TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

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TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #1  Postby Dale Williams » September 3rd 2009, 2:39pm

(I'm sure others will chime in who were there,but I like to get my notes out early, so I can't second guess myself)

So I rarely have lunch away from desk, but today was too good to pass up. Daniel Posner at Grapes in N. White Plains invited me to join a group of geeks for lunch and a blind tasting, with the only knowledge that it would include the 2005 Sierra Carche. If anyone isn't familiar with this story, this was a "brand" wine that got a very high score from Dr Jay Miller at WA, and subsequently has led to some major disappointment among a lot (though not all) buyers.  There has been some controversy and confusion re lot numbers, production figures, and what the wine actually is.

Lunch was hamburgers for appetizers and steak for main course, a real guy lunch (there was potato salad, vegetables, and cheese too). Lineup was 14 wines (a 15th, the 2005 Pico Madama, was corked). Daniel knew the lineup, but had employees blind the bottles, so single blind for him, for the rest of us it was double blind (though we knew there was at least one 2005 Sierra Carche). About a dozen foks attended, some ITB, a couple consumers who had bought SC, and a few interested observer winegeeks.

As a disclaimer, I don't drink much Spanish wine except some Rioja, so maybe not the best judge.

Flight One - Not an auspicious start

#1 Menthol, slightly weedy, tired. Not good. C-

#2 Grenachey, jammy/hot B-/C+

#3 Porty slightly lifted nose , alcoholic, heavy in mouth but thin flavors C

Ugly flight

Flight Two

#4  Light, cherry fruit, a touch of frizzante at first, some people really hated, I thought  a simple quaffer but not awful B-/C+

#5  Horrible nose, VA meets turpentine meets weedy greenness, really terrible, Kenney (who has had Sierra Carche a number of times)  says "this is it!"  D/F

#6  Ripe, jammy, dark red fruit, sweeter than my preferred style but at least not flawed. B-

Some talk of stoning Dan and raiding the store downstairs for something to drink

Flight Three

#7 Green , some VA/shoe polish, not quite as bad as 5, but similar nose makes us think we found a second Sierra Carche. D

#8 Jammy, sweet, rich, low low acid, a charred oak component. Not my style, but at least not flawed. Actually a bit of a relieft after #5 & 7 B-/B

#9 Muted fruit, a little burnt rubber, I come around to agreeing it's corked.
NR

We're beginning to resemble the villagers in Frankenstein, luckily the upstairs of Grapes is devoid of torches.

Flight Four
#10  A bit of black fruit, a little brett, but comparatively straightforward and not flawed by my standards. C+/B+

#11 OK, I thought #5 was bad, till I tasted this. Burnt rubber and sewagey brett. Horrible wine, we tried to one-up each other with descriptors. "tires leaving skid marks as the car slides off road into the waste pond at the pig farm" was my contribution (Tyler informed me the wastepond is called the "lagoon", I'll use that next time). Fatally flawed wine. F

#12 Red berries, a bit plain but clean, one of my faves of the lunch (admittedly a bit of faint praise). It's a rare tasting where "it's clean" is one of the top superlatives of the event. B

Flight Five

#13 Red fruit, very sweet, but some balancing acids, one of the best of the day (again, faint praise).  I thought this or maybe #12 was an 01 Embruix I expected to be in lineup. B/B-

#14 Hot, disjointed, off nose (I think Adam nails it with"rotting hay." ) C-

Thank God, it's over!

Then we sent in our votes for top 3 faves, and Howard totalled while Daniel unveiled.

#1 2005 Sierra Carche (lot 8114)
#2 2005 Espectacle (Monsant) - Dan says $150
#3  2004 Pico Madama
#4 The Pepper Pot (South Africa) missed vintage, $14
#5 2005 Sierra Carche (lot 8114)
#6 2005 Pasanau (El Vell Coster) Priorat
#7 2005 Sierra Carche (lot 8114)
#8 2005 Mollydooker Carnival of Love
#9 2007 Resalso (Ribera del Duero)
#10 2007 A1 Mouvedre $12
#11  2007 Panarroz (Jumilla)
#12 2008 Oriol (Emporda) $12
#13 2001 Clos Fonta (Priorat)
#14 2005 Sierra Carche (lot 8113)

Vote totals
#2 1 1st Place Vote
#6 1 1st Place Vote, 1 2nd Place Vote, 2 Third Place Votes
#8  4 1st Place Votes, 6 2nd Place Votes, 1 Third Place Votes
#12  4 1st Place Votes, 2 2nd Place Vote, 3 Third Place Votes
#13 2 1st Place Votes, 3 2nd Place Vote, 6 Third Place Votes

OK, so #11 wasn't Sierra Carche (this was a terrible bottle, but a couple of people who know the  Panarroz  said bottle wasn't representative).

I'm surprised that Carnival of Love was one of my top wines, but it was a relief to have something that seemed to be what the winemaker intended.

There may be some 96 point Sierra Carches out there, but these four were sub-80 in my mental conversion

I may not be much of a judge of Spanish wines, and not the biggest fan of grenache etc, but even folks better disposed towards those wines seemed to be in agreement that the Sierra Carches were all terrible, and I didn't hear one person say "I'd buy this" about any of the wines. I could see maybe #12.

I can't say it was my favorite lineup, but the good news was since I was driving and going back to work I had no trouble spitting!

Fun time, nice group, good food, "interesting" wines, good to see some old acquaintances and meet some new people. 


Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency. 

