Search found 37 matches

by BenjaminL
September 18th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: 2016 Detert East Block-Save the Date
Replies: 17
Views: 1353

Re: 2016 Detert East Block-Save the Date

Doesn't seem to be to high in demand, I signed up on list the day before allocation and got 3 bottles of the East Block.
by BenjaminL
September 18th, 2019, 3:58 pm
Forum: Epicurean Exploits
Topic: Blood Sausage
Replies: 31
Views: 794

Re: Blood Sausage

Nola Palomar wrote:
May 11th, 2012, 4:33 pm
Jorge Henriquez wrote:Love it as well! Especially the Spanish morcilla.
+1
This- I started making my own based on a recipe on the Davis, CA wiki page. The description of the process was "it should look like a WWI Medic's field kit". It did!
by BenjaminL
September 18th, 2019, 3:56 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard
Replies: 58
Views: 4671

Re: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard

Historically the Mondavi Reserve Cabernet was a blend of vineyards. I believe To Kalon always served as the core part of the blend, but I think they also may have incorporated grapes from other vineyards. Either way, the Reserve was never a vineyard designate. That changed starting with the 2011 vi...
by BenjaminL
September 14th, 2019, 9:54 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard
Replies: 58
Views: 4671

Re: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard

Benjamin, thanks flor clarifying. I had the same reaction John did. It’s nothing personal. From time to time over the years we have had people plug for a product without identifying themselves as being ITB. I think that’s therefore the most logical conclusion many long-time members of this forum wo...
by BenjaminL
September 12th, 2019, 4:12 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning
Replies: 3
Views: 184

Re: Viticulture Consultants - Vineyard Planning

Hey Gavin, Development has been pretty restricted in the North Coast. My opinion would be to talk to the closest neighbor who has grapes and see what they're doing. Most legit consultants work on vineyard development projects that costs ~$50,000 - $60,000 per acre. These are large projects where eco...
by BenjaminL
September 12th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard
Replies: 58
Views: 4671

Re: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard

John Morris wrote:
September 12th, 2019, 3:54 pm
Ah! Really not clear! Try the quote function in the future!
Try to give a guy the benefit of the doubt next time.

How's this?
by BenjaminL
September 12th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard
Replies: 58
Views: 4671

Re: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard

Hey John,
Sorry, that wasn't my product, it's a letter I received from constellation. I don't' work for them. I should have outlined that more specifically. I've edited the OP.
by BenjaminL
September 12th, 2019, 3:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard
Replies: 58
Views: 4671

Re: Fear And Loathing In ToKalon Vineyard

Bat Country! Did you see what God did to our To Kalon, man? COPY OF A LETTER I RECEIVED FROM CONSTELLATION: Hi , Thank you for your interest in our wines. As we continue to build out our website we will notify you of new information as it becomes available. The first wine in our portfolio, Highest B...
by BenjaminL
July 22nd, 2019, 7:26 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Winemakers: what's the least "sexy" part of what you do?
Replies: 91
Views: 3366

Re: Winemakers: what's the least "sexy" part of what you do?

A load of machine harvest cabernet came in from Monterrey one harvest. As Enologist, 2 years into my career, I had to check the load. I wanted to reject it when I found a family of mice drownd in the juicy mess, but I was over-ruled. I spent every second I could pulling out dead mice before the vall...
by BenjaminL
July 11th, 2019, 3:30 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Old School Napa Valley Tasting Suggestions
Replies: 56
Views: 2997

Re: Old School Napa Valley Tasting Suggestions

I’d put Seavey towards the top of that list. Views, wines and people are top notch. Definitely made in a more old school/restrained style for Napa Cabernet, and when we were there in February, we were able to taste some late ‘90s Cabernets and early ‘00s merlots. Julio is a great host. Second this.
by BenjaminL
June 1st, 2019, 7:44 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: How do you tell great grapes from average grapes
Replies: 52
Views: 2146

Re: How do you tell great grapes from average grapes

David- Wine grapes are ~25 % sugar (ripe cab can be 30%), tablegrapes are 17 - 19% sugar. You can get used to the sweetness but it is important to spit when you're tasting during harvest...
I do understand the theory behind looking for visual cues but for me taste is paramount.
by BenjaminL
May 31st, 2019, 8:13 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: How do you tell great grapes from average grapes
Replies: 52
Views: 2146

Re: How do you tell great grapes from average grapes

Hire me! Often you would have asked the vineyard selling the grapes for a wine sample from the previous vintage before you commit to buying. If you forgot that part, the Australians have done the best job trying to make berry quality assessment Objective (see reference Winegrape Berry Sensory Assess...
by BenjaminL
May 29th, 2019, 2:42 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Scout and Cellar?
Replies: 15
Views: 913

Re: Scout and Cellar?

