Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

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Kevin Harvey
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#101 Post by Kevin Harvey » August 19th, 2016, 12:27 pm

Peter Chiu wrote:
Mike....

I have the Alpine Hillside 2006 in my cellar. I just finished my last bottle of 2006 Alpine vineyard last month when I presented this wine in a pair-matching tasting with a Faiveley CdMyland 2006 in single blind condition under the theme : 2 red of same vintage year. Very interesting result.....in that ....it is 100% identifiable for the 8 participants.

I am planning to do the Alpine Hillside 2006 in the similar format very soon. In order for me and my friends who are Burgundy lovers to enjoy this event more, please give me more information regarding your view of the following comments :

***** the best California Pinot is absolutely approaching world-class standards - and is worthy of world-class prices ****
Peter,
Your post touches on several topics around which I have many thoughts that I would like to share (if you have the patience).

In my view a great wine is not a wine that emulates another. By definition, a great wine should offer a unique expression or personality that you can’t find anywhere else. It makes me quite happy to hear that our customers have preferences between our sites. This can only happen when the vineyards have consistent personalities and people are noticing. My favorite tasting at Rhys is to show customers the entire lineup. Tasting them side-by-side really illustrates these differences though unfortunately it isn’t feasible to do this often (if we want to have any low production wines to release!!). Burgundy of course offers this in spades. While they are both premier crus, I vastly prefer Clos des Ducs to Amoureuses though the market seems to disagree with me. In any case, I find much more complexity and interest in Clos des Ducs and this sort of preference isn’t possible without the sites showing consistent personalities.

With that said, I would encourage you to organize your tasting differently. I often read of people placing young CA Pinots in blind tasting with typically older and usually lower level Burgundy. Instead, I would encourage you to choose a Grand Cru of similar age. For example you mentioned the ’06 Alpine Hillside and I would recommend you compare this wine to an ’05 Grand Cru. If you want to make it more difficult, use 2 Grand Crus and try to include Burgundies that use stems and some new wood. If your tasters find this tasting easy, they are quite talented indeed. The last time I tasted the ’06 Alpine Hillside, I brought it to a very passionate Burgundy collector’s house for dinner. He had asked me to bring a Rhys with age. When I arrived he told me he wanted to serve it to his guests blind alongside a burgundy. Then he asked what I would recommend pairing it with and I replied an ’05 Grand Cru. I realize that may sound bold but there are good reasons that I can explain later. In any case, that is what he did. His guests included an importer of Burgundy and an auctioneer. When they tasted the wines neither could guess which was which and one professed no preference (liked them both) while the other preferred the Rhys. In any case, blind tasting results can vary quite a bit but I think wine lovers consistently underestimate the effect each wine has on the other in a comparative tasting.

The reason I choose a Burgundy vintage like ’05 is that the wines are more concentrated and intense. Of course they will shed this fruit intensity over time in the cellar but so will the CA Pinots. Also, may times people choose lower level Burgundies which see little wood and typically are lighter in concentration. The result is that the Pinots can taste more “New World” but as the Grand Cru comparison will illustrate that is not really what people are often keying on. So obviously I have many (sometimes conflicting) thoughts and experiences on this topic but I should end by also pointing out that I could not match a CA Pinot to a great many Burgundies from vintages like ’06, ’07 or ’08. If I want to fool someone I will stick to riper vintages such as ’99, ’02, ’05, or ’09.

One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
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#102 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 19th, 2016, 12:48 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote: One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
IMO guessing wines when we hold blind tastings with friends is easier than it should be because we so often know the cellar contents of the hosts. I can make a pretty good educated guess based on what my friends might have or open. It takes them going outside their cellars (or grabbing weird stuff) to totally surprise me. That does not mean I will be accurate with my guesses, but it's still easier than with a blank slate.

Thank you for your thoughts on setting up a tasting. I know you and I have messaged about this in the past, and it's good to get a reminder. Granted I don't buy a lot of GC Burgs (I am stuck in the 1er and V ranges due to pricing), but it's still a fun exercise.

