Search found 143 matches

by Ben M a n d l e r
April 3rd, 2020, 9:34 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Ridge Estate Merlot out of balance?
Replies: 19
Views: 1038

Re: Ridge Estate Merlot out of balance?

First off, if you're new to the world of wine and already drinking Ridge, someone has guided you in the right direction. Second, yes, you're drinking it too young. I prefer Ridge's estate Merlots at 7-10 years old. Give it a few years, or, better yet, try to visit them and get them to open an older ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 3rd, 2020, 9:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Your ten most influential wines
Replies: 153
Views: 10874

Re: Your ten most influential wines

1990 Ducru-Beaucaillou - the first wine I remember drinking and paying attention to, in 2003. 2005 Grans Fassian Riesling Trittenheimer Apotheke - my "oh shit...Riesling is delicious" wine, in 2008. 1998 Rauzan-Segla - the second wine I remember drinking and loving 1976 Chateau d'Yquem - still the b...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 1st, 2020, 4:18 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Corked!
Replies: 33
Views: 1361

Re: Corked!

Over the last 10 years roughly 5% of the wines I have opened have been flawed in some way. 1-2% have been corked. Bear in mind that I drink very little old wine.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 22nd, 2020, 11:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Anderson Valley vs Yorkville Highlands soils
Replies: 14
Views: 706

Re: Anderson Valley vs Yorkville Highlands soils

In my experience, when people deride a wine growing region for being geologically complex it is because they are intimidated by that complexity, uninterested in deciphering it, and too proud to admit to either. It’s easy to see why people would be intimidated by the geological complexity of, frankly...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 19th, 2020, 3:09 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Ridge Estate Cab: '16 or '17?
Replies: 8
Views: 690

Re: Ridge Estate Cab: '16 or '17?

I haven’t had the ‘17 but the ‘16 is lovely.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 18th, 2020, 8:49 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What’s the mood re Coronavirus in wine country?
Replies: 106
Views: 7734

Re: What’s the mood re Coronavirus in wine country?

Shelter-in-place directive was issued to us (Sonoma County) late yesterday afternoon to begin at midnight, informing us that wine production facilities would be classed as essential services. I work at a central wine lab in Windsor so for us this means we will be continuing operations with a rotatin...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 16th, 2020, 10:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What’s the mood re Coronavirus in wine country?
Replies: 106
Views: 7734

Re: What’s the mood re Coronavirus in wine country?

Six counties in the Bay Area will be under shelter-in-place orders as of midnight tonight. That's San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties. In Sonoma County we are anticipating that this order will be extended to Sonoma County (and therefore likely Napa County...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 10th, 2020, 8:08 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Sabelli-Frisch Wines
Replies: 23
Views: 1494

Re: Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Agreed on the packaging - Adam, these bottles are *beautiful*. My wife's eyes widened when I took them out of the box. They are resting for now but we are excited to try them later in the year! Definitely saving the Flame Tokay for a nerd gathering.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 10th, 2020, 10:37 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Zin recommendations?
Replies: 60
Views: 2901

Re: Zin recommendations?

Brian Tuite wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 5:10 am
Ben M a n d l e r wrote:
March 9th, 2020, 6:41 pm
Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I've made a list and it looks like Bucklin, Talty, Mauritson, and Nalle are first up. Will report back with any particular successes!
The first three being in Dry Creek makes for a good tasting day.
Sure does! Plans are afoot [cheers.gif]
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 9th, 2020, 6:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Zin recommendations?
Replies: 60
Views: 2901

Re: Zin recommendations?

Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I've made a list and it looks like Bucklin, Talty, Mauritson, and Nalle are first up. Will report back with any particular successes!
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 9th, 2020, 6:39 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Zin recommendations?
Replies: 60
Views: 2901

Re: Zin recommendations?

My hands down favorites are Carlisle and Ridge but have enjoyed many of those mentioned here. The one I did not see mentioned that would worth a try is Seghesio. In good years their Sonoma bottling is a real value. You know, I never had much luck with Seghesio in the past, but recently tasted their...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 9th, 2020, 6:37 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Zin recommendations?
Replies: 60
Views: 2901

Re: Zin recommendations?

Ben, take advantage of barrel tasting weekend this and next week and try Joseph Swan and Wine Guerilla in Forestville, Nalle and Mauritson in Dry Creek. Oh man don't remind me! I am so bummed to be missing this. Really need to plan better next year. Thank you though for the suggestions - onto the l...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 9th, 2020, 6:34 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Zin recommendations?
Replies: 60
Views: 2901

Re: Zin recommendations?

