

I managed a bar in 2005-2008 and our owner was able to source this vintner for our wine list toward the end of my tenure. I am guessing in '07, when they started. We offered:
2003 Oriel Palio - Italian Montepulciano; Roberto Cipresso
2005 Oriel Setena - Spanish Garnacha; Xavier Clua
2002 Oriel VQM - Chilean Cab. Sauv; Jean-Pascal Lacaze

All roughly sold for $45-50 btl as I recall and were pretty brisk sellers despite no one having heard of them. We had a training opportunity with the rep and so were all pretty knowledgeable about the product. The customers thought all three were an excellent product. We sold a wine flight of all three of them and I could usually, very easily, convert that flight into a bottle sale for dinner. The VQM was probably our best seller over all. The Palio came in last.

If this set of 3 was $40 I would snap it up in a second, even though I am not much of a wine drinker. $50 is about my threshold for this deal since I am not much of a drinker and can’t find much value over $15 a bottle.


Just curious, what style would that be?

Please do tell us more. This Zin sounds like a ripe Zin from the description of dark brambles etc, and a candies sweet finish, but the data (if it is correct) from the last woot sounds like it’s nice and fresh, with not too high Brix and acidity! (was that the same year though?)

OTOH, The Cab data points as a Napa Cab through and through with big big fruit, high punch and heavy but but rounded tannins from extended maceration. They use long long maceration, cold soak for AGES, and heaps and heaps of oak! It’s possibly also one for sweet, easy-drinking wine lovers! And I think you’d want to drink this soon, if you like the style.

I suspect it’s good QPR for what it is. I’d love more notes from those who’ve tasted the Zins (and indeed anyone who’s tried the Cab).

Interestingly, the Cab was $35 a bottle on WOOT last time! At that price, the Zins are about $10 each! (including shipping here).

Good point - in fact it seems like $40 a bottle each when you include the shipping and $15 each for the Zin, so just from previous woots, we’d be getting $70 in Woot value for only $55 this go around

I’m in for either one or two - need to decide.

Considering that these have been aged a bit for me already into their drinking window, and NightGhost’s comment re: the winemaker’s reputation, I’ve been pushed towards +2

I will apologize right now and say i do not have tasting notes on the oriel, but did purchase the zin and remember enjoying it, and will purchase again. however, i know it was not a fruit bomb, i would have remembered that.

I bought the 12/15 woot for the zin and don’t recall it being much like a port at all. I do recall however in other comments on the zin previously that the drink-by date was 12/31/2010. Unless someone can refute that claim, I’d say don’t put this one in the cellar. You might even pop it open and share it with the mailman when they deliver it! :slight_smile:

link to previous comment regarding drinkability; http://wine.woot.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?PostID=4278610

I didn’t buy these before, and have no direct experience. Numbers look in line for modern international style, more or less. That would be consistent with the description of the company that it sells heavily to restaurants, and the observation from the former restaurateur that this negociant’s wines were popular restaurant pours made for early drinking, with the older Italian wine the least popular.

2003 was generally only an ‘ok’ year for Napa Cab, but I’ve had a few in the middle range that were promising pre-dumb phase (Martini, BV Rutherford). Depending on how these wines are rigged, they should be somewhere in the middle to later stages of sleep. More lightly rigged wines (in terms of staying power) might even be emerging. Rule of thumb is that “Dumb” tends to start around 5-6 years after vintage and end 8-10 years after vintage. So for example, '05s should be dumb or going dumb, while '07s should still be showing youthful fruit, while '00s through '02s should be emerging or have emerged. '03s and '04s ought to be sleeping soundly.

Could be a decent buy, if there’s anything there. Doesn’t look really like my style, though.

It’s hard to sell a wine that’s asleep, except to the minority of us who understand these things, and they may need to move this out of the warehouse to make room for whatever they’re bottling this Spring. My guess is you don’t see a lot of '03 Cab still in the pipeline, unless someone bought a bunch and has it on the shelves.

Great info. I’ve actually seen a number of 03 Cabs available on many of the wine discount sites. Makes sense now!