tytiger58


quality posts: 73 Private Messages tytiger58

Any mega purple added? And thanks for all the info.

What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch? ~ W. C. Fields

“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used” Hunter S Thompson




winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith

Okay, I'm back from my bed. Shall we talk about appellation madness? I've stated my views. Any argument out there?

I do want to clarify that appellations are really valuable to study. It's really quite amazing how much regional character determines flavor and character, quite apart from any winemaking decision. It's only when it's used as a guarantee of quality, a separate buying proposition from the wine's quality, that it causes wine value to erode. Comments?

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
fogtower wrote:I thought Woot had a section to post about shipping and the like? Shipping is moot on Woot so I think the discussion ends there. They resolve any issue so why even mention it.



That is exactly by point. This is a FACT, not an opinion, let alone a negative opinion with nothing to support it.

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

richardhod


quality posts: 261 Private Messages richardhod
winesmith wrote:Hi, Clark Smith here from WineSmith, with another crazy brand I make.

The ’06 Planet Pluto is a blend of 3 Cabs, a Cab Franc and a Merlot in a lovely Margaux style. It’s aged very well and developed considerable bottle bouquet and aromatic nuance. The tannins are still firm but pretty well resolved, so it’s ready to drink with steak, wild mushrooms or duck breast, and it just loves a nice old cheddar.

Even though I’m the director of the Best-of-Appellation awards panel for AppellationAmerica.com, and am a true believer in the centrality of regional character, I think appellation craziness is really bad for the industry. A lot of consumers who can’t tell good wine from bad want to spend their way into quality by buying big names and prestigious appellations. They’re not really buying wine, they’re buying insurance, paying 80 dollars for a 20 dollar wine. They end up with poor value, so the policy doesn’t actually pay off.

The problem in places like Napa and Burgundy is that the real estate prices are five or ten times what normal farm land costs.

I do a lot of winemaking consulting and work closely with a large number of growers from unfashionable areas who grow wines just as good as places that charge many times their price per ton. The best Lodi Cabernet costs about $1200 per ton, whereas the average Napa Cab is $5,000. Go over the county line from Napa into Solano County, and the price drops 80% in the space of a few feet.

I’ve been making wine for almost forty years, so I’ve developed a following of people who trust me to make European-style wines with good balance and structure. I wanna be your insurance policy. Hey, it’s free! I really like making affordable wines while at the same time giving business to these hard-working unsung grower heroes from obscure or under-appreciated regions.



Wellingotn then WineSmith in a row! oodles of learning. Am I dead? Is this nirvana?

richardhod


quality posts: 261 Private Messages richardhod
winesmith wrote:Okay, I'm back from my bed. Shall we talk about appellation madness? I've stated my views. Any argument out there?

I do want to clarify that appellations are really valuable to study. It's really quite amazing how much regional character determines flavor and character, quite apart from any winemaking decision. It's only when it's used as a guarantee of quality, a separate buying proposition from the wine's quality, that it causes wine value to erode. Comments?



Indeed. The ?Kimmidge Limestone which uderpins the beautiful minerality of Chablis does make a difference. However, France and Burgundy in particuar (and Chablis is the northern outpost of Burgundy) is notorious for the variability of quality by grower.

Some attribute it to terroir, but often that's just an excuse for limited, lazy or unmindful winemaking! OTOH, the good winemakers can make decent wine most years. See Wellington in Sonoma for an example in the States. To know your craft requires mastery of more than one kind of weapon.

PS Pluto is a dwarf planet!

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
tytiger58 wrote:Any mega purple added? And thanks for all the info.



Certainly not. As I explained before, I do place importance on anthocyanin content as a key element of fine structure. This is because anthocyanins are thought to be "bookends" on oxidative polymerization. The more of them you have, the shorter the average chain length, so the finer the texture and the greater the aromatic integration.

I don't like to use megapurple because it imparts an Alicante Bouchet character I call "sweaty fruitiness" that gets in the way of the Bordeaux nuances I'm playing with in this wine.

I focus on ripe-but-not-overripe and use untoasted oak in the fermenter to enhance color extraction.

If you're into this kind of stuff, you'll like my book, Postmodern Winemaking: Rethinking the Modern Science of an Ancient Craft, which is available in July from U.C. Press. Check out http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520275195.

richardhod


quality posts: 261 Private Messages richardhod
winesmith wrote:Certainly not. As I explained before, I do place importance on anthocyanin content as a key element of fine structure. This is because anthocyanins are thought to be "bookends" on oxidative polymerization. The more of them you have, the shorter the average chain length, so the finer the texture and the greater the aromatic integration.

