Search found 339 matches

by Ben M a n d l e r
March 1st, 2021, 7:41 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Are any hybrid grapes worthy?
Replies: 36
Views: 993

Re: Are any hybrid grapes worthy?

Another vote for Chambourcin here. I’ve had very nice examples from Virginia, where it is often one of the more affordable wines and can be fun and juicy, especially from otherwise unremarkable producers. Purple Wolf and Zephaniah are two relatively minor players in the Virginia scene but their Cham...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 1st, 2021, 7:35 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2018 Ridge Lytton Springs
Replies: 7
Views: 697

Re: TN: 2018 Ridge Lytton Springs

An excellent Lytton Springs...My biggest take-away...I love those acids! I recently tried the 2018 Pagani Ranch and was slightly disappointed, as it DIDN'T show the acid I was expecting, so was instead a bit "soft" despite having nice fruit flavors. I loved the 2017 Pagani (even more than...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 25th, 2021, 8:10 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Entry-level Harvest Internships
Replies: 6
Views: 316

Re: Entry-level Harvest Internships

I worked my first harvest in 2019 at Williams Selyem. I had been a geologist for 10 years prior to that and had no wine industry experience. They took a chance on me, and I think we’d all say that the experience was a good one. I wasn’t the first total newbie they’ve taken on either. I received a lo...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 22nd, 2021, 7:55 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Remedies for Smoke Taint?
Replies: 45
Views: 3982

Re: Remedies for Smoke Taint?

Per ETS, 4-methylguaiacol above 2ug/L indicates smoke taint only in unoaked wines. I got 4.4ug/L 4-MG on the blend of prior vintages which they say is pretty standard for a 25% new oak wine. My 2020 PN was 2.4ug/L 4-MG, so I'm fairly comfortable there. The ETS smoke expert says you can go much high...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 22nd, 2021, 7:47 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN 2004 Kanonkop Paul Sauer
Replies: 3
Views: 217

Re: TN 2004 Kanonkop Paul Sauer

Thanks for the note. I had a 2000 Paul Sauer two years ago that was very similar to your experience with the 2004 here. Really enjoyed it and, like Kevin, I wish it was easier to get here.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 21st, 2021, 10:07 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2021 Under $15.00 Wine Thread
Replies: 56
Views: 3866

Re: 2021 Under $15.00 Wine Thread

Perennially good values, but Gruet NV Brut Rose ($12) and Substance Cabernet Sauvignon ($10) both performed admirably last night. The Gruet was particularly impressive. You can source CS Substance Cab for $10? That is a $18-20 bottle in my neck of the woods. Interesting. Good value (in most years) ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 21st, 2021, 6:00 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2021 Under $15.00 Wine Thread
Replies: 56
Views: 3866

Re: 2021 Under $15.00 Wine Thread

Perennially good values, but Gruet NV Brut Rose ($12) and Substance Cabernet Sauvignon ($10) both performed admirably last night. The Gruet was particularly impressive.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 21st, 2021, 5:59 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2018 DuPuis Syrah Baker Ranch (USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley)
Replies: 1
Views: 181

Re: TN: 2018 DuPuis Syrah Baker Ranch (USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley)

So tantalising!! Love love love the old Copain Baker Ranch Syrahs and so glad that Wells is still working with that fruit.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 20th, 2021, 10:27 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective
Replies: 74
Views: 3344

Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

More importantly, why would anyone post a note on a corked bottle in CT? Unless there is some known problem, and folks are trying to document it. Reminds me of people who write bad Amazon reviews because a product arrived broken. To keep track for my own records, for which I use CT and have done si...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 20th, 2021, 8:14 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective
Replies: 74
Views: 3344

Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault. I think it is useful to post a note, both for myself and others. That way I can: A) see over time what proportion of wines are flawed and keep easy, searchable records abo...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 20th, 2021, 7:59 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Did you know a company like Studio Beverage Group exists?
Replies: 14
Views: 1331

Re: Did you know a company like Studio Beverage Group exists?

