Search found 375 matches

by Ben M a n d l e r
May 5th, 2021, 5:29 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Sweet Bordeaux Prices
Replies: 37
Views: 1689

Re: Sweet Bordeaux Prices

I wonder about this a lot. I remember when I was first getting into wine ~2008, I considered buying a case of 2003 La Tour Blanche for $45/btl to stash away. I decided against it, and am glad I did, because I can the same wine for barely more than that now. The 2001s mostly seem to be an exception ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
May 5th, 2021, 2:55 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Sweet Bordeaux Prices
Replies: 37
Views: 1689

Re: Sweet Bordeaux Prices

I wonder about this a lot. I remember when I was first getting into wine ~2008, I considered buying a case of 2003 La Tour Blanche for $45/btl to stash away. I decided against it, and am glad I did, because I can the same wine for barely more than that now. The 2001s mostly seem to be an exception t...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 25th, 2021, 8:40 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...
Replies: 170
Views: 10067

Re: Best Calif Cab at $49.95...

I have heard that most <$50 Napa Cabs are not from the same vineyard year after year and are the product of purchased grapes. Given my experience with Paul Hobbs CS Crossbarn, I suspect it's true because I loved the 2007 and 2013 but didn't like any years in between. Can anybody confirm that "...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 25th, 2021, 8:29 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Three Dudes Choose TJs Over Silver Oak Blind
Replies: 69
Views: 4559

Re: Three Dudes Choose TJs Over Silver Oak Blind

Ben, you've tasted with us before so you know I love Napa Cab... It wasn't the American Oak, it just wasn't structured or balanced. I've given up on trying to like this wine and spending any money on it. It was a 2017 Lytton Springs, not Geyserville. It was #2 with Limerick Lane right behind it. I ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 25th, 2021, 8:02 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Three Dudes Choose TJs Over Silver Oak Blind
Replies: 69
Views: 4559

Re: Three Dudes Choose TJs Over Silver Oak Blind

Where did the Geyserville fall in the rankings and what vintage was it? I’m not super surprised that people didn’t peg it as zin (or maybe they did, but that’s the impression I got from the post) - I think you could plot the zinniness of Geyserville as an inverse function of bottle age. Juan - I kno...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 22nd, 2021, 9:55 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: A spectacular dinner Part 6 of 6: 89` d`Yquem, 98` Kracher TBA #11, 93` Pajcos Essentia
Replies: 5
Views: 364

Re: A spectacular dinner Part 6 of 6: 89` d`Yquem, 98` Kracher TBA #11, 93` Pajcos Essentia

This is pretty close to my dream line-up. Thank you for the vicarious experience haha!
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 22nd, 2021, 9:45 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Tartrates on cork - what does it mean?
Replies: 6
Views: 532

Re: Tartrates on cork - what does it mean?

Otto covered a lot of great material in his post. I have two points to add. In the vast majority of cases, those crystals are specifically potassium bitartrate (we use KHT as a shorthand), and as such their formation depends on the concentration of both tartaric acid and potassium in the wine. Some ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 18th, 2021, 11:24 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Dynamizing Water For Biodynamic Viticulture
Replies: 80
Views: 3184

Re: Dynamizing Water For Biodynamic Viticulture

Well water can be undersaturated in oxygen and have higher concentrations of dissolved methane and VOCs. If you were to take well water and stir it well you'd off-gas methane/VOCs and oxygenate it effectively. You know this already, I know, but I think it's likely the reason. Stirring water a lot wo...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 16th, 2021, 5:42 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Crystalline exudate at the bottom of white wine ?
Replies: 22
Views: 947

Re: Crystalline exudate at the bottom of white wine ?

Great summary, Ben! Aside from cold stabilization followed by racking or filtration, there is also now a product on the market that inhibits the nucleation and growth of potassium bitartrate and so keeps it in the wine. The compound used is potassium polyaspartate. Is potassium polyaspartate terroi...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 15th, 2021, 10:00 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2016 Ridge Zinfandel Buchignani Ranch (USA, California, Sonoma County)
Replies: 3
Views: 326

Re: TN: 2016 Ridge Zinfandel Buchignani Ranch (USA, California, Sonoma County)

I actually prefer the Carignane to the Zinfandel from Buchignani Ranch. They do both perform better with time.
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 15th, 2021, 9:52 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Crystalline exudate at the bottom of white wine ?
Replies: 22
Views: 947

Re: Crystalline exudate at the bottom of white wine ?

Tartaric Acid crystals, aka wine diamonds. Present in most wine, particularly whites that have been cold stabilized during the final stages before bottling. Filtration removes it, so does enough racking after cold stabilization. It's harmless, and generally tells whether a wine is filtered or not. ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 12th, 2021, 11:44 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What Percentage of Your Gross Household Income is Spent on Wine?
Replies: 153
Views: 6982

Re: What Percentage of Your Gross Household Income is Spent on Wine?