 

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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #2  Postby steffenpelz » September 3rd 2009, 2:46pm

Funniest notes I've read in a while. I was laughing out loud at #11.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #3  Postby Ted Erfer » September 3rd 2009, 2:58pm

Sorry I couldn't make the event.
Sounds like it was fun.
Great notes.

Thanks
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #4  Postby C G Nieto » September 3rd 2009, 3:05pm

Very entertaining read but glad that I wasn't in the panel. Not much left to be said about whether SC is a 90+ point wine after this. Nail in the coffin until it resurrects under a different name.

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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #5  Postby jeffz » September 3rd 2009, 3:24pm

Thanks! Great notes. I have had good luck with the Panarroz before but I haven't tried one since the 05 vintage. We sold tons of the '04. It is a Dan Kravitz Selections wine, and, in general, I like his picks.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #6  Postby Mark F r a n k s » September 3rd 2009, 3:32pm

The best part of the luncheon was the Kenney & Manzi show next to me! I almost spit wine out on several occasions, which come to think of it would not have been a bad idea with some of the atrocities. I'll post my notes later, but I too had the Carnival of Love (formerly known as "The Carnival of Crap" by me) as my #1 wine, but after tasting those Sierra Carches I think I might have given 90pts to turpentine.

Very generous afternoon Dan, thanks a lot. I had a great time and learned a lot.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #7  Postby Paul Jaouen » September 3rd 2009, 3:40pm

Ted Erfer wrote:Sorry I couldn't make the event.
Sounds like it was fun.


Are you kidding? Did you read the notes? I feel sorry for the attendees.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #8  Postby Paul Jaouen » September 3rd 2009, 3:42pm

Mark F r a n k s wrote:The best part of the luncheon was the Kenney & Manzi show next to me!


These are Kenney type wines. He didn't like them?
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #9  Postby John Morris » September 3rd 2009, 3:47pm

Many, many thanks to Dan for sponsoring this exploration of the undrinkable and for manning the barbeque, and to all the participants who sacrificed their palates in the interests of oenology (assuming this was wine). Robert Kenney, who brought the Sierra Carche problem to light, deserves a special mention, too, for joining us and recounting how he's methodically worked his way through 18 bottles of the stuff (hereinafter "SC"). (Sure you want to keep telling people that, Robert?)

It was fascinating in a morbid sort of way. The SCs were indeed awful, but each bottle was awful in a subtly different way. Some were more porty, some had more of a pine antisceptic note. But there were a couple of common strands that allowed the group to pick them out for the most part.

For starters, they oozed VA. I make my own vinegar, so I'm not usually too sensitive to VA, but I'm sure you could clean your copper pots with these.

The other signature could be summed up in my note “underripe and overripe at the same time” -- no small feat. They were also brutally tannic and fruit-free.

I'd love to know what a winemaker would say about these. We never did hear about those lab tests in Barcelona, did we? Aside from the VA, I don’t know that these were technically flawed. I think they may just be overripe, overextracted and wildly out of balance.

My scores for the four SC bottles were 50, 60, 60 and a whopping 74 for one (on the 50-100 point scale). The only wines that came close to being as bad were the Pico Madama, made by the same winery for the same marketing/importing firms (it also wreaked of VA), and another Jumilla. (I'll spare you my thoughts on Jumilla.)

There were a few pleasant wines, including a 2006 Espectacle from ancient vines in Montsant (96 Jay Miller points; 86 John Morris points), but I lost interest in that when the $150 price tag was revealed. I liked the 2005 Pasanau Priorat, too, though it had a zin-like fruit to it and someone guessed it was a Toro. Sorry -- it was $70 but goes for $120 at Grapes now that it has garnered 97 Jay Miller points (cf. 86 John Morris points).

Perhaps this fact sums up the experience best: Two of my four favorite wines were a slightly corked $15 Resalso Ribera del Duero and a Mollydooker Carnival of Love ringer (it is what it is, it tasted like an Aussie shiraz, and it was more potable than the other Mollydookers I’ve had).

Nonetheless, it was by far the most entertaining wine event of my year.
Last edited by John Morris on September 3rd 2009, 3:53pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #10  Postby Brent C l a y t o n » September 3rd 2009, 3:52pm

Sorry to have missed this. Slave to the grind...
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #11  Postby Jack Bulkin » September 3rd 2009, 4:13pm

This is a great thread. I love Dan Posner and his passion for both the integrity in wine making and in critic wine reporting.
I am one of the lucky ones that actually tasted the Sierra Crash.
I bought 3 admittedly because of the $29.00 tariff for a highly rated wine. To my credit it was only a case filler for some 05 Bordeaux futures I purchased from WL. I really never has any expectation that it was a mid 90 point wine.
It was horrific. It was so bad that instead of opening a second bottle as I normally would to assure myself that the first was not flawed, I gifted the remaining two to women with whom I am friendly when they had reached a level of intoxication that I doubted they could tell the difference.
I also had the " pleasure" of tasting the 05 Pico Madama in Napa with the berserker crew. If your bottle was truly corked, then all I can say is you were lucky. I would have preferred a corked wine to the dreck I tasted.
Last, I notice that you also "loved" the 2007 Panarroz (Jumilla). I received a donation of 3 cases of that lovely wine along with Eric Solomon's Garnacha that spurred great debate in a similar way as Sierra Carche last year at my Culinary Festival for our Sunday Brunch. I rarely would be critical of any wine or wine company or distributor that gave any wine to a charity especially mine. These wines were not anywhere near drinkable. The reason I state this is that the WA loved both. The WA never changed the scores of either after many complaints from its subscribers. Yet both were below swill.
In conclusion, I take heat here because I am not in love with people that have nothing better to do than blast our country because it is not run their way.
Dan Posner has taken heat for demanding integrity. [worship.gif] This tasting supports Dan, his mission and the absolute failure of the critics over there. Great job guinea pigs. [thumbs-up.gif]
Last edited by Jack Bulkin on September 3rd 2009, 4:28pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #12  Postby Daniel McNiff » September 3rd 2009, 4:26pm