I like that 100ppm Sulfite is the bar for 'low sulfites'.
by BenjaminL
April 22nd, 2019, 7:46 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Chart of Bordeaux temperatures rising
Replies: 5
Views: 411

Re: Chart of Bordeaux temperatures rising

1990 is the warmest on there. I saw a similar chart for Napa. I think there may be a strong "colder= poorer quality" correlation but there's not as strong a relationship between warm temps and quality.
by BenjaminL
April 17th, 2019, 7:22 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Can't make a complex wine with only 2 tons
Replies: 7
Views: 980

Re: Can't make a complex wine with only 2 tons

That's for the insights- and encouragement! I know her a little bit and I asked her afterward to clarify a little, she said she learned that complexity arose from blending different fermentation while making Dulce at Far Niente.
by BenjaminL
April 15th, 2019, 12:38 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Can't make a complex wine with only 2 tons
Replies: 7
Views: 980

Can't make a complex wine with only 2 tons

I was at an extension course in January where a famous Napa winemaker uttered the following statement: "I split the fermentation up into 4 because I wanted a complex wine, which is hard to do with only 2 tons." I've been ruminating over it for the past 3 months for many reasons, not the least of whi...
by BenjaminL
April 12th, 2019, 8:21 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Fedex Home Delivery
Replies: 42
Views: 1738

Re: Fedex Home Delivery

I like the option to have FedEx deliver to Walgreens and hold it there in the air-conditioned store:

https://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=g ... aid=193211
by BenjaminL
April 11th, 2019, 7:45 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!
Replies: 73
Views: 3493

Re: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!

Just visited the Ravenswood winery/tasting room. They plan to be closed down in ~30 days. Constellation plans to mothball the facility, much like they did to my old digs at RH Phillips. In lighter news, they are still selling the 92pt 2016 Ravenswood Old Hill Zin for $42/bottle instead of the onlin...
by BenjaminL
April 11th, 2019, 7:41 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!
Replies: 73
Views: 3493

Re: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!

That's tragic. Did they say if there will be a new one somewhere? Probably on the Sonoma Square, where wineries are taking over all the real estate. No. The long-time employees were pretty bummed. I imagine all the Constellation contracts for Zin will now go to boost Prisoner production. I imagine ...
by BenjaminL
April 10th, 2019, 11:03 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!
Replies: 73
Views: 3493

Re: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!

Just visited the Ravenswood winery/tasting room. They plan to be closed down in ~30 days. Constellation plans to mothball the facility, much like they did to my old digs at RH Phillips. In lighter news, they are still selling the 92pt 2016 Ravenswood Old Hill Zin for $42/bottle instead of the online...
by BenjaminL
April 9th, 2019, 4:06 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Bottle Heft- Do you care?
Replies: 65
Views: 2358

Re: Bottle Heft- Do you care?

J Scott wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 12:21 pm
I assume that some use the thicker bottles to help reduce temperature variation?
I like this angle too- makes sense the extra weight is added thermal mass.
by BenjaminL
April 9th, 2019, 4:05 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Bottle Heft- Do you care?
Replies: 65
Views: 2358

Re: Bottle Heft- Do you care?

As a long time collector, as are many above, we see it as a cheap gimmick. If you're actually storing and aging these things, it gets old real fast. Collectors might be forgiving for a few labels that they feel they must have, but that means you're competing for a small finite portion of those coll...
by BenjaminL
April 9th, 2019, 9:00 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Bottle Heft- Do you care?
Replies: 65
Views: 2358

Bottle Heft- Do you care?

I've got to pick glass/bottle type for some high end Cabernet (~$80/bottle). On one end of the spectrum is the 'high quality', literal heavyweight, coming in EMPTY at 1200 grams (~2.6 pounds). On the other end, the 'cheap Bordeaux glass' in everyone's favorite color Champagne Green only weighs 540 g...
by BenjaminL
April 5th, 2019, 4:02 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan, Ravenswood + 23 more!
Replies: 73
Views: 3493

Re: Gallo buys Clos du Bois, Ravenswood, and Others

The old vine Zins from Ravenswood still have major relevance, despite the shine that's been taken off since the high volume bottlings took precedence. The rest is just the same mouthful of mouthwash swishing to the other cheek. +1 The highlight of the Constellation 'Friends and Family' Sale were th...
by BenjaminL
March 25th, 2019, 9:56 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment
Replies: 9
Views: 907

Re: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment

Both parts. Don't care how you nor your friend attorney see the "I placed an order by visiting the web site", you may be right, "may" being a very loose way of facing attorney bills in trying to prove the case in court if some state AG decides to make an example of you. And you yourself point out t...
by BenjaminL
March 22nd, 2019, 3:16 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: The Garagiste Thread (The Great Enabler) Back to Life
Replies: 3509
Views: 327248

Re: The Garagiste Thread (The Great Enabler) Back to Life

I'm flummoxed by the outrage on this one. Makes me wonder if anyone actually read those three offer e-mails... First mystery offer was June 2018. After discounting the usual Rimmerman hype and blathering, there isn't anything in that offer that I would say is not true. And, at least to me, $39 for ...
by BenjaminL
March 22nd, 2019, 3:10 pm
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: The Garagiste Thread (The Great Enabler) Back to Life
Replies: 3509
Views: 327248