Love me some zin - looking forward to this discussion! With your positive feedback on Scherrer, Bedrock, Carlisle, and Ridge, my first thought was that your preferences would lean towards more med/med+ bodied zins with a focus on balance and structure, but since you also mentioned Turley as a favor...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 7th, 2020, 9:03 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Zin recommendations?
Replies: 60
Views: 2901

Zin recommendations?

Hi everyone, If there's an appropriate older thread to point me to, please feel free, and I've got some mileage from the great old-vine zinyards thread, but I'm wondering if any of the zin lovers on here could provide me with a few producers to focus in on in exploring more of this wonderful grape. ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 28th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Ridge Carignane BuchignaniRanch '18...(short/boring)
Replies: 3
Views: 274

Re: TN: Ridge Carignane BuchignaniRanch '18...(short/boring)

Nice to see this showing so well - I am a big fan of the Buchignani Ranch carignane. And they are lovely with 10 years on them, too.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 24th, 2020, 10:49 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: Ridge Zin Boatman '17...(short/boring)
Replies: 3
Views: 439

Re: TN: Ridge Zin Boatman '17...(short/boring)

Thanks for the TN, interesting to hear your thoughts on this vintage. I haven’t had the ‘17 yet but I have found the Boatman to be quite vintage-dependent. The ‘15 I thought was nice but lacking in distinctiveness, whereas the ‘16 knocked my socks off. The Buchignani Carignane is a perennial favorit...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 19th, 2020, 9:23 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 100-pointer for Bill Easton
Replies: 18
Views: 2527

Re: 100-pointer for Bill Easton

Great news for a region that deserves the attention. I do have a question for those of you more familiar with Bill’s wines though. I was out at the tasting room near Plymouth over the weekend. Tasted through about 8 Easton/Terre Rouge wines and they were mostly pouring 2011/12 reds, three of which ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 19th, 2020, 11:18 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 100-pointer for Bill Easton
Replies: 18
Views: 2527

Re: 100-pointer for Bill Easton

Great news for a region that deserves the attention. I do have a question for those of you more familiar with Bill’s wines though. I was out at the tasting room near Plymouth over the weekend. Tasted through about 8 Easton/Terre Rouge wines and they were mostly pouring 2011/12 reds, three of which w...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 9th, 2020, 12:54 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2018 Halcon Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard
Replies: 3
Views: 361

Re: TN: 2018 Halcon Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard

Thanks for the TN - great to see this showing so well. I think Oppenlander is a pretty special vineyard. I've also really enjoyed what Phillips Hill and especially Baxter have done with that fruit.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 27th, 2020, 6:40 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Which Rioja (between Prado Enea, Castillo Ygay, and LRA 904) would you lay down today and why?
Replies: 58
Views: 2462

Re: Which Rioja (between Prado Enea, Castillo Ygay, and LRA 904) would you lay down today and why?

The 904 is one of my absolute favorite wines. It was the wine my wife and I drank at our wedding. The 2001 is incredible and drinking perfectly now. But you asked about laying down. Look for the 2010 when it's available, drink it in 10 years, and pick up the 2010 Ardanza Seleccion Especial while you...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2020, 2:27 pm
Forum: BerserkerDay 11 Forum - (Jan 27, 2020) 'The Black Friday of Wine Commerce' - Forbes
Topic: Sandler BD11 33% off 4 packs and 6 packs!!!
Replies: 55
Views: 3161

Re: Sandler BD11 33% off 4 packs and 6 packs!!!

In for a Sonoma 4-pack. Thanks Ed! Looking forward to enjoying your work with beautiful Heintz fruit.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2020, 11:34 am
Forum: BerserkerDay 11 Forum - (Jan 27, 2020) 'The Black Friday of Wine Commerce' - Forbes
Topic: Sabelli-Frisch Wines BD11 offer *EXTENDED FOR CORONA!*
Replies: 70
Views: 4194

Re: Sabelli-Frisch Wines BD11 offer!

Thanks Adam, what a great offer. Order in - can't wait to try these.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 21st, 2020, 8:38 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for Under $20 solid QPR Cabernet?
Replies: 31
Views: 2101

Re: Recommendations for Under $20 solid QPR Cabernet?

+1 on Daou and Justin. Broadside used to do solid cabs for $20 too, though it's been 5 years since I've had one.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 21st, 2020, 8:35 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: storing wines vertically?
Replies: 53
Views: 3414

Re: storing wines vertically?

