WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

WineSmith Cellars

Take a moment. Scroll down. Look at the wines. See that one called "Double Dare"? That's right. They just double dared you to buy their wine. It's too late to back away now. You wouldn't want to be known as the person who couldn't handle a double dare, would ya?



Quality Posts


Cesare


quality posts: 1641 Private Messages Cesare

WineSmith Cellars

WineSmith “Crucible” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
$59.99 $̶1̶0̶8̶.̶0̶0̶ 44% off List Price
2005 WineSmith “Crucible” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

WineSmith “2nd Fiddle” Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir 2-Pack
$59.99 $̶1̶0̶8̶.̶0̶0̶ 44% off List Price
2005 WineSmith “2nd Fiddle” Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir

WineSmith Double Dare Offer 4-Pack
$69.99 $̶1̶3̶3̶.̶0̶0̶ 47% off List Price
2003 WineSmith Napa Valley Chardonnay, Student Vineyard Napa Valley College
2004 WineSmith Napa Valley Faux Chablis, Student Vineyard, Napa Valley College

WineSmith Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 3-Pack
$69.99 $̶1̶3̶1̶.̶0̶0̶ 47% off List Price
2006 Winesmith Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi, Mokelumne River

WineSmith Postmodern Winemaking Sampler Case
$199.99 $̶4̶4̶4̶.̶0̶0̶ 55% off List Price
2005 WineSmith “Crucible” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 WineSmith “2nd Fiddle” Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir
2006 WineSmith Cabernet Franc, Sonoma County
2003 WineSmith Napa Valley Chardonnay, Student Vineyard Napa Valley College
2004 WineSmith Napa Valley Faux Chablis, Student Vineyard, Napa Valley College
2009 PennyFarthing Chardonnay
2 2007 PennyFarthing Barbera
2 PennyFarthing NV Dry Rosé
2 2007 PennyFarthing Pinot Noir, North Coast

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316

Well that's disappointing. I can actually buy the sampler case directly from Clark for $3 cheaper than here at woot, and that is after applying an attrocious $57 for shipping costs. I probably would not be in anyway due to space and financial constraints, but no deal here at all. And the "Retail" price is clearly not $444....

My CT
"Trust your homies on the net", Clark Smith.
R.I.P. Inkycatz - Feb. 2013

ThunderThighs


quality posts: 583 Private Messages ThunderThighs

Staff

North316 wrote:Well that's disappointing. I can actually buy the sampler case directly from Clark for $3 cheaper than here at woot, and that is after applying an attrocious $57 for shipping costs. I probably would not be in anyway due to space and financial constraints, but no deal here at all. And the "Retail" price is clearly not $444....


I'm not seeing that.

I’m getting $256.99 (Woot) vs $271.43 (WineSmith), shipped.

Of course, with Texas taxes, it comes to $273.05 (Woot) vs $295.19 (WineSmith), shipped.



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North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
ThunderThighs wrote:I'm not seeing that.

I’m getting $256.99 (Woot) vs $271.43 (WineSmith), shipped.

Of course, with Texas taxes, it comes to $273.05 (Woot) vs $295.19 (WineSmith), shipped.



It was not showing tax the first time I tried it, so I thought it was somehow built into the price.

Regardless, $22 savings is not even 10% (especially considering the $57 shipping charge, which I would find very hard to believe is the actual cost of shipping). This is being advertised as a 44% savings, which just is not true.

Don't get wrong, still a great deal on what I would imagine are some pretty stellar wines, but advertise it for what it is, an 8% discount on top of an already solid case discount from Clark.

My CT
"Trust your homies on the net", Clark Smith.
R.I.P. Inkycatz - Feb. 2013

rlmanzo


quality posts: 23 Private Messages rlmanzo

Has anyone had the Crucible cab?

I have had Clark's wines before but need some convincing to drop $70 on an unknown wine.

RPM????(An endorsement from you could make all the difference!!)

Anyone had the pinot?

Is it broke or just fractured?

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
rlmanzo wrote:Has anyone had the Crucible cab?

I have had Clark's wines before but need some convincing to drop $70 on an unknown wine.

RPM????(An endorsement from you could make all the difference!!)

Anyone had the pinot?



