Search found 113 matches

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: 51
Views: 2198

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: 51
Views: 2198

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: 51
Views: 2198

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: 547
Views: 31466

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: 1847

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: 50
Views: 1507

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: 9
Views: 893

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: 2176

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: 249
Views: 22802

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: 510

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: 510

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: 836

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: 547
Views: 31466

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: 547
Views: 31466

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: 5542

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: 19229

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: 402

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: 2871

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: 19229

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: 2405

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...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 23rd, 2019, 6:56 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Russian River valley recommendations
Replies: 23
Views: 1123

Re: Russian River valley recommendations

A nice drive that will take you through much of the valley might be to start from Healdsburg and take Westside Road all the way down to Hacienda. A few miles south of Arista on Westside Road is Porter Creek. Gary Farrell a little further down is also nice. At Hacienda you could turn left and cross t...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 21st, 2019, 12:51 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: West Sonoma Coast (Extreme coast/Fort Ross Seaview) Pinot Noirs
Replies: 23
Views: 1855

Re: West Sonoma Coast (Extreme coast/Fort Ross Seaview) Pinot Noirs

I think that Coastlands vineyard is a truly special site. The fruit from there is so distinctive - tiny berries, incredible concentration, wonderful acid profile. Williams Selyem (where I just worked harvest) gets some of the fruit (and it’s my personal favorite) but the Cobbs (who own the vineyard)...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 10th, 2019, 9:22 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Losing Power During Harvest
Replies: 56
Views: 3983

Re: Losing Power During Harvest

Outages in Santa Rosa were patchy. Most west of the 101 were fine (so many wineries in central-southern RRV did not lose power, and Green Valley looked fine from what I could see). We lost power here at our apartment in central Santa Rosa for 40 hours - came back on at 7pm this evening to the sound ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 4th, 2019, 10:25 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: PSA: Kinda ridiculous Bonny Doon sale
Replies: 112
Views: 8886

Re: PSA: Kinda ridiculous Bonny Doon sale

Cigare halves for $10 a pop are way too good a deal to pass up. Picked up some X-Block and Semillon to round it out. Thanks a ton for the heads-up.
by Ben M a n d l e r
October 2nd, 2019, 2:04 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa Cab under $100
Replies: 77
Views: 5247

Re: Napa Cab under $100

Update: she liked the Chappellet very much. I have a feeling she will like the Frogs Leap even more, but that bottle will be for another time. Thanks again everyone.
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 6th, 2019, 6:45 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Esther Mobley tells you how to look like a total newb
Replies: 47
Views: 2632

Re: Esther Mobley tells you how to look like a total newb

I think the advice to ask about tasting a grape is a great one, especially for people who aren't yet beyond the pale in their love of wine. Tasting grapes at differing levels of ripeness, seeing the differences in flavor and texture between pulp, skin, and seeds, can really eye-opening for people wh...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 2nd, 2019, 6:59 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

The last few days have seen a dramatic increase in the number of pickups going 25 mph at 4am looking for their turn off River/Wohler/Eastside/Westside Road...a lot more people must be picking! As with the others (above), we're entering a cooler period. Highs in the Middle Reach will stay below 90 on...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 2nd, 2019, 6:36 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Donnhoff/Faustino/Sociando
Replies: 15
Views: 1112

Re: Donnhoff/Faustino/Sociando

There is never a bad time to drink Donnhoff. I've also never had a bad wine from them. Exemplary stuff. I am quite envious!
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 2nd, 2019, 6:34 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What's the wine that changed your life?
Replies: 166
Views: 8380

Re: What's the wine that changed your life?

Merry Edwards, Meredith estate. I know not the biggest bottle, but at this time I was early 20’s and had no really tried many wines outside of my corner store $6.99 bottles we drank. This wine opened my eyes to beautiful well made wine that was a pleasure to drink. I’ve since gone done a very expen...
by Ben M a n d l e r
September 1st, 2019, 6:03 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What's the wine that changed your life?
Replies: 166
Views: 8380

Re: What's the wine that changed your life?

1990 Ducru Beaucaillou, in 2003. I was 15 and it's the first wine I ever remember really *tasting*, paying attention to. Of course, the wine demanded it of me. 2005 Grans Fassian Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese, in 2008. I was 19 years old in my 2nd year of college. I bought it because it w...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 28th, 2019, 8:07 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 8 Favourite Varieties (4 red, 4 white)
Replies: 59
Views: 1979

Re: 8 Favourite Varieties (4 red, 4 white)

I’m going to go here with the varieties I most often find myself excited about. The ones that, in their best examples, make me sigh with happiness more than any others.

Red:
Syrah
Zinfandel
Pinot Noir
Tempranillo

White:
Riesling
Marsanne/Roussanne
Gewurztraminer
Semillon
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 23rd, 2019, 6:13 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

I'm guessing their Vin Gris will come from this? They made Blanc de Noir from Drakes but maybe changed the program to this site. I think it is behind Copain on Starr. It freaked me out because we get Floodgate/Starscape about a mile away and I haven't even washed a single tank or picking bin yet. T...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 22nd, 2019, 7:42 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Yesterday we kicked off harvest at Williams Selyem with the first of our Pinot from the MacGregor vineyard. I hope everyone here has a great vintage!
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 22nd, 2019, 6:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa Cab under $100
Replies: 77
Views: 5247

Re: Napa Cab under $100

Thanks a million to everyone who gave suggestions. I now have a lovely list to dip into for the future. I hit up Bottle Barn this afternoon and picked up the Chappellet ($60) and the Frog's Leap ($52). I did also see the Bevan Ontogeny and Shafer One Point Five and was tempted by both, but figured t...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 21st, 2019, 10:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Halcon Vineyards Visit August 2019
Replies: 13
Views: 986

Re: Halcon Vineyards Visit August 2019

Thanks for writing this up Dan. Paul and Jackie were amazing hosts. That Roussanne is really something, and the Syrahs really are beauties, especially the Alturas, for me.

