Greatest field blend wines?

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B. Buzzini
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Greatest field blend wines?

#1 Post by B. Buzzini » June 25th, 2019, 8:53 pm

What’s your fav field blend wines...the ones commingled in the vineyard not at the winery? Geyserville is definitely a benchmark...love what Turley does with Casa Nuestra...plenty from Bedrock... the more ancient and gnarly the better! Name some?
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#2 Post by Anton D » June 25th, 2019, 9:07 pm

Dominus?

I may be wrong.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#3 Post by Rich Brown » June 25th, 2019, 9:09 pm

Gotta go with Bedrock vineyard on that one!! Also big fan of what Will Bucklin does with his Old Hill vineyard, and the magic Mike Officer creates from both Carlisle Vineyard and Montafi.

For whites, hard to beat the field blends from Compagni Portis Vineyard (although I believe it has a new name as of fairly recently??).

So many good ones - looking forward to hearing others thoughts!

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#4 Post by Alan Eden » June 25th, 2019, 10:12 pm

Cant beat the Bedrock Oakville Farmhouse
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#5 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 25th, 2019, 10:23 pm

Wieninger's Gemischter Satz wines are in a league of their own. Nußberg 2013 was spectacular.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#6 Post by Nathan Smyth » June 25th, 2019, 11:16 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 10:23 pm
Wieninger's Gemischter Satz wines are in a league of their own. Nußberg 2013 was spectacular.
In Vienna, those start at about $10 a bottle:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/wien ... chter+satz

They sure do sound interesting:

http://www.wieninger.at/en/wines/wiener ... /index.php

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#7 Post by PeterJ » June 25th, 2019, 11:28 pm

We’ve been fans of Acorn Winery (Healdsburg) for a long time. Field blends are their specialty.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#8 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 25th, 2019, 11:37 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 11:16 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 10:23 pm
Wieninger's Gemischter Satz wines are in a league of their own. Nußberg 2013 was spectacular.
In Vienna, those start at about $10 a bottle:

https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/wien ... chter+satz

They sure do sound interesting:

http://www.wieninger.at/en/wines/wiener ... /index.php
Sorry, forgot to add "Single Vineyard" before Gemischter Satz. The regular bottling is good, but nothing on par with the better ones. However, even them are not expensive, priced around 15-25€ a bottle.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#9 Post by Gerhard P. » June 26th, 2019, 12:15 am

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#10 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 26th, 2019, 4:23 am

Geyserville - full stop

But then we can get into the discussion about what exactly is a field blend. Do the grapes have to be picked all at once? Are they required to be co-fermented? Do the proportions in the finished wine have to match the proportions in the vineyard? How many different varieties are required? Two? Five? Thirteen?
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#11 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 26th, 2019, 4:36 am

I’m putting Bedrock over Ridge. This is Morgan’s sweet-spot. And he’s doing it brilliantly.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#12 Post by CJ Beazley » June 26th, 2019, 4:40 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:23 am
Geyserville - full stop

But then we can get into the discussion about what exactly is a field blend. Do the grapes have to be picked all at once? Are they required to be co-fermented? Do the proportions in the finished wine have to match the proportions in the vineyard? How many different varieties are required? Two? Five? Thirteen?
I say yes on co-fermenting and proportions.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#13 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 26th, 2019, 4:43 am

So if the Carignan has a bad year the wine is no longer a field blend? Or is the winemaker expected to suffer the slings and arrows of the wine board community for a substandard wine? [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#14 Post by CJ Beazley » June 26th, 2019, 5:08 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:43 am
So if the Carignan has a bad year the wine is no longer a field blend? Or is the winemaker expected to suffer the slings and arrows of the wine board community for a substandard wine? [stirthepothal.gif]
No, sell it off as bulk juice. newhere
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#15 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 26th, 2019, 5:15 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:36 am
I’m putting Bedrock over Ridge. This is Morgan’s sweet-spot. And he’s doing it brilliantly.
It is a really amazing wine, but I still prefer Geyserville (and Lytton, but I had to pick one). There's also track record and longevity. I am pretty sure Morgan's Bedrock will do very well, but time will tell.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#16 Post by M. Dildine » June 26th, 2019, 5:57 am

