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quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

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Johan Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir (2)

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Cesare


quality posts: 1598 Private Messages Cesare

Johan Vineyards Reserve Willamette Pinot Noir Mini-Vertical 2-Pack
$59.99 $̶9̶7̶.̶0̶0̶ 38% off List Price
2009 Pinot Noir, Nils Reserve Willamette Valley
2008 Pinot Noir, Nils Reserve Willamette Valley
CT links above

Winery website

-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

rlmanzo


quality posts: 23 Private Messages rlmanzo

And the monkey returns!

Nice.....

Is it broke or just fractured?

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards

Hello Wooters,
My name is Dan Rinke. I am the Winemaker for Johan Vineyards in Rickreall, Oregon. This is my first time offering wines on Woot and I am excited to meet everyone. I have dedicated my day to get to know each of you and answer any questions you may have so please reach out to me. We farm and produce our wines using Biodynamic methods and are proud participants of the natural wine movement spreading across the world. We are known in Oregon for producing authentic, polarizing wines that are fun to debate and discuss with fellow wine aficionados. I will be logging on at 7:30AM PST and look forward to getting my wine geek on!

Cheers,
Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

eluofthenine


quality posts: 7 Private Messages eluofthenine

This looks to be some awesome stuff, in for one!

pseudogourmet98


quality posts: 17 Private Messages pseudogourmet98
johanvineyards wrote:Hello Wooters,
My name is Dan Rinke. I am the Winemaker for Johan Vineyards in Rickreall, Oregon. This is my first time offering wines on Woot and I am excited to meet everyone. I have dedicated my day to get to know each of you and answer any questions you may have so please reach out to me. We farm and produce our wines using Biodynamic methods and are proud participants of the natural wine movement spreading across the world. We are known in Oregon for producing authentic, polarizing wines that are fun to debate and discuss with fellow wine aficionados. I will be logging on at 7:30AM PST and look forward to getting my wine geek on!

Cheers,
Dan


Good Morning Dan and Welcome to wine.woot!

What do you mean when you say your wines are polarizing?

Good luck on your first offer!

jhkey


quality posts: 51 Private Messages jhkey

Hi Dan,
looks like some great juice. Do you have the tech specs (pH, TA, etc) for the 2008? I know that was a great year in Willamette, will the 2008 have more aging potential than the 09? Is it fair to assume that the 09 is a bit more forward in fruit due to the heat that year?

"I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine a day and even treble it with a friend."
- Thomas Jefferson (CT)

rlmanzo


quality posts: 23 Private Messages rlmanzo

Hi Dan,

I am excited to hear more about your wines.

You mention "high acidity" in the voicemail but the pH of 3.85 seems a bit on the high side to me.

Could you discuss?

Also, could you mention your opinion with regard to prime drinking window?

Thanks!

Is it broke or just fractured?

rpm


quality posts: 170 Private Messages rpm

I'll second the welcome to winemaker Dan Rinke. I liked his voice note and agree that the Holy Grail of Pinot is the ineffable combination of elegance and restrained long-lived power that one finds in grand cru Burgundy.

A bottle of the 2009 Johan Nils Reserve Pinot Noir turned up and, on (what for some is) the Glorious Twelfth, received my attention, and that of SWMBO and my eldest daughter (aka D1), who has been tasting wine since her pre-teens.

All of us like Pinot Noir, especially good Burgundy, and have come to appreciate Oregon Pinot Noir equally with the better California Pinot Noirs from Carneros, Sonoma Coast and Russian River AVAs. None of are fans of the overripe, high alcohol style of some California Pinot Noir of recent years.

We waited about 15-20 minutes after opening the bottle, and pouring tasting amounts into glasses, before sampling.

We tasted and made our notes separately, without talking to each other. Then we discussed our impressions and the wine over dinner.

Color

The color was crystal clear with little in the way of 'legs' - the first impression was that the body would be on the lighter side. D1 made no notes on the color; SWMBO thought it was slight 'yellow' around the edges, which I would have described more as 'brick'.

Nose

rpm: not strongly aromatic, perhaps faint cherries, with a slightly floral note (violets?), almost a little alcohol (surprising given the 12.7%) and something earthy, almost tarry (or was it tarweed?) in the back of the nose. Pleasant oveall.

SWMBO: simple, but classic Pinot nose. nice nose, but closed.

D1: small nose. perhaps currents with an undertone of caramel(?)

Entry

rpm: modest, Pinot flavors - earthy, rather than fruity. light body.

SWMBO: closed. Pinot.

D1: smooth entry

Middle Palate

rpm: good firm middle for a light bodied wine. Cherry flavors towards the back of the mouth.

SWMBO: no specific note

D1: green pepper in the middle palate

Finish

rpm: mid-length, a nice mix of acid and tannin.

SWMBO: short finish

D1: cherry finish, but tannic.

[NB. In discussing, we thought this was the same thing I described as the back end of the middle palate.]

Overall Impressions

rpm: Definitely a food wine; it worked pretty well with the steak dinner we paired it with. It did not open up nearly as much as we would have liked/hoped. Nor did it show the complexity we look for in high end Pinot - which might be a result of the wine needing age or might not.

SWMBO: simple [NB: we have been drinking the 2009 Winter Hill, another Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with pleasure over the past several months. We happened to have half a bottle open from Thursday evening. SWMBO got a glass of it halfway through dinner and passed it around. The bright fruit Pinot aromas were much more pronounced. SWMBO strongly preferred the Winter Hill to the Johan.]