And what an incredible set of views. Well worth the harrowing drive!
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 18th, 2019, 6:42 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa Cab under $100
Replies: 77
Views: 5247

Re: Napa Cab under $100

Jim Stewart wrote:
August 18th, 2019, 4:45 pm
Psst . . . Champagne!
Can you believe it, she doesn’t really like sparkling wine.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 18th, 2019, 2:15 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Napa Cab under $100
Replies: 77
Views: 5247

Napa Cab under $100

Hi everyone, I know this is a played-out topic but I have a specific question so I’m hoping I can tap the collective wisdom here. It’s about a month until my wife’s 30th birthday. She loves Napa cabs, but we barely ever drink them at home (in part because of price, in part because she humors my pred...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 18th, 2019, 12:00 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Heat spike this last week pushed brix up in RRV pretty quickly. Blessedly cooler this weekend and with more fog and clouds lingering this decidedly cool Sunday morning, giving things a little respite. I saw some fruit coming in along Westside Road last week, I’d guess for sparkling. Looking like a n...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 12th, 2019, 3:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What red/white blends have you tried?
Replies: 54
Views: 1580

Re: What red/white blends have you tried?

On a weekend trip to Anderson Valley this weekend, one of the standouts was a wine from Lichen, Les Pinots Noir & Gris, 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Pinot Gris. All immediately pressed off the skins so no hint of red in the color, but a great acid-richness balance, smoky-creamy in the mid-palate.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 6th, 2019, 6:17 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Yesterday the fog lingered til late morning and there were at least some clouds in the sky all day. As far as I can tell, it was the first time since late May that we haven't had clear blue skies in the afternoon here in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Williams Selyem Allocation Next Week
Replies: 22
Views: 2173

Re: Williams Selyem Allocation Next Week

They give us interns an allocation so I put mine in today. I'll be working the pickup party in October, look forward to seeing y'all there!
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 3rd, 2019, 5:38 pm
Forum: Wine 101: The Basics
Topic: How would you guys manage a four person tasting
Replies: 21
Views: 1417

Re: How would you guys manage a four person tasting

In my experience the problem with trying something like 4 bottles for 4 people is that, after a bottle each, everyone is in a good mood and you start cracking open other bottles so it becomes 6 bottles for 4 people and then the next morning gets a bit slow... I think half bottles is a good idea, tho...
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 3rd, 2019, 5:33 pm
Forum: Wine 101: The Basics
Topic: High Tanin Acidity Wine
Replies: 21
Views: 1835

Re: High Tanin Acidity Wine

If you're looking for high acid red wines, don't overlook Zinfandel. Acidity in zins can be monstrously high due to their inconsistent cluster ripening. You can get a wine with 15% alcohol and very ripe flavors that is still tear-inducingly high-acid.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 1st, 2019, 8:57 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What bottle of wine did you open today?
Replies: 10998
Views: 402227

Re: What bottle of wine did you open today?

2017 Antiquum Farm "Juel" Pinot Noir. Took about half an hour to open up, but then very nice. Lovely purity of fruit, quite pretty, plush texture, nice savory backbone. Not built for the long-haul but should be very nice over the next couple of years.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 1st, 2019, 6:32 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Low acidity, dry, but not super-dry wine?
Replies: 14
Views: 783

Re: Low acidity, dry, but not super-dry wine?

RichardFlack wrote:
August 1st, 2019, 8:00 am
Sounds like a need for well aged old world wines. Rioja? Top Cru Beaujolais?
+1 on Rioja. If you liked Bordeaux but are now craving something a little softer, pick up some Reservas with 10-15 years on them and go from there.
by Ben M a n d l e r
August 1st, 2019, 5:59 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Some of the vineyards in the Russian River Valley are getting sufficiently close to full color that tourists are starting to pull off the road and pluck clusters off the ends of rows. A shame, really, considering the blackberries are fully loaded right now and easy picking everywhere you look. I am...
by Ben M a n d l e r
July 31st, 2019, 8:08 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread
Replies: 547
Views: 31466

Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

Some of the vineyards in the Russian River Valley are getting sufficiently close to full color that tourists are starting to pull off the road and pluck clusters off the ends of rows. A shame, really, considering the blackberries are fully loaded right now and easy picking everywhere you look.
by Ben M a n d l e r
July 31st, 2019, 7:54 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Bottle weight
Replies: 40
Views: 1505

Re: Bottle weight

One often neglected point about heavy bottles is that they are really nasty to work with on a bottling line. If you’re dumping glass and stacking pallets all day, adding 5-10 lb to each case makes things a lot more tiring. Also, specialty glass of any kind is not only more expensive but also harder ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
July 28th, 2019, 9:09 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tell me what I should be looking for in California besides Cabs
Replies: 65
Views: 3084

Re: Tell me what I should be looking for in California besides Cabs

Zinfandel, Zinfandel, Zinfandel. Incredible old vineyards abound. Start at Ridge. Visit their Lytton Springs winery just north of Healdsburg and taste through their wines. Most are $30-40. Their small-production single vineyard zins are all fantastic but Geyserville is the true star - beautiful youn...

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