This bodes well for whoever wines the lunch with Posner prize in the donation drive...
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #13  Postby Jim Brennan » September 3rd 2009, 4:30pm

Jack Bulkin wrote:In conclusion, I take heat here because I am not in love with people that have nothing better to do than blast our country because it is not run their way.


Huh? [scratch.gif]
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #14  Postby John Morris » September 3rd 2009, 4:37pm

Jack Bulkin wrote:Last, I notice that you also "loved" the 2007 Panarroz (Jumilla).


Who loved it? Not Dale or me! That was the only other wine I gave 50 points. Someone described it accurately as smelling like "rotted bubblegum."

What did Miller give that? I don't think Dan told us.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #15  Postby Jack Bulkin » September 3rd 2009, 4:43pm

John Morris wrote:
Jack Bulkin wrote:Last, I notice that you also "loved" the 2007 Panarroz (Jumilla).


Who loved it? Not Dale or me! That was the only other wine I gave 50 points. Someone described it accurately as smelling like "rotted bubblegum."

What did Miller give that? I don't think Dan told us.


I put the word "loved" in quotes because of the vivid and wretched tasting notes you both gave. The 07 was not rated. The 05 was given an 88.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #16  Postby Steve Eisenhauer » September 3rd 2009, 4:48pm

Jack Bulkin wrote:TThe reason I state this is that the WA loved both. The WA never changed the scores of either after many complaints from its subscribers. Yet both were below swill.


Now I understand RMP's infamous quote that only makers of swill do not want him to review their wines. Those who make wine below swill are eager to have him do so. [rofl.gif]
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #17  Postby Max Marinucci » September 3rd 2009, 4:58pm

Thanks for the entertaining notes Dale. Wish I could have been there but my wife decided to destroy my day for a new baby car seat!
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #18  Postby Steve Manzi » September 3rd 2009, 5:11pm

I ventured out for my first get together with some wine geeks, and was looking forward to some great posner selections, even though we had to agree to put some Sierra Carche in our mouths again. What it turned out to be was a laughathon, with some food and a big dump bucket.

I kept waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out and hug me and tell me "You just got Punk'd"

I have to admit, those were THE worst lineup of wines I have EVER tasted. And I have been tortured with way too many of Kenney's "Wait till you taste this one from my man Dr. Big Jay."

With that, I am afraid I healed a bit too quickly, and DID attend this one. I would have rather had a few more weeks of healing, and missed this massacre.

#1 A bit candyish on the nose. But other than that, thin, insipid and hot. 28 pts My note thought "SC", but the candy nose made me think it was some gem that Posner carries. 2005 Sierra Carche

#2 I thought this decent, a bit thin also, but something I could actually drink, if I had to. "A low level CDR?" 2005 Espectacle - Monsant

#3 Tannic and thin, not much fruit and no finish. "possible bordeaux?" 2004 Pico Madama


Flight Two

#4 I agree with Dale, that it was light, with some cherryish fruit. Drinkable, but forgetable. "Chianti?" The Pepper Pot

#5 This was so horrible, that it could only be the SC. VA big time. What a terrible nose. I do not remember the SCs that I had being THIS bad. Mine were more in the 55-60 pt range:) 22 pts tops 2005 Sierra Carche

#6 I also thought this was fairly rich and jammy. Had sweet tannins, and was decent to nice. "Aussie?" Pasanau - El Vell Coster


Flight Three

#7 Another FOR SURE CR. Disgusting nose, hard to put in mouth, easy to spit. "SC" 23 pts 2005 Sierra Carche

#8 Big sweet fruit, full bodied, jammy and fun. "Cali syrah?" Mollydooker COL

#9 corked? Resalso

Flight Four

#10 A basically sound wine. Unremarkable, decent wine. "QPR Spanish? 2007 A1 Mouvedre

#11 A terrible wine that was again, either a SC or another Posner gem he was trying to sell us on. "SC" 2007 Panarroz

#12 Sweet, fairly balanced, blueberries, smooth "Higher level spanish" Oriol - Emporda

Flight Five

#13 By this time I wasn't able to tell much, other than that it was a decent bottle, and a winner compared to most of the shit we had to put up with. Clos Fonta

#14 either poster has put in many bottles of SC, or he is in bed with Miller. Disgusting 23 pts "SC" 2005 Sierra Carche

Nice meeting all of you, and thanks to Dan for putting up all of the wines and supplying the foods. As bad as the wines were (mostly), it was well done and makes a point very plainly.

NOW I see how jay rated the SC 96 pts.....four bottles, add em up = 96pts. Easy stuff, this wine rating for WA.

As far as wines, it can only get better!!
Last edited by Steve Manzi on September 3rd 2009, 5:16pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #19  Postby Steve Manzi » September 3rd 2009, 5:13pm

Max Marinucci wrote:Thanks for the entertaining notes Dale. Wish I could have been there but my wife decided to destroy my day for a new baby car seat!