D1: wish there were more of a nose. Definitely needs food. slightly sour taste. lingering finish on the tongue is nice.

Consensus: Often one thinks of a wine as more than the sum of its parts; this one was in a way less. It didn't really 'gel' or 'knit' for us, though individual parts were nice. It didn't open significantly during the evening, or even the next day (there was a glass left). It seemed to us the rough equivalent of a simple Burgundy, the sort available from large negociant houses like Louis Latour. Now, to get Burgundian from Oregon (or California) is a complement. Perhaps we're hyper-critical (who me?), but we wanted more from this wine than we got. I probably liked it best of the three of us.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

rpm


quality posts: 170 Private Messages rpm
jhkey wrote:Hi Dan,
looks like some great juice. Do you have the tech specs (pH, TA, etc) for the 2008? I know that was a great year in Willamette, will the 2008 have more aging potential than the 09? Is it fair to assume that the 09 is a bit more forward in fruit due to the heat that year?



The 2009 is definitely not fruit forward.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

abyra


quality posts: 1 Private Messages abyra
rpm wrote:I'll second the welcome to winemaker Dan Rinke. I liked his voice note and agree that the Holy Grail of Pinot is the ineffable combination of elegance and restrained long-lived power that one finds in grand cru Burgundy.

A bottle of the 2009 Johan Nils Reserve Pinot Noir turned up and, on (what for some is) the Glorious Twelfth, received my attention, and that of SWMBO and my eldest daughter (aka D1), who has been tasting wine since her pre-teens.

All of us like Pinot Noir, especially good Burgundy, and have come to appreciate Oregon Pinot Noir equally with the better California Pinot Noirs from Carneros, Sonoma Coast and Russian River AVAs. None of are fans of the overripe, high alcohol style of some California Pinot Noir of recent years.

We waited about 15-20 minutes after opening the bottle, and pouring tasting amounts into glasses, before sampling.

We tasted and made our notes separately, without talking to each other. Then we discussed our impressions and the wine over dinner.

Color

The color was crystal clear with little in the way of 'legs' - the first impression was that the body would be on the lighter side. D1 made no notes on the color; SWMBO thought it was slight 'yellow' around the edges, which I would have described more as 'brick'.

Nose

rpm: not strongly aromatic, perhaps faint cherries, with a slightly floral note (violets?), almost a little alcohol (surprising given the 12.7%) and something earthy, almost tarry (or was it tarweed?) in the back of the nose. Pleasant oveall.

SWMBO: simple, but classic Pinot nose. nice nose, but closed.

D1: small nose. perhaps currents with an undertone of caramel(?)

Entry

rpm: modest, Pinot flavors - earthy, rather than fruity. light body.

SWMBO: closed. Pinot.

D1: smooth entry

Middle Palate

rpm: good firm middle for a light bodied wine. Cherry flavors towards the back of the mouth.

SWMBO: no specific note

D1: green pepper in the middle palate

Finish

rpm: mid-length, a nice mix of acid and tannin.

SWMBO: short finish

D1: cherry finish, but tannic.

[NB. In discussing, we thought this was the same thing I described as the back end of the middle palate.]

Overall Impressions

rpm: Definitely a food wine; it worked pretty well with the steak dinner we paired it with. It did not open up nearly as much as we would have liked/hoped. Nor did it show the complexity we look for in high end Pinot - which might be a result of the wine needing age or might not.

SWMBO: simple [NB: we have been drinking the 2009 Winter Hill, another Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with pleasure over the past several months. We happened to have half a bottle open from Thursday evening. SWMBO got a glass of it halfway through dinner and passed it around. The bright fruit Pinot aromas were much more pronounced. SWMBO strongly preferred the Winter Hill to the Johan.]

D1: wish there were more of a nose. Definitely needs food. slightly sour taste. lingering finish on the tongue is nice.

Consensus: Often one thinks of a wine as more than the sum of its parts; this one was in a way less. It didn't really 'gel' or 'knit' for us, though individual parts were nice. It didn't open significantly during the evening, or even the next day (there was a glass left). It seemed to us the rough equivalent of a simple Burgundy, the sort available from large negociant houses like Louis Latour. Now, to get Burgundian from Oregon (or California) is a complement. Perhaps we're hyper-critical (who me?), but we wanted more from this wine than we got. I probably liked it best of the three of us.



Nice review RPM, I spent a little time in Oregon and really began to appreciate a good Pinot. I'm curious how Dan will respond. Oh, and welcome Dan!

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
pseudogourmet98 wrote:Good Morning Dan and Welcome to wine.woot!

What do you mean when you say your wines are polarizing?

Good luck on your first offer!



Thank you for the welcome. To me polarizing means that the wines are out of the normal realm for what is generally produced by our neighbors in the Willamette Valley. For some folks the wines are a refreshing departure from what they expect from our region and for some they are too far off the mark of what to expect.

I hope that answers the question.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben

Work in progress:
On a recent visit to California I grabbed a bottle of the 2008 from a friend who had too much of it and initially was going to enjoy this with a few Pinot lover friends - alas, that gathering fell through.

Since I am at home today and do not need to operate a car or any type of machinery, the cork of the bottle did not survive this call to action.