You could read it as a lot of disposable income or you could read it as A) a healthy amount of disposable income plus a heavy prioritization of wine or B) not that much disposable income (making $1M a year and spending 10% on wine is A vs $5M a year and spending 2% is B). Given that both of your ex...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 11th, 2021, 8:55 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What Percentage of Your Gross Household Income is Spent on Wine?
Replies: 153
Views: 6982

Re: What Percentage of Your Gross Household Income is Spent on Wine?

I was genuinely surprised at the number of responses above the lowest answer (1-3%). A lot of people in this board must have a lot of disposable income. I did know that there are some rich people who spend a lot of time on this board but I also thought they made up a smaller proportion of the commu...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 11th, 2021, 8:15 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What Percentage of Your Gross Household Income is Spent on Wine?
Replies: 153
Views: 6982

Re: What Percentage of Your Gross Household Income is Spent on Wine?

I was genuinely surprised at the number of responses above the lowest answer (1-3%). A lot of people in this board must have a lot of disposable income. I did know that there are some rich people who spend a lot of time on this board but I also thought they made up a smaller proportion of the commun...
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 9th, 2021, 9:18 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Lipids and Tannins and Pairings, oh my!
Replies: 4
Views: 284

Re: Lipids and Tannins and Pairings, oh my!

Otto Forsberg wrote: April 9th, 2021, 8:30 am Doesn't sound particularly groundbreaking to me, because over ten years ago when I was working in the local alcohol monopoly, we were taught this in our food-wine pairing courses.
Agreed. This is pretty low-hanging fruit for an academic paper on wine chemistry.
by Ben M a n d l e r
April 5th, 2021, 8:07 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?
Replies: 88
Views: 3181

Re: Where are we at on fining and filtration for reds, whites, and beyond?

I love ribs, but I will never understand the derision and vitriol that vegans are met with when they bring up questions about the use of animal products in winemaking and related labeling. On this board, in person among industry colleagues, and on Facebook groups, it’s all the same. Usually the vega...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 31st, 2021, 5:18 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: "If You Irrigate, It's Not Terroir..."
Replies: 258
Views: 9752

Re: "If You Irrigate, It's Not Terroir..."

It’s not terroir unless the vines are own-rooted. If an argument is to be made about the relationship between how a vine’s roots interact with their surroundings then surely what those roots are is just as important. And ecology and environment are inextricably linked. If one says (as people, amazin...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 31st, 2021, 8:47 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: GOOD Napa Valley Restaurant with Best Corkage Policies
Replies: 27
Views: 1563

Re: GOOD Napa Valley Restaurant with Best Corkage Policies

Since you said you’ll be in Sonoma as well, and since you’re staying five nights, let me also recommend the Glen Ellen Star. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in the county. The food is superb and inventive, and the non-meat items are just as good as the meat ones. Corkage is $25. On Wednesdays t...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 26th, 2021, 9:22 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 183
Views: 12476

Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Well it’s not exactly farming but my fava beans just put out their first flowers flirtysmile everything in the garden is going on a tear with the warmer weather. Lows are staying in the 40s every day now, and highs in the 70s, so the gears are really starting to turn.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 26th, 2021, 7:38 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Drinking Wine After Delivery
Replies: 36
Views: 2165

Re: Drinking Wine After Delivery

If you take two bottles of high-end red wine, one of the most recent vintage and one that is 40 years old, and put samples of each in a strong centrifuge, the young one will form a very small pellet, while the old one will form a very large one and will lose most of its color from the supernatant, a...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 21st, 2021, 6:33 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

There are so many great Santa Barbara County producers. Based on personal experience the only ones I would exclude are Tensley and Qupe. Been drinking through a bunch of older Qupes picked up at the recent WineBid dump and many of them have been excellent. Especially the 2004 and 2009 Alisos Vineya...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 18th, 2021, 5:50 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

My coworkers and I will soon all be vaccinated and I am starting to think about planning a tasting for us to go through some California Syrah together. And I know there will be a ton of strong recommendations from this community. I'd like to keep things more on the savory/leaner styles than the opu...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 18th, 2021, 5:45 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

Dan Boerigter wrote: March 17th, 2021, 5:15 pm This may surprise folks but try Sandler. Ed makes a very nice syrah. Not expensive and he may have some older ones laying around.
Good to know! I have one somewhere from BD 2020...might have to crack it open sooner rather than later.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 17th, 2021, 12:41 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: VinePair: Bringing "Funky" Into The Mainstream
Replies: 8
Views: 303