Several of these should have been tried by Wooters at both the Cleveland gathering and the Cali BBQ gathering that Clark held. I know the Crucible and Cab Franc were tasted at the Cleveland one.

My CT
"Trust your homies on the net", Clark Smith.
R.I.P. Inkycatz - Feb. 2013

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
North316 wrote:Several of these should have been tried by Wooters at both the Cleveland gathering and the Cali BBQ gathering that Clark held. I know the Crucible and Cab Franc were tasted at the Cleveland one.



Hi everybody. It’s unfortunate to start discussion wrangling about price, but here’s what I see. The regular retail for this package is $335.00 plus tax and shipping, which of course vary. If I apply the Santa Rosa sales tax of 8.75% and the $57 UPS quoted North316, that’s $421.31, so the shipped woot price of $273.05 is a little over 35% off.

It’s true that I have a similar deal on my site, not quite as good as the woot. I’m not here for an adversarial relationship with you guys, and I hope you are beginning to trust my wine quality by now.

There’s been interest from you for me to run these other wines on woot. We put together the sampler in order to illustrate a variety of the principles in my book, Postmodern Winemaking, just out from UC Press.

I hope some of the wooters that were present in Cleveland and at my place in Santa Rosa will chime in about these wines. Though a tiny production, Crucible is not exactly unknown in wine circles, having been made off the incredible Napa Valley College fruit and awarded a Platinum two years running from the Critics Challenge. Although enormous in its tannin dimensions, it’s not a typical Napa bruiser, and has remarkably refined, Pauillac-like balance and grace. Steve Krebs, Dean of Viticulture and Winery Technology at NVC, recently had this to say:

“Thank you as well for the wine tasting. These sessions are always informative. The Faux Chablis wines are really hanging in there in a most-interesting way and that is a great story in itself. We polished off the remainder of the 2002 on Saturday. It was lemony and complex and refreshing, all at once.

The true revelation is the 2005 Crucible. This afternoon, we uncorked the nearly-full bottle you had poured from on Friday, and actually I am totally stunned and nearly speechless in awe of this wine. It is certainly among the very best California Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted! It is quite a tremendous accomplishment--congratulations! The closest comparison I can conjure is that it reminds me of a tasting of a flight of all of the 2005 (I think) first growth Bordeaux that I participated in a few years ago. Those wines had been provided to NVC upon release by K&L Wine Merchants down in Redwood City. With those wines, you felt like getting down on one knee and bowing your head in reverence and I'm getting the same sense with this one. Wow! I should think I'll need to get more of this for long term cellaring, as well as some of the '06 and '07 once those have been bottled.”

klezman


quality posts: 126 Private Messages klezman

Hey Clark,
Wondering about the Pinot. I'm kind of on the picky side wrt my Pinots, so do you have some comparisons? iirc you were also on the side of higher pH but structure and longevity through other means. Normaly a pH of nearly 3.8 would scare me away from a Pinot as too "new world" in style. I prefer the mushroomy, forest floor, cherry sort of flavour profile rather than the big fruity style.

2014: 42 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2012 Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
klezman wrote:Hey Clark,
Wondering about the Pinot. I'm kind of on the picky side wrt my Pinots, so do you have some comparisons? iirc you were also on the side of higher pH but structure and longevity through other means. Normaly a pH of nearly 3.8 would scare me away from a Pinot as too "new world" in style. I prefer the mushroomy, forest floor, cherry sort of flavour profile rather than the big fruity style.



Good question. The whole point of making this wine was to show what a Fiddlestix can do in a reserved, Cotes de Beaune styule. The wine in exceedingly delicate and ethereal with 13.8% alcohol. Concerning pH, read Winemaking At Hiogh pH in the Winemaking Fundamentals section of vinovation.com. Red wines are always properly made at pH 3.7-3.85. Anyhow, the wine is certainly not overripe, and although delicate, has great depth and is just beginning to open up at eight years of age, developing truffle and leaf duff nuances to its hybiscus florals and spicy cherry aromas.




bobrush12866


quality posts: 8 Private Messages bobrush12866
winesmith wrote:Hi everybody. It’s unfortunate to start discussion wrangling about price, but here’s what I see. The regular retail for this package is $335.00 plus tax and shipping, which of course vary. If I apply the Santa Rosa sales tax of 8.75% and the $57 UPS quoted North316, that’s $421.31, so the shipped woot price of $273.05 is a little over 35% off.

