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by Roy Piper
March 7th, 2019, 9:39 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Potential Wineries to Visit in Napa
Replies: 41
Views: 2366

Re: Potential Wineries to Visit in Napa

Clos Du Val spent millions on a new tasting room (just reopened) and their wines have improved dramatically the last 5 vintages.
by Roy Piper
March 6th, 2019, 3:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: California 2017
Replies: 89
Views: 5056

Re: California 2017

You're welcome! [cheers.gif]
by Roy Piper
March 4th, 2019, 9:07 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Noticing Lower Brix > Alc Conversions in 2016-18
Replies: 2
Views: 210

Noticing Lower Brix > Alc Conversions in 2016-18

Anyone else noticing lower conversions from brix to final alcohol lately? The last three years I find it has gone from .59-.60 to >.55-.57. That is up to 0.5% lower alcohol. Curious if other noticed this too.
by Roy Piper
March 4th, 2019, 9:02 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Mostly Napa Cabernet Dinner
Replies: 9
Views: 886

Re: TN: Mostly Napa Cabernet Dinner

Very nice write up!
by Roy Piper
March 4th, 2019, 9:00 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Congrats to Ian Brand...
Replies: 19
Views: 1739

Re: Congrats to Ian Brand...

Nice out of the box thinking by SF Chron. Congrats to Ian!
by Roy Piper
March 4th, 2019, 8:55 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Yield Per Vine
Replies: 9
Views: 800

Re: Yield Per Vine

I believe that pounds of fruit per foot of trellis works really well, within each varietal. Because no matter your vine density, one thing holds true... on each vine the spurs are 3-4 inches apart. So whether in a row you have 3 foot vines or 6 foot vines, your pounds per vine may be 2x as high in t...
by Roy Piper
March 4th, 2019, 8:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: California 2017
Replies: 89
Views: 5056

Re: California 2017

My views. I feel that 2017 was the most challenging vintage since 2011. The difference is that in 2011 the chilly weather + summer rains + mold at harvest affected almost everything in Napa, so there was no escape. In 2017, there is escape and options for those who were willing to make the hard deci...
by Roy Piper
January 24th, 2019, 6:27 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Arcadian 2005 Sleepy Hollow Chard, 2001 Arcadian Pisoni Pinot.
Replies: 3
Views: 336

TN: Arcadian 2005 Sleepy Hollow Chard, 2001 Arcadian Pisoni Pinot.

Had these two last week.... 2005 Arcadian "Sleepy Hollow" Chard, SLH, $NA. Light golden color. Strong aromas of pear and creme brulee. Not even a whiff on tropical fruits. Moderate acid. 13.6% alc. Feels like early maturity and in prime drinking window. Stunning this wine is 14-years old. How I lame...
by Roy Piper
January 24th, 2019, 4:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Andrew calling it quits?
Replies: 47
Views: 3618

Re: Andrew calling it quits?

He was one of the first to "start-over" in wine in the early 2000s and it inspired me. Sorry to see him stop making wine. I also think it points to how hard it is to make a living making and selling Pinot, even with years of good reviews.
by Roy Piper
January 21st, 2019, 11:58 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: In honor of the eBob 'Wall' going up, what are you drinking tonight to celebrate?
Replies: 107
Views: 4030

Re: In honor of the eBob 'Wall' going up, what are you drinking tonight to celebrate?

Whatever I am drinking, "it will have to be tasted to be believed."
by Roy Piper
January 8th, 2019, 6:53 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa and Climate Change - Stock Up Now!
Replies: 32
Views: 1755

Re: Napa and Climate Change - Stock Up Now!

I remember in 2005 after just moving here there was an article saying that within 20 years Napa would be growing Tannat. Cabernet would be relegated to the Russian River Valley. Well, 14 years later and not only has that not happened, but alcohol levels are dropping and demand for Napa Cab is higher...
by Roy Piper
December 26th, 2018, 2:48 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Why wineries fail at eCommerce.
Replies: 17
Views: 2570

Re: Why wineries fail at eCommerce.

