Search found 259 matches

by Ben M a n d l e r
October 27th, 2020, 4:24 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Qupe Syrah rock-bottom deal on Groupon
Replies: 101
Views: 6144

Re: Qupe Syrah rock-bottom deal on Groupon

Got mine this morning. That was quick.
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 27th, 2020, 9:37 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Buncha Ridges...
Replies: 5
Views: 478

Re: Buncha Ridges...

Ridge's Petites from Lytton Springs and Geyserville tend to be lighter and open on release. Their York Creeks have tended to need extended aging and reward it. I have yet to delve into my own '90s era stash. Haven't had a current release in a long time, but don't expect a major change. A lot of the...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 27th, 2020, 8:16 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Purchasing Practices When Building Cellar
Replies: 7
Views: 624

Re: Purchasing Practices When Building Cellar

About a year ago I started to think for the first time about purchasing wines for long-term storage, while managing relatively tight space constraints and a budget that will not allow high-volume purchasing at any one time. If money is tight I wouldn't recommend buying more than one bottle of any wi...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 22nd, 2020, 9:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Qupe Syrah rock-bottom deal on Groupon
Replies: 101
Views: 6144

Re: Qupe Syrah rock-bottom deal on Groupon

Had the 2014 of this last year at $32 and enjoyed it very much. At this price it’s just silly. In for a 6. Will likely pop one now and leave the others a couple years if my experience with the 2014 is anything to go by.
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 21st, 2020, 11:07 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: The Legendary QPR Wine from each Major European Region
Replies: 68
Views: 3397

Re: The Legendary QPR Wine from each Major European Region

LRA Viña Ardanza over Tondonia for me and some others. Both are Great Wines.

Ridge Geyserville

I’d personally add JA Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé.
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 19th, 2020, 10:06 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2017 Ridge Geyserville
Replies: 11
Views: 962

Re: TN: 2017 Ridge Geyserville

I often find Geyserville - and actually most of Ridge's Zins - to demand air when young. As you mention, on opening the oak is a bit of a sucker punch and it needs everything else to catch up to it. This was less true when I first tasted the '17 ~15 months ago, when the primary fruit was still turn...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 19th, 2020, 12:15 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: #GlassFire
Replies: 539
Views: 59791

Re: #GlassFire

It does not matter one bit of anyone picked before the Glass Fire, although I have serious doubts if you picked AFTER. We had 36 days of smoke before the glass fire and either the die is cast or it is not. So far I am not tasting taint anywhere, which needless to say, is a bit of a shock. But taint...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 18th, 2020, 11:55 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2017 Ridge Geyserville
Replies: 11
Views: 962

Re: TN: 2017 Ridge Geyserville

I often find Geyserville - and actually most of Ridge's Zins - to demand air when young. As you mention, on opening the oak is a bit of a sucker punch and it needs everything else to catch up to it. This was less true when I first tasted the '17 ~15 months ago, when the primary fruit was still turne...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 17th, 2020, 2:05 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Real winenerd wines
Replies: 163
Views: 4848

Re: Real winenerd wines

I’m not entering any of these into the nerd olympics, but I like dry Furmint a whole lot and would highly recommend trying a bunch if you haven’t already. I also really like Kerner as a grape, having had several excellent - and good value - examples from Sudtirol/Alto Adige. I think that the wines s...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 13th, 2020, 5:56 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Speaking Spanish at Work
Replies: 25
Views: 897

Re: Speaking Spanish at Work

We have a lot of people at work who are native Spanish speakers who prefer to speak Spanish, and others who prefer to speak English. All are fully bilingual. I personally love working in an environment where people speak multiple languages, even more so because I really don’t (my French is pretty ba...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 13th, 2020, 5:43 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Perception of Brett as wines age?
Replies: 21
Views: 749

Re: Perception of Brett as wines age?

Mourvedre actually has the chemical markers for brett naturally, rather like Syrah has a lot of Guaiacol (smoke taint chemical). I know because we had a fight bringing into a custom crush facility a few barrels of Mourvedre that had tested "positive" for brett. Paul *Fascinating* i know the 4-EP/4-...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 13th, 2020, 3:12 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Perception of Brett as wines age?
Replies: 21
Views: 749

Re: Perception of Brett as wines age?

A question for those who’ve had more wines with significant bottle age than I have: in your experience, how does the perceived brettiness of a wine change over time in bottle? I was drinking a 2016 Pibarnon (Bandol) over the weekend. I know, too young, but I wanted to track it over time. At first i...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 13th, 2020, 3:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Perception of Brett as wines age?
Replies: 21
Views: 749

Re: Perception of Brett as wines age?