So many of the vineyards planted around the turn of the 20th Century were mixed black field blends. Great ones mentioned, but the classic may be Old Hill Ranch in the Sonoma Valley. A Bedrock version will be available soon.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#17 Post by Doug Sher » June 26th, 2019, 6:35 am

Marcel Deiss wines are often brilliant examples of field blending.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#18 Post by Sean Devaney » June 26th, 2019, 8:22 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:23 am
Geyserville - full stop

But then we can get into the discussion about what exactly is a field blend. Do the grapes have to be picked all at once? Are they required to be co-fermented? Do the proportions in the finished wine have to match the proportions in the vineyard? How many different varieties are required? Two? Five? Thirteen?
Interestingly Geyserville has not always been a field blend according to their labels. The 1980 was 100% Zinfandel from hillside vineyard(s). The 1981 included 5% Petite Sirah, 1982 included 10% PS and the 1983 15% PS. The current Geyserville is indeed a wonderful field blend and a must buy every year. As others have mentioned Lytton Springs, Old Hill and Bedrock are all terrific along with many of Carlisle wines.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#19 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 26th, 2019, 8:31 am

The grape percentages no doubt vary in most of these field blend wines. As I jokingly discussed with CJ above, producers are not going to include crap grapes, just to satisfy a mythical definition of field blend.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#20 Post by Gabe Berk » June 26th, 2019, 8:39 am

Pagani Ranch. There are quite a few, including Bedrock, Ridge, Carlisle, Biale, Seghesio to name a few that make a field blend from that vineyard. 100+ year old vines in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Special place...

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#21 Post by B. Buzzini » June 26th, 2019, 8:45 am

I thought this pic was cool from Acorn Winery...

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#22 Post by Pat Martin » June 26th, 2019, 9:02 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:31 am
The grape percentages no doubt vary in most of these field blend wines. As I jokingly discussed with CJ above, producers are not going to include crap grapes, just to satisfy a mythical definition of field blend.
Yes, the cepage at Geyserville often varies a lot from year to year. See the 2007 Geezer: 58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro.

Does anyone know if Ridge co ferments their field blends?
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#23 Post by Rich Brown » June 26th, 2019, 9:20 am

B. Buzzini wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:45 am
I thought this pic was cool from Acorn Winery...

Image
That's awesome!

Don't think I've ever tried an Acorn wine. I'll have to look for one.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#24 Post by Anton D » June 26th, 2019, 9:27 am

I can't open the Wa Po link, but if anyone can...

Ah, screw it, it won't even let the link copy.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#25 Post by Brian Tuite » June 26th, 2019, 9:37 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:43 am
So if the Carignan has a bad year the wine is no longer a field blend? Or is the winemaker expected to suffer the slings and arrows of the wine board community for a substandard wine? [stirthepothal.gif]
No. The idea behind the field blends were having a good wine regardless of vintage variations. Each grape adds a different aspect. Fruit, acid, structure, color, tannin. That’s one of the things that I enjoy the most about these vineyards is the unique distinctions between vintages due to how each variety ripens or not during the season.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#26 Post by Brian Tuite » June 26th, 2019, 9:41 am

Sean Devaney wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:22 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:23 am
Geyserville - full stop

But then we can get into the discussion about what exactly is a field blend. Do the grapes have to be picked all at once? Are they required to be co-fermented? Do the proportions in the finished wine have to match the proportions in the vineyard? How many different varieties are required? Two? Five? Thirteen?
Interestingly Geyserville has not always been a field blend according to their labels. The 1980 was 100% Zinfandel from hillside vineyard(s). The 1981 included 5% Petite Sirah, 1982 included 10% PS and the 1983 15% PS. The current Geyserville is indeed a wonderful field blend and a must buy every year. As others have mentioned Lytton Springs, Old Hill and Bedrock are all terrific along with many of Carlisle wines.
True but the old planting
Trentadue Vineyard that it comes from is planted as such. Varieties interspersed.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#27 Post by Bob G » June 26th, 2019, 9:57 am

Hands down - It's Sean Thackery's Orion.