It’s true that I have a similar deal on my site, not quite as good as the woot. I’m not here for an adversarial relationship with you guys, and I hope you are beginning to trust my wine quality by now.

There’s been interest from you for me to run these other wines on woot. We put together the sampler in order to illustrate a variety of the principles in my book, Postmodern Winemaking, just out from UC Press.

I hope some of the wooters that were present in Cleveland and at my place in Santa Rosa will chime in about these wines. Though a tiny production, Crucible is not exactly unknown in wine circles, having been made off the incredible Napa Valley College fruit and awarded a Platinum two years running from the Critics Challenge. Although enormous in its tannin dimensions, it’s not a typical Napa bruiser, and has remarkably refined, Pauillac-like balance and grace. Steve Krebs, Dean of Viticulture and Winery Technology at NVC, recently had this to say:

“Thank you as well for the wine tasting. These sessions are always informative. The Faux Chablis wines are really hanging in there in a most-interesting way and that is a great story in itself. We polished off the remainder of the 2002 on Saturday. It was lemony and complex and refreshing, all at once.

The true revelation is the 2005 Crucible. This afternoon, we uncorked the nearly-full bottle you had poured from on Friday, and actually I am totally stunned and nearly speechless in awe of this wine. It is certainly among the very best California Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted! It is quite a tremendous accomplishment--congratulations! The closest comparison I can conjure is that it reminds me of a tasting of a flight of all of the 2005 (I think) first growth Bordeaux that I participated in a few years ago. Those wines had been provided to NVC upon release by K&L Wine Merchants down in Redwood City. With those wines, you felt like getting down on one knee and bowing your head in reverence and I'm getting the same sense with this one. Wow! I should think I'll need to get more of this for long term cellaring, as well as some of the '06 and '07 once those have been bottled.”



Clark; What is the drinking window on the 05 Crucible?

rlmanzo


quality posts: 23 Private Messages rlmanzo

Hi Clark,

Thanks for showing up and providing thoughtful comments.(per usual)

Could you compare/contrast the Crucible to your Lodi Cabernet offered here?

Thanks.

Is it broke or just fractured?

chipgreen


quality posts: 195 Private Messages chipgreen

We tasted 3 of the wines that make up the mixed case at the Cleveland gathering. My only notes are of the mental variety so apologies for some lack of detail.

NV PennyFarthing Dry Rosé
Crisp and refreshing Rosé with cherry/strawberry notes. We kicked off the party with this one and it was a big hit. Perfect for sipping outside on a nice sunny day.

2003 WineSmith Napa Valley Chardonnay, Student Vineyard
A fairly complex "faux Chablis" that is aging beautifully and is in a really good place right now. According to Clark, it just reached its prime this year and the '04 will be best starting in '14.

This wine is very well integrated. While the oak and malolactic treatment are both noticeable, neither stand out - instead blending seamlessly into the overall flavor profile. Creamy lemon palate on the entry turns into more of a Meyer's lemon finish with good acidity and minerality.

2005 WineSmith “Crucible” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a somewhat restrained Old World style Cab. Definitely not a typical big, bold Napa Cab. The nose is almost delicate, with black cherry and floral notes (violets?). Complex palate of red and black fruits, with some vanilla oak in the background and grippy tannins on the long finish. This wine is still evolving and should continue to drink well for another decade at least. If the Crucible was not part of the mixed case (which is already in my shopping cart) I would definitely go in on it at $60.

Haven't tried the Cab Franc but we did get to sample a pre-release Cab Franc of Clark's that everyone raved about and I have also tasted Clark's Diamond Ridge Cab Franc and found that to be delicious with about an hour decant.

I'm excited to try the Second Fiddle PN, as I've heard wonderful things about Kathy Joseph's Fiddlehead Pinots and am interested to see what Clark has done with her grapes.

I am also looking forward to trying the PennyFarthing Barbera. bsevern has had nice things to say about that one from the BBQ event at Clark's place and has already purchased some individual bottles of it. Hopefully he will pop in with some notes on that one.