Unless a winery can answer one question to themselves.... "Why should someone buy our wine at X price instead of the other wine at X price of the same quality?".... then no marketing on Earth can save them. Marketing is what you do in response to not knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and not...
by Roy Piper
December 16th, 2018, 11:35 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Opus One suing barrel supplier over TCA contamination
Replies: 36
Views: 2020

Re: Opus One suing barrel supplier over TCA contamination

No way Opus or anyone else tests every barrel. I doubt the winemaker even tastes every barrel. Since most of the time lots are fermented separately, when lots are racked into tank, the whole tank is tested and tasted. That’s why the cellar worker should get some love from them. The next chance they ...
by Roy Piper
December 16th, 2018, 10:04 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Opus One suing barrel supplier over TCA contamination
Replies: 36
Views: 2020

Re: Opus One suing barrel supplier over TCA contamination

I will add one more thing... major kudos to the cellar worker who discovered this. If the TCA is extreme and those barrels got blended into other lots before being caught, it could have ruined 100 barrels or more instead of ten. That cellar worker possibly saved Opus $4 million. I hope they give tha...
by Roy Piper
December 15th, 2018, 3:49 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Opus One suing barrel supplier over TCA contamination
Replies: 36
Views: 2020

Re: Opus One suing barrel supplier over TCA contamination

I’ve found new barrels have a higher risk of TCA than used barrels. This is not terribly uncommon. To me, Opus is gonna win. There were 150 barrels delivered by the cooper and 10 of them had TCA? Good luck with the cooper convincing anyone that it happened elsewhere or at the winery or it would have...
by Roy Piper
November 24th, 2018, 6:30 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2001 Lagier Meredith Syrah (Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley )
Replies: 3
Views: 208

Re: TN: 2001 Lagier Meredith Syrah (Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley )

100% used oak. Usually about 14% alcohol. LM ages so well.

Veeder is an awesome place for Rhone varietals. I've considered someday maybe doing a GSM from there.
by Roy Piper
November 23rd, 2018, 9:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 1985 Lyeth A Red Bdx Blend (USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley)
Replies: 9
Views: 342

Re: TN: 1985 Lyeth A Red Bdx Blend (USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley)

As always, very good review. Now go find and old Thunder Mountain bottle to review!
by Roy Piper
November 14th, 2018, 12:02 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Why did Screaming Eagle Scrap 17's if there is no problem
Replies: 72
Views: 4042

Re: Why did Screaming Eagle Scrap 17's if there is no problem

I was at Lokoya on Sunday and if my memory is correct, I was told they bulked out their 2017 juice. It takes deep pockets to make these types of decisions. Beautiful facility. Veeder was particularly hard hit in the fires of 2017. The Partrick Fire, which merged with the Nun's Fire, started on Mt V...
by Roy Piper
November 13th, 2018, 7:43 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Why did Screaming Eagle Scrap 17's if there is no problem
Replies: 72
Views: 4042

Re: Why did Screaming Eagle Scrap 17's if there is no problem

mike pobega wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 4:48 pm
Maybach scrapped the '11 vintage altogether. Got this cool little cup in its place.
Doing quite well today.
That's epic. [snort.gif]
by Roy Piper
November 13th, 2018, 7:40 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Why did Screaming Eagle Scrap 17's if there is no problem
Replies: 72
Views: 4042

Re: Why did Screaming Eagle Scrap 17's if there is no problem

About 70% of Napa was picked out by the fires. But most winemakers I know have tested their post-fire wines and not too many appeared to be tainted. The fires had to get fairly close to the vines to really affect them. I would guess that maybe 10% of Napa Cab was smoke tainted and that might be high...
by Roy Piper
November 4th, 2018, 9:36 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Reductive vs Sulfur
Replies: 48
Views: 1651

Re: Reductive vs Sulfur

Roy, Agreed entirely, but I also think a couple of other factors need to be taken into account. With 'reductive' varieties like Syrah, you oftentimes can smell the reductiveness during primary fermentation. It is therefore imperative during primary to smell all ferments, but these especially, as yo...
by Roy Piper
November 4th, 2018, 2:37 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Reductive vs Sulfur
Replies: 48
Views: 1651

Re: Reductive vs Sulfur

I find the number one cause of "reduction" is inadequate air into the must during fermentation. Most wines are punched down or pumped over during fermentation, twice a day. If not enough air gets into the must in this process, I find it goes reductive either at the end of fermentation or soon after ...
by Roy Piper
November 2nd, 2018, 2:50 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Lisa Perotti Brown - 34 x 100 p in the new WA issue
Replies: 164
Views: 7850