It was a bit too chilled and thus mute on the nose, however, some earthyness, cracked pepper and some vegetal notes came through nevertheless.

Pouring, when chilled, I perceived vegetal notes like beets, not much fruityness. It seemed very restrained and not full bodied.

After letting it warm up a bit, the overall 'restrainedness' prevailed. The earthiness is less in my face now. Some muted cherries, maybe a hint of strawberry - but still not fruit forward. Not tarty. I can still perceive some vegetal/beet notes, but more subtle. Maybe some floral/lavender notes (nose and palate) where it was more 'beets' before.

I read RPM's notes before writing this, so I also tend to think that the wine would benefit from a bit more aging.
It seems integrated, but possibly would could take a few more years.

I did not think it tasted very tannic, so, take your pick.

The finish was medium/short. Maybe a bit lingering vanilla?


Will edit as it opens up - after 30 minutes subtle fruit notes come out a bit and improve mostly the finish.


Most importantly - do I like it?
I like the fact that it is restrained and a bit different to many other Pinots I had. I did not enjoy it with food and but believe it would have benefitted to be enjoyed with food.

So, overall, I like and appreciate it. Elegant and balanced describes it well.

Note that these days I am more a 'meaty Syrah' or 'big cab' guy and enjoy meaty, smoky, funky flavors.
Would recommend it to Pinot lovers though.

EDIT:
... wine changed character over time, several hours later, it is definitely more fruity (though not fruit forward), and some minerality, finish is longer now. Lost some of its earthyness, gained a slight hint of shale(?) but now it feels a bit richer in terms of mouthfeel (which I did not mention before) - a bit velvety (together with the minerality it is pleasing).

Edit2:
Several hours later, it is warm today... about 80F, left the wine in the glass. It developed quite some tart over time.



So, if you are looking for this type of complexity where the wine changes quite a bit while opening up, this is interesting.

tytiger58


quality posts: 74 Private Messages tytiger58

I was fortunate to find a bottle of the 09 Nils Reserve in the back of my cellar the other day so here are my notes. I would have posted last night but lost internet connection.

I have had many IMHO fantastic bottles of Johan Pinots years ago so maybe i'm a bit of a homer.

My experience with Johan wines is to give them plenty of air. I slow o'd this bottle for 6+ hours before trying and the nose was still pretty tight, on the palate it was quite open with rich cherries, plums earth a bit of rhubarb maybe pomegranate baking spices and herbs. My wife and I thought it had a good tannic grip and the acid seemed to be on point or the spiciness made the acid stand out. It is has a medium body and a shortish finish. Definitely a food wine that was paired with grilled salmon and peppered potato's the salmon really brought out some sweetness. Can't wait to try the 08, overall we liked the wine a lot and the bottle disappeared quickly over the 2 hr dinner very elegant

Edit: The wine seemed fairly dark in the glass but when held up to the light it was light brickish in color??

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

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




johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
jhkey wrote:Hi Dan,
looks like some great juice. Do you have the tech specs (pH, TA, etc) for the 2008? I know that was a great year in Willamette, will the 2008 have more aging potential than the 09? Is it fair to assume that the 09 is a bit more forward in fruit due to the heat that year?



For the 2008 Nils

pH 3.72
TA 6.2
Alc 13.1%
Brix at harvest 23

Clone 667 40%, Clone 115 15%, Clone 777 35%. Clone 114 10%

50% whole-cluster fermentation in 1 ton lots, punch down by feet, maceration on skins for 19 days, pressed direct to barrel with no settling.

The wine was aged for 18 months in 30% new French oak and 70% used French oak. It was never racked out of barrel until bottling unfined and unfiltered.

In my experience the 2008 vintage produced much more age worthy wines for the Willamette Valley over the 2009 vintage. I would say that this is the reality for our own wines as well and expect the 2008 to outlast the 2009. Both wines have a longevity of at least another 5 years in my opinion with the 2008 potentially lasting for another 10-12.

Generally speaking our wines are not fruit forward in any vintage. The 2009 has softer tannins and lower acidity compared to the 2008 so the texture is more agreeable at the moment. I would not say that it has greater fruit expression than the 2008 so there is a trade off between the two. Both wines need a decant before drinking to bring out their full expression.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
rlmanzo wrote:Hi Dan,

I am excited to hear more about your wines.

You mention "high acidity" in the voicemail but the pH of 3.85 seems a bit on the high side to me.

Could you discuss?

Also, could you mention your opinion with regard to prime drinking window?

Thanks!



Thank you for this great question. The relationship of pH and acidity is complex in wine.

In general, pH and acidity are correlated but they have a good amount of room to fluctuate independently of one another. It is possible to have both high acidity and high pH if you have elevated levels of potassium in the wine. The use of whole-cluster fermentation increases the concentration of certain salts, like potassium, which will raise the pH of the wine yet alter the acidity of the wine very little. The Johan Vineyard is a cold site and the acid retention in the grapes at harvest is high so we manage to retain a fresh acidity in the wine despite the use of whole-cluster.

I hope that makes sense.

The drinking window for the 2009 Nils would be between 2016-2020.

The drinking window for the 2008 Nils would be between 2020-2025.