It's a great wine, has a long track record, ages beautifully and is unique.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#28 Post by Hank Victor » June 26th, 2019, 10:07 am

I really enjoy Wilde Farm's Heritage Field Blend.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#29 Post by anthonyshideler » June 26th, 2019, 10:15 am

Luis Seabra and Dirk Niepoort. What these guys are doing with old vine field blends in Portugal is nothing short of spectacular.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#30 Post by Ron Erickson » June 26th, 2019, 10:29 am

Geyserville with some age is my preferred route, but I'm more than fine on a Tuesday night with a NV Marietta Old Vine Red for under $15.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#31 Post by Anton D » June 26th, 2019, 10:32 am

Bob G wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 9:57 am
Hands down - It's Sean Thackery's Orion.

It's a great wine, has a long track record, ages beautifully and is unique.
That is some great wine.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#32 Post by Paul Miller » June 26th, 2019, 10:34 am

anthonyshideler wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 10:15 am
Luis Seabra and Dirk Niepoort. What these guys are doing with old vine field blends in Portugal is nothing short of spectacular.
I was wondering when someone would mention Portuguese blends

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#33 Post by Greg Ossi » June 26th, 2019, 10:44 am

I think that Cayuse's God Only Knows grenache would fit this category as being among the greatest field blend.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#34 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 26th, 2019, 11:24 am

Paul Miller wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 10:34 am
anthonyshideler wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 10:15 am
Luis Seabra and Dirk Niepoort. What these guys are doing with old vine field blends in Portugal is nothing short of spectacular.
I was wondering when someone would mention Portuguese blends
So very true. Secret Spot makes some ridiculously great wines as well. António Madeira too.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#35 Post by Pat Martin » June 26th, 2019, 12:06 pm

Trentadue Old Patch Red was a fantastic one back in the 90’s at least.

I see they still make it but I haven’t tried it in years. I wonder how their “old patch” differs from Geyserville’s holdings there (until recently, Ridge leased the Geyserville vines from Trentadue).
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#36 Post by Doug Sher » June 26th, 2019, 2:21 pm

Doug Sher wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 6:35 am
Marcel Deiss wines are often brilliant examples of field blending.
Clearly, Alsace wines are dead at retail.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#37 Post by Eric Ifune » June 26th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port.
Luis Seabra and Dirk Niepoort. What these guys are doing with old vine field blends in Portugal is nothing short of spectacular.
Some great vineyards in the Dao and Alentejo as well.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#38 Post by Nathan Smyth » June 27th, 2019, 11:10 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 11:37 pm
Sorry, forgot to add "Single Vineyard" before Gemischter Satz. The regular bottling is good, but nothing on par with the better ones. However, even them are not expensive, priced around 15-25€ a bottle.
Sadly, that would make them about $50 to $75 in most USA markets [after the bottles passed through our "Three-Tier" system: Importer, Distributor & Retailer].

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#39 Post by Nathan Smyth » June 27th, 2019, 11:12 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:23 am
Geyserville - full stop

But then we can get into the discussion about what exactly is a field blend. Do the grapes have to be picked all at once? Are they required to be co-fermented? Do the proportions in the finished wine have to match the proportions in the vineyard? How many different varieties are required? Two? Five? Thirteen?
That's starting to sound like Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#40 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 27th, 2019, 11:16 am

Nathan Smyth wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 11:10 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 11:37 pm
Sorry, forgot to add "Single Vineyard" before Gemischter Satz. The regular bottling is good, but nothing on par with the better ones. However, even them are not expensive, priced around 15-25€ a bottle.
Sadly, that would make them about $50 to $75 in most USA markets [after the bottles passed through our "Three-Tier" system: Importer, Distributor & Retailer].
Doesn't sound right, since our Finnish alcohol monopoly makes everything ridiculously expensive here and, quite often, when checking things with wine-searcher, wines tend to be similarly priced - or even more affordable - in the US than in Finland.

So when a Single-Vineyard Weininger would be 15-25€, that would make it something like 30-35€ in Finland, ie. $35-40 in the US, or even less. Maybe not that affordable, but still a far cry from $70.