As mentioned, there are many studies regarding the permeability of cork to gas and liquids, particularly water and ethanol. APCOR is the Portugueses cork association, and they've done plenty of research. There are studies in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. There have been studies car...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 20th, 2020, 4:57 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Collecting wines not of the usual countries
Replies: 22
Views: 1237

Re: Collecting wines not of the usual countries

I can’t say I’ve ever had much of a collection, but I have sought out aged examples of Tokaji, Cabernet from Coonawarra and Margaret River, Clare Valley Riesling, Hunter Valley Semillon, and Assyrtiko from Santorini. Musar, too, as Kirk already mentioned, and Tahbilk’s Marsanne.
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 26th, 2019, 10:57 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Better Than Average Kabinett
Replies: 49
Views: 1779

Re: Better Than Average Kabinett

If your main concern is sweetness, it’s not the QmP classification you should worry about but the other information on the label. Look for the word “feinherb” on any wine for something with the kind of light sweetness you may be looking for, or “trocken” for drier wines. You can also use alcohol con...
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 24th, 2019, 9:27 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What do you serve at parties?
Replies: 46
Views: 2112

Re: What do you serve at parties?

Opened a Bedrock OV Zin while entertaining last night. Hadn’t realized what a crowd-pleaser it would be, and of course satisfied the wine nerds, too. So +1 for that on this thread.
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 22nd, 2019, 10:49 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What do you serve at parties?
Replies: 46
Views: 2112

Re: What do you serve at parties?

From many tastings over the years the most popular white is: Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Riesling Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Sparkling either Mumm Brut Prestige or Roederer Anderson's Valley This. Dr L and the Saint Cosme CdR are two of my go-tos for parties, as is the Roederer. Great values and tend to be ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 15th, 2019, 9:00 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2018 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc
Replies: 3
Views: 392

Re: TN: 2018 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc

Thanks for the TN. Tasted this myself yesterday at the winery and it was showing similarly. A little lighter in its touch than some previous vintages. Almost delicate, but as always with excellent texture.
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 8th, 2019, 2:42 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Balanced, non fruit bomb cabernets?
Replies: 54
Views: 2957

Re: Balanced, non fruit bomb cabernets?

Kris Patten wrote:
December 8th, 2019, 9:56 am
Penley Phoenix
+1 on this - another good inexpensive ($15-20) Coonawarra cab. The alcohol can get high (15%) but it’s not over the top..
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 8th, 2019, 2:39 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Balanced, non fruit bomb cabernets?
Replies: 54
Views: 2957

Re: Balanced, non fruit bomb cabernets?

From South Africa, Rustenberg’s John X Merriman should be under $20 and very nice. I think this is usually in the $20s, but it’s an excellent value and choice. Great mixture of old world styling with some new world fruit. Admittedly it’s been almost 10 years since I last bought a bottle so I’m sure...
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 8th, 2019, 12:00 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Balanced, non fruit bomb cabernets?
Replies: 54
Views: 2957

Re: Balanced, non fruit bomb cabernets?

Lots of good suggestions above, and though many of them are outside your preferred price range, hopefully the reference is useful. But there is plenty of good cab in the $15-40 range. Mt Veeder is $35 at Total Wine. Sometimes they even carry Ridge’s Estate Cab for under $50 (or at least they used to...
by Ben M a n d l e r
December 2nd, 2019, 8:33 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 557
Views: 34851

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Rain died down for much of today but the winds were fierce driving from Santa Rosa to Davis and back. Carneros looking pretty bedraggled. Looks like we might even get sun tomorrow!
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 28th, 2019, 9:42 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Love a good screw
Replies: 15
Views: 1952

Re: Love a good screw

Two of my favorite Aussie whites. I am envious of those bottles. Thanks for the TNs!
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 27th, 2019, 9:14 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: When you say, "This wine is undrinkable..."
Replies: 61
Views: 2306

Re: When you say, "This wine is undrinkable..."

I had a bottle neck shatter on opening sending shards of glass into the wine. That’s probably the only wine I’ve ever had that was truly undrinkable. But, like others here, I have had wines so badly flawed that I have described them as undrinkable - usually that’s absurdly high TCA. I can’t recall e...
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 24th, 2019, 8:14 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2016 Ridge Demostene Zinfandel - An incredible AFWE wine from Ridge!
Replies: 35
Views: 2761

Re: TN: 2016 Ridge Demostene Zinfandel - An incredible AFWE wine from Ridge!