As for comparisons - it's what people do. Why do people still do Beatles versus Stones? Yes they started out at about the same time, but the music was totally different.
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#103 Post by Howard Cooper » August 19th, 2016, 1:07 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
It has been my experience as well that people do not do well on picking out wines blind. I think people overstate their abilities to do so. Trying to be honest, this is where I think my abilities have been.

I have not had a great track record when trying to pick out villages for Burgundy wines - say blind tasting of eight wines, four from one village and four from another. And neither did anyone else. For example, my tasting group tasted Chambolle blind vs. Pommard (mostly premier crus). Should be pretty easy. Yet, I think most people in a pretty experienced Burgundy tasting group did horribly at this.

I have been much better at picking out a couple of specific producers. For example, the one thing I totally and completely nailed at that tasting was that one of the Chambolles was a Truchot Sentiers.

I have been decent - well over 50% at telling California Cabernet from Bordeaux and California Pinot from Burgundy. I think too many people get confused trying to tell California Cabernet from Bordeaux on size - to me, the better approach is that even older California Cabernet tend to have more fruit flavors and older Bordeaux tends to get other flavors. Does not work 100% of the time, but does better than a monkey.

A couple of years ago I served a Drouhin 2002 Beaune Clos de Mouches blind against a Domaine Drouhin 2005 Oregon Pinot Noir Laurene. Everyone at the table picked the wines correctly - most by smell even before the wines were tasted.

I once participated in a huge (20-30 wine) California Chardonnay vs. white Burgundy blind tasting and only got one wrong (a Williams Seylem that I thought was a white Burgundy). A lot of these wines (things like Aubert, Kistler, etc., were just too easy). Not nearly as good at picking out Meursault from Chassagne from Puligny, etc. I assume (have not done this) that I could really easily be fooled by someone placing a good St. Aubin from Lamy or PYCM, etc., into a blind tasting with more expensive white Burgundies.
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#104 Post by David Lewin » August 19th, 2016, 2:54 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
Peter Chiu wrote:

One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
Reminds me of the comment attributed to Harry Waugh when asked whether he had ever confused a claret with a Burgundy ("Not since lunch").

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#105 Post by tedstinson » August 19th, 2016, 4:21 pm

Kevin,

As a long time customer and fan I'm looking forward to this release.

How limited is the supply vs allocations offered? Is there a good probability that it is sold out shortly after release?

Lots going on during the day and like most people I'd prefer not to have to constantly check personal email.

Thanks again - very exciting! Ted

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#106 Post by Keith Levenberg » August 19th, 2016, 5:27 pm

This thread made me thirsty so I am drinking the 2006 Alpine Hillside now. It's spectacular.

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#107 Post by Kevin Harvey » August 19th, 2016, 5:34 pm

tedstinson wrote:Kevin,

As a long time customer and fan I'm looking forward to this release.

How limited is the supply vs allocations offered? Is there a good probability that it is sold out shortly after release?

Lots going on during the day and like most people I'd prefer not to have to constantly check personal email.

Thanks again - very exciting! Ted
Thanks Ted.
We have allocated the wines tightly (2 or 3 btls for customers with higher purchase totals, buying in the last 12 months) so we should not sell out until wish lists are granted. That said, we felt we had to make this a "first come first served" offer since we do not have any experience with it and it could theoretically sell out early. We hope to gain experience this time so that in the future we can use a more standard guaranteed allocation for this offering.
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#108 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 19th, 2016, 5:36 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:This thread made me thirsty so I am drinking the 2006 Alpine Hillside now. It's spectacular.
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#109 Post by Kevin Harvey » August 19th, 2016, 8:57 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:This thread made me thirsty so I am drinking the 2006 Alpine Hillside now. It's spectacular.
That's great to hear Keith. I am a huge fan of this wine though I realize it has been challenging for a few years and is just now coming into its own.
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#110 Post by Jason T » August 20th, 2016, 7:04 am

Kevin Harvey wrote: One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
My guess is that "real world" Berserkers results mirror what you've experienced Kevin. It's just that very few people are going to come on here and post about how they couldn't call a wine.