Re: The Garagiste Thread (The Great Enabler) Back to Life

Nothing worse than buying 3 different Mystery Wines and having them all show up as the same bottle!! 6/18/18 From Offer: 2015 Mystery 12/29/18 From Offer: Saturday: Odds and Ends 8/29/18 From Offer: NightLite #857 – 2015 Tuscany Top Well, now I've have plenty of 2015 Felsina Fontalloro! edited for ...
by BenjaminL
March 21st, 2019, 9:15 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: The Garagiste Thread (The Great Enabler) Back to Life
Replies: 3509
Views: 327248

Re: The Garagiste Thread (The Great Enabler) Back to Life

Nothing worse than buying 3 different Mystery Wines and having them all show up as the same bottle!! 6/18/18 From Offer: 2015 Mystery 12/29/18 From Offer: Saturday: Odds and Ends 8/29/18 From Offer: NightLite #857 – 2015 Tuscany Top Well, now I've have plenty of 2015 Felsina Fontalloro! edited for c...
by BenjaminL
March 18th, 2019, 4:10 pm
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment
Replies: 9
Views: 907

Re: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment

Hey GregP, thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. I agree, the legal 'theory' needs to be proven in court. I do believe it is the new world order, however, as beverage law matures. Try this- google "Title to, and ownership of, all wine passes from seller to buyer in the State of Calif...
by BenjaminL
March 18th, 2019, 9:55 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Neutral brandy for port in the bay area
Replies: 3
Views: 487

Re: Neutral brandy for port in the bay area

WineSecrets over in Sebastopol supplies a few grades of brandy for use. I would go with the 170 proof. You might have to buy the 'sanitation grade' brandy if you're not bonded.
by BenjaminL
March 18th, 2019, 9:33 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Rotating clusters on the vine?
Replies: 9
Views: 697

Re: Rotating clusters on the vine?

If it weren't $30/btl I might give them benefit of the doubt. I worked at one place that would look at the day's weather, and if it were going to be >95dF, they would move the catch wires out 10" on the trellis to shade the grapes; if it were going to be <95dF they would move the catch wires in to a...
by BenjaminL
March 18th, 2019, 9:20 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment
Replies: 9
Views: 907

Re: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment

I spoke with a seasoned alcoholic beverage lawyer here in California who said as long as you don't promote in other states, if people are coming to your website to buy wine, they are, in effect, 'coming to California to do business'. By disclosing that the customer has to ensure it is legal for the...
by BenjaminL
March 14th, 2019, 10:16 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Potential Wineries to Visit in Napa
Replies: 41
Views: 3258

Re: Potential Wineries to Visit in Napa

I worked and lived at Seavey Vineyard for 4 years. It's an amazing place and very personal. It's a good 15 minutes outside of St Helena but it feels like a different world. Only 4 wines, so the pace is slow. They were very under-the-radar until ~3 years ago, and have increased their prices ~50% (des...
by BenjaminL
March 14th, 2019, 8:50 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment
Replies: 9
Views: 907

Re: Third Party Shipping - DTC fulfillment

I spoke with a seasoned alcoholic beverage lawyer here in California who said as long as you don't promote in other states, if people are coming to your website to buy wine, they are, in effect, 'coming to California to do business'. By disclosing that the customer has to ensure it is legal for them...
by BenjaminL
March 14th, 2019, 7:51 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Getting into the business: finding good harvest internships
Replies: 31
Views: 2309

Re: Getting into the business: finding good harvest internships

I disagree with John's suggestion that an estate winery should be avoided. I had a great internship at an estate (~40 acres of grapes, no outside fruit). It allowed me to work directly with the winemaker (often interns are the charge of the Assistant or Enologist); I got involved with the vineyard (...
by BenjaminL
March 14th, 2019, 7:39 am
Forum: Cellar Rats (ITB)
Topic: Noticing Lower Brix > Alc Conversions in 2016-18
Replies: 4
Views: 634

Re: Noticing Lower Brix > Alc Conversions in 2016-18

Hey Roy, I think the horse is out of the barn trying to use Brix to forecast alcohol. Glucose/fructose content is a much more accurate predictor, Potential Alcohol (% vol) = glucose + fructose (g/L) / 16.83. I think you are right noticing vintage variation in alcohol conversion due to differences in...
by BenjaminL
March 14th, 2019, 7:19 am
Forum: Wine Talk
Topic: Looks like the organic trend isn't really catching on in California
Replies: 41
Views: 2161

Re: Looks like the organic trend isn't really catching on in California

Interesting data published today by the American Association of Wine Economists: https://www.wine-economics.org/about/downloads/ John, I'm afraid you've been misled to equate "Organic" with "No Pesticides", making your assertion the 'organic trend isn't really catching on in California' baseless. E...

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