People not in the business tend to think that wine makers are spending days tasting wine with fans and hanging out and they forget it's business. They have to buy boxes, figure out how to fix the leak in the roof, deal with the county, call the distributor that didn't pay yet, etc. And if someone o...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 20th, 2021, 7:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Rioja
Replies: 56
Views: 2772

Re: Rioja

Rioja was my first wine love. Living in England, there was a lot of it, and the prices were *good*. Now living in the US, the selection seems a little narrower but there is still plenty available and the pricing is still tremendous compared to other wines of similar quality. We drink a lot of La Rio...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 17th, 2021, 11:27 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Bottle Variation Question
Replies: 18
Views: 819

Re: Bottle Variation Question

I haven’t had the opportunity to test this on just-bottled wines, but I have noticed pretty significant Brett differences between bottles of wine within a year of their bottling date. I’ve observed this from multiple wineries. To my knowledge these are wines that are unfiltered and do not use Velcor...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 17th, 2021, 11:17 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 94
Views: 5184

Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

St Helena this morning. The vines are practically drowning in a sea of yellow. On the other hand, that blue sky you see is all we have in the forecast for the next 10 days at least, and the burn scars are still looking pretty dilapidated.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 13th, 2021, 9:14 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 94
Views: 5184

Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

I'm sure some of you think I'm some kind of alarmist, but in my line of work you live with these things DAILY. A drought is something that goes away quickly. All of my piers in this business are terrified. Yes, there's still time to make up the deficit but I've heard that shit before. One possible ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 13th, 2021, 9:00 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: No wine in my cellar is safe from getting its cork pulled
Replies: 86
Views: 4269

Re: No wine in my cellar is safe from getting its cork pulled

There are just a few specific bottles in our modest collection that are intended to celebrate a special occasion, but the remaining 98% are fair game regardless of price or rarity. I have only started buying larger amounts of wine I the last 2 years, so much of it is not “ready”. That doesn’t make i...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 12th, 2021, 7:14 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa recs for lover of cooler climate wines
Replies: 42
Views: 1893

Re: Napa recs for lover of cooler climate wines

Noah, I see some great recommendations here for Di Costanzo, Togni, Frog's Leap. I would add two classics from "cooler" appellations in the south of Napa Valley. Tom Farella's own wines, Farella, from the Coombsville vineyard and Anthony Truchard's wines, Truchard Vineyards, from the fami...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 12th, 2021, 6:27 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa recs for lover of cooler climate wines
Replies: 42
Views: 1893

Re: Napa recs for lover of cooler climate wines

Corison and Pilcrow would be my top two picks for this. To the North, some of the Stonestreet wines in the $50-100 range are also impressively restrained and pretty in style while still having that ripeness of fruit.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 10th, 2021, 7:32 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Question for White Wine lovers
Replies: 58
Views: 2240

Re: Question for White Wine lovers

I love white wines for the things I don’t get in red wines. For example: Beautiful floral aromatics (Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Muscat, Torrontes, Riesling, some Grenache Blanc, etc) Fruit character not often found in red wines - lychee (Gewurztraminer), peach (Viognier, Muscat), apple/pear (lots of ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 9th, 2021, 6:37 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Wine Fridge Organizing question
Replies: 7
Views: 646

Re: Wine Fridge Organizing question

I have a 200-bottle Artevino III, in which I can fit about 180 bottles. I have three shelves at the bottom that are each 2-3 layers high, for wines that I definitely don’t want to touch for at least a year. I then have four shelves that are each one layer, for drinking this year. And my top shelf ca...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 8th, 2021, 9:53 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Your ideal alcohol level for a medium/full bodied red?
Replies: 168
Views: 4977

Re: Your ideal alcohol level for a medium/full bodied red?