Finally, I am going in blind on the 2006 WineSmith Lodi Cab offer along with the mixed case. 2006 has been called a "sleeper" vintage. Everyone raved about the 2005 and 2007 vintages while 2006 got the middle-child treatment but now seems to be coming into its own with some age-worthy wines. It will be fun to sample them 2-3 years apart to see how they develop.

Clark, it's great to see you back on woot with these offers! Any thoughts on the aging possibilities for your Lodi Cab?

chipgreen


quality posts: 195 Private Messages chipgreen

Whoa! Just went to checkout and the sampler case price dropped to $199.99! That dropped my total order down to $295 with tax & shipping for the mixed case + 3 Lodi Cabs.

rlmanzo


quality posts: 23 Private Messages rlmanzo
chipgreen wrote:Whoa! Just went to checkout and the sampler case price dropped to $199.99! That dropped my total order down to $295 with tax & shipping for the mixed case + 3 Lodi Cabs.



Getting tougher to stay on this fence....

Any info on the Lodi Cab Clark??

Is it broke or just fractured?

chipgreen


quality posts: 195 Private Messages chipgreen

CT Links
I've included the relative base price per bottle next to the link, for CT valuation purposes, using the 40% case discount percentage (before taxes/shipping). Add your own tax and shipping to the stated amount to come up with your total cost per bottle.

Mixed case
2005 WineSmith Crucible Cab $60

2005 WineSmith 2nd Fiddle Pinot Noir $30

2006 WineSmith Cab Franc, Sonoma County $18

2003 WineSmith Chardonnay, Student Vineyard $18

2004 WineSmith Chardonnay "Faux Chablis" $18

2009 PennyFarthing Chardonnay $9

2007 PennyFarthing Barbera $9 (x2)

NV PennyFarthing Dry Rosé $6 (x2)

2007 PennyFarthing Pinot Noir $9 (x2)
-----------------
Lodi Cab
2006 WineSmith Cab Sauv, Lodi

trifecta


quality posts: 73 Private Messages trifecta

I have tasted all the wines on this offer with the exception of the Lodi Cab. I liked them all enough that I have purchased everything except the Crucible (due to price point and not a lack of straight up loving it) and the lodi Cab (due to never trying it)

Clark is making really fantastic wine, and I encourage folks to do the sampler and get a feel for the style that he is aiming for. I am stocked up on the cab franc, penny pinot, penny barbera, chardonnay, and his other diamond ridge wines.

Frankly I don't think that you will be disappointed with a single wine.

The crucible is simply fantastic, but not in a bombastic Napa Cab sort of way. Stylistically it is more restrained and subtle. It is understandably a leap at the $100 price point for most, and I think Clark understands that as well. Appreciate him dropping the price so that we can have a lower entry point on it. Bsevern might have more notes on the Cabernet, because he drinks a lot more cab than I do.

The Fiddlestix Pinot is very good. I haven't yet popped the bottle I purchased a while back, but did try this again last week. Strong cherry core, great acid and balance. Very nuanced with many layers going on. Really wish I had taken better notes at Clarks... but we were having so much fun!


2006 Cab Franc:
No detailed notes. This wine benefits greatly from a nice long decant, which shows it has tons of life left. Good balance and structure. Really nice fruit, plum and dark cherry. Hints of rosemary and sage frame the palate and give it depth (read, no bell pepper on this). Like all winesmith wines, there is mineral depth on this one that really linger on the finish. Great wine.

2007 Winesmith Penny Farthing Pinot:
Nose of sour cherry with a hint of forest floor and mushroom funk. Palate is medium weight with sour cherry, but not pushing through to tart. Definitely leans more old world in terms of the fruit and structure. Short finish, but very impressible wine at this price point.

NV Penny Farthing Rose:
I preferred this wine after it had been open overnight and allowed to warm to just below room temp. Good qpr, decent sipper on the patio or with some bbq.

2003 Winesmith Chardonnay:
No detailed notes. Great acidity and minerality. Light straw in color and medium legs. Round mouthfeel and some heft on the mid palate. Lemon on the nose and palate. Medium plus finish with an unusually smooth finish given the acidity. Very much enjoyed this bottle and glad I have 3 more bottles. Still has the structure to sit a couple more years.

loveladyelectric


quality posts: 23 Private Messages loveladyelectric

The price drop on the mixed case makes it almost impossible to pass on. If I hadn't gone in for 2 on the Crucible earlier, I'd definitely bite.

