TN: 1999 Thunder Mountain Cabernet, Bates Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains

1999 Thunder Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Bates Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains. Man, I freaking love this wine! Beautiful juicy bing cherries, cinnamon, cassis, and a hint of pencil shavings on the long, acid-filled finish (truly just mouthwatering). Medium bodied and just absolutley delicious. This is literally everything that I want in a cab. And truly the best. Label. EVER!

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I picked up some '97 & 99 at auction but haven’t tried yet, don’t know what I’m waiting for…
Been really enjoying SCM wines the last 2 years.

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Yep, snagged these at auction as well! So far they’ve all been in great condition - i hope yours are as well :cheers:

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The winemaker Milam Maximovich used to post on eBob.

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Someone just mentioned on Insta that after years of producing wine under the Thunder Mountain label, Gallo came in with a huge lawsuit since they thought the name was too similar to their shit ‘wine’ Thunderbird and put them out of business. I dont know the story/details but how brutally horrible and sad assuming that’s correct :frowning:

I think Milan stopped making wine because he was sick (ultimately passed away). Don’t recall a lawsuit from Gallo.

-Al

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Gotcha. Someone mentioned that he couldnt afford to combat the lawsuit so the winery folded, but maybe health had something to do with it as well.

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Was it a reliable source that claimed they were sued by Gallo? They appear to have been in business at least until the year Milan passed away.

-Al

Most cabs from Bates Ranch are pretty great. Got familiar with the site thru Ahlgens. Really miss their stuff, but always enjoy cabs from there.

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Honestly im not sure, ha! They seemed to know what they were talking about, but ill reach back out and see if they have any additional context. Stay tuned…

Milan was fairly active on wine boards back in the day. I recall him mentioning something about Gallo’s Thunderbird trademark and Thunder Mtn. I don’t recall if it was a letter (Cease & Desist?) or a lawsuit but it certainly troubled Milan and cost him $$. Threads were on WLDG eons ago.

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If you ever get a chance read " Blood and Wine: Unauthorized Story of the Gallo Wine Empire" a salacious story of of a wine dominating family. They sued their younger brother Joseph because he had the gall to name his company “Joseph Gallo Cheese Company”. Sorry about the thread drift! Love cabs from Santa Cruz Mountains and had a bunch of the Santa Cruz Mountains from Bates Ranch drunk long ago.

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And before that, on the WLDG.

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Funny timing - I stood these two up last week. Glad you enjoyed your bottle, Rich.

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