Brett doesn't blow off. Could have been reduction. Mourvèdre is certainly prone to reduction. And while Bandol has been the posterchild region for brett (along with Loire), I've yet to taste a Pibarnon with brett. Furthermore, brett normally doesn't blow off. A wine that is obviously bretty upon op...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 13th, 2020, 3:02 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Perception of Brett as wines age?
Replies: 21
Views: 749

Re: Perception of Brett as wines age?

I will echo what others have said and mention that brett does not 'blow off'. Based on your description, you understand what brett is - and if it seems to be taking a back seat as the wine opens up, it could just be that other elements are 'hiding it' better - but it is still there. Some folks feel...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 13th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Perception of Brett as wines age?
Replies: 21
Views: 749

Perception of Brett as wines age?

A question for those who’ve had more wines with significant bottle age than I have: in your experience, how does the perceived brettiness of a wine change over time in bottle? I was drinking a 2016 Pibarnon (Bandol) over the weekend. I know, too young, but I wanted to track it over time. At first it...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 8th, 2020, 1:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.
Replies: 1725
Views: 171931

Re: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.

Arv R wrote:
October 6th, 2020, 9:28 pm
I wonder if a skier at wine.com has sense of snark about their survival.

AMF is a steep gully at Snowmass which stands for Adios...
And the favorite “cocktail” of an old college friend...certainly lives up to its name.
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 2nd, 2020, 9:16 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: #GlassFire
Replies: 539
Views: 59791

Re: #GlassFire

Crap! As for air quality, this is in Napa proper at AQI of 157... 5B0C7DDF-D616-4C4E-9AD5-51CAAB08D6BE.jpeg St Helena is checking in at an AQI of... 4D3B0A3D-6C1F-4361-B7E5-5F87AED8E26D.png [swoon.gif] Breathing in Napa made me feel ill and I had a mask on the entire time. Hoping people stay indoor...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 1st, 2020, 9:58 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa/Sonoma Trip Yes or No?
Replies: 45
Views: 2516

Re: Napa/Sonoma Trip Yes or No?

Ben - in Napa County we have indoor dining - at least we did before the fires. Spacing at least 6 feet apart, maximum party at one table is 6, and restaurants can run at 25% capacity. But, as you know, many of our retaurants have outdoor dining throough much of the year - I am not talking about a f...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 30th, 2020, 11:33 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: #GlassFire
Replies: 539
Views: 59791

Re: #GlassFire

Returned to work in St Helena this morning for the first time since Sunday (power was out), only to get the mandatory evacuation order (whole town of St Helena) at 11am. Smoke was punishingly thick. 1/4 mile visibility at times. Friends living in town said it was coming through the walls and they h...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 30th, 2020, 6:02 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: #GlassFire
Replies: 539
Views: 59791

Re: #GlassFire

Returned to work in St Helena this morning for the first time since Sunday (power was out), only to get the evacuation warning (whole town of St Helena) at 11am. Smoke was punishingly thick. 1/4 mile visibility at times. Friends living in town said it was coming through the walls and they had volunt...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 29th, 2020, 7:53 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa/Sonoma Trip Yes or No?
Replies: 45
Views: 2516

Re: Napa/Sonoma Trip Yes or No?

I wouldn’t count on the air quality here being any good in 3 weeks. Hard to know how the current fires will progress, and the smoke can linger for quite some time, especially because up in the mountains they mostly have to let the fire burn itself out, so you get a lot of smoke for a long time. Quit...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 29th, 2020, 7:41 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Is Sémillon the Southern Hemisphere's Greatest White Grape?
Replies: 29
Views: 1201

Re: Is Sémillon the Southern Hemisphere's Greatest White Grape?

I disagree about the whole-hemisphere generalization, which I think is an impossible one to make about any variety or style, but I agree that Semillon is a lovely grape producing high-quality wines in both SA and Aus, and generally very well priced for the quality. I appreciate the grape in general ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 28th, 2020, 10:12 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: #GlassFire
Replies: 539
Views: 59791

Re: #GlassFire

Winds turned north this afternoon. That’s good for us in Santa Rosa, not so great for Calistoga. Winds have died down a lot at least. Quite still outside. Will likely actually get a full night’s sleep. With resources less strained on the Sonoma side of things, here’s hoping the Napa side can get the...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 28th, 2020, 8:50 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: #GlassFire
Replies: 539
Views: 59791

Re: #GlassFire

We live in downtown Santa Rosa. It’s been raining ash all night. My wife and I took shifts: one sleeping, one packing. We just moved into our new house 2 days ago so everything is still in boxes...which makes it harder to find the important things... I expect we will get the evacuation order soon, b...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 25th, 2020, 8:17 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Essential canon of mid-priced "value"
Replies: 49
Views: 2866