Not because of embarrassment but more because that's a story in the mold of "dog bites man" or "sun comes up in east". It's just not that original or exciting.
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#111 Post by John Morris » August 20th, 2016, 9:25 am

Kevin Harvey wrote:One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
I think your 10% figure is about right. I've been in a group for 20 years now where everyone brings a bottle in a bag, so it's completely double-blind -- we have no idea what we're tasting. Of course, we know members' preferences, but there's a lot of deliberate faking out of each other (e.g., the Californian lovers bringing French). Suffice it to say, the accurate guesses are well below 50%.

(I've posted on a number of these tastings, including my incorrect guesses.)
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#112 Post by Peter Chiu » August 22nd, 2016, 7:41 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
Kevin Harvey wrote: One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
IMO guessing wines when we hold blind tastings with friends is easier than it should be because we so often know the cellar contents of the hosts. I can make a pretty good educated guess based on what my friends might have or open. It takes them going outside their cellars (or grabbing weird stuff) to totally surprise me. That does not mean I will be accurate with my guesses, but it's still easier than with a blank slate.

Thank you for your thoughts on setting up a tasting. I know you and I have messaged about this in the past, and it's good to get a reminder. Granted I don't buy a lot of GC Burgs (I am stuck in the 1er and V ranges due to pricing), but it's still a fun exercise.

As for comparisons - it's what people do. Why do people still do Beatles versus Stones? Yes they started out at about the same time, but the music was totally different.
Kevin.....thanks for your detailed explanation and comments. [thankyou.gif]

I think David was right as the 8 participants are all long-time friends and they know me well plus that evening Rhys was the only new-world Pinot Noir of the total 8 reds ( the other 7 were all Burgundy from vintage 2006) !

Most probably I will do what you had suggested.....but perhaps in 2 to 3 years from now [cheers.gif]

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#113 Post by Peter Chiu » August 22nd, 2016, 7:48 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
Kevin Harvey wrote: One last point, when reading Wineberserkers about 90% of the time I read of people guessing wine origins correctly but in my experience (especially if I pick the wines!!) it is reversed and more like 10%. Any theories on this?
IMO guessing wines when we hold blind tastings with friends is easier than it should be because we so often know the cellar contents of the hosts. I can make a pretty good educated guess based on what my friends might have or open. It takes them going outside their cellars (or grabbing weird stuff) to totally surprise me. That does not mean I will be accurate with my guesses, but it's still easier than with a blank slate.

Thank you for your thoughts on setting up a tasting. I know you and I have messaged about this in the past, and it's good to get a reminder. Granted I don't buy a lot of GC Burgs (I am stuck in the 1er and V ranges due to pricing), but it's still a fun exercise.

As for comparisons - it's what people do. Why do people still do Beatles versus Stones? Yes they started out at about the same time, but the music was totally different.

Merci.....David champagne.gif

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#114 Post by Fred Bower » August 22nd, 2016, 9:24 am

I've always thought the reporting is biased on blind guess hit rates. When people get it right, they report it; when they don't many just omit the fact that there were guesses altogether, so the net result is what appears to be an inflated percentage of correct guessers out in the WB world.

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#115 Post by Chris Seiber » August 22nd, 2016, 9:34 pm

I've seen a lot of "successful" guesses in blind tasting where the person received several significant clues first. Which is totally fine, but it does lead to an unnaturally high success rate as compared to if the wine were truly served blind.

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#116 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 23rd, 2016, 1:06 am

Indeed there are plenty of tricks to help guess a wine that is served blind. Of course if the wine is served in a decanter then most of those tricks are useless.
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#117 Post by Peter Chiu » August 23rd, 2016, 4:53 am

Actually our event was our usual annual theme : What about Now ? 10 years On.

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#118 Post by David Mc » August 29th, 2016, 6:36 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
tedstinson wrote:Kevin,

As a long time customer and fan I'm looking forward to this release.

How limited is the supply vs allocations offered? Is there a good probability that it is sold out shortly after release?