I am not a fan of that coconut note at all, in fact, I hate it, but it's manageable with light use. I can tell you that everything else about AO is superior to French, in my opinion. If you've ever tried a barrel of wine after 3 months on French vs American, you will know what I mean - French Oak t...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 8th, 2021, 5:43 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tempting wine purchases you’ve passed on—give others a shot
Replies: 102
Views: 8608

Re: Tempting wine purchases you’ve passed on—give others a shot

2016 (I think...) Copain Hawks Butte Syrah for $30 at K&L. Already exhausted my budget on the Baker Ranch and Brosseau last fall. It’s a killer wine at a great price.
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 7th, 2021, 6:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Smoked meat/ Pastrami wine match?
Replies: 60
Views: 2279

Re: Smoked meat/ Pastrami wine match?

Syrah. And not the lean type. Something with a bit of stuffing. I eat what my wife would probably describe as a disturbing amount of both barbecue (probably my favorite kind of food) and pastrami (mostly in the form of Reubens). And my absolute favorite pairing is Syrah, something with plenty of mea...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 6th, 2021, 8:49 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: K&L
Replies: 71
Views: 4981

Re: K&L

What do you find is a good value play at K&L? I've found good value in domestic wines lately. Qupe, Copain, Wind Gap all with a few years of age. Signal Ridge and Sky were both really good (and unique to K&L) deals lately if those are your thing. +1 on all of these. Was tempted by the Signa...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 6th, 2021, 8:45 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Your ideal alcohol level for a medium/full bodied red?
Replies: 168
Views: 4977

Re: Your ideal alcohol level for a medium/full bodied red?

It's a bit of a messy issue I think, and variations in labelling don't help. If you're able to talk to a winemaker, or better yet charm the enologist or a lab tech, and ask about their labeling practices, you may get more candid information than you expect. Some wineries make a point of labelling th...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 6th, 2021, 8:12 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: K&L
Replies: 71
Views: 4981

Re: K&L

I find their general pricing across the board to be pretty good since I can pick up at the store and so don't have to pay shipping. But pretty much the only things I buy from them are recent back vintages of strong Californian producers in the $20-50 price range. Something really good comes up on a ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 3rd, 2021, 1:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What's the deal with double decanting?
Replies: 73
Views: 2752

Re: What's the deal with double decanting?

I know not everyone has a DO meter to hand, but I could show you the dissolved oxygen of an unopened wine and then the same wine opened and then stored under nitrogen for 2 hours and it is pretty remarkable. Do you have data or a graph you could show us? That would be interesting. What would be rea...
by Ben M a n d l e r
February 2nd, 2021, 9:36 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What's the deal with double decanting?
Replies: 73
Views: 2752

Re: What's the deal with double decanting?

I might get a bit of flak for this buuuuuut here goes. The important part of decanting is introducing oxygen to the wine in the first place - this has already been said in the thread. Once you’ve splashed it around a bit, it doesn’t matter very much what you do next - you could put it in a pure Argo...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 29th, 2021, 9:51 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 94
Views: 5184

Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

I measured 2.5” total accumulation Tue-Thur in our garden in Santa Rosa. Few small mudslides in the mountains but I haven’t heard of anything terrible.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 29th, 2021, 5:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Shakeup at Ridge
Replies: 40
Views: 6689

Re: My Thoughts...

For me I hope he's going to be able to bring the Ridge sort of style to a class Napa outfit. Those sorts of wines are few and far between from that appellation. I'm crossing my fingers this is what is up. Could not agree more with this statement. He will be a breath of fresh air here and I can’t wa...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 28th, 2021, 10:08 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: SortaTN: Three Compromised SQN Reds...(short/boring)
Replies: 18
Views: 1305

Re: SortaTN: Three Compromised SQN Reds...(short/boring)

Fascinating experiment! You mention that the corks in the bottles stored upside down were desiccated - are you saying they were shriveled and dry and not soaked through with wine? That would be very, very odd, since if they were loose enough to fall into the bottle when turned upright they would hav...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 27th, 2021, 9:13 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: N Rhone White Pairing Question
Replies: 15
Views: 873