I don't like to use megapurple because it imparts an Alicante Bouchet character I call "sweaty fruitiness" that gets in the way of the Bordeaux nuances I'm playing with in this wine.

I focus on ripe-but-not-overripe and use untoasted oak in the fermenter to enhance color extraction.

If you're into this kind of stuff, you'll like my book, Postmodern Winemaking: Rethinking the Modern Science of an Ancient Craft, which is available in July from U.C. Press. Check out http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520275195.



I love Petit Verdot and the inkiness it imparts. You don't have any do you?

sdbcmr


quality posts: 16 Private Messages sdbcmr
jmdavidson wrote:I do not enjoy reading the volleying regarding shipping, since it is unfair to the winery. But, maybe WD can comment on when summer shipping will begin. It is June and it's starting to get hot in most parts of the country.



Agreed. Had my opinion been allowed to just sit there, it would have been just that: one opinion.

I took a break and read some more from WineSmith's site (whoisclarksmith.com) - and his articles on wine and technology are worth a look. Haven't read all of them, but they're thoughtful and clear - and make the wine even more interesting.

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
winesmith wrote:Okay, I'm back from my bed. Shall we talk about appellation madness? I've stated my views. Any argument out there?

I do want to clarify that appellations are really valuable to study. It's really quite amazing how much regional character determines flavor and character, quite apart from any winemaking decision. It's only when it's used as a guarantee of quality, a separate buying proposition from the wine's quality, that it causes wine value to erode. Comments?



Being wooters, I would venture to say that a majority of us look for value. While understanding that certain appellations can have significant "pedigree", those often come at a price, and not as much value. I think the biggest arguement with great appellations (same can probably be said for great vintages) is that even the mediocre winemakers can produce some good wines from good appellations, while the great winemakers can make excellent wines.

The difference being that great winemakers can still do wonders with grapes from "lesser" appellations, producing wines that are far superior to those that mediocre winemakers are making from great appelations.

I guess my point is that, while appellation is incredibly useful in determining expected characteristics of wine, and at times a premium can be rightfully justified based on appellation AND winemaker, I personally put a much larger emphasis on the winemaker and style then I do on appellation. But then again...I am just a cheap accountant. Hah.

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

moondigger


quality posts: 11 Private Messages moondigger

EDIT: I moved my post about shipping to the Plus discussion it referenced. It can be found here:

Shipping discussion

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
richardhod wrote:Indeed. The ?Kimmidge Limestone which uderpins the beautiful minerality of Chablis does make a difference. However, France and Burgundy in particuar (and Chablis is the northern outpost of Burgundy) is notorious for the variability of quality by grower.

Some attribute it to terroir, but often that's just an excuse for limited, lazy or unmindful winemaking! OTOH, the good winemakers can make decent wine most years. See Wellington in Sonoma for an example in the States. To know your craft requires mastery of more than one kind of weapon.

PS Pluto is a dwarf planet!



I like Steven Pinker's point of view on the nature vs nurture debate. He likens it to a discussion about computers. Does your desktop perform as it does because of its hardware or its software? Each alone is entirely necessary but also completely insufficient.

Burgundy is an interesting case in point, because it really is a fabulous place to grow Pinot Noir. Proof is that off the limestone, a few meters from Romanee Conti, they grow potatoes.

However, when a region gets so famous that the name alone guarantees box office sales (like some Hollywood star supporting an atrocious B movie), value suffers. When unmindfully made wines sell anyway, why focus on quality?

It's almost an incentive to buy only wines from obscure origins. In Iowa, North Carolina and Nova Scotia, the winemakers are keenly clued in because they have to be.

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
richardhod wrote:I love Petit Verdot and the inkiness it imparts. You don't have any do you?



What an insightful question. Petit Verdot is a great solution to the color issue, because it usually marries well with the other Bdx varietal characters.

It's magic stuff, though quite variable from one vineyard to the next. I do not at present have a source, and even from obscure areas, it's quite expensive for a blend like this, the Statewide average price being almost $5,000 per ton. But you only use a tiny amount, so it would behoove me to focus on a vineyard who could supply me some.

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
moondigger wrote:Apologies in advance for the diversion. This post is about shipping, so if you're not interested, please skip ahead.