Re: Lisa Perotti Brown - 34 x 100 p in the new WA issue

For myself, although I occasionally do score wines here, inside my own head, I changed-over a few years ago to a Michelin-star method of scoring wines I taste, only because even the best wines can vary from year to year and very much depend on the occasion and context. Yet I found really great speci...
by Roy Piper
October 31st, 2018, 10:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Lisa Perotti Brown - 34 x 100 p in the new WA issue
Replies: 164
Views: 7850

Re: Lisa Perotti Brown - 34 x 100 p in the new WA issue

Parker once said when asked about using a 50-100pt scale for reviewing wines and whether anyone can tell the difference between and 87 and and 88 pointer...."anyone should be able to point to two wines and say I prefer this one to that one." So if we were to take all 34 Cabs that got 100pts and tast...
by Roy Piper
October 31st, 2018, 3:21 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Lisa Perotti Brown - 34 x 100 p in the new WA issue
Replies: 164
Views: 7850

Re: Lisa Perotti Brown - 34 x 100 p in the new WA issue

I remember when Merus got 94 points for their 1998 Cab, when reviewed in the 2001 WA. It set off an explosion of interest that included an article in the NY Times and other magazines, brought Mark Herold two wineries to become a consultant for (Buccella, Kobalt), sold Merus out for years to come, al...
by Roy Piper
October 29th, 2018, 9:24 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

All picked as of yesterday. 2.28 tons of Cab off Houyi. I was the last one off. 27.0 brix, 4.0 TA, 3.65ph. Tastes good. Glad you are all in, Piper. My dad used to say nothing good happens when you are out after 11:00 at night. It's after 11:00 now - everyone should be all in - at least in Napa. We ...
by Roy Piper
October 27th, 2018, 7:58 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

All picked as of yesterday. 2.28 tons of Cab off Houyi. I was the last one off.

27.0 brix, 4.0 TA, 3.65ph. Tastes good.
by Roy Piper
October 21st, 2018, 3:32 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2005 Tor Kenward Cimarossa and 2003 Neal Howell Mountain
Replies: 6
Views: 457

Re: TN: 2005 Tor Kenward Cimarossa and 2003 Neal Howell Mountain

Geez, I wonder which one I am thinking of? I must be off on the vintage.

PS- looked online... it was the 2001. So I was off by a year. Tony was winemaker in 2001 and Gove took over in 2002.
by Roy Piper
October 21st, 2018, 9:01 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What is YOUR most recent wine purchase?
Replies: 10414
Views: 461582

Re: What is YOUR most recent wine purchase?

Mojave Pinot.
by Roy Piper
October 21st, 2018, 8:48 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

Anyone else noticing how high TAs are finishing by the end of ferment compared to at pick? This is the highest tartaric acid year I've ever seen, blowing past even 2011.
by Roy Piper
October 21st, 2018, 8:46 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

I am picking my Houyi on Wed or Thurs. Currently 27.2 brix and 3.60 ph. Lost about 2% to raisins but will sort that out via the optical. Although it reads 27.2, I am finding ALL fruit from everywhere tastes about 1.0-1.5 brix lower than the brix level since the rain.
by Roy Piper
October 20th, 2018, 10:12 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2005 Tor Kenward Cimarossa and 2003 Neal Howell Mountain
Replies: 6
Views: 457

Re: TN: 2005 Tor Kenward Cimarossa and 2003 Neal Howell Mountain

The 03 Neal wines were made by Tony Biagi, who then went to Plumpjack and now has his own wine (Patria) and works for Hourglass, among others. For me, the 2002 and 2003 Neal Cabs were stunners. Have never had the Howell, but remember loving the Second Chance Cab from them in 03.
by Roy Piper
October 12th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

Moulds down to 1 brix in tank.

Houyi at 24.6 brix, 6.5 TA and 3.39 pH. Hoping for 14 more days. Weather looks good. No hurry, flavors need work.
by Roy Piper
October 12th, 2018, 3:13 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: More Cab from Carlisle!
Replies: 21
Views: 1475

Re: More Cab from Carlisle!