If you knew how bad the wines would be, you would buy her a new car to go along with that seat.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #20  Postby Max Marinucci » September 3rd 2009, 5:19pm

Steve Manzi wrote:
Max Marinucci wrote:Thanks for the entertaining notes Dale. Wish I could have been there but my wife decided to destroy my day for a new baby car seat!


If you knew how bad the wines would be, you would buy her a new car to go along with that seat.



No doubt Steve. I would have enjoyed the company a lot more than the wines, I am sure.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #21  Postby Paul Jaouen » September 3rd 2009, 5:48pm

Steve Manzi wrote:
With that, I am afraid I healed a bit too quickly, and DID attend this one. I would have rather had a few more weeks of healing, and missed this massacre.



Now that I understand!
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #22  Postby Shannon Perdue » September 3rd 2009, 5:55pm

At least no one found any torches. Geez, not a stellar tasting.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #23  Postby Ted Erfer » September 3rd 2009, 7:29pm

Paul Jaouen wrote:
Ted Erfer wrote:Sorry I couldn't make the event.
Sounds like it was fun.


Are you kidding? Did you read the notes? I feel sorry for the attendees.


would have been fun for me - was having an annual physical which included getting very friendly with the doc [middle-finger.gif]
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #24  Postby Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ » September 3rd 2009, 7:32pm

Yikes, thanks for sharing, but seemed like a real torturous exersize...
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #25  Postby Fernando Losada » September 3rd 2009, 7:54pm

My public apology for not being able to attend this "event for the ages" after being cordially invited by Dan. I'm sorry I missed it, and I'm especially sorry I missed looking at the faces of the attendees while they were tasting these atrocities! It sure sounds like an exercise in s&m...
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #26  Postby Dan Hammer » September 3rd 2009, 8:20pm

Daniel,

I wanted to thank you for setting up the tasting and providing lunch. [cheers.gif]

This was my first blind tasting, and an eye opener it was. The Mollydooker wasn't as good blind as it was when I originally tasted it in June. Did blind affect the outcome, or was it a bottle variation? Beats me. It was my #3 wine. It tasted like a crowd pleaser, but a buy? My notes say not for me.

I was surrounded at the table by ITB folks and serious wine drinkers. In this group, I'm low man on the totem pole. I was surprised to find that all the experts seemed to agree with some of my notes. Am I getting smarter as I progress in my wine education, or is there something the other guys have to worry about. [stirthepothal.gif]

As for the SC, I think we all agreed that the high rating of a professional wine critic was flawed. Heck, even I know that. Just a smell of this and you'd start the points at 20. Eich.

I thought the Resalsco was a simple wine, and I was right. Retail $15.
I thought the Panarroz tasted funny. Someone said this was flawed. At $9, I'd have no problem pouring this down the drain.
My #2 wine was the Oriol. It was sweet, but not overly sweet. An easy drinker. Retail $15.

My #1 wine was the '01 Clos Fonta. A Spanish Priorat. 94 points $90. Is it worth $90? That's for you to decide, but if I was spending $90, I'd pick up an ACV Eloge or a couple of Sojourns.


Who says good wine has to be expensive. If I paid $150 for the Espectacle, I would have been pissed. Was it good? yes. Is it worth $150? No.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #27  Postby D. Wirsig » September 3rd 2009, 10:26pm

Safe to say the Sierra is a "hot mess"... I posted my note in the other thread, still need to return my 2 remaining bottles...
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #28  Postby Dale Williams » September 4th 2009, 5:55am

While I can't say I enjoyed the wines, I certainly enjoyed the tasting. I thought Daniel did a good job of choosing wines mostly from the same areas and/or same cepages to give the SCs a fair chance.

Some thoughts based on comments on eBob- As I noted, my palate preference is not towards hot climate wines. That said, these bottles were just flat out flawed IMHO. I put the CoL in my top 4 wines, despite my palate preference, just because it was so clean compared to the SCs, the Pico Madama (also from Well Oiled), the Panarroz. etc. Others who like very ripe wines more than I do were just as unhappy with those wines. I've never been at a tasting where some of the top positive comments were along the lines of "hey, at least this one is clean."

I understand that Mr Parker and some other posters have had better experiences. But the 4 Sierra Carches came from separate sources (2 from PLCB, 2 from participants who bought at retail on East Coast), so I don't think storage is the issue. I guess heat in shipping might be an issue, but I've tasted lots of heat damaged wines, and these didn't strike a profile I would associate with that. I guess maybe the first SC , which had at least a less offensive nose than the others. might resemble a heat issue with its premature tiredness . I can believe the Panarroz is an off bottle, tough to judge on one, but 4 bottles from 3 or 4 different stores?

Dan and Mark, good to see you again. John and Steve, nice to meet you. Max, sorry you missed it.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #29  Postby Paul Jaouen » September 4th 2009, 6:21am

I've tasted Panarroz (don't remember what vintages) and they were good but simple wines. Certainly decent wine at that price point.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #30  Postby Dale Williams » September 4th 2009, 7:11am

Paul, I also thought the Panarroz decent in earlier vintage. As noted, could just be a bad bottle
From 2006:
2004 Panarroz (Jumilla) 
Jim really liked this. Super fruit-forward. A very ripe red fruit body, with a light herbal note. Very soft mouthfeel. Probably a very good value (someone had brought to a party on weekend, but I think I've seen at $7-8), but not a style I really go for. But probably a huge hit at a non-geek party. B-
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #31  Postby Mark F r a n k s » September 4th 2009, 7:15am

Ok, I'd like to post my thoughts on the wines, I think they mirror a lot of others thoughts that day. It was great to meet everyone and put faces to names I see on this board and to see old friends again.