I asked about shipping on one of the Plus offers (McClean Syrah). My concern (and question) was quite specific: Given that my orders have to make it from California to upstate NY via ground, what can be done to prevent the wine from sitting in a warehouse over a weekend?

I got the generic "don't worry about it" answer, which you are repeating. This answer does not address my specific concern.

I have had many items (most of them not wine) ground shipped from California to me over the years. None of them -- EVER -- has made it coast-to-coast without at least a day on the weekend or an entire weekend stalled in a warehouse or shipping truck. It may well be possible to ground ship something from California on Monday and have it arrive in Chicago or St. Louis by Friday, but I have never seen that happen to my location in upstate New York.

I have wine.woot orders shipped to my work address because during the week there is nobody at my home to sign for the packages. Unfortunately that means even if a ground shipment somehow made it to my hometown by Friday night, ready for Saturday delivery, nobody would be at work to sign for it on the weekend and the shipment will sit in a truck or warehouse until Monday.

The standard answer ("don't worry") always ends with the following sentiment: Even if something bad happens to your wine, woot will make it right by refunding or replacing your shipment. This is alright, I guess, if we're talking about a wine that is in plentiful supply. But this is it for the McCleans -- once they're gone, they're gone, and there won't be any more new vintages. A refund for damaged wine would certainly be appreciated, but not nearly as much as receiving the wine in good shape in the first place.



This question has been discussed before and unfortunately, was not answered there, apparently.

Most wine orders ship out on Monday, allowing them to reach their destination on Wed or Thursday, or at the very latest, Friday, so they don't sit idle in a truck or warehouse on a weekend. The exception to this is East coast purchasers. These will typically be shipped on a Thursday or Friday, to ensure movement during the weekend (the trucks moving across the country, not sitting idle), and arrive mid-to-late week the following week. They specifically watch weather patterns and time shipping as best as possible.

Summer shipping is a little different, as a lot of this ends up being shipped partially across the country in 3rd-party refridgerated trucks and then sent out from a more centralized fed-ex hub via 2-day shipping (this is not yet in affect though).

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

InFrom


quality posts: 31 Private Messages InFrom

Speaking of Woot shipping peculiarities as we were, I needed a couple of surge protectors, and somehow this happened in my shopping cart:

WineSmith Planet Pluto Meritage (4)
Speed to First Woot:
2m 39.224s
First Sucker:
jimjacks66
Last Wooter to Woot:
InFrom
Last Purchase:
a minute ago

Funny how that works, isn't it? In for two (of each!)

moondigger


quality posts: 11 Private Messages moondigger

North, thanks for your reply. I thought it best not to clutter this offer's discussion with the shipping stuff, and moved my post to the McClean Plus discussion.

richardhod


quality posts: 261 Private Messages richardhod
winesmith wrote:What an insightful question. Petit Verdot is a great solution to the color issue, because it usually marries well with the other Bdx varietal characters.

It's magic stuff, though quite variable from one vineyard to the next. I do not at present have a source, and even from obscure areas, it's quite expensive for a blend like this, the Statewide average price being almost $5,000 per ton. But you only use a tiny amount, so it would behoove me to focus on a vineyard who could supply me some.



Sounds like time for a Wellington conversation. Peter occasionally gets some, loves it, and knows there's a market for his occasional single-varietal PV as well, and if you two geniuses put your heads together, find a parcel of land...

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
North316 wrote:Being wooters, I would venture to say that a majority of us look for value. While understanding that certain appellations can have significant "pedigree", those often come at a price, and not as much value. I think the biggest arguement with great appellations (same can probably be said for great vintages) is that even the mediocre winemakers can produce some good wines from good appellations, while the great winemakers can make excellent wines.

The difference being that great winemakers can still do wonders with grapes from "lesser" appellations, producing wines that are far superior to those that mediocre winemakers are making from great appelations.

I guess my point is that, while appellation is incredibly useful in determining expected characteristics of wine, and at times a premium can be rightfully justified based on appellation AND winemaker, I personally put a much larger emphasis on the winemaker and style then I do on appellation. But then again...I am just a cheap accountant. Hah.



This is very well put. AVAs are critical in determining the raw materials the winemaker has to work with.

Take Howell Mountain, for instance. There really is no way of making a wine that is not remorselessly tannic from those grapes, and the wise winemaker will embrace that character and make as graceful a monster as possible. It would be a rip-off to press sweet and make a lighter style, because the consumer is expecting big, blocky, angular tannins.