That's the new hot vineyard in Sonoma right now. DiCostanzo is in there now, too. Old vines, small yields.
by Roy Piper
September 28th, 2018, 7:32 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: JonBonne: Texture in Wine
Replies: 42
Views: 1206

Re: JonBonne: Texture in Wine

c fu wrote:
September 20th, 2018, 3:10 pm
Pretty good article. I’m really obsessed with texture and mouthfeel of wine more than the overt flavors. But it’s so hard to put words to it.
I also have been feeling this way the last few years.
by Roy Piper
September 28th, 2018, 7:31 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

Arrived at Moulds at 7am.
Came off at 10am.
At the winery at 1pm.
In tank by 3pm.
10% saignee done by 4pm.
Guessing 25.8 brix.

One vineyard down, one more to go. But I might be in barrel before I pick it.
by Roy Piper
September 27th, 2018, 4:53 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: The Next MACDONALD?
Replies: 161
Views: 12152

Re: The Next MACDONALD?

To be the next MacDonald, you will need fruit as good as MacDonald. That presents a problem.
by Roy Piper
September 26th, 2018, 12:19 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

I am coming off Moulds Friday. I must say it feels very weird for me to be coming off before other winemakers have picked in Calistoga or St Helena. But the grapes feel ready to me and I like where they are and I have to go with my gut. Guessing in the 25.2-25.9 range, which would be my lowest brix ...
by Roy Piper
September 23rd, 2018, 9:01 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

I am coming off Friday, most likely, with Moulds. A little high on the acid and seeds not as brown as usual, but flavors are almost there. The next 4 days of 90-92F should get me over the finish line. Looks like rain on and off starting Sat.
by Roy Piper
September 18th, 2018, 7:22 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

Yeah, I literally just drove by, skidded to a stop and went in at 3:45pm. Spur of the moment. Wanna see the Napa facility too! Have not been there since before the fire.
by Roy Piper
September 18th, 2018, 6:21 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

Being someone who works with a lot of different regions and varieties, I see it every year. SB that is later than Cabernet, Merlot that is earlier than Pinot, and so on. Everything is just so darn site specific, it's very hard to generalize. Next week, we have Oregon Pinot, RRV SB, Alexander Valley...
by Roy Piper
September 18th, 2018, 5:57 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

This heat coming the next week-10 days should do the trick for Moulds. So aiming for Sept 29 to Oct 2.

Acids are high but flavors starting to show. Seeds are greenish but I think thats par for the course this year.

Houyi is 4 weeks off if I can get it to hold that long.
by Roy Piper
September 12th, 2018, 10:41 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Di Costanzo "Di Co" - anyone buying?
Replies: 32
Views: 1778

Re: Di Costanzo "Di Co" - anyone buying?

I've had it. Cool little label design. It is its own vineyard. Sonoma, if I remember correctly. Its a medium bodied, less tannic and slightly more fruit forward version of his DiCostanzo. The whole point is to have this be the earlier drinker while the other wine ages. If you like his wine style, yo...
by Roy Piper
September 9th, 2018, 11:49 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

95 degrees here yesterday and today. Sugars will quickly catch up to flavors. Only 91F in Moulds area. Today and next 3 days look good for ripening but then we are back to the high-70s fora week. And we are only hot for 3-4 hours now. Plus, nights are the coolest I can remember at this stage in man...
by Roy Piper
September 7th, 2018, 3:30 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

I am 4 weeks out for Moulds (7-10 days behind last year) and 6 weeks out for Houyi (14 days behind last year.) Dreamy! Seeds already starting to brown at 21 brix. Big acids. Modest sized berries but largish clusters. Flavors running ahead of tannins this year for the first time I can remember. This ...
by Roy Piper
August 30th, 2018, 12:25 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 628
Views: 29174

Re: 2018 Vintage West Coast Weather Thread

Just finished veraison on Houyi (Pritchard Hill.) I am guessing I am 6 weeks out.
by Roy Piper
August 24th, 2018, 8:30 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Max Smoke Taint
Replies: 11
Views: 784

Re: Max Smoke Taint

Everyone is on edge about the possibility of smoke taint on everything this year. I have not seen a clear day in the valley in over a month. Smoke was here all through veraison, but most apparent above 1000ft. One vineyard on Howell Mtn and another on Pritchard has tested berries already for taint a...

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