This is my best guess at the moment for an ideal drinking window. I wish I had a 30 year history of making wine from Johan so that I could be more experienced with the evolution of the wines. Our very first vintage of 2006 is still a baby at the moment as are our 2007 wines. We tried a 2008 Nils two weeks ago to assess the wine and I found it drank best after being open for 4 days.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

klezman


quality posts: 122 Private Messages klezman

Very interesting offer, with excellent tasting notes from people whose palates I trust. So far I'm not convinced on value if I have to age this for 5+ years before it's really hitting its stride. If there was some library wine hanging around I'd be very curious to try it to figure out whether this will evolve toward my tastes over time.

2014: 28 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Red Re-Mix
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

bsevern


quality posts: 109 Private Messages bsevern

I too was fortunate to have a bottle of 2009 Johan Vineyards Pinot Noir Nils Reserve land in my cellar.

I decanted this for two hours, but had a small sample before enjoying it with some Hawaiian pulled pork.

The color was interesting, as others noted it did seem dark in the glass, but oddly brickish with light.

The initial sample pour was pretty restrained on the nose, but when I got back to it to enjoy with dinner it had opened up a bit showing hints of baking spice, black cherries, and a bit of earth.

On the pallet the baking spice and earthiness carried through, along with the black cherries, and a hint of a green note I can't quite put my finger on. It wasn't unpleasant, just interesting, and bugged me as I couldn't place it. It had a velvety mouth feel, and I'd say it's a medium bodied Pinot.
The Finish was nice, medium length with hints of oak.

Overall I really enjoyed this wine, it went well with my Hawaiian pork
It seemed well balanced, but I feel it could benefit with a few more years in the cellar, and given it's stats, it looks like it has the potential to cellar for quite a few years IMHO.

eluofthenine


quality posts: 7 Private Messages eluofthenine

I'm feeling like the ct notes are very complimentary, while the squirrel notes are pointing to a less complex beast. Maybe it's going through a so called "dumb phase"?

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
klezman wrote:Very interesting offer, with excellent tasting notes from people whose palates I trust. So far I'm not convinced on value if I have to age this for 5+ years before it's really hitting its stride. If there was some library wine hanging around I'd be very curious to try it to figure out whether this will evolve toward my tastes over time.



I am glad you brought up the topic of aging the wine and comparing its value. I'm not sure I understand the conflict there. Can you please describe to me why it is that a wine could be less valuable if it needs further aging to show its best? Would the wine offer greater value at $30 if it was ready to drink now? I just want to make sure I understand what you mean.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

rpm


quality posts: 170 Private Messages rpm
johanvineyards wrote:Thank you for this great question. The relationship of pH and acidity is complex in wine.

In general, pH and acidity are correlated but they have a good amount of room to fluctuate independently of one another. It is possible to have both high acidity and high pH if you have elevated levels of potassium in the wine. The use of whole-cluster fermentation increases the concentration of certain salts, like potassium, which will raise the pH of the wine yet alter the acidity of the wine very little. The Johan Vineyard is a cold site and the acid retention in the grapes at harvest is high so we manage to retain a fresh acidity in the wine despite the use of whole-cluster.

I hope that makes sense.

The drinking window for the 2009 Nils would be between 2016-2020.

The drinking window for the 2008 Nils would be between 2020-2025.

This is my best guess at the moment for an ideal drinking window. I wish I had a 30 year history of making wine from Johan so that I could be more experienced with the evolution of the wines. Our very first vintage of 2006 is still a baby at the moment as are our 2007 wines. We tried a 2008 Nils two weeks ago to assess the wine and I found it drank best after being open for 4 days.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Dan



Interesting. I'd be curious to know what kind of experience with age-worthy Pinot you base the 'optimum' drinking windows on. Are there particular Burgundian, California or Oregon Pinots you have tasted through their life cycles over a dozen years or more? Which are made in a style similar to these wines? You mentioned that your wines are 'polarizing' in the sense of different from other Willamette Pinots, so my curiosity is piqued. Very little California Pinot is suffered to age - both in the sense that most of it is not really rigged to age and that very few people have the patience to cellar California Pinot for a decade or two.

I ask at least in part because I didn't quite know what to make of the 2009, sensing it was very closed and tight. I can't recall a single California Pinot over the past 50 years that had a similar profile at four. Most of the great Burgundies I've had over the same period have been older wines - I didn't get to taste them in their youth - and the younger ones have tended to show more complexity early. The only thing that comes to mind is the way in which traditionally-made Bordeaux (with a Cab/Cab Franc heavy blend), say in the late '50s or the '60s, used to be completely closed and tight until they opened up around 10-12 years old.

I find the notion of opening a wine four days ahead of drinking odd.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

rpm


quality posts: 170 Private Messages rpm
eluofthenine wrote:I'm feeling like the ct notes are very complimentary, while the squirrel notes are pointing to a less complex beast. Maybe it's going through a so called "dumb phase"?



The "dumb" phase is much more typical of Cabernet Sauvignon and wines in which it is a large component, and characteristically (if not exclusively) a California phenomenon.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
rpm wrote:The "dumb" phase is much more typical of Cabernet Sauvignon and wines in which it is a large component, and characteristically (if not exclusively) a California phenomenon.



In my experience, "Dumb Phase" has more to do with the winemaking application than the grape varietal. Grapes such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon have a greater tendency to become "dumb" because they are so concentrated in phenolics. This can be reversed in the winemaking process by excessively aerating the wines during its aging in the cellar. Hence the great debate over micro-oxygenation and the role of Michel Rolland in the modernization of Bordeaux.