I had a Chateau St. Michelle Merlot over the weekend, and I was disappointed that they had made a mainstream style which, to me, lacked the signature acidity I look for from Washington Merlot.

Trusting winemakers over AVAs makes a lot of sense, because they are traceable and accountable. I can't afford to make empty promises, especially in a forum like woot, because you guys would rat me out in a heartbeat and I'd lose credibility with the tiny niche that "gets" what I'm up to.

An AVA is accountable to nobody. Napa is above the law. No matter how much complaining goes on about its overblown, caricature style, the extended hangtime, high alcohol, poorly aging trend goes on because there's always a greater fool.

All that said, Napa is an amazing place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, and one of these days, I'll put my $100 Cab, Crucible on a woot sale so you can see my best - Napa Cab done right. It's really an extraordinary wine, and a bargain for what it is. But don't buy it because it's Napa. Buy it because this is me you're talking to.

There is, in fact, 4% of the 2006 Crucible in this blend, and even in that tiny fraction, it contributes substantial body and substance.

michaelvella


quality posts: 12 Private Messages michaelvella

Man, this page is awesome -

http://www.planetplutowine.com/terriordebate.html

"Let’s face facts. Wine assessment in California competitions is a joke. Recent published papers by statistician and Humboldt winemaker Robert Hodgson on judge unreliability2 and on the inconsistency of awards in 13 U.S. wine competitions3 have created a well-deserved scandal."

Thank you!!

"Today there are thousands of Cabernets being grown in hundreds of AVA’s scattered over dozens of states and provinces, and the percentage of seriously flawed wines has dropped considerably – almost everything is pretty good. Absent defining criteria, judges are left to choose among a wide variety of well-made wines with vastly different personalities, and of course they waffle, as any open-minded expert should."

Even better.

"As an outgrowth of my work in defining regional varietal identities for AppellationAmerica.com, I received this Spring the cooperation of the Riverside International Wine Competition to experiment for the first time in any U.S. competition with the revolutionary concept of judging wines according to regional standards."

This should be the standard for wine judging.

In for one, BTW.

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
richardhod wrote:Sounds like time for a Wellington conversation. Peter occasionally gets some, loves it, and knows there's a market for his occasional single-varietal PV as well, and if you two geniuses put your heads together, find a parcel of land...



...and wait ten years. There's nothing finer than a stand-alone PV (check out Matt Rorick's Gascony Cadets from Forelorn Hope, the only wine AppellationAmerica.com ever gave a perfect score. But most sites produce one that's too simple for that status. Picking the right site is inevitably a trial-and-error process. I've been beating on my grower clients to plant PV for years, and they chicken out. It's a problematic grape, high in acidity and prone to shatter.

theother1


quality posts: 0 Private Messages theother1
Pufferfishy wrote:A bit off-topic on today's offer - but there's a fairly nice decanter on sale today for a great price.



Seems you have posted something that would interest a good many people, but was not sanctioned by the Amazon over lords. Bad boy!

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
winesmith wrote: I can't afford to make empty promises, especially in a forum like woot, because you guys would rat me out in a heartbeat and I'd lose credibility with the tiny niche that "gets" what I'm up to.

and one of these days, I'll put my $100 Cab, Crucible on a woot sale so you can see my best - Napa Cab done right.



Neil/WD. It's in writing, even the no empty promises part. Sounds like we should be seeing this soon....!!

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

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
michaelvella wrote:Man, this page is awesome -

http://www.planetplutowine.com/terriordebate.html

"As an outgrowth of my work in defining regional varietal identities for AppellationAmerica.com, I received this Spring the cooperation of the Riverside International Wine Competition to experiment for the first time in any U.S. competition with the revolutionary concept of judging wines according to regional standards."

This should be the standard for wine judging.



Wine is the only thing that is judged without standards. Anything else - beer, jam, quilts - there's a book that tells you what to expect.

If we judged dogs the way we judge wines, they'd murder us in our beds and rightly so. The American Kennel Club has established precise standards for 169 breeds, and you don't hold a collie to a schnauzer standard.

Varieties vary too widely to write standards for them. Judges need to be told place names. I forever am beating this drum, and a few competitions are starting to do this, Dallas Morning News being the first to go all out.

Meantime, the best you can do is to vet reliable winemakers and study your appellations on your own.

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
theother1 wrote:Seems you have posted something that would interest a good many people, but was not sanctioned by the Amazon over lords. Bad boy!