1) stewed fruit, hard, tannic, chemicals, not pleasant at all - 2005 Sierre carche #15235 lot8114 - this was the best of the four Sierra Carches, which is like picking out your favorite turd in the bowl

2) nice fruit, very ripe, loads of alcohol, spoofed - 2005 Espectacle (at $150 I would be PISSED if I had bought any of this, most of us thought this was low end shiraz or CdR

3) tannic, tight, some spice, some fruit, might open up a bit, not too bad, but not something I want to drink again - 2004 Pico Madama

4) loads of alcohol initially, I thought it may be a Shiraz, very fruit forward and ripe - 2008 The Pepper Pot(South Africa) Syrah/Mourvedre/Tannat blend - interesting wine and for $12?? or so not a bad wine really, my #4

5) varnish, bad, awful - 2005 Sierra Carche - this was horrendous swill

6)nice fruit, oak, maybe a new world Cabernet?, I liked this and would drink it - 2005 Pasanau El Veil Costere Priorat - my #3 of the afternoon

7) awful, varnish, toxic chemicals - 2005 Sierra Carche - #15236 lot 8114

8) akin to a dry port, sweet fruit, very nice, loads of rich, ripe fruit, very Aussie - 2005 Mollydooker Carnival of love - I've had this wine twice in the past and have hated it, but this time, against this lot of horrific wines it was the best one going, my #1 wine of the afternoon, at lest it didn't taste manufactured in a lab

9) tainted or possibly cooked, - 2007 Resalso Ribera del Duero

10) not bad, a bit tannic, good fruit, but simple - 2007 A1 Muvedre Alicante

11) bad, stewed fruit, va, hot, actually painful to drink, aroma of overcooked cranberrys - 2007 Panarroz - This was clearly an off bottle, as I just had one of these and it was much better

12) a little over the top, big fruit, ripe vanilla and spice, nice wine - 2008 Oriel Vines del Aspres - my #2 of the afternoon

13) tannic, dusty, stewy fruit, oak, and alcohol, not very pleasurable - 2001 Mas de Gil Clos Forta Priorat

14) burnt rubber, va, hot, chemicals - 2005 Sierra Carche

Thanks again Dan, this was avery informative afternoon and a load of fun.
"Valar Morghulis"
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #32  Postby Daniel Posner » September 4th 2009, 7:24am

Okay, my turn. Firstly, thank you everyone who attended and were good sports. I tried to keep this event small and tried to have people attend who showed a previous interest in this whole Wine Advocate embarassment. What people lose sight of here is that a few weeks ago, Robert Parker "claims" to have tasted a good btl of Carche. Previous to that, he PROMISED to taste a btl on his video blog first. Instead, he tasted it in private with his wife, who gave the wine 93 points. We tasted 4 btls yesterday, from 3 DIFFERENT sources. And all were SHIT! That is the start of an investigation, not what Robert Parker has done.

Thank you, Jack, for your comments. I have been on the Wine Advocate's case for 2+ years now about Jay Miller and his tasting methodology. In that time, he has admitted to tasting just as Robert Parker does. This should ring serious alarm bells. Whatever Jay tasted for Carche was certainly not what anyo of us tasted yesterday and we had to do it 4 times.

On to the tasting...I selected, what I thought to be a good lineup. 15 wines served blind with a filet mignon lunch.

Lets examine the lineup, before we shit on the wines...

4 btls 2005 Sierra Carche @ WA 96 points each
2005 Pico Madama (corked, never served) WA 95+
2004 Pico Madama WA 93
2001 Clos Fonta WA 94
2007 Panarroz (Unrated by JM, but RP gave 2003-2006 all WA 90)
2007 Telmo Rodriguez A1 Murvedre
2005 Pasanau El Vell Coster WA 97
2008 Edgebaston Pepper Pot unrated
2007 Emilio Moro Resalso WA 90
2005 Espectacle (unrated, but 2004 was WA 99, 2006 WA 96)
2008 Oriol Unrated
2005 Mollydooker Carnival of Love WA 99

Is this really a bad lineup of wines? It reads like something Jay Miller might have on a riverboat cruise down the Murray River, no?

Most of these wines were very highly rated, and none were poorly rated. Before Thursday, I had never had Sierra Carche before, and all 4 btls were crap. I will never forget that smell of three of those btls. Absolutely disgusting. Panarroz must have been an off btl. I tasted that wine one week earlier and it was good.

One of the things I wanted to see was whether Pico Madama 2004 suffered like Sierra Carche 2005. It was not as bad but it was univerally panned by the group. I am curious to see where the 93 point btls of this are? Maybe Robert Parker can muster one up from another bulletin board member and taste it with his wife.

Onto Espectacle...first read this...http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/sho ... espectacle

I had the 2004 and it sucked. 2005 was a decent wine...for $10, much like the 2004. This is another example of what happens when an importer whispers into a wine critic's ear about 100+ year old Grenache vines in Montsant. In the 45 seconds that Jay Miller presumably spent with the 2004, he called it a 99 point wine. With the 2006, it is 96 points. Assume the 2005 would be a 97-98 pointer based on that scale. This is really a shame. I have not yet heard of anyone (besides Robert Kenney) have a full btl of this stuff and call it great. It should be noted that Robert Kenney thought the wine was crap yesterday.