Maybe if it's not sold out in two days...

bsevern


quality posts: 110 Private Messages bsevern

Went to WineSmith's BBQ and wine tasting in Santa Rosa a few weekends ago, and it was quite an interesting experience!

We tried all of the wines in the case sample, and they were all excellent. The PennyFarthing wines have a killer QPR, solid wines, old world styled, very enjoyable.

The Chards are nicely aged, definitely not butter bombastic new world style, more Burgundian styled, and are aging quite well.

The Crucible cab is spectacular, fantastically balanced, beautiful pure fruit, just a wonderful wine that will go for many, many more years.

The Cab Franc, the Cab Franc, yes the Cab Franc! OK, seriously this is the real deal, once it opens up, this is just singing away, really good juice.

Now my favorite has to be the Fiddlestix Pinot!! At dinner I commented that I had never had a bad bottle of Pinot from this vineyard, Clark didn't exactly agree, but we are talking about totally different styles of wine making, old world vs new world, and this is definitely old world crafted Pinot Noir that's simply wonderful.

Thanks again Clark and Mike for your generous hospitality, it was an evening of great wine, song, education, and food!

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
chipgreen wrote:Whoa! Just went to checkout and the sampler case price dropped to $199.99! That dropped my total order down to $295 with tax & shipping for the mixed case + 3 Lodi Cabs.



I have big news.

Basically, I screwed up. The Postmodern Sampler was to include a signed copy of my book, Postmodern Winemaking, and was priced as such. Problem is, we are unexpectedly between printings for the book, and I had to pull it from the offer because I don't have books until September.

But forgot to correct the price. Thanks to everyone who complained, quite rightly, about the price. We have now re-priced the Sampler at $199.99, and what’s more, when the book does come out, I’ll honor Amazon’s price for a signed copy to anyone who buys the sampler or any other offering in this Woot-Plus.

How’s that?

coynedj


quality posts: 7 Private Messages coynedj
winesmith wrote:I have big news.

Basically, I screwed up. The Postmodern Sampler was to include a signed copy of my book, Postmodern Winemaking, and was priced as such. Problem is, we are unexpectedly between printings for the book, and I had to pull it from the offer because I don't have books until September.

But forgot to correct the price. Thanks to everyone who complained, quite rightly, about the price. We have now re-priced the Sampler at $199.99, and what’s more, when the book does come out, I’ll honor Amazon’s price for a signed copy to anyone who buys the sampler or any other offering in this Woot-Plus.

How’s that?



OK. You convinced me.

As if all the glowing reviews hadn't already done that. But I do echo rlmanzo's request for info on the Lodi Cab. Any thoughts on it?

I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff. Bob Dylan, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

How on earth did I get 7 QPs?

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
rlmanzo wrote:Getting tougher to stay on this fence....

Any info on the Lodi Cab Clark??



Here's the scoop on the 2006 Lodi Cab Sauv. I first released this wine in 2010. This wine has often been called the Poor Man's Crucible, because it's so stylistically similar - basically a Pauillac: very solid structure, deep but refined tannins, cassis and blueberry. Part of the reason is it has 9% of the 2006 Crucible in it, which adds quite a bit of stuffing. The rest is Jim Peterson's lovely Cab Sauv from northern Lodi - the core of the Niebaum Coppola Claret and among the best vineyards in Lodi.

After making this blend in November of 2006, I immediately took the wine through a one month course of Phase One MicroOxygenation (see chapter 3 of my book) which has quite counterintuitive effects, stabilizing its structure, fixing color, and augmenting its reductive strength.

Since the 2010 bottling seemed a little undeveloped, I got curious about its potential in wood, and I elected to hold back a few neutral barrels of this wine to see how much age it would take and what would happen. Amazingly, the wine continued to improve and develop layers and nuances until I finally bottled it this summer, after fully 78 months of barrel aging!

The wine is by no means woody. It does have amazing aromatic complexity, and is now less austere than most Pauillacs, more like a Rioja in style. Or you could say its development is similar to what happens to Vintage Port when it is left a few extra years in wood and has some development it can't really get in the bottle. Besides the continuing background of blueberry and cassis that has always constitutes the core aromatic, now we have nuances of dried flowers, bay, cedar, tobacco, Romano and Asian spice around the edges.