What I am trying to describe is the ability for a wine to withstand exposure to oxygen. Pinot Noir is lower in phenolics so it should theoretically be more delicate to oxygen. If you starve the wine of oxygen during its life (the reason why gravity flow is so important and why most Pinot Noir winemakers never rack their barrels until bottling and age on full solids) you can create conditions so anaerobic that even Pinot Noir can go through a "dumb phase". Using whole-cluster fermentations, and aging in larger format barrels, which we do, are additional methods to increase a wines phenolic content and decrease oxygen exposure thus increasing its likely hood to be resilient to oxygen and possible go through a "dumb phase".

This wine stuff is infinitely complicated.

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben
johanvineyards wrote:
In general, pH and acidity are correlated but they have a good amount of room to fluctuate independently of one another. It is possible to have both high acidity and high pH if you have elevated levels of potassium in the wine.


In chemistry, pH is the measure of acidity in water based liquids - pretty well defined with not much up to interpretation or debate.
Can you define "acidity" how you understand it in this context then precisely please (an accurate definition that can be measured please )? And what is behind this acidity you mean then?
(acidity, not what I would perhaps call "tartness" as in perception)

Just to clarify: I am looking for something science-y, nothing esoteric.

EDIT:
My best guess at this moment is that he means "titratable acidity" vs pH measured acidity.

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
johanvineyards wrote:I am glad you brought up the topic of aging the wine and comparing its value. I'm not sure I understand the conflict there. Can you please describe to me why it is that a wine could be less valuable if it needs further aging to show its best? Would the wine offer greater value at $30 if it was ready to drink now? I just want to make sure I understand what you mean.

Thanks,

Dan



I think the point he was getting at was that if these are meant to age, and he does not have the ability to taste an aged one prior to purchasing this one, at this price point it is not worth it for him, considering he has to age it just to find out if it will eventually conform to his tastes.

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

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
rpm wrote:Interesting. I'd be curious to know what kind of experience with age-worthy Pinot you base the 'optimum' drinking windows on. Are there particular Burgundian, California or Oregon Pinots you have tasted through their life cycles over a dozen years or more? Which are made in a style similar to these wines? You mentioned that your wines are 'polarizing' in the sense of different from other Willamette Pinots, so my curiosity is piqued. Very little California Pinot is suffered to age - both in the sense that most of it is not really rigged to age and that very few people have the patience to cellar California Pinot for a decade or two.

I ask at least in part because I didn't quite know what to make of the 2009, sensing it was very closed and tight. I can't recall a single California Pinot over the past 50 years that had a similar profile at four. Most of the great Burgundies I've had over the same period have been older wines - I didn't get to taste them in their youth - and the younger ones have tended to show more complexity early. The only thing that comes to mind is the way in which traditionally-made Bordeaux (with a Cab/Cab Franc heavy blend), say in the late '50s or the '60s, used to be completely closed and tight until they opened up around 10-12 years old.

I find the notion of opening a wine four days ahead of drinking odd.



Cristom winery in the Eola Hills has the longest history of producing whole-cluster wines in Oregon. Their reserve level wines are some of the longest lived in Oregon. Their wines can have some wild swings in their expression as they age which I suppose can frustrate some folks and excite others. When they are expressive they are awfully hard to beat for price/quality. I find that they generally need 10 years in a good vintage to offer their worth.

I do not have much experience drinking Burgundy. Unfortunately they are too steep in price for me to enjoy with frequency. I have heard from my more experienced colleagues that producers who use whole-cluster fermentations tend to require more time to in the cellar before drinking. I am not sure why that is but it seems to be a consistent theme with this type of fermentation in other varietals and regions as well.

Bordeaux is an interesting region to consider here. People were picking fruit much less ripe, at higher yields per vine, and working the wine less hard back then. It is not an area of specialty for me but I would say that the more current vintage wines drink sooner than older vintages for the reason that traditional winemaking in the region evolved to accommodate the American Palate or should I say the critics palate?

As for the 4 day pre-opening of the 2008 Nils, I meant to say that on day 1 with some air it drank well and was expressive of fruit. On day two the palate was smooth yet dense and developed deeper earthy flavors. By day 3 it was reminiscent of a ripe style of Nebbiolo and on day 4 it just had the most length on the palate and seemed to give 110%. A rigorous decanting on day one of opening, say 3 decants back and forth, might do 4 days work in an hour?

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

chipgreen


quality posts: 186 Private Messages chipgreen

Dan,
Thank you for your participation today! This is what us "wooters" love most about wine.woot and it's always a great pleasure to have a winemaker such as yourself, who takes the time to provide detailed responses and doesn't get defensive when we pepper him or her with geeky questions and concerns about the wine.

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben
johanvineyards wrote:Can you please describe to me why it is that a wine could be less valuable if it needs further aging to show its best? Would the wine offer greater value at $30 if it was ready to drink now?


Ceteris paribus - other parameters assumed to be the same

If I buy two wines and one shows its best and the other one does not but they both are equally yummy just now, then the wine with further potential is of course more valuable to me.
If I buy a wine now that needs several years to get where another wine is now at the same price, then I would argue to buy the wine that is 'best' now already.
If for some reason I assume that in a few years I cannot get the same quality I get now a the same price, then I would argue to buy a wine that will age a few years to then be optimal.
Many variables.
The best point in time to buy a wine for most is possibly right at the beginning of the drinking window - can age quite some years but is ideal now.