Totally agree with your note here. We’ve had this a few times in the past few months and it has absolutely killed every time. Wonderful stuff.
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 22nd, 2019, 10:42 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Weightless, Red Fruited and Pure....Name Your Poison
Replies: 50
Views: 2418

Re: Weightless, Red Fruited and Pure....Name Your Poison

Frappato, Nerello Mascalese (both Sicilian), Nebbiolo. Mencia, sometimes. The best examples of Chambourcin, too. Those are the ones that immediately come to mind. I’m not a fan of Beaujolais but it definitely fits the bill too.
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 19th, 2019, 6:35 am
Forum: Offline Planner
Topic: So Who Likes to Offline? City-by-city "database" PLEASE PM IF YOUR CITY HAS CHANGED
Replies: 259
Views: 25200

Re: So Who Likes to Offline? City-by-city "database" PLEASE PM IF YOUR CITY HAS CHANGED

I’m in Santa Rosa, so please add me to Sebastopol/Sonoma/Wine Country. Thanks!
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 12th, 2019, 10:30 pm
Forum: Offline Planner
Topic: 2017 Becklyn Horizontal, Santa Rosa - Rosso’s
Replies: 10
Views: 1354

Re: 2017 Becklyn Horizontal, Santa Rosa - Rosso’s

I’d be up for this! Tasted the ‘15 Missouri Hopper recently and was very impressed, and I haven’t been back to Rosso’s yet since I moved here. I don’t have any Becklyn to contribute myself but could bring something else perhaps? I have all the wines, I just need people to help drink them. If you’re...
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 12th, 2019, 4:56 pm
Forum: Offline Planner
Topic: 2017 Becklyn Horizontal, Santa Rosa - Rosso’s
Replies: 10
Views: 1354

Re: 2017 Becklyn Horizontal, Santa Rosa - Rosso’s

I’d be up for this! Tasted the ‘15 Missouri Hopper recently and was very impressed, and I haven’t been back to Rosso’s yet since I moved here. I don’t have any Becklyn to contribute myself but could bring something else perhaps?
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 8th, 2019, 8:59 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: BonnyDoon Thanks Semillon '16...(short/boring)
Replies: 9
Views: 911

Re: TN: BonnyDoon Thanks Semillon '16...(short/boring)

I picked up a bottle of this in a mixed case during the Bonny Doon sale, and just opened it tonight. Featherlight on the palate, almost vanishingly so in the mid. Having said that, I rather enjoyed it with zucchini-feta fritters, but wouldn't buy it at full price.
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 8th, 2019, 8:50 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 557
Views: 34851

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Our late harvest Gewürztraminer just came in today (from San Benito county). That’s a wrap for us. Ben, would be interested in any highlights (or lowlights) from your first harvest. Overall it was wonderful. I was impressed with how well organized the whole operation was. Jeff somehow manages to al...
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 6th, 2019, 9:22 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 557
Views: 34851

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Our late harvest Gewürztraminer just came in today (from San Benito county). That’s a wrap for us.
by Ben M a n d l e r
November 1st, 2019, 6:43 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Peter Luger's - no corkage and bad reviews
Replies: 83
Views: 5702

Re: Peter Luger's - no corkage and bad reviews

I don't think there's anything wrong with Peter Luger, I think what's off is people's expectations. It's not a fine dining establishment - never has been. It's not a destination restaurant. It's just where you go in Brooklyn if you want an excellent slab of cow washed down with a bottle of Geyservil...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 31st, 2019, 8:12 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fires in Sonoma...again - Geyserville
Replies: 274
Views: 19815

Re: Fires in Sonoma...again - Geyserville

Still no power on Westside Road today. Generators going but diesel is scarce. We had a thin but noticeable layer of ash at Williams Selyem and that was a good 10-15 miles from the fires. River Road was eerie yesterday morning: every turn from east of 101 to Wohler Road was blocked off by cops and ar...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 27th, 2019, 10:33 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2015 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper
Replies: 2
Views: 430

Re: TN: 2015 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper

Oh no! Had this just a few weeks ago and it was really singing. I'm sorry to hear about yours :-(
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 27th, 2019, 10:32 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: You’re being evacuated from your home, what wine do you grab?
Replies: 84
Views: 3030

Re: You’re being evacuated from your home, what wine do you grab?

That Becklyn Missouri Hopper is super delicious...good grab.

We had the same thought planning for evacuation this morning in Santa Rosa. 2015 Monte Bello. A bottle we bought ourselves for our wedding to drink on an anniversary - so the bottle itself was important.
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 27th, 2019, 10:26 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fires in Sonoma...again - Geyserville
Replies: 274
Views: 19815

Re: Fires in Sonoma...again - Geyserville

Thanks to everyone for sharing great info and your well wishes - to all my fellow people in Sonoma County I wish you the best. We are in Santa Rosa just south of downtown, about half a mile from the mandatory evac zone, a few minutes from the county fairgrounds, which is currently being used as an e...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 23rd, 2019, 7:50 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Upright or on its side: A Theory
Replies: 56
Views: 2581

Re: Upright or on its side: A Theory

Nice thread. I think there have been lots of good points raised, especially about "common knowledge". But... A few points on diffusion: 1. The fact that the headspace of a wine is at 99% humidity does not mean that the base of a cork in an upright bottle is kept as moist as one lying down. It is not...

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