TN: 2003 Clos Mimi Syrah Brave Oak Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles)

  • 2003 Clos Mimi Syrah Brave Oak Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (8/25/2012)
    This is very dark with an interesting burnt caramel-dark edge. I could sit with this nose all night; Fragrant cool black fruits with a wisp of soy-black pepper-all spice and gingerbread. Very very nice. Mouthfeel is dense and dark leaning with hints of menthol, white pepper, ripe blueberry, steamy meats and more. I think this fully resolved and poised to please at 9 years old. I have not had this since it was a new release and must say I like what I taste. Initially I got a bit of heat on the back end, but 20 minutes fleshed that out and we are golden. Balance is tight with a liltiness that grabs hold of your attention. Finish long and true. Not sure why Tim gets little love on his wine-making feats; He wanted to create the Guigal of the US, and he may be onto something here. Count me as a fan. Who could resist such an interesting wine? (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Not sure why Tim gets little love on his wine-making feats; He wants to create the Guigal of the US, and he may be onto something here.

15.8% and menthol. Either alone can be deadly, together they’re lethal.

You and I agree on a lot, and I like Tim quite a bit - I think he’s a real passionate guy with a real point of view on what he’s trying to do.

Ain’t never going to be N. Rhone-like tho. If anything, more like the overdone 2007 S. Rhones and more like Sparky wine than Guigal wine. But friends can disagree on what they like, and I’m sure there are probably more people who who agree with you than with me. And I do love Syrah!

Boy, Greg, I couldn’t have said it any better. I don’t normally bother commenting on (or for that matter even reading) most of Mike’s TNs - nothing personal implied there, as he and I just have very different wine palates, and I’m sure if he ever tried one of the chiantis or brunellos or barolos I usually post about, he would in all likelihood find the wines to be utter crap. That’s why there’s vanilla & chocolate (or cabernet & sangiovese, as the case may be) [cheers.gif] .

But I was drawn to read this note because two of the worst Cali wines I’ve ever had were produced by Clos Mimi - so bad I was convinced they were flawed, but the folks I was drinking them with assured me that this was what the wines were designed to deliver. Needless to say, that was the last time I tried one, and thankfully nobody here in the Philly wine groups I participate in has ever brought any more to try (either that or I’ve been lucky enough to miss those tastings where they did).

Thanks for chiming in, Bob. Always good to hear from those I am not likely used to hearing from.
Interesting comment on the Clos Mimi. I guess when I said about the ‘no love’ thing in my note, I was underestimating myself.
This certainly was not my normal drink, and it showed better better t+20 minutes to about 3 hours on, then it went a bit strange.
Different stroke I guess…
Cheers!—I guess I will never see you again in one of my note threads… [snort.gif] [cheers.gif] [wow.gif]

Unfortunately, whatever Tim was trying to achieve, he no longer will because as of at least a year ago, he stopped making wine (at least that’s what I understand). Not sure what he’s up to these days . . .

His wines certainly have been controversial - I remember a note from Parker that couldn’t rate a wine because he couldn’t really tell if the wine tasted was as it should have been (ie faulty) or if this was part of what Tim was trying to achieve . . .


Sorry to thread drift, but every man should once in his life have a girlfriend called Mimi.

Thanks for that info, Larry.

Interesting, Larry - and if Bob hisself couldn’t figure out what to make of Tim’s wine, you can imagine how a card-carrying AFWE member like myself would struggle with this style.

Mike, I’ve got a 2004 Selvapiana Chianti Bucerchiale stood up in the cellar to pair with my short ribs for dinner tonight - if I happen to post a TN, feel free to drop by and insert a post indicating how undrinkable the wine is [wink.gif] .

Last I heard Tim was in Alaska trying to run with Dog Sleds. No doubt he stretched the boundaries. I still have a bunch in the cellar and like most (not all of them). Certainly not for everyone or all the time. The late 90’s bottlings are dirnking well now even for AFWE. The last couple of vintages really pushed the alcohol. We will see waht time does to them. Thanks for the note and update.

Larry - you are as ever a source of fascinating info. That is one of the best stories about Bob I’ve ever heard. Wow! And it’s kind of like my reaction to those wines.

But in person, and I’ve only met him a couple times, Tim was really a decent guy. Any info on why he stopped doing wine? I gotta give him this much - he goes for it when he develops an interest in something. Best of luck to him in whatever he’s up to.

Well…I sorta followed Tim from the very start. Really likable guy. The wines were pretty hit or miss.
But they were all consistent to the style he was seeking.
His business model, when he started, was pretty simple…as I recall it. He was going to make
the epitome of a Parkerized Syrah. High alcohol, high extract, loads of new Fr.oak, heavy btls,
packaged in wooden boxes, priced up around $60-$80/btl. The plan was to get huge scores from Parker and then sit back and
achieve cult status and watch the $$'s roll in. All pretty simple.
Two problems, though. He was sourcing grapes from FrenchCamp on East-side Paso. Not the best vnyd for primo Syrah…unless you wanted
high alcohol. And the huge Parker scores never seemed to materialize. So he seemed to flounder around when that business plan
didn’t pan out. Came out w/ a low end PetiteMimi or some such.
Actually…there was one of Tim’s wines, up around 18%, that got a very glowing review from Parker. With the accompaning
admonition/scolding from him that if you didn’t like this wine as much as he did, then you were a doofus who couldn’t
think outside the box.
I liked Tim quite a lot. And, from visiting w/ him at HdR (RIP), I thought he was a very competent winemaker. I would taste his
wines, think they were rather interesting…for that style…and just sorta shake my head in puzzlement. He was just
unable to achieve, consistently, the huge scores from Parker he thought he could.
You live by the sword…you die by the sword. As we sword people say.

All great info here. Thanks for replying one and all.
I think when you approach a wine with an ‘out of the box’ mentality you can be happily surprised. If you approach with a preconceived notion on what it should be and what alcohol level it should have, well good luck with that.

Bob, save me a glass. :slight_smile:


Don’t really know what happened and why he stopped producing - my guess it was the economics that finally caught up with him, but perhaps others here or elsewhere know more.

Unfortunately one of many nice, talented winemakers that just don’t succeed for one reason or another . . .