Blind tasting is very revealing. Critics at the Wine Advocate should try it some time. Something is wrong with Sierra Carche. As Jay Miller first said, there was fraud somewhere. It is a shame that Robert Parker has no interest in seeing where it happened. It is a shame that Jay Miller will apparently continue to taste the portfolio of wines from Well Oiled Wine Co, when they have shown no proof that they are, in fact, innocent in all of this.

Special thanks to Steve Manzi and Robert Kenney. I worked this tasting around their schedules. I think I did right by them and the wine consuming public on these bulletin boards. I would have loved to taste a good btl of Sierra Carche. That would have made for interesting debate. Instead, we tasted 4 btls of shit. More importantly, many of these wines were shit.

So, where is the fraud really being committed? [stirthepothal.gif]

I hope someone shows this post to people like John Kight, so that they can stop apologizing for the Wine Advocate. I wish Robert Parker would do the right thing, and continue his investigation into what happened with Sierra Carche. I also wish that he would change his tasting methods to those that he has preached for decades....taste blind! If not, do not tell your subscribers and the wine consuming public that you do!

To Mrs. Robert Parker,

I do not know your palate, but for you to score this wine 93 points, I do not wish to see anymore reviews from you.
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ht
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #33  Postby Steve Manzi » September 4th 2009, 7:27am

I will add that the SCs that we tasted at this get together, were nothing like that BAD bottles I had. The three that I opened were all drinkable, as opposed to these wines that were deeply flawed on so many levels. The earlier ones I drank, resembled a very bad mountain cab profile, without the tannins. These wines made me think that there is some sort of bacteria going on in there. As bad as the wines were earlier, these wines were atrocious.

It is just funny (sad) that parker has (so far) been unable to find a bottle like we had. The things he said on his board, about how he enjoyed it, his wife enjoyed it, and then the real scientific investigation he did that sealed that this wine was well received, was his statement that "stores in the area reported selling well, and then having happy customers coming back for more"...are just so ridiculous for a publication that pronounces itself the CONSUMER advocate. What a joke.

Again, I hope that someone with strength in the media, gets this out to others beyond these boards, to report the WHOLE story for what it really is. A sham and coverup from many angles.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #34  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » September 4th 2009, 7:29am

Nice write up for a dismal tasting. neener

As an aside, I was at Costco yesterday and I counted a total of eleven Spanish red wines with 90+ points from TWA. They made no mention of BJM, but had a nice glossy sign proclaiming their points. I wish that the general populace could see something like this or even attend before being duped into buying the swill.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #35  Postby Paul Jaouen » September 4th 2009, 8:08am

Daniel Posner wrote:Lets examine the lineup, before we shit on the wines...

4 btls 2005 Sierra Carche @ WA 96 points each
2005 Pico Madama (corked, never served) WA 95+
2004 Pico Madama WA 93
2001 Clos Fonta WA 94
2007 Panarroz (Unrated by JM, but RP gave 2003-2006 all WA 90)
2007 Telmo Rodriguez A1 Murvedre
2005 Pasanau El Vell Coster WA 97
2008 Edgebaston Pepper Pot unrated
2007 Emilio Moro Resalso WA 90
2005 Espectacle (unrated, but 2004 was WA 99, 2006 WA 96)
2008 Oriol Unrated
2005 Mollydooker Carnival of Love WA 99

Is this really a bad lineup of wines? It reads like something Jay Miller might have on a riverboat cruise down the Murray River, no?



[rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]
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Paul Jaouen
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #36  Postby Todd F r e n c h » September 4th 2009, 8:16am

Panarroz is donkey snot.
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP)
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #37  Postby Tom Gutting » September 4th 2009, 9:05am

This is absolutely fantastic. I love it. And a great service, I think. People might say you all went in with the attitude that you wanted to trash the wines, but going with it double blind and a possibility of ringers and such should be enough to overcome such a presumption. Blind tasting is very telling. These wines sound like the kind of crap I would run from.

My quote of the year may be Dan's ... "Let's look at the lineup before we shit on the wines." HA!
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #38  Postby M. Smith » September 4th 2009, 9:54am

Thank you one and all!

Yiamos !
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #39  Postby Tony V e l e b i l » September 4th 2009, 9:57am

Thanks for the tasting notes on these, um, er, gems...yikes.

Another reason, I very rarely buy Spanish wine unless I get to taste it first or the recommendation is from a trusted wine friend or retailer. I just don't understand most of these wines that Jay M is rating so highly.

At least I haven't wasted money on these things.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #40  Postby Bob Hughes » September 4th 2009, 10:01am

I stopped buying Spanish wines years ago - I've had so-so luck with such "superstars" as the '94 Torre Muga and the '94 Janus Reserva, and I figured if wines that were that well thought of had issues/inconsistencies, why waste the time/effort/money to seek out drinkable Spanish vino. Based upon the results of this tasting, I really have no regrets on my earlier decision to focus elsewhere [wink.gif]
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #41  Postby Adam Ifshin » September 4th 2009, 10:15am

Daniel Posner wrote:Okay, my turn. Firstly, thank you everyone who attended and were good sports. I tried to keep this event small and tried to have people attend who showed a previous interest in this whole Wine Advocate embarassment. What people lose sight of here is that a few weeks ago, Robert Parker "claims" to have tasted a good btl of Carche. Previous to that, he PROMISED to taste a btl on his video blog first. Instead, he tasted it in private with his wife, who gave the wine 93 points. We tasted 4 btls yesterday, from 3 DIFFERENT sources. And all were SHIT! That is the start of an investigation, not what Robert Parker has done.