I'm so happy I did this experiment, which really shows that challenging a wine early with oxygen really adds to its ageworthiness and potential for development. The wine also shows what great potential Lodi has for making world class Cabernet Sauvignon if a little restraint is employed in the making.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
bsevern wrote:Went to WineSmith's BBQ and wine tasting in Santa Rosa a few weekends ago, and it was quite an interesting experience!

We tried all of the wines in the case sample, and they were all excellent. The PennyFarthing wines have a killer QPR, solid wines, old world styled, very enjoyable.

The Chards are nicely aged, definitely not butter bombastic new world style, more Burgundian styled, and are aging quite well.

The Crucible cab is spectacular, fantastically balanced, beautiful pure fruit, just a wonderful wine that will go for many, many more years.

The Cab Franc, the Cab Franc, yes the Cab Franc! OK, seriously this is the real deal, once it opens up, this is just singing away, really good juice.

Now my favorite has to be the Fiddlestix Pinot!! At dinner I commented that I had never had a bad bottle of Pinot from this vineyard, Clark didn't exactly agree, but we are talking about totally different styles of wine making, old world vs new world, and this is definitely old world crafted Pinot Noir that's simply wonderful.

Thanks again Clark and Mike for your generous hospitality, it was an evening of great wine, song, education, and food!



Many thanks for your kind words. It's a great joy to break bread and experience the wines together rather than just blabbing about them.

One note: none of the Chardonnays has been through malolactic. I will definitely cop to descriptions like lemon oil and there's plenty of sur lees character, but not really any butter, nor is there any toasted oak, so the nuances that remind one a little of these characters are really just born of age.

I forgot to tell you guys about the video I made concerning the "Faux Chablis" Chardonnay. Please take a minute and give it a look.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
bobrush12866 wrote:Clark; What is the drinking window on the 05 Crucible?



The 05 Crucible is dense but very refined, so it can definitely be enjoyed right now, but it's on a very long trajectory - easily another 20 years in a good cellar. Its tannins are politely grippy to about halfway into the mouth, then quite plush into the finish.

Right now, Crucible demonstrates a quality I call, for lack of a better word, a hollow emptiness, more like gazing into the Grand Canyon than appreciating the power of Mt. Shasta, as most California Cabs do. This seductive emptiness pulls you into the glass. As it ages, its aromatics will become more expressive and some of this quality may be lost, replaced by a fugue of interlaced nuances. I know it's a lot of money, but this really is a wine you want to taste every few years during this development. I recommend teaming up with your local buddies. Like any good story, it will need to be shared.

chipgreen


quality posts: 195 Private Messages chipgreen
winesmith wrote:Many thanks for your kind words. It's a great joy to break bread and experience the wines together rather than just blabbing about them.

One note: none of the Chardonnays has been through malolactic. I will definitely cop to descriptions like lemon oil and there's plenty of sur lees character, but not really any butter, nor is there any toasted oak, so the nuances that remind one a little of these characters are really just born of age.


Wow, I am really surprised to hear that! The '03 Chard definitely had a bit of creaminess to it that I attributed to malo, although now that I think about it, it was strange that the creaminess seemed to dissolve into acidity and minerality on the finish, since malo treatment usually carries all the way through the palate.

chipgreen


quality posts: 195 Private Messages chipgreen
winesmith wrote:.....
I'm so happy I did this experiment, which really shows that challenging a wine early with oxygen really adds to its ageworthiness and potential for development. The wine also shows what great potential Lodi has for making world class Cabernet Sauvignon if a little restraint is employed in the making.


Now I'm psyched that I added the Lodi Cab to my order! Not that I was expecting to be disappointed, haha.

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
chipgreen wrote:Wow, I am really surprised to hear that! The '03 Chard definitely had a bit of creaminess to it that I attributed to malo, although now that I think about it, it was strange that the creaminess seemed to dissolve into acidity and minerality on the finish, since malo treatment usually carries all the way through the palate.