Re: Essential canon of mid-priced "value"

My kind of thread - thanks to everyone for all the great contributions and thanks to Dave for starting it! Many of my suggestions have been mentioned above already, but here’s what comes to mind: Bordeaux: Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Sociando Mallet, Prieuré-Lichine Rioja: La Rioja Alta, CVNE, Muga, LdH Burg...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 24th, 2020, 8:14 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022
Replies: 20
Views: 991

Re: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022

Because you are ITB, in California, and are shilling for 2020 wines before anyone has any idea how good they are. Just my 2 cents, but I don't see any shilling in the OP. This isn't shilling? "Since the vast majority of wineries will not sell tainted wines, and those that do will almost always do s...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 24th, 2020, 8:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022
Replies: 20
Views: 991

Re: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022

The OP really comes close here to being spam. Can you explain how? I posted this in a genuine effort to understand people’s thinking and concerns regarding smoke taint when wines from this vintage are ultimately released, and how those will be shaped by different external factors. Because you are I...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 24th, 2020, 2:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022
Replies: 20
Views: 991

Re: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022

Howard Cooper wrote:
September 24th, 2020, 5:17 am
The OP really comes close here to being spam.
Can you explain how? I posted this in a genuine effort to understand people’s thinking and concerns regarding smoke taint when wines from this vintage are ultimately released, and how those will be shaped by different external factors.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 24th, 2020, 2:18 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022
Replies: 20
Views: 991

Re: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022

Chuck Miller wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 8:52 pm
Let me clean and disinfect my crystal ball. Or maybe I’ll just wait until the wines are bottled and released, since there will be tasting notes by then.
Yeah, that’s what I’m getting at - will people feel comfortable going on others’ tasting notes despite their concerns about the vintage?
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 23rd, 2020, 8:21 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022
Replies: 20
Views: 991

Tasting notes on Northern California’s 2020 vintage in 2022

It’s been a rough harvest and we’ve still a long way to go. I’ve been hearing a lot of people say that they won’t be buying 2020 wines from Napa/Sonoma because of the fires. I’m wondering how people will react when tasting notes start coming out in 2021 and 2022 for these 2020 wines. Since the vast ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 22nd, 2020, 8:07 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommend Bordeaux Blancs?
Replies: 38
Views: 1368

Re: Recommend Bordeaux Blancs?

Not much to add on top of what others have said but I’ll also vouch for Domaine de Chevalier (I think their white is better than their red), Carbonnieux, and especially Smith Haut Lafitte.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 21st, 2020, 7:54 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Name a wine you consistently rate higher than the critics
Replies: 49
Views: 2717

Re: Name a wine you consistently rate higher than the critics

Historically I would say no, but lately I’m starting to think I’m higher on some New Zealand Syrahs than the reviewers. Also sometimes some “lesser” classed growth Bordeaux. And maybe Rafanelli and Truchard.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 20th, 2020, 6:42 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 543
Views: 33569

Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Right now the only thing is to pick and test post-fermentation. The grapes are shriveling on the vines, and have been subjected in some way to smoke this month, most likely. I picked on the 8th before neighboring Cabs, and am just hoping for the best. I think the smoke at ground level (I am on the ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 20th, 2020, 9:17 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2018 Ceritas Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard
Replies: 2
Views: 342

Re: TN: 2018 Ceritas Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard

The Heintz site has impressed me across multiple producers recently. Lots of great fruit coming out of there. Great to see this performing so well.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 20th, 2020, 9:14 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Share your thoughts on Margaux
Replies: 44
Views: 3788

Re: Share your thoughts on Margaux

Prieuré-Lichine all day every day. Priced extremely well for the quality.

If I had the money I’d buy Rauzan-Segla, which I think is just stunning, but pricey.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 18th, 2020, 11:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: DuPuis Wines
Replies: 25
Views: 1751

Re: DuPuis Wines

I won’t be biting right now but will be interested to see what people think of the Baker Ranch Syrah. A 2012 Copain I had last year was outstanding.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 11th, 2020, 8:59 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Remembering 9/11....
Replies: 22
Views: 992

Re: Remembering 9/11....

I was at school (in England) and didn’t find out until I got home a couple hours later and walked into the living room. My parents were watching the TV, my dad told me what had happened. I think I was too young (13) to really realize the enormity of what was happening. We had lived in New York for t...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 10th, 2020, 12:22 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.
Replies: 1725
Views: 171931

Re: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.