Thank you, Jack, for your comments. I have been on the Wine Advocate's case for 2+ years now about Jay Miller and his tasting methodology. In that time, he has admitted to tasting just as Robert Parker does. This should ring serious alarm bells. Whatever Jay tasted for Carche was certainly not what anyo of us tasted yesterday and we had to do it 4 times.

On to the tasting...I selected, what I thought to be a good lineup. 15 wines served blind with a filet mignon lunch.

Lets examine the lineup, before we shit on the wines...

4 btls 2005 Sierra Carche @ WA 96 points each
2005 Pico Madama (corked, never served) WA 95+
2004 Pico Madama WA 93
2001 Clos Fonta WA 94
2007 Panarroz (Unrated by JM, but RP gave 2003-2006 all WA 90)
2007 Telmo Rodriguez A1 Murvedre
2005 Pasanau El Vell Coster WA 97
2008 Edgebaston Pepper Pot unrated
2007 Emilio Moro Resalso WA 90
2005 Espectacle (unrated, but 2004 was WA 99, 2006 WA 96)
2008 Oriol Unrated
2005 Mollydooker Carnival of Love WA 99

Is this really a bad lineup of wines? It reads like something Jay Miller might have on a riverboat cruise down the Murray River, no?

Most of these wines were very highly rated, and none were poorly rated. Before Thursday, I had never had Sierra Carche before, and all 4 btls were crap. I will never forget that smell of three of those btls. Absolutely disgusting. Panarroz must have been an off btl. I tasted that wine one week earlier and it was good.

One of the things I wanted to see was whether Pico Madama 2004 suffered like Sierra Carche 2005. It was not as bad but it was univerally panned by the group. I am curious to see where the 93 point btls of this are? Maybe Robert Parker can muster one up from another bulletin board member and taste it with his wife.

Onto Espectacle...first read this...http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/sho ... espectacle

I had the 2004 and it sucked. 2005 was a decent wine...for $10, much like the 2004. This is another example of what happens when an importer whispers into a wine critic's ear about 100+ year old Grenache vines in Montsant. In the 45 seconds that Jay Miller presumably spent with the 2004, he called it a 99 point wine. With the 2006, it is 96 points. Assume the 2005 would be a 97-98 pointer based on that scale. This is really a shame. I have not yet heard of anyone (besides Robert Kenney) have a full btl of this stuff and call it great. It should be noted that Robert Kenney thought the wine was crap yesterday.

Blind tasting is very revealing. Critics at the Wine Advocate should try it some time. Something is wrong with Sierra Carche. As Jay Miller first said, there was fraud somewhere. It is a shame that Robert Parker has no interest in seeing where it happened. It is a shame that Jay Miller will apparently continue to taste the portfolio of wines from Well Oiled Wine Co, when they have shown no proof that they are, in fact, innocent in all of this.

Special thanks to Steve Manzi and Robert Kenney. I worked this tasting around their schedules. I think I did right by them and the wine consuming public on these bulletin boards. I would have loved to taste a good btl of Sierra Carche. That would have made for interesting debate. Instead, we tasted 4 btls of shit. More importantly, many of these wines were shit.

So, where is the fraud really being committed? [stirthepothal.gif]

I hope someone shows this post to people like John Kight, so that they can stop apologizing for the Wine Advocate. I wish Robert Parker would do the right thing, and continue his investigation into what happened with Sierra Carche. I also wish that he would change his tasting methods to those that he has preached for decades....taste blind! If not, do not tell your subscribers and the wine consuming public that you do!

To Mrs. Robert Parker,

I do not know your palate, but for you to score this wine 93 points, I do not wish to see anymore reviews from you.


Daniel:

Thanks again for yesterday.

I have posted in response to John Kight on the eBob board. Here's is the link:
http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/sho ... ost2736496
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #42  Postby Jack Bulkin » September 4th 2009, 10:34am

[quote="Adam Ifshin
I have posted in response to John Kight on the eBob board. Here's is the link:
http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/sho ... ost2736496[/quote]

Adam [thumbs-up.gif]
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #43  Postby B Stucker » September 4th 2009, 10:39am

Daniel Posner wrote:.
To Mrs. Robert Parker,

I do not know your palate, but for you to score this wine 93 points, I do not wish to see anymore reviews from you.

C'mon Dan. She is very qualified to give her ratings. After all, she has been tasting for years with RP. That is all the qualifications one needs to be a reviewer. [tease.gif]
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #44  Postby DCowell » September 4th 2009, 10:47am

You gentlemen certainly love to pat each other on the back for beating dead horses.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #45  Postby Kent Zimmerman » September 4th 2009, 11:00am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:Panarroz is donkey snot.

Funny...a couple of years ago, I picked up two bottles of 04 Panarroz while searching for some QPR wines to serve when small cookouts turn into parties. I opened a bottle up during one such event, and all I can remember is that it had some form of VA that wouldn't die. I'm kind of sensitive to VA, but this was over the top. I just searched my Gmail inbox and found the email I sent to a buddy:

"OK....This sh*t is undrinkable. It is super, super, acidic, and I'm not letting anyone here drink it."
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #46  Postby David Lancaster » September 4th 2009, 11:04am

Nice to meet all of you yesterday and thanks to Daniel for providing such tasty treats for our gustatory pleasure, [suicide.gif]

Its very refreshing to read the comments on this board, compared to the iron fist that runs things over at http://www.eRobertshutupweareright.com

I wont post my notes on the entire lineup, I will just state the obvious...Sierra Carche is f*ck nightmare of a wine.