Yes, exactly my point. Butter obscures fruit, length and profundity in place of fatness, and that doesn't happen with this wine at all.

coynedj


quality posts: 7 Private Messages coynedj
chipgreen wrote:Now I'm psyched that I added the Lodi Cab to my order! Not that I was expecting to be disappointed, haha.



I added it too. This has been an expensive day. Even though it was part of a 12-pack, the 2005 Crucible has ascended to the lofty position of The Most Expensive Bottle of Wine I've Ever Bought.

I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff. Bob Dylan, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

How on earth did I get 7 QPs?

jimjacks66


quality posts: 32 Private Messages jimjacks66

For me, this has been one very expensive day. I would only do this for WineSmith. I ordered a total of 29 bottles. 1 order of the sampler (12 bottles). 2 orders of the Double Dare chardonnays (bought previously and love them). 1 order of the Lodi cab. 2 orders of the Crucible. 2 orders of the Fiddlestix Pinot Noir. Someone help me....

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316

Well, you all can thank me, preferably with any of the pennyfarthings, for saving you $50, hah. At this price point this is clearly a stellar deal on the wine. It makes me extra sad that I don't have the funds or space for the case. At least I do have a signed copy of the book waiting for me next time I head east.

My CT
"Trust your homies on the net", Clark Smith.
R.I.P. Inkycatz - Feb. 2013

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
jimjacks66 wrote:For me, this has been one very expensive day. I would only do this for WineSmith. I ordered a total of 29 bottles. 1 order of the sampler (12 bottles). 2 orders of the Double Dare chardonnays (bought previously and love them). 1 order of the Lodi cab. 2 orders of the Crucible. 2 orders of the Fiddlestix Pinot Noir. Someone help me....



We're busy erecting a statue in your honor in the cellar.

jimjacks66


quality posts: 32 Private Messages jimjacks66
winesmith wrote:We're busy erecting a statue in your honor in the cellar.



No statue needed. Although I wouldn't mind living in a cool cellar...

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith

Some more about the 2005 Pinot. First of all, my P-Chem study partner at U.C. Davis was Kathy Joseph, who a year later started the tiny Fiddlehead Cellars while all the rest of us went off to work for big established wineries, only later to realize that Kathy had the right idea all along. (Apropos of nothing, Kathy happens to be Hugh Hefner’s lawyer’s daughter, so there were always lots of Playboy mags lying around her house for study breaks.)

A decade later, Kathy and her husband had prospered enough to invest in her own Pinot source, planting around 100 acres in the Santa Rita Hills and calling it Fiddlestix. This was a lot more fruit than she could use in her own program, and she sold it to dozens of other wineries who each got to negotiate their choice from the rich mix of clones she had planted.

I have always loved this vineyard, but was often disappointed by the excessive ripeness I encountered when it was allowed to ripen excessively, producing wines which were still good, but characterized by heat, bitterness, raisiny aromas and aggressive dry tannins. So I decided to do a small batch just to show what could be possible if the fruit were picked ripe but not overripe.

By that time, I had been experimenting with exotic filtrations for over a decade at Vinovation, and I learned a cool trick. The low phenolic content of Pinot makes it difficult to extract its own color, because this requires cofactors which help to build copigmentation colloids. There are lots of things you can use to add cofactors (Viognier in Syrah, Trebbiano in Sangiovese, Palamino in Garnacha, oak chips, etc.) but they screw up the delicate taste profile of Pinot.

We had been taking heavy press wine from sparkling production and filtering out the nasty tannins by recirculating the wine against a super-tight crossflow filter called an ultrafilter, tight enough to retain the tannin colloids but loose enough to let all the aromatics pass through, thus producing a lovely Rosé in the filtrate and a tannin concentrate in the retained portion.

We noticed a funny thing. Just at the end of the filtration, when the tannin retentate was starting to thicken, we got a concentration of Pinot Noir cofactors coming through the filters. These are not harsh or bitter, but they are the glue that holds the tannin colloids together.

We discovered that when we added a tiny amount of this Pinot Noir cofactor concentrate to a Pinot Noir fermentation, it allowed amazing amounts of color and flavor to extract themselves from the skins without adding any character of its own. We tried 1% in a ton each of clones 115 and 667 from Fiddlestix with amazing results. For the 115, it accentuated the cherry aromas and solid tannins. With 667, an entirely different result, instead extracting floral and spice notes characteristic of this clone.