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
andreaserben wrote:In chemistry, pH is the measure of acidity in water based liquids - pretty well defined with not much up to interpretation or debate.
Can you define "acidity" how you understand it in this context then precisely please (an accurate definition that can be measured please )? And what is behind this acidity you mean then?
(acidity, not what I would perhaps call "tartness" as in perception)

Just to clarify: I am looking for something science-y, nothing esoteric.

EDIT:
My best guess at this moment is that he means "titratable acidity" vs pH measured acidity.



Thank you for responding. I will do my best. Please keep the dialogue open with me if I fail to make sense or need to further discuss this in any way. My chemistry is rusty but I believe the answer goes something like this.

Another way to define pH is "the concentration of Hydrogen Ions in a solution". The definition you are referring to is defining a solution as being either acidic (meaning containing enough free dissociated hydrogen ions in the solution to make the solution less than pH7) or as being basic (meaning the solution does not contain enough hydrogen ions to make the solution below pH7). It does not refer to actual acid concentration only the amount of hydrogen free to react in a solution which can vary for many reasons.

Titratable Acidity or TA as we call it, refers to the concentration of all acids in a solution regardless of pH, in this case it is wine. We measure the concentration of these acids by tirtating with NaOH to an end point of pH 8.2 to calculate the concentration. NaOH is a strong base and will over power any other molecules in a wine sample thus striping away any hydrogen available in the wine. This is how we measure an exact amount of acid in wine. Some people use to refer to "TA" is "total acidity" but that was eventually corrected when we discovered that not all hydrogen could be extracted by NaOH from certain acids that simply eat them all to give it up. These acids are in such small concentrations in wine that they have almost no effect on a wines pH or concentration of acidity so we pay very little attention to them.

Generally speaking the greater the concentration of acid in a solution the lower the pH will be as the acids contribute Hydrogen ions. Different acids contribute more or less hydrogen based on their molecular structure. Tartaric acid contributes the greatest amount of hydrogen compared to any other acid found in wine.

In very complex solutions we must take into account what is called "buffering effect" which is defined as the ability of a solution to resist changes in pH. If a solution gains concentration of basic compounds the pH will slowly increase until it reaches a tipping point at which the pH can sky rocket. Until that tipping point the solution is essentially "buffering itself" to resist this change. There are two major pH shifts that can occur in wine that I must be careful of. At pH 3.65 wine reaches its tipping point and that is when the pH can go up quickly. If a wine is low in pH, say 3.3pH and it is cold stabilized (meaining i chill the wine to remove excess tartaric acid) the pH goes down further to say 3.1 for example. So why is that happening? Why is the pH going down if I removed acid? Isnt it supposed to be the other way around?

Now if I use whole-cluster fermentation for my wine I will increase the concentration of certain salts in my wine that will react with free hydrogen and increase my pH but not necessarily remove acid from the wine thus leaving the TA intact. This is why our Pinot Noir can have higher acidity in terms of taste yet still have an elevated pH value.

Anyway I only pretend to know what I am talking about.

Whew! I hope this helps in some way.

This wine stuff is infinitely complicated.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
North316 wrote:I think the point he was getting at was that if these are meant to age, and he does not have the ability to taste an aged one prior to purchasing this one, at this price point it is not worth it for him, considering he has to age it just to find out if it will eventually conform to his tastes.



That makes total sense. Thank you. I knew I was not understanding so I am glad I asked. That is a tough one to answer. I wish I had 30+ years under my belt at Johan so that I could have enough vintages to know the answer to his question. Our oldest wine is only 2006 which is still young. I am learning as I go along. I hope the wines will be rewarding to cellar.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
chipgreen wrote:Dan,
Thank you for your participation today! This is what us "wooters" love most about wine.woot and it's always a great pleasure to have a winemaker such as yourself, who takes the time to provide detailed responses and doesn't get defensive when we pepper him or her with geeky questions and concerns about the wine.



This is awesome! You are all asking great questions and I am happy to offer what I can in return. I hope to keep the dialogue going.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
andreaserben wrote:Ceteris paribus - other parameters assumed to be the same

If I buy two wines and one shows its best and the other one does not but they both are equally yummy just now, then the wine with further potential is of course more valuable to me.
If I buy a wine now that needs several years to get where another wine is now at the same price, then I would argue to buy the wine that is 'best' now already.
If for some reason I assume that in a few years I cannot get the same quality I get now a the same price, then I would argue to buy a wine that will age a few years to then be optimal.
Many variables.
The best point in time to buy a wine for most is possibly right at the beginning of the drinking window - can age quite some years but is ideal now.



Yes that makes perfect sense. I knew there was more there so I am glad I asked. Understanding what each individual person is looking for is super important in matching a wine to the persons liking. Before my career as a winemaker I worked as a wine buyer for some retail companies and worked very hard to listen to my customers and guide them the best I could. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

rjquillin


quality posts: 171 Private Messages rjquillin
johanvineyards wrote:If a wine is low in pH, say 3.3pH and it is cold stabilized (meaining i chill the wine to remove excess tartaric acid) the pH goes down further to say 3.1 for example. So why is that happening? Why is the pH going down if I removed acid? Isnt it supposed to be the other way around?

This is curious, and as you have stated, seems counter-intuitive. Do you have any suggestions why you observe this?