All 4 bottles reeked of a hypothetical blend of dead animals and nail polish (Embalming fluid?) with flavors and nuances that only someone "posing" as a scrupulous and investigatory wine critique could "admire" or at least proclaim to- varnish, dog breath, Swamp Thing and rotting hay were adjectives that were thrown around. I remember looking up to find Posner with a gigantic grin, nose deep in the glass saying "Eww... What the...what the hell is that? Seriously, WHAT is it that I smell?!?". Lost for words, I think that pretty much sums it up.

All I want to know is where did the Emperor get his bottles, because what we drank was swill and as a longtime advocate FOR The Wine Advocate, I feel taken.
David
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #47  Postby Jack Bulkin » September 4th 2009, 11:05am

Kent Zimmerman wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:Panarroz is donkey snot.

Funny...a couple of years ago, I picked up two bottles of 04 Panarroz while searching for some QPR wines to serve when small cookouts turn into parties. I opened a bottle up during one such event, and all I can remember is that it had some form of VA that wouldn't die. I'm kind of sensitive to VA, but this was over the top. I just searched my Gmail inbox and found the email I sent to a buddy:

"OK....This sh*t is undrinkable. It is super, super, acidic, and I'm not letting anyone here drink it."


Kent, I had a similar experience with the 04 and the 05. My face must have looked like the expression on your avatar as I tasted the wine. hitsfan
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #48  Postby Adam Ifshin » September 4th 2009, 11:08am

Davd Lancaster wrote:Nice to meet all of you yesterday and thanks to Daniel for providing such tasty treats for our gustatory pleasure, [suicide.gif]

Its very refreshing to read the comments on this board, compared to the iron fist that runs things over at http://www.eRobertshutupweareright.com

I wont post my notes on the entire lineup, I will just state the obvious...Sierra Carche is f*cking nightmare of a wine.

All 4 bottles reeked of a hypothetical blend of dead animals and nail polish (Embalming fluid?) with flavors and nuances that only someone "posing" as a scrupulous and investigatory wine critique could "admire" or at least proclaim to- varnish, dog breath, Swamp Thing and rotting hay were adjectives that were thrown around. I remember looking up to find Posner with a gigantic grin, nose deep in the glass saying "Eww... What the...what the hell is that? Seriously, WHAT is it that I smell?!?". Lost for words, I think that pretty much sums it up.

All I want to know is where did the Emperor get his bottles, because what we drank was swill and as a longtime advocate FOR The Wine Advocate, I feel taken.


David:

Here's what I wrote in response to another post there. I agree with you.

John:

There were multiple tasters tasting the wines. 14 people, I believe had it yesterday. Many of them are unbashed fans of Spanish wines, of Miller's reviews and style preferences, and some fof them hugely knowledgable about the region, the grapes, the growing conditions, the wine maker, etc. Four bottles were tasted from 3 different sources. I have tasted blind for over twenty years. There was, in my personal opinion, very little bottle variation between the four. Similarly, the issues with the material in the bottle (I'm hesitant to call it wine) were not things related to storage, etc. there was no evidence fo TCA for example in any of the SC bottles. This "wine" was uniformly terrible and undrinkable. This tasting occurred less than six weeks after RMP et al re-tasted the wine. The only conclusion is that the wine sent and sold at least the three locations we tasted from yesterday was NOT the same wine, Miller initiatally tasted and rated (and he has said this on line in response to the bottle Kenney sent him that he ultimately tasted).

To myself, and to Miller, there is no question that the wine tasted and rated is not the wine many many American consumers got. the tasting yesterday confirms that the second bottle Miller tasted was NO FLUKE.That leads to a different set of questions. Many of them have been asked before. Notably, did the critic and his publication do EVERYTHING possible to preserve the integrity of the tasting and rating process to meet their self-stated obligation to their customer, the wine consumer? Thus far, that question has not been satisfactory answered for many. Further, the decision not to remove Miller's initial rating (OR TO AT LEAST CAVEAT IT WITH HIS OWN SECOND TASTING IMPRESSION) leaves the wine consumer who does not regularly partake of various bulletin boards UNAWARE THAT THE CRITIC HIMSELF HAS STATED THERE ARE ISSUES HERE. At a minimum, it seems that the wine public deserves complete and total disclosure.

Great to meet you David and everyone else. Perhaps our next Grapes tasting will feature the same company and great food but better wine.
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #49  Postby David Lancaster » September 4th 2009, 11:34am

DCowell wrote:You gentlemen certainly love to pat each other on the back for beating dead horses.




You must be referring to the dead animal component in the Carche's aromatics...
David
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Re: TN: Sierra Car Crash tasting at Grapes

Post #50  Postby DCowell » September 4th 2009, 11:43am

Davd Lancaster wrote:
DCowell wrote:You gentlemen certainly love to pat each other on the back for beating dead horses.




You must be referring to the dead animal component in the Carche's aromatics...


Perhaps, but also to the continual joy that people seem to get from thrashing through this issue again and again despite the fact that nobody will ever get satisfaction. Before I registered I read much of the discussion on this subject here and elsewhere, and I cannot help but say that the repetitiveness is mind numbing. I've seen similar type debates regarding football or cricket, and as with this one, they never reach any kind of resolution.
Davis

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