Lots going on during the day and like most people I'd prefer not to have to constantly check personal email.

Thanks again - very exciting! Ted
Thanks Ted.
We have allocated the wines tightly (2 or 3 btls for customers with higher purchase totals, buying in the last 12 months) so we should not sell out until wish lists are granted. That said, we felt we had to make this a "first come first served" offer since we do not have any experience with it and it could theoretically sell out early. We hope to gain experience this time so that in the future we can use a more standard guaranteed allocation for this offering.
From the email:

"At seven barrels per bottling, there’s only enough to share with our very best customers on a first come, first served basis. Offers will go out on August 30th."

Will everyone get an email or just the "very best customers"? If we don't get an offer, will we get a "sorry" email?
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#119 Post by Kevin Harvey » August 29th, 2016, 8:00 pm

David,
Most longer term customers will have an allocation (either 3x3 or 2x2) while some newer customers will be asked to wishlist the wines they would like. Given that this is a new offering and we have no history to draw from, we tried to be very conservative. In the future, I hope this release will resemble our regular releases (longer ordering period, allocations etc). Given this conservative approach, we expect to be able to grant many wishlist requests.
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#120 Post by David Mc » August 30th, 2016, 4:30 am

Thanks for the information Kevin! I'll be checking my email by the minute today...
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#121 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » August 30th, 2016, 4:33 am

I received a "save the date" email, but no invitation to purchase.

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#122 Post by Andrew L. » August 30th, 2016, 4:42 am

Oof. Guess I'm officially off the list. Perfect timing!

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#123 Post by Scott Jameson » August 30th, 2016, 5:14 am

The past few release emails look like they were sent around 9:00 am Pacific time. I'd also expect Kevin or someone else from Rhys to jump in here if there's some kind of hiccup ...

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#124 Post by Kevin Harvey » August 30th, 2016, 5:58 am

Scott Fitzgerald wrote:I received a "save the date" email, but no invitation to purchase.
Scott,
That's coming in about 3 hrs.
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#125 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » August 30th, 2016, 6:00 am

Thanks Kevin!

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#126 Post by Dave C. » August 30th, 2016, 8:53 am

Well, that was too easy ... offered 3x3, took 2x2, and so glad this was pushed back to a new credit card cycle.

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#127 Post by David Mc » August 30th, 2016, 9:05 am

No offers [cry.gif], hopefully wish list comes through ...
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#128 Post by scott c » August 30th, 2016, 9:15 am

I dropped off the list a year ago (after buying a lot of wines), so I'm not going to receive an email, but I'd still be interested in trying these. Maybe someone with an allocation will shake loose a couple bottles on Commerce Corner.
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#129 Post by Alan Rath » August 30th, 2016, 9:20 am

Kevin, Gilman says there is "a touch more whole clusters" than the regular bottling, and Galloni mentions "100% whole clusters". Can you clarify for the two wines?
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#130 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » August 30th, 2016, 9:21 am

Super easy. Took 3 + 3, left the magnums for others.

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#131 Post by J.Durham » August 30th, 2016, 9:27 am

I have no impulse control. Passed on mags though.
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#132 Post by RyanC » August 30th, 2016, 9:29 am

In for 1x1 to test drive these. Price is too steep for me to go beyond that before trying them. Put them on my shiny new Chase Sapphire Reserve.
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#133 Post by R Nanda » August 30th, 2016, 9:36 am

Sherri Shapiro wrote:Super easy. Took 3 + 3, left the magnums for others.
Ditto.
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#134 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » August 30th, 2016, 9:36 am

Ryan Caughey wrote:In for 1x1 to test drive these. Price is too steep for me to go beyond that before trying them. Put them on my shiny new Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Ha, so true! After a trip to the oral surgeon for my wife this morning ($$$), I'm only able to pick up one of each. Appreciate the offer and looking forward to trying these in ~10 years!

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#135 Post by Kevin Harvey » August 30th, 2016, 9:39 am

Alan Rath wrote:Kevin, Gilman says there is "a touch more whole clusters" than the regular bottling, and Galloni mentions "100% whole clusters". Can you clarify for the two wines?
Alan,
The Horseshoe Hillside is 25% and the Alpine Hillside is 100%.