This year I decided to have a moratorium on online wine buying from June 1 to October 31. The original motivation was to prevent myself from spending money while we were buying a house (closing Friday!), drink down a little of what we had, and more frequently shop at our local independent stores du...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 9th, 2020, 2:59 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.
Replies: 1725
Views: 171931

Re: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.

This year I decided to have a moratorium on online wine buying from June 1 to October 31. The original motivation was to prevent myself from spending money while we were buying a house (closing Friday!), drink down a little of what we had, and more frequently shop at our local independent stores dur...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 5th, 2020, 7:52 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What Bedrock wine are you drinking tonight?
Replies: 2941
Views: 197646

Re: What Bedrock wine are you drinking tonight?

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Riesling Wirz Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Cienega Valley (9/4/2020) Dark color for a Riesling of this age - golden yellow. Nose is rubber, lime, spritzy-fresh, unripe pineapple, spiced pear, some pine, a little smooth-sweet character like light brown sugar. Pala...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 3rd, 2020, 11:21 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: J J Prum: the last great wine house priced reasonably.
Replies: 179
Views: 8406

Re: J J Prum: the last great wine house priced reasonably.

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 3rd, 2020, 9:14 am
umm...Donnhoff
Yuuuup.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 28th, 2020, 2:05 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Favorite QPR wine under $25
Replies: 70
Views: 4470

Re: Favorite QPR wine under $25

R. Cunningham wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 8:03 am
Thanks for the multiple heads up on the Bedrock OVZ.

I couldn't find it for less than $24 (K&L) though.
Try Costco
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 28th, 2020, 12:14 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: London Wine Club / Survey
Replies: 44
Views: 1710

Re: London Wine Club / Survey

Former Londoner here. If this concept is going to work then I’m about 100% sure it’s going to have the same kind of “exclusive” environment that you’re trying to avoid. £60 is the markup on a really, really nice bottle of wine on the wine list at many fantastic London restaurants. With so many incre...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 26th, 2020, 2:57 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Smoke taint 2020...
Replies: 349
Views: 32017

Re: Smoke taint 2020...

A few useful things to remember based on some conversations I’ve been having on the ground here: 1. Just because someone is testing for smoke taint, doesn’t mean the berries are tainted. 2. Just because someone gets a negative result for free volatile smoke markers in berries, doesn’t mean the berr...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 25th, 2020, 9:25 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Smoke taint 2020...
Replies: 349
Views: 32017

Re: Smoke taint 2020...

A few useful things to remember based on some conversations I’ve been having on the ground here: 1. Just because someone is testing for smoke taint, doesn’t mean the berries are tainted. 2. Just because someone gets a negative result for free volatile smoke markers in berries, doesn’t mean the berri...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 24th, 2020, 2:58 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Help with VA/DC Wines?
Replies: 33
Views: 1259

Re: Help with VA/DC Wines?

By “those kinds of people” was that in reference to the limo/party crowd that’s out in force most weekends? If so, then this doesn’t surprise me at all. Jim has long held the belief that Virginia wineries should be about the wine and not weddings or rolling parties. I’ve visited a number of times a...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 24th, 2020, 9:33 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Help with VA/DC Wines?
Replies: 33
Views: 1259

Re: Help with VA/DC Wines?

I don't personally love Linden because they are pretentious and exclusionary and I don't like tasting at places where I literally have to hear someone say "we don't want *those kinds of people* here". That said, the wines are good, and Jim Law has been a very important part of improving the quality...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 23rd, 2020, 9:25 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Help with VA/DC Wines?
Replies: 33
Views: 1259

Re: Help with VA/DC Wines?

There are people making excellent wine in Virginia. The pricing is difficult, in part because there is no economy of scale or shared resources, and in part because the main business model for most wineries is to bring local tourists out for days at the winery with picnics and wine, so they focus a l...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 23rd, 2020, 7:00 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Smoke taint 2020...
Replies: 349
Views: 32017

Re: Smoke taint 2020...

I agree in general - but we still don't know all there is to know about smoke taint from a scientific standpoint at this time. Yes, you can tell if you have it in your grapes, and yes, you can tell if you have it in your wines, and yes, you can micro-filter and do other treatments to 'remove it' fr...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 22nd, 2020, 9:36 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fires - Walbridge and Meyers - Sonoma County
Replies: 110
Views: 9216

Re: Fires - Walbridge and Meyers - Sonoma County

In Santa Rosa and I can’t go outside due to the smoke. Meanwhile, back in Forestville... Sunny out on the driveway, I can even see blue sky through the trees. 662F7F3D-8F9B-40C7-90E3-13BED5D52239.png Sunny in the backyard. 635649D1-13EE-4D4A-AF0A-84B3E1446417.png I know it was the right thing to do...

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