Actually, there is nothing wrong with that he posted, though he should have created a link on deals.woot, then posted it, but you are not allowed to "referral" links, to my knowledge.

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

sdbcmr


quality posts: 16 Private Messages sdbcmr
michaelvella wrote:Man, this page is awesome -

http://www.planetplutowine.com/terriordebate.html



I know, right?

Clark Smith's responses here and his own page, while not enough to induce me to take what I regard as a shipping risk, have certainly intrigued me enough to look for access to his wine.

Hats off to his participation here.



hiten900


quality posts: 9 Private Messages hiten900
winesmith wrote:Hi, Clark Smith here from WineSmith, with another crazy brand I make.

The ’06 Planet Pluto is a blend of 3 Cabs, a Cab Franc and a Merlot in a lovely Margaux style. It’s aged very well and developed considerable bottle bouquet and aromatic nuance. The tannins are still firm but pretty well resolved, so it’s ready to drink with steak, wild mushrooms or duck breast, and it just loves a nice old cheddar.

Even though I’m the director of the Best-of-Appellation awards panel for AppellationAmerica.com, and am a true believer in the centrality of regional character, I think appellation craziness is really bad for the industry. A lot of consumers who can’t tell good wine from bad want to spend their way into quality by buying big names and prestigious appellations. They’re not really buying wine, they’re buying insurance, paying 80 dollars for a 20 dollar wine. They end up with poor value, so the policy doesn’t actually pay off.

The problem in places like Napa and Burgundy is that the real estate prices are five or ten times what normal farm land costs.

I do a lot of winemaking consulting and work closely with a large number of growers from unfashionable areas who grow wines just as good as places that charge many times their price per ton. The best Lodi Cabernet costs about $1200 per ton, whereas the average Napa Cab is $5,000. Go over the county line from Napa into Solano County, and the price drops 80% in the space of a few feet.

I’ve been making wine for almost forty years, so I’ve developed a following of people who trust me to make European-style wines with good balance and structure. I wanna be your insurance policy. Hey, it’s free! I really like making affordable wines while at the same time giving business to these hard-working unsung grower heroes from obscure or under-appreciated regions.



Great Plug!

wkdpanda


quality posts: 10 Private Messages wkdpanda

In for two.

I trust my homies, and that The Man can craft a good juice.

----------------
Andy the Wicked Panda

mikefaulk


quality posts: 2 Private Messages mikefaulk

Hello Everyone, Mike Faulk here (Clark's Assistant). Clark would like to host a pot luck BBQ here in Santa Rosa, CA. We had a date of June 15, but that doesn't seem to work for most. We have 3 dates in August - 3rd, 10th, and 31st. if any of those work for most of us.

You will find the discussion thread under the "gatherings" tab in the community section. Clark's book "Postmodern Wine Making will be out by the August dates and it would be a great time to talk about the book. Please join the discussion if you are interested in gathering with us so we can solidify a date. Happy Wooting and we look forward to meeting you.

manny651


quality posts: 1 Private Messages manny651
winesmith wrote:This is very well put. AVAs are critical in determining the raw materials the winemaker has to work with.

Take Howell Mountain, for instance. There really is no way of making a wine that is not remorselessly tannic from those grapes, and the wise winemaker will embrace that character and make as graceful a monster as possible. It would be a rip-off to press sweet and make a lighter style, because the consumer is expecting big, blocky, angular tannins.

I had a Chateau St. Michelle Merlot over the weekend, and I was disappointed that they had made a mainstream style which, to me, lacked the signature acidity I look for from Washington Merlot.

Trusting winemakers over AVAs makes a lot of sense, because they are traceable and accountable. I can't afford to make empty promises, especially in a forum like woot, because you guys would rat me out in a heartbeat and I'd lose credibility with the tiny niche that "gets" what I'm up to.

An AVA is accountable to nobody. Napa is above the law. No matter how much complaining goes on about its overblown, caricature style, the extended hangtime, high alcohol, poorly aging trend goes on because there's always a greater fool.

All that said, Napa is an amazing place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, and one of these days, I'll put my $100 Cab, Crucible on a woot sale so you can see my best - Napa Cab done right. It's really an extraordinary wine, and a bargain for what it is. But don't buy it because it's Napa. Buy it because this is me you're talking to.

There is, in fact, 4% of the 2006 Crucible in this blend, and even in that tiny fraction, it contributes substantial body and substance.



What a wonderful post, from a plethora of great posts today by Mr. WineSmith! this finally did it for me as I was doing my best to not buy more wine. If your Crucible shows up, I will have to partake. Thanks for your contributions to this board. In for 1!

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben
winesmith wrote:I see your point, and I apologize. I decided in this wine to have a little more fun than I normally do. My WineSmith brand is pretty seriously geeky, and in this one I'm sort of experimenting with letting my inner child go nuts (albeit a geeky, astronomy-oriented inner child destined for MIT).

planetplutowine.com is definitely not a wooter-type site, unless some of you want to have some philosophical fun with me about whether Pluto is a planet or not, and more to the point, why we give such a rat's behind about appellations in the first place, to the extent that they drive up prices.

I'm basically a teacher, and all my wines have a message. We've talked a lot about structure, minerality, longevity and balance with some of my previous offerings. For the novice drinker, the take-home message of this wine is to trust you palate, your local retailer and your homies on the net more than the appearance of quality based on a tony AVA and a big price tag. For wooters, the message is simply - hey, you guys know me, and I never steer you wrong. I think I earned your trust with the WineSmith Faux Chablis Double Dare, and I haven't let you down since. There are definitely some winemakers out there worth trusting (Peter Wellington's offering yesterday is a good example), and that approach makes a lot more sense than overpaying for an appellation.

Anyhow, we made 199 cases of this stuff, drawing on larger lots destined for WineSmith Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Crucible and Pennyfarthing Cab Sauv and Merlot. I wanted to see if a provocative concept and a memorable label could help me establish a high value brand that wasn't tied down to any specific appellation. This is the second vintage.



Totally love various aspects of the website, it just lacks the actual information about the wine, even the terroir page is too unrelated.

Teach a bit more about the specific wine you are offering on the page
This can be in a quirky way aligned with the theme of the overall site, can incorporate those teaching points and why is this wine related to the brand - the message is not conveyed well yet... but the direct link to the external "buy" page without getting to some further information about the wine and why we should be drooling about it is not working well in my humble opinion.

Thanks for being part of this community btw. hope to see you during my visit to the Bay Area June 21-July 3 sometime (will be up in the wine country likely the last 3 days or so of that visit).

rlmanzo


quality posts: 22 Private Messages rlmanzo
winesmith wrote:Okay, I'm back from my bed. Shall we talk about appellation madness? I've stated my views. Any argument out there?

I do want to clarify that appellations are really valuable to study. It's really quite amazing how much regional character determines flavor and character, quite apart from any winemaking decision. It's only when it's used as a guarantee of quality, a separate buying proposition from the wine's quality, that it causes wine value to erode. Comments?



Hello Winesmith,

Thanks for your comments. Interesting as always.

I just returned from some time in Tuscany and compared to what is in place in Italy, our AVAs are kind of a joke.(Not with regard to value, but amount of regulation)

I am struck by how dramatically differently the French and Italians regard terroir. To them it is EVERYTHING.

While I agree that "Napa Cab" or for that matter Grand Cru Burgundy is not necessarily a guarantee of quality, it is a good starting point for the average consumer. Unless I have tasted the wine, how am I to know what is in the bottle?

I believe the correct approach probably lies somewhere in the middle.

As an overtaxed American living in CT, I very much would like to buy great wine at a great price. I really, really want to believe that with proper adjustment of the all the variables that you describe, I can make a better wine than classified Bordeaux from grapes grown in Kansas, however, I remain skeptical.

I bought the Diamond Ridge petit sirah, I believe, one of the wines you are involved with. I really wanted to love it(Petit Sirah is one of my favorite varietals) but it just seemed flat with little bouquet or depth.

I am hopeful that that was just a bad bottle and I anxiously await the other 3.

Given your great comments, I will probably give this offering a try.

Here's to technology trumping geography!

Is it broke or just fractured?

loveladyelectric


quality posts: 22 Private Messages loveladyelectric

Clark, while you're here and answering everything, I've got a question not directly related to this wine.

I was recently at Palmaz Vineyards and took a tour of their amazing facility, and was, as an engineer, completely blown away with the design. The entire facility is built around the gravity flow, as an alternative to using pumps. The entire facility uses no pumps for the wine all the way through bottling. It was explained that the "tannin molecules" can get agitated and not bond with the proteins the way they should from the pumps, and that gravity flow solves this issue.

Is this true? Do pumps really affect the tannic structure of a wine? I know the idea of gravity flow is a very expensive alternative, and it's probably not worth it. I just want to know if it really does what it's supposed to, and also know if it's something that time in a bottle can help with.

Thanks,
Kevin

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
andreaserben wrote:Totally love various aspects of the website, it just lacks the actual information about the wine, even the terroir page is too unrelated.

Teach a bit more about the specific wine you are offering on the page
This can be in a quirky way aligned with the theme of the overall site, can incorporate those teaching points and why is this wine related to the brand - the message is not conveyed well yet... but the direct link to the external "buy" page without getting to some further information about the wine and why we should be drooling about it is not working well in my humble opinion.

Thanks for being part of this community btw. hope to see you during my visit to the Bay Area June 21-July 3 sometime (will be up in the wine country likely the last 3 days or so of that visit).



Thanks for the feedback on the site. I think you are right about the lack of information about the wine style and technical info, which I am usually very strong on. I get a lot of suggestions from marketing people that the technical stuff gets in the way, and this is an experiment in geekiness reduction. I'm very glad to see push back from the technical crowd, with whom my heart lies.

I trust I have supplied in this discussion all you need in terms of style, ageworthiness and technical details. If not, please inquire further.

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
andreaserben wrote:

Thanks for being part of this community btw. hope to see you during my visit to the Bay Area June 21-July 3 sometime (will be up in the wine country likely the last 3 days or so of that visit).


Those are good dates for me. One way to hook up with me is to come to my Barbershop Chorus Spring concert on June 22nd. We are a AA Champion chorus and have an awful lot of fun. I'll bring some wines to share after both performances: http://chordsmen.groupanizer.com/

Otherwise, I'm generally available. I live in a 101-year-old church in downtown Santa Rosa, which would be a good place to get together. Email me at clark@winemaking411.com and we'll work out something.

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
rlmanzo wrote:Hello Winesmith,

Thanks for your comments. Interesting as always.

I just returned from some time in Tuscany and compared to what is in place in Italy, our AVAs are kind of a joke.(Not with regard to value, but amount of regulation)

I am struck by how dramatically differently the French and Italians regard terroir. To them it is EVERYTHING.

While I agree that "Napa Cab" or for that matter Grand Cru Burgundy is not necessarily a guarantee of quality, it is a good starting point for the average consumer. Unless I have tasted the wine, how am I to know what is in the bottle?

I believe the correct approach probably lies somewhere in the middle.

As an overtaxed American living in CT, I very much would like to buy great wine at a great price. I really, really want to believe that with proper adjustment of the all the variables that you describe, I can make a better wine than classified Bordeaux from grapes grown in Kansas, however, I remain skeptical.

I bought the Diamond Ridge petit sirah, I believe, one of the wines you are involved with. I really wanted to love it(Petit Sirah is one of my favorite varietals) but it just seemed flat with little bouquet or depth.

I am hopeful that that was just a bad bottle and I anxiously await the other 3.

Given your great comments, I will probably give this offering a try.

Here's to technology trumping geography!



Sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience with the DRV, and I am pretty sure you have a bad bottle. The mnost common comment on that wine is "Wow!" Let me know and we'll get you a replacement. Do decant and breathe the wine. It's a young beast.

The amazing thing about tasting American wines by region is how much regional character there innately is, despite the lack of regulation. Terroir really does trump technology to a very great extent.

There actually is a guy growing credible Bordeaux varieties in Kansas City, but not quite to first growth standards. I wuld point to the Montecello Meritage efforts for that, to say nothing of their Viogniers and Sangioveses, for which Thomas Jefferson recognized the potential.

In their own way, places like Iowa, Michigan, Vermont and New Mexico are now demonstrating capability to make world class wines. A healthy skepticism is indicated, but check out my reviews on appellationamerica.com under Best Of Appellation wine lists and you'll be astonished. We really are living in a Golden Age of Discovery. Woe unto the complacent!

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
loveladyelectric wrote:Clark, while you're here and answering everything, I've got a question not directly related to this wine.

I was recently at Palmaz Vineyards and took a tour of their amazing facility, and was, as an engineer, completely blown away with the design. The entire facility is built around the gravity flow, as an alternative to using pumps. The entire facility uses no pumps for the wine all the way through bottling. It was explained that the "tannin molecules" can get agitated and not bond with the proteins the way they should from the pumps, and that gravity flow solves this issue.

Is this true? Do pumps really affect the tannic structure of a wine? I know the idea of gravity flow is a very expensive alternative, and it's probably not worth it. I just want to know if it really does what it's supposed to, and also know if it's something that time in a bottle can help with.

Thanks,
Kevin



We are all still learning. Gravity flow was the was to go before electricity, and had many advantages for wine quality. Winemakers are divided on this issue, and I can only give you my observations.

When we remove VA or alcohol with reverse osmosis, the wine gets quite a bit of pumping. We nevertheless generally see striking improvement in the wines, but it's a little hard to tell if the benefit of the adjustment is simply outweighing the detriment of pumping. My instinct is that there is some truth, but that the effect is grossly overstated.

Some of the problem with pumping is the use of carbon seal centrifugal pumps, which aerate the wine. I am inclined to feel that a delicate wine like a Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc is more likely to be vulnerable in this way.

Big reds made in small batches can actually suffer from too little pumping. It is vital to dissipate the CO2 and fermentation odors from these wines, and when held in stainless or glass and never moved around, they can be quite coarse and funky. If you come across such a wine, just shake the hell out of it and you'll be amazed at the improvement in texture.

wkdpanda


quality posts: 10 Private Messages wkdpanda
winesmith wrote:
Big reds made in small batches can actually suffer from too little pumping. It is vital to dissipate the CO2 and fermentation odors from these wines, and when held in stainless or glass and never moved around, they can be quite coarse and funky. If you come across such a wine, just shake the hell out of it and you'll be amazed at the improvement in texture.



Probably completely unrelated, but I attended a Mollydooker wine tasting last year, and one of the things the host did, was take off a glass of the wine, then plug the bottle and shake. Seems recommended by the maker for bottles less then two years old, since they bottle with Nitrogen with reduced sulfites, they want a shake to release the Nitrogen and improve the flavor.

----------------
Andy the Wicked Panda

bobrush12866


quality posts: 8 Private Messages bobrush12866
manny651 wrote:What a wonderful post, from a plethora of great posts today by Mr. WineSmith! this finally did it for me as I was doing my best to not buy more wine. If your Crucible shows up, I will have to partake. Thanks for your contributions to this board. In for 1!



We want Crucible!!! WineSmith.... Give it up!!

rlmanzo


quality posts: 22 Private Messages rlmanzo
winesmith wrote:Sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience with the DRV, and I am pretty sure you have a bad bottle. The mnost common comment on that wine is "Wow!" Let me know and we'll get you a replacement. Do decant and breathe the wine. It's a young beast.

The amazing thing about tasting American wines by region is how much regional character there innately is, despite the lack of regulation. Terroir really does trump technology to a very great extent.

There actually is a guy growing credible Bordeaux varieties in Kansas City, but not quite to first growth standards. I wuld point to the Montecello Meritage efforts for that, to say nothing of their Viogniers and Sangioveses, for which Thomas Jefferson recognized the potential.

In their own way, places like Iowa, Michigan, Vermont and New Mexico are now demonstrating capability to make world class wines. A healthy skepticism is indicated, but check out my reviews on appellationamerica.com under Best Of Appellation wine lists and you'll be astonished. We really are living in a Golden Age of Discovery. Woe unto the complacent!



Thanks for the excellent, thoughtful response. This is what I love about Wine Woot.

In for 2.

BTW, I will try another Diamond Ridge this weekend and let you know!

Is it broke or just fractured?

winesmith


quality posts: 32 Private Messages winesmith
wkdpanda wrote:Probably completely unrelated, but I attended a Mollydooker wine tasting last year, and one of the things the host did, was take off a glass of the wine, then plug the bottle and shake. Seems recommended by the maker for bottles less then two years old, since they bottle with Nitrogen with reduced sulfites, they want a shake to release the Nitrogen and improve the flavor.



Yes, the Mollydooker shake is quite famous, and it works. In their case, the problem arises from screwcaps, which protect the wine from oxygen, but problematically so for big reds. Here you're not so much dissipating CO2 as aerating the wine and opening it up, plus dispelling H2S and other stinky sulfides (not related to sulfites).

bsevern


quality posts: 108 Private Messages bsevern

Tried this at the NorCal Vintage Bordeaux tasting Saturday.

When I initially tried this, I felt it was an average California red table wine, something you'd expect to find at TJ's in the $10-15 range. However, once it had time to breath, it really opened up, morphing into something much, much more enjoyable.

Lots of deep dark fruit, hints of spice, sweet tannins, juicy black cherry, blackberry, cocoa, somewhat complex, with a moderate finish.

Well worth the ~ $16/bottle IMHO