The wine is a 50:50 blend of these, with amazing flavor depth yet utterly silky in its structure, only now beginning to show where it will go in another five or ten years. We gave it 36 months in neutral barrels to give it a chance to marry and begin to evolve aromatically.

Let me conclude with some general notes about this puzzling variety. Pinot noir is challenging for a number of reasons. Its low tannin not only makes it fragile and vulnerable to oxygen, but also causes it often to fail to fall clear. The anthocyanin pigments which are responsible for terminating tannin polymerization, thus preventing dryness, are more vulnerable in Pinot than in most red varieties.

Anthocyanins are stabilized by a glucose molecule which is bonded in conjunction with the colored phenolic part of the molecule. Of course, microbes want to eat that glucose, so plants have developed a defense, which is that these attached glucose molecules are protected from enzymatic attack by yeast by an acylation, essentially a small attachment which prevents the active site of these enzymes from fitting correctly around the glucose. Pinot Noir lacks this protection, thus its anthocyanins are easily lost to suspended yeast, so we have double trouble because Pinot tannins are too weak to fall clear.

This is a little taste of what’s in my book, which is at times pretty geeky, because I want you to get what it’s like to practice this craft. If the science sails over your head, I think you will still gain an appreciation of the craft.

klezman


quality posts: 126 Private Messages klezman

Clark, stop that! You're really making me want to spend money I shouldn't spend on wine I have little to no room for! (Now if the Pennyfathing Barbera were up I'd be in for that and the Pinot...not sure I can justify the Pinot on its own without spreading around the shipping more.)

2014: 42 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2012 Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

JOATMON


quality posts: 19 Private Messages JOATMON

Went in with the mixed case.

Clark, I sat near you at the dinner in the vineyard at Scott Harvey's during the 2008 RPM magical wine tour. I still have your Practicing GrapeCraft poster, and also purchased a bottle of the Fake Chablis as well. We need people like you in the industry; keeps the place interesting.

Juvie: 30+24+4; Sellout: 6+7+0
Rags: 3+2+3
Drunk: 69+94+15 wine, 20+29+4 non-wine
Rugrat: 0+0+0; Refunded: 2+3+1
(as of 2011-03-02)

smukke


quality posts: 0 Private Messages smukke

Ever since I thoroughly enjoyed the Planet Pluto Woot some weeks back, I've been looking at (ok, drooling on) that sampler at the Winesmith site. Absolutely thrilled to see it here and totally in for it + a couple of extra bottles of the Crucible Cab. (Which I don't *need* but which sound so delightful that I don't want to regret not buying more!)

I also love it that Clark is here to chat with us, includes notes with the bottles, and sends postcards. Thanks so much for doing this with/for us!

otolith


quality posts: 22 Private Messages otolith

Really want to buy the Crucible, but don't want it to ship for a while, as it's going to be really hot the next week. Any chance you can hold this for a while before shipping?

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
--John Muir

rlmanzo


quality posts: 23 Private Messages rlmanzo

Well darn... Resistance was futile.

Somewhat Lemming- like, I got 2 Crucibles( come on, 1st growth 2005s?), a Lodi Cab and a Fiddlestix( got me at Burgundian).

Looking forward to it!

Thx Clark.

Is it broke or just fractured?

winesmith


quality posts: 49 Private Messages winesmith
otolith wrote:Really want to buy the Crucible, but don't want it to ship for a while, as it's going to be really hot the next week. Any chance you can hold this for a while before shipping?



That's an important question. I'll get you an answer, though it's the weekend and it may take me 'til Monday.

bobrush12866


quality posts: 8 Private Messages bobrush12866

TT: When is NY shipping going to be fixed??? I bought WineSmith wines before on several occasions and now it says, there is no NY shipping....What Gives??

Apparently nothing can be shipped to NY...I will NOT be very happy if Crucible sells out!!....not to mention a few others as well....like the Double Dare Whites and the Lodi Cab...

I have a $320 order in the cart and can't check out....Boo!.....Hiss!

This NY shipping snafu has been going on for several days now and it NEEDS TO BE FIXED!....I really don't know why it hasn't been fixed yet!...It's very frustrating at this end!!!...wine u want and can't buy!