Re: VinePair: Bringing "Funky" Into The Mainstream

Agreed Tom - lots of words in there but it leaves everything up to the reader. Perhaps as it should. For me the main issue with “funky” is that “funky” notes, to me, tend to completely overwhelm the other sensory components of a wine, blurring differences between grape varieties, regions, and even o...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 17th, 2021, 10:33 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

Myriad or Quivet Las Madres Whole Cluster with at least 5 years on them. Benevolent Neglect Las Madres, Belharra Las Madres, Apsara Las Madres. Do you see a trend? I have...never had a wine from Las Madres vineyard... [truce.gif] newhere Where would you recommend I start, given pricing constraints ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 17th, 2021, 10:29 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

Ojai, Santa Barbara and SVD, all less than $50. Another vote for Lagier Meredith. Washington- Rotie Northern Red, Efeste Joulie Bouche, Mark Ryan Lost Soul. I would definitely consider Ojai, along with Piedrasassi's Rim Rock Vyd. Also look at Holus Bolus - Peter and Amy are doing great stuff. And c...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 17th, 2021, 9:52 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

I would put Model Farm on the US list. Very much in the same vein as Halcon. And while I love Carlisle’s syrahs, they would not fit the same mold as many of the others you have mentioned (you wouldn’t mistake for a Rhone). However, consider Failla’s Hudson as a nice crossover wine (clearly a CA ver...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 17th, 2021, 9:49 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Re: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

Go North, young man. I wholeheartedly recommend Cabot Syrah from Humboldt County. John Cabot is a longtime Berserker. This year's offer was aged Syrah (2007-2012 iirc) plus newer stuff from the 2016 vintage. Super savory; think olives, bacon, etc. Delicious! Ohhhh...I have never had any Cabot wines...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 16th, 2021, 10:22 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?
Replies: 91
Views: 3811

Recommendations for a California Syrah tasting?

My coworkers and I will soon all be vaccinated and I am starting to think about planning a tasting for us to go through some California Syrah together. And I know there will be a ton of strong recommendations from this community. I'd like to keep things more on the savory/leaner styles than the opul...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 16th, 2021, 9:39 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2002 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate Pinot Noir
Replies: 8
Views: 507

Re: TN: 2002 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate Pinot Noir

What is the impression of heat on this wine? I haven't had any older examples of this wine, but I've tasted several vintages since 2012 and have found them to generally be overtly alcoholic.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 16th, 2021, 9:34 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Green harvest - and the bizarre world of dropping fruit.
Replies: 19
Views: 1318

Re: Green harvest - and the bizarre world of dropping fruit.

I agree with the overall sentiment, but I question the sustainability point. Why is it unsustainable to drop fruit? Especially in a California wine industry that has seen some significant gluts in recent years. If that fruit returns its organic matter and nutrients to the soil, either locally where ...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 13th, 2021, 5:32 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Last One Folks!
Replies: 8
Views: 975

Re: Last One Folks!

Congrats and thank you for everything you’ve shared about your many years of experience - it’s been awesome to hear even a little of it.
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 12th, 2021, 5:37 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Is there a particular cliche in wine that you've tired of?
Replies: 155
Views: 6123

Re: Is there a particular cliche in wine that you've tired of?

Similar to some others already expressed in this thread “letting the soil express itself”
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 7th, 2021, 6:05 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: TN: 2012 Chateau d’Armailhac, Pauillac
Replies: 16
Views: 653

Re: TN: 2012 Chateau d’Armailhac, Pauillac

I had a similar experience with this lovely wine a couple years back. At the time I picked it up for <$40. Prices for d’Armailhac in general seem to have gone up a fair bit...tariff-related?
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 7th, 2021, 9:55 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread
Replies: 183
Views: 12476

Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

Storm started late but we did get the inch forecased. Another inch mon/tue, would bring us to 10” for the year, still lowest on record. It will take miracle march to even get to 20”, half our normal. Models say storm door stays open thru 3rd week of month well see. Frost predicted tonight, not enou...
by Ben M a n d l e r
March 5th, 2021, 7:31 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: What does your Spouse or Significant Other drink with you?
Replies: 99
Views: 4641

Re: What does your Spouse or Significant Other drink with you?

When we met, my spouse drank a lot of Dark Horse and Bogle. I've been a bad influence. She loves Riesling (dry to off-dry), Sauvignon Blanc, greener Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, cooler Syrah, Rioja, Albariño, most aromatic whites, and anything ultra tannic (she loves the puckering sensation, ...
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: 52
Views: 1730

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: 863

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: 11
Views: 1393

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: 48
Views: 4929

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: 249

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: 61
Views: 5172

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: 61
Views: 5172

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: 214

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: 108
Views: 4905

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: 108
Views: 4905

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: 1401

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: 3051

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: 867

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: 183
Views: 12476

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.

Go to advanced search