And I would like to thank everyone for the incredible response!!!
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#136 Post by Alan Gottlieb » August 30th, 2016, 9:54 am

I am so weak

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#137 Post by Mike Cohen » August 30th, 2016, 10:13 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
I once participated in a huge (20-30 wine) California Chardonnay vs. white Burgundy blind tasting and only got one wrong (a Williams Seylem that I thought was a white Burgundy). A lot of these wines (things like Aubert, Kistler, etc., were just too easy). Not nearly as good at picking out Meursault from Chassagne from Puligny, etc. I assume (have not done this) that I could really easily be fooled by someone placing a good St. Aubin from Lamy or PYCM, etc., into a blind tasting with more expensive white Burgundies.
Howard, I'm an old world wine lover...that said, I had my first Aubert Chardonnay a few months ago and was blown away by how much it reminded me of Grand Cru White Burgundy. Believe me I was stunned and my dining companions who know my wine preferences all laughed. There are most definitely some over the top new world Chards that I find atrocious and I expected the Aubert to be one of them, but I was really pleasantly surprised.

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#138 Post by J.Durham » August 30th, 2016, 10:14 am

Maybe I missed it, but when are these shipping?
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#139 Post by Joe B » August 30th, 2016, 10:17 am

Grabbed one each.
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#140 Post by Ron F r e e d » August 30th, 2016, 10:47 am

Ugh...all in.

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#141 Post by Jeff Brinkman » August 30th, 2016, 10:59 am

J.Durham wrote:Maybe I missed it, but when are these shipping?
We're hoping to ship them this fall Josh.

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#142 Post by RyanC » August 30th, 2016, 11:25 am

This is purely for academic interest -- I already bought the wines -- but does anyone know how Meadows rated these Hillsides? It looks on CT like he rated them, but Rhys's website includes only Gilman/Galloni/Dunnuck notes.
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#143 Post by crickey » August 30th, 2016, 11:36 am

Ryan Caughey wrote:This is purely for academic interest -- I already bought the wines -- but does anyone know how Meadows rated these Hillsides? It looks on CT like he rated them, but Rhys's website includes only Gilman/Galloni/Dunnuck notes.
The scores are on the website, but on the main page under "Reviews."
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D@vid Bu3ker
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#144 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 30th, 2016, 11:38 am

Order in, but I left a bottle of each and the magnums on the table. With vacation coming up I just could not swing the whole enchilada. Really looking forward to these - have one of each to try soon and one to age.
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#145 Post by Jim Brennan » August 30th, 2016, 11:54 am

Don't tell my wife that I spent on Rhys rather than our 20th anniversary. :o

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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#146 Post by Ken Strauss » August 30th, 2016, 12:51 pm

Order in.
Fairly new so 2+4 each.
"Explaining is not supporting."

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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#147 Post by Russ Williams » August 30th, 2016, 12:53 pm

Order in and just received an email from Rhys saying they expect to be sold out within hours.
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#148 Post by Russ Williams » August 30th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Ken Strauss wrote:Order in.
Fairly new so 2+4 each.
2+4 each??
Listen to more Jerry, it will heal your soul.
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#149 Post by Jay T. » August 30th, 2016, 12:58 pm

wow. Alpine 750s already sold out. I was going to wait to decide how much to buy but pulled the trigger on a magnum of each and 2 Horseshoe 750s. I share the concerns about pricing discussed above, but purely from a supply/demand perspective, it looks like Rhys priced these too low, if anything. Good for Kevin.
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Ken Strauss
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Gilman is crazy about Rhys "Hillside" wines

#150 Post by Ken Strauss » August 30th, 2016, 12:59 pm

Russ Williams wrote:
Ken Strauss wrote:Order in.
Fairly new so 2+4 each.
2+4 each??
2 allocated and wish list for 4 each.
Based on your post no wishing will happen.
"Explaining is not supporting."

"Independence is a state of mind"

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