Re: N Rhone White Pairing Question

I also love Rhone whites, especially Marsanne/Roussanne. I find them to be quite versatile. Cassoulet, carbonara, and wienerschnitzel have all been good pairing experiences for me in the past.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2021, 12:06 pm
Forum: BerserkerDay 12 (Jan 27, 2021) "The Black Friday of Wine Commerce" - Forbes
Topic: **EXTENDED** VIRAGE NAPA VALLEY - Cool Climate Right Bank Reds
Replies: 64
Views: 2366

Re: VIRAGE NAPA VALLEY - Cool Climate Right Bank Reds

I work over at ETS but live in Santa Rosa - is the pickup at 55 Degrees available to anyone for pickup or is it only for people who have holdings/membership there? I was planning to pick up one each of the 2010, 2011, and 2012, plus one bottle of the rose. The code just started working so I think w...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2021, 11:05 am
Forum: BerserkerDay 12 (Jan 27, 2021) "The Black Friday of Wine Commerce" - Forbes
Topic: Halcon BD12 Offer - open thru Feb 5th
Replies: 109
Views: 4692

Re: Halcon BD12 Offer

In for a Rhone 6 - e-mail sent. Might be the easiest decision of the day.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2021, 10:39 am
Forum: BerserkerDay 12 (Jan 27, 2021) "The Black Friday of Wine Commerce" - Forbes
Topic: **EXTENDED** VIRAGE NAPA VALLEY - Cool Climate Right Bank Reds
Replies: 64
Views: 2366

Re: VIRAGE NAPA VALLEY - Cool Climate Right Bank Reds

Thanks for this awesome-looking offer Emily. Never tried your wines before but they sound like exactly my kind of thing. I work in St Helena so I tried to select "Delivery to 55 Degrees" as the shipping option (is that currently an option?) but when I did the coupon codes disappeared and ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2021, 10:20 am
Forum: BerserkerDay 12 (Jan 27, 2021) "The Black Friday of Wine Commerce" - Forbes
Topic: Sold Out. Wilde Farm Wines vertical at 50% off. And $12 SHIPPING.
Replies: 67
Views: 2885

Re: A first! Wilde Farm Wines vertical at 50% off. And $12 SHIPPING.

MikeL238 wrote: January 26th, 2021, 10:10 am
Ben M a n d l e r wrote: January 26th, 2021, 9:54 am Wow, they're all gone by 9.45 am on Preview Day! Sad to have missed it but congrats to everyone who got in, and what a great, great deal.
Syrahs were still available?
You're totally right, I was silly and didn't click through to the shopping cart to see the discounts. Thanks :-)
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 26th, 2021, 10:15 am
Forum: BerserkerDay 12 (Jan 27, 2021) "The Black Friday of Wine Commerce" - Forbes
Topic: **EXTENDED** VIRAGE NAPA VALLEY - Cool Climate Right Bank Reds
Replies: 64
Views: 2366

Re: VIRAGE NAPA VALLEY - Cool Climate Right Bank Reds

Thanks for this awesome-looking offer Emily. Never tried your wines before but they sound like exactly my kind of thing. I work in St Helena so I tried to select "Delivery to 55 Degrees" as the shipping option (is that currently an option?) but when I did the coupon codes disappeared and a...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 24th, 2021, 9:17 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 94
Views: 5184

Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Forecasts for burn areas from the 2020 fires are 4-6” in many places. We will likely see debris flows this week, potentially quite dangerous ones. Really not looking forward to driving through the Mayacamas mountains to work. Happy for the rain, but nervous about its geophysical impacts. Flood-prone...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 20th, 2021, 11:24 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best deal/coupon for on-line wine shopping.
Replies: 2755
Views: 330708

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

2013 Roederer L’Ermitage for $6.46 all in. Absurd.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 20th, 2021, 11:07 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Wine rules you should break
Replies: 42
Views: 2574