Still I'm not saying that some retailers wouldn't be trying to charge such prices.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#41 Post by Jim Stewart » June 27th, 2019, 11:24 am

Although I made a resolution to take a posting moratorium, I'm ending it to chip on with two "field blend" wines that I have enjoyed. Marcus Goodfellow's Whistling Ridge Blanc and Gabriele Buondonno's Lemme Lemme. They may not be the "greatest" perhaps, but they might be among the "fieldiest".
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#42 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 27th, 2019, 12:43 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 11:12 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 4:23 am
Geyserville - full stop

But then we can get into the discussion about what exactly is a field blend. Do the grapes have to be picked all at once? Are they required to be co-fermented? Do the proportions in the finished wine have to match the proportions in the vineyard? How many different varieties are required? Two? Five? Thirteen?
That's starting to sound like Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
An intentional reference.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#43 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » June 27th, 2019, 5:05 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 8:31 am
The grape percentages no doubt vary in most of these field blend wines. As I jokingly discussed with CJ above, producers are not going to include crap grapes, just to satisfy a mythical definition of field blend.
Grape percentages definitely vary. Fruit set and cluster size are not uniform from vintage to vintage.

I sort out diseased fruit, but in my experience, great vineyards don’t produce crap grapes unless Mother Nature drops a bomb on it...which generally affects all of the grapes in the vineyard to some extent.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#44 Post by jon leifer » June 27th, 2019, 5:23 pm

+1 re Marietta OV Red and Marcus G's Whistling Ridge Blanc as terrific tasting and great value field blends.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#45 Post by Brian Glas » June 27th, 2019, 8:19 pm

Eight Bells David's Block is a great field blend from the Red Willow vineyard near Yakima.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#46 Post by John Morris » June 27th, 2019, 8:50 pm

Do Bordeaux properties such as Clerc Milon, Potensac and Brane Cantenac qualify? They have changing blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Carmenere? That's as many varieties as Geyserville, and one more than Lytton Springs.

I guess another way to put this is: Is there a difference between a blend and a field blend? I've always thought of the latter referring to vineyards where different grapes were interplanted, as opposed to a vineyard where variety A is in this section and variety B is in this plot. In Bordeaux, they typically are not intermingled on the same row, so far as I know.
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#47 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 27th, 2019, 10:08 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 8:50 pm
I guess another way to put this is: Is there a difference between a blend and a field blend?
There is.

If the blend is done in the field, it's a field blend. If the varieties are vinified separately and later on blended at the winemaker's discretion, it's a normal blend.

You can have the different varieties in a vineyard on neat, separate rows, but if the varieties are still harvested all together and co-fermented, it's a field blend.

You can also have interplanted vineyards and still pick the varieties separately to make a normal blend, but it really doesn't sound viable.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#48 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » June 28th, 2019, 5:09 am

Giving Italian white field blends some love. Two of my favourites:

Giuseppe Quintarelli Secco Cà del Merlo
Jermann Vintage Tunina

The Quintarelli is a field blend of Garganega, Trebbiano, Sauv Blanc, Chard and Saorin.

Vintage Tunina is a field blend of Sauv Blanc, Chard, Ribolla Gialla, and Malvasia.

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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#49 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » June 28th, 2019, 8:34 am

John Morris wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 8:50 pm
Do Bordeaux properties such as Clerc Milon, Potensac and Brane Cantenac qualify? They have changing blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Carmenere? That's as many varieties as Geyserville, and one more than Lytton Springs.

I guess another way to put this is: Is there a difference between a blend and a field blend? I've always thought of the latter referring to vineyards where different grapes were interplanted, as opposed to a vineyard where variety A is in this section and variety B is in this plot. In Bordeaux, they typically are not intermingled on the same row, so far as I know.
I’ve always viewed a field blend as a co-fermented wine. You blend “in the field” rather than the winery. Fermenting different grapes even from the same “field” and then blending post fermentation is still a winery based blend, IMO.

A big part of the success of the Whistling Ridge field blend for me is that the varietals balance each other regardless of vintage. Co-fermenting them also, in theory, provides yeasts with a better range of metabolites helping to ensure smoother fermentations.
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todd waldmann
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Re: Greatest field blend wines?

#50 Post by todd waldmann » June 28th, 2019, 10:02 am

Doug Sher wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 2:21 pm
Doug Sher wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 6:35 am
Marcel Deiss wines are often brilliant examples of field blending.
Clearly, Alsace wines are dead at retail.
Agree with both posts, Doug. champagne.gif
“Burgundy is, well, Burgundy. A minefield of potential disappointments beloved by elitists and pseudo-intellectuals who like to discuss ad nauseam growers and terroirs—not quality.” RMP

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