Now if I use whole-cluster fermentation for my wine I will increase the concentration of certain salts in my wine that will react with free hydrogen and increase my pH but not necessarily remove acid from the wine thus leaving the TA intact. This is why our Pinot Noir can have higher acidity in terms of taste yet still have an elevated pH value.

Anyway I only pretend to know what I am talking about.

Whew! I hope this helps in some way.

This wine stuff is infinitely complicated.

Thanks,

Dan

Thanks. A wonderfully geeky answer I thoroughly enjoyed.

Heading in the other direction, in your voice mail, you speak to bio-dynamics. This has been a topic for lively discussions in the past. Can you expand a bit on the how and why?

CT

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316

Ron just beat me to the punch a bit, but now that the day is half over, we can get into the nitty gritty.

As many here know, I (and Kyle, who I am sure has purposefully silent here) are not believers of the methods of Biodynamics as a general practice, or as a marketing tool. We do, however, believe that it often results in improved attention to vineyards, which clearly can improve the quality of the wine.

With that in mind, I repeat Ron's question on why you choose BioDynamic farming techniques and what you feel it adds to the process, grapes, wine, etc. How much do you market these practices when discussing your wines? Do you feel that anything gained in the vineyard, grapes, wine, etc are actually a result of the BioDynamic Techniques (burying skulls and crystals in the ground, etc) or are they simply a result of increased attention to the vineyard?

Thanks

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

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
rjquillin wrote:Thanks. A wonderfully geeky answer I thoroughly enjoyed.

Heading in the other direction, in your voice mail, you speak to bio-dynamics. This has been a topic for lively discussions in the past. Can you expand a bit on the how and why?



I believe the downward pH shift that occurs with cold stabilization is caused by the concurrent removal of potassium with the tartaric acid as potassium bitartrate crystals. The removal of the Potassium has a larger effect on the buffering capacity of the wine than does the tartaric acid on its effect toward hydrogen concentration.

We chose to farm biodynamic because we were noticing a consistent trend in which we enjoyed wines produced in other parts of the world by wineries practicing biodynamics. Many corks later we noticed that many of our favorite wines were made this way so we decided to give it a try. Nothing seemed to be potentially harmful to the vines so we reasoned that worst case scenario nothing would be gained and we could switch back to organic if we needed to.

We are now in our 7th year farming Biodynamic and are happy with what we are seeing in terms of vineyard health and character of the wines. But then again our vineyard is getting older and we are executing our work with greater precision as we become better stewards each year. It is hard to say how effective the biodynamic preparations are with all the other variables complicating things. At this point I would encourage others to try it and make their own observations as to its effectiveness.

I am happy to answer any questions that I can regarding this topic.

Thanks,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

klezman


quality posts: 122 Private Messages klezman
johanvineyards wrote:I am glad you brought up the topic of aging the wine and comparing its value. I'm not sure I understand the conflict there. Can you please describe to me why it is that a wine could be less valuable if it needs further aging to show its best? Would the wine offer greater value at $30 if it was ready to drink now? I just want to make sure I understand what you mean.

Thanks,

Dan



Hey Dan, sorry for not making it more clear. For me, I have a full slate of storage and am trying to keep the wine buying to a minimum. If the buy-in was smaller I'd be more tempted to take a flyer on this set with the knowledge that I wouldn't open a bottle until 2015-6. Problem for me is that I try to do that only for wines I already know and appreciate how they will evolve. If this was a ready to drink example at this price then I'd be more tempted as well. So basically it's just that my particular situation makes me think long and hard at buying in at what will turn out to be about $37/bottle with then having to age it. Or I'd have to pay even more to get 2 sets so I could try one now to judge how I would approach it longer term.

So the ideal offering for me, in my specific situation at this moment, would be for these to be in the 2003-5 range so that I could learn about how they evolve with respect to how I prefer my Pinot.

I certainly am not saying this is a poor value or that it's less valuable than a 2008/9 that's ready to drink now. In fact, a Pinot that age could go either way for me if it was ready to drink - I'm one that loves the complexity wine develops with age. So rpm's comments about his overall impression carry significant weight with me as I know his experience and palate quite well. I hope that helps clarify.

2014: 28 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Red Re-Mix
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
North316 wrote:Ron just beat me to the punch a bit, but now that the day is half over, we can get into the nitty gritty.

As many here know, I (and Kyle, who I am sure has purposefully silent here) are not believers of the methods of Biodynamics as a general practice, or as a marketing tool. We do, however, believe that it often results in improved attention to vineyards, which clearly can improve the quality of the wine.

With that in mind, I repeat Ron's question on why you choose BioDynamic farming techniques and what you feel it adds to the process, grapes, wine, etc. How much do you market these practices when discussing your wines? Do you feel that anything gained in the vineyard, grapes, wine, etc are actually a result of the BioDynamic Techniques (burying skulls and crystals in the ground, etc) or are they simply a result of increased attention to the vineyard?

Thanks



I am not entirely convinced that biodynamic practices work either so I am giving it a shot. I have to work much harder as a result so there is little to motivate me unless I see some improvement in the final wines. I am also opposed to using it as a marketing tool and try not to emphasize it too much. I feel like I remember there were many skeptics towards Organic packaged food when that became all the rage in the USA 15 years ago. I felt like maybe producers were doing the minimum to certify their food as organic and up charging their produce to get more money. But then I thought about those people who want to eat organic food only and asked myself how they would be able to tell whether or not their food is organic if it is not labeled. This is not a justification for labeling my wines as Biodynamic, it is merely a question of how to let people know without promoting it too loudly.