Re: Wine rules you should break

No it's a good question. There are two separate thresholds to consider: One is the concentration of TCA in the wine required for a person to smell it. The other is the concentration of TCA in the wine required to interfere with the person smelling other things (this is a kind of behavior that is kn...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 19th, 2021, 4:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Wine rules you should break
Replies: 42
Views: 2574

Re: Wine rules you should break

Larry, Sorry for the tangent, but as someone very sensitive to TCA and related compounds this has always confused me. As I understand how these compounds affect the wine, whether or not you can smell/taste the wet cardboard, the damages is done. By that I mean the TCA has reacted with other compoun...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 19th, 2021, 11:02 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Wine rules you should break
Replies: 42
Views: 2574

Re: Wine rules you should break

And therein lies the 'challenge' of TCA - we all have different thresholds for picking it up. So you can sit at a table with 'knowledgeable' wine drinkers and one can say it's corked and another finds it 'wonderful' - and they are both kind of correct, eh? Cheers. Larry, Sorry for the tangent, but ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 16th, 2021, 2:18 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Excellent Napa/Sonoma Cabs under 14% ABV
Replies: 25
Views: 2211

Re: Excellent Napa/Sonoma Cabs under 14% ABV

Lots of great suggestions already in this thread. I have particularly enjoyed Corison and Calluna.

Two more to add:
Mayacamas - an old stalwart.
Pilcrow - a relative newcomer, but very fine.
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 13th, 2021, 2:00 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Austin Hope, anyone?
Replies: 32
Views: 2227

Re: Austin Hope, anyone?

About three years ago I served the 2015 AH Cab blind at a tasting to a group of 30 casual wine drinkers, most of whom would say they know they like red or white better, maybe some know they like Malbec or Chardonnay. You get the gist. None were experienced tasters. I served it alongside 2015 Chatea...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 12th, 2021, 12:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Effect of wine storage at 45 degrees?
Replies: 43
Views: 2296

Re: Effect of wine storage at 45 degrees?

This is potentially important. I conducted an experiment on this once for my own education. I took samples of the same high-tannin red wine and stored them at 55 F (wine fridge) and at 40 F (fridge fridge) for one month. The one stored at 55 F experienced almost no precipitation. The one at 40 F pr...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 12th, 2021, 11:34 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Effect of wine storage at 45 degrees?
Replies: 43
Views: 2296

Re: Effect of wine storage at 45 degrees?

Some reds will precipitate out things at refrigerator temperature (40F). You can get crusting on the inside of the bottle. So extended storage at 45 would make me a bit nervous. (FYI, I'm not a fanatic about 55F, which is fairly arbitrary, and don't lose any sleep about my passive cellar getting in...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 11th, 2021, 9:42 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Effect of wine storage at 45 degrees?
Replies: 43
Views: 2296

Re: Effect of wine storage at 45 degrees?

Some reds will precipitate out things at refrigerator temperature (40F). You can get crusting on the inside of the bottle. So extended storage at 45 would make me a bit nervous. (FYI, I'm not a fanatic about 55F, which is fairly arbitrary, and don't lose any sleep about my passive cellar getting in...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 11th, 2021, 8:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Austin Hope, anyone?
Replies: 32
Views: 2227

Re: Austin Hope, anyone?

About three years ago I served the 2015 AH Cab blind at a tasting to a group of 30 casual wine drinkers, most of whom would say they know they like red or white better, maybe some know they like Malbec or Chardonnay. You get the gist. None were experienced tasters. I served it alongside 2015 Chateau...
by Ben M a n d l e r
January 8th, 2021, 9:14 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Retailer check: Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA
Replies: 17
Views: 1489

Re: Retailer check: Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA

They are my local wine store. Their selection is superb and their pricing is often even better. The shop is a larger warehouse, I’d say it’s kept at room temperature or slightly cooler, but it’s worth mentioning that they have a pretty rapid turnover of inventory. I go there once or twice a month an...

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