Although there is much left to the imagination there is some common sense in its applications. I am glad you mentioned the skull and the crystals. Both sound very good examples of how simple it is to understand and how grossly media has romanticized biodynamics.

Lets look at the Skull. So I assume you are talking about the cow horn. The cow horn has two major applications. In both cases it is used as a "house" if you will for micro-organisms. In one application we stuff the horn with fresh cow manure and bury the horn in the ground over the fall and winter. As it sits in the ground microbes will enter the horn and colonize feeding on the manure over the winter. They build up a massive population density thanks to the cow horn creating a "house" or hospitable environment to live in and multiply. We dig this horn up in the spring and apply the manure to our compost pile to inoculate it with microbes. These microbes then break down all of the pommace and waste from the farm that has over wintered to ferment during the spring and summer thanks to our happy microbes from the horn.

The Crystals. Lets look at the next application of the horn. I assume you are referring to the silica? We bury silica in another horn that goes through the same process but has a different application. This silica is applied to the vines in a spray which sticks the silica to the leaves. The idea here is that the silica attracts sun light and should increase the rate of photosynthesis of the vines. I am not sure if this actually works yet but I do it anyway because my vineyard is so darn cold and I need every advantage I can get.

Another application is the Horsetail tea. Horsetail is rich in potassium silicate and is a strong natural anti-fungal anti-bacterial substance. Farmeers have been using it for years buy buying it in a bag from a chemical company. We harvest wild horsetail from our area and cook it down like a tea to extract the potassium silicate. We then ferment the tea from the sugars in the horsetail to develop alcohol and build up a strong yeast population. This is then applied to the vines as a spray as a natural chemical and biological defense against invasive fungal and bacterial predators. This I have found to be incredibly effective so far.

These are just a few examples of what is involved in the farming. We also follow general organic practices. I do agree with your statement about greater attention in the vineyard and that is a valid argument that I agree with I'm just not convinced that the increase in quality I see is entirely due to that.

Thanks,

San

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

bsevern


quality posts: 109 Private Messages bsevern
rpm wrote:The "dumb" phase is much more typical of Cabernet Sauvignon and wines in which it is a large component, and characteristically (if not exclusively) a California phenomenon.



This is a curious statement in regards to being a California phenomenon. Why would that be the case?

johanvineyards


quality posts: 5 Private Messages johanvineyards
klezman wrote:Hey Dan, sorry for not making it more clear. For me, I have a full slate of storage and am trying to keep the wine buying to a minimum. If the buy-in was smaller I'd be more tempted to take a flyer on this set with the knowledge that I wouldn't open a bottle until 2015-6. Problem for me is that I try to do that only for wines I already know and appreciate how they will evolve. If this was a ready to drink example at this price then I'd be more tempted as well. So basically it's just that my particular situation makes me think long and hard at buying in at what will turn out to be about $37/bottle with then having to age it. Or I'd have to pay even more to get 2 sets so I could try one now to judge how I would approach it longer term.

So the ideal offering for me, in my specific situation at this moment, would be for these to be in the 2003-5 range so that I could learn about how they evolve with respect to how I prefer my Pinot.

I certainly am not saying this is a poor value or that it's less valuable than a 2008/9 that's ready to drink now. In fact, a Pinot that age could go either way for me if it was ready to drink - I'm one that loves the complexity wine develops with age. So rpm's comments about his overall impression carry significant weight with me as I know his experience and palate quite well. I hope that helps clarify.



I completely understand. Thank you for your time and consideration. Maybe someday I will have something older to offer on woot. In the meantime keep drinking.

Cheers,

Dan

Daniel J. Rinke
Winemaker
Johan Vineyards

klezman


quality posts: 122 Private Messages klezman
johanvineyards wrote:I believe the downward pH shift that occurs with cold stabilization is caused by the concurrent removal of potassium with the tartaric acid as potassium bitartrate crystals. The removal of the Potassium has a larger effect on the buffering capacity of the wine than does the tartaric acid on its effect toward hydrogen concentration.

We chose to farm biodynamic because we were noticing a consistent trend in which we enjoyed wines produced in other parts of the world by wineries practicing biodynamics. Many corks later we noticed that many of our favorite wines were made this way so we decided to give it a try. Nothing seemed to be potentially harmful to the vines so we reasoned that worst case scenario nothing would be gained and we could switch back to organic if we needed to.

We are now in our 7th year farming Biodynamic and are happy with what we are seeing in terms of vineyard health and character of the wines. But then again our vineyard is getting older and we are executing our work with greater precision as we become better stewards each year. It is hard to say how effective the biodynamic preparations are with all the other variables complicating things. At this point I would encourage others to try it and make their own observations as to its effectiveness.

I am happy to answer any questions that I can regarding this topic.

Thanks,

Dan



I think you've gained some fans with that response. Even Kyle might agree with you on this one

Also, the pH vs TA explanation was excellent. Basically pH = -log(H+) while TA takes into account all the acid species and their individual pKa values for each proton (of multi-protic acids). How they affect wine perception is also an interesting topic, and I've heard opinions on both sides that pH and TA are the primary source of what we call "acidity" in wine perception.

2014: 28 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Red Re-Mix
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT