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Samswing
Jan 8, 2009



idiotsavant posted:

Pm sent
I have NY/NJ distribution, so hopefully I'lose be sending some over in the spring! In the meantime La Clarine Farm does a rad Foothills Albariño and Ian Brand does a delicious Central Coast version with his La Marea label.

NJ resident here. Would love to track some down when you send to the east coast.

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Ola
Jul 19, 2004



I love Rhône, but when shopping on a budget I am often disappointed by CdRs. But I finally found a great one:


(mine was the '14)

It's got dark berries, bramble and pepper, but what makes it is velvet texture and a fantastic nose with anise, menthol, stone, cracked pepper and all manner of mystery going on. My hippie tendency to buy things labelled BIO and my mainstream tendency to trust famous producers finally paid off. I paid 155 NOK which is $18.70 and I think it's great value.

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


Ola posted:

I love Rhône, but when shopping on a budget I am often disappointed by CdRs. But I finally found a great one:


(mine was the '14)

It's got dark berries, bramble and pepper, but what makes it is velvet texture and a fantastic nose with anise, menthol, stone, cracked pepper and all manner of mystery going on. My hippie tendency to buy things labelled BIO and my mainstream tendency to trust famous producers finally paid off. I paid 155 NOK which is $18.70 and I think it's great value.

And it's even available in Japan, thanks for posting! Sub $20 grenache syrah blends from down and around there are my favorites for daily use, but it's a slog digging out the good ones.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


I think it's Syrah/Carignane, but if you can find it Domaine Rimbert is the poo poo for CdR blends. If I could make his 2010? base cuvée (Travers de Marceau) and that was all I could make for the rest of my life, I'd be a happy man. It's not a wine to age at all, but goddamn it was delicious when it was good.

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


idiotsavant posted:

I think it's Syrah/Carignane, but if you can find it Domaine Rimbert is the poo poo for CdR blends. If I could make his 2010? base cuvée (Travers de Marceau) and that was all I could make for the rest of my life, I'd be a happy man. It's not a wine to age at all, but goddamn it was delicious when it was good.

Doesn't look like anyone's selling it here.

got off on a technicality
Feb 7, 2007

oh dear


I am an enormous wine snob, but I also like value. I recently attended a Sine Qua Non tasting organized by the Robert Parker people and people were saying, with completely straight faces, that no one other than Manfred Krankl has figured out how to make great Grenache-based wines in California. Which, even to someone like myself, sounds like straight poppycock (but the SQN wines, 8 of them, were of course superlative). Can anyone come up with some good counter examples please (to be clear, I'm not talking GSM blends, but 80-90% plus Grenache)?

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Is James Suckling hosed in the head, or are his ratings bought and paid for, or what? I just tried, on something of gamble, a wine he rated 92/100, and I honestly can't see ever finishing the bottle -- I'd rather just pour the $15 of remaining wine down the bog, where it belongs. I don't think it would even make good tinto de verano. I only get to drink a few times per week now, so I can't be wasting my time on poo poo wine.

gently caress, I'd been waiting all week to open a bottle, and I picked that one? What poo poo. It's not even faulted, it's just a bad wine that hits the palate like a grape-flavoured Halls and finishes like jolly ranchers.

pork never goes bad
May 16, 2008

gin&milk!!!


Perhaps you got a bad bottle. Or perhaps you don't like the style. What was it?

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



pork never goes bad posted:

Perhaps you got a bad bottle. Or perhaps you don't like the style. What was it?

Wirra Wirra Church Block 2013. It sounded like a style I'd like (I've liked other CS-Merlot-Syrah blends, I've liked other Australian CS-based wines), but it was just... terrible. It started alright I suppose (I was a bit harsh in calling it a grape-flavoured Halls), even if it was a bit heavy on the Aussie eucalyptus thing, which can work in the right wine, but the finish was the major weak point. If it finished neutral, I could give it 88/100 or so but the lingering aftertaste was not good at all.

EDIT: I think I need to avoid California and Australia entirely from now on. I've had great wines from both, but playing the odds, I just can't do it any more, short of a personal recommendation I trust. Chile, SA, NZ and Canada (only rarely) are as new-world as I can stand. And, if I'm being honest, nothing from Cali or Australia under $50/bottle. Empirically, that's around where I find the divide between good and not-good lies. Canada and NZ are both around $30, Spain is closer to $15-20 with the notable regions being $25-30, France is around $20-30, Chile $20, etc. I can't afford good wine from California or Australia.

PT6A fucked around with this message at Dec 4, 2016 around 05:36

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


PT6A posted:

Is James Suckling hosed in the head, or are his ratings bought and paid for, or what? I just tried, on something of gamble, a wine he rated 92/100, and I honestly can't see ever finishing the bottle -- I'd rather just pour the $15 of remaining wine down the bog, where it belongs. I don't think it would even make good tinto de verano. I only get to drink a few times per week now, so I can't be wasting my time on poo poo wine.

gently caress, I'd been waiting all week to open a bottle, and I picked that one? What poo poo. It's not even faulted, it's just a bad wine that hits the palate like a grape-flavoured Halls and finishes like jolly ranchers.

Suckling is pretty reliable, he just works on a different scale than most reviewers. He basically operates from 90-100, whereas more reviewers operate at 88-92. His scores are much more accurate than more reviewers, they're simply a bigger number. If you understand that a 92 from him is "meh" and a 92 from Jamie Goode or whatever is "soul-touching", you'll see he's a Good Critic.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



My desire to get into wine continues to go nowhere. I love me some fortified wine but the regular stuff tends to wind up being cooked with or mulled after the first glass.

Just tried some of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau from Bouchard Aine & Fils and kind of dig it. What else is similar to this style in character and low price?

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Beaujolais.

Raisins Gaulois from Lapierre
Jean Paul Brun l'ancien

got off on a technicality posted:

I am an enormous wine snob, but I also like value.


*wet fart*

idiotsavant fucked around with this message at Dec 5, 2016 around 05:19

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


got off on a technicality posted:

I am an enormous wine snob, but I also like value. I recently attended a Sine Qua Non tasting organized by the Robert Parker people and people were saying, with completely straight faces, that no one other than Manfred Krankl has figured out how to make great Grenache-based wines in California. Which, even to someone like myself, sounds like straight poppycock (but the SQN wines, 8 of them, were of course superlative). Can anyone come up with some good counter examples please (to be clear, I'm not talking GSM blends, but 80-90% plus Grenache)?

There are lots of solid producers. I really love Ambyth's Mark Vineyard Grenache. Unti's wines are pretty tasty. I've been using 2012 Pax 'Castelli-Knight Vineyard' Grenache as a wine pairing for our duck dish with zatar spice and mushroom, and it's extremely good. Austin Hope's Grenache is pretty tasty, despite it's super high alcohol. I could go on. Yes it's bullshit that SQN is the only good Grenache in California.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


I hate CA Grenache on principle but j.brix does some good single vineyard stuff, too.

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


In my opinion Grenache is just a lovely grape for making interesting wine. Low acid, high alcohol, and very little aromatic character or complexity, just some red fruit and vague spice. I've enjoyed plenty of bottles of unambitious Southern Rhone wines (almost all of which were like 30%+ syrah), but the prestige examples from there, Australia, and Spain, have never impressed me as anything other than (mostly) good value for bland, sweetish reds with mass-market appeal. It's a very, very difficult grape to make interesting wine from.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Most of my wines are blends, and I feel totally comfortable with the flip side of "noble grapes". Some grapes just don't do varietal wine well. They can be blending all-stars, though, so why try to force the issue? Not every wine needs to be DRC, and you can still be true to terroir and true to the grapes even with blends.

Edit: also going through a tasting and trying to find the "good" Grenache is loving painful.

Crimson
Nov 6, 2002


Kasumeat posted:

In my opinion Grenache is just a lovely grape for making interesting wine. Low acid, high alcohol, and very little aromatic character or complexity, just some red fruit and vague spice. I've enjoyed plenty of bottles of unambitious Southern Rhone wines (almost all of which were like 30%+ syrah), but the prestige examples from there, Australia, and Spain, have never impressed me as anything other than (mostly) good value for bland, sweetish reds with mass-market appeal. It's a very, very difficult grape to make interesting wine from.

Have you ever had Clarendon Hills Grenache with a little age? Chateau Rayas? It's an extremely aromatic grape when made well, although to your point it is easy to make fruity, simple wines.

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


So I got a couple bottles of the Chapoutier BIO, and I cracked the first one last night. It was quite good for the price, but holy cow the sediment. Was a 2012 and look at this:



Never seen that kind of buildup on a 4 year old wine before, is it uncommon?

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


That's less sediment than it appears to be, but still probably more than I would expect. Sometimes you get a bottle from the bottom of a filling tank and inherit the sediment left behind.

Keyser_Soze
May 5, 2009



I have a pair of Alban (2005 Reva and 2006 Grenache) on deck for the holidays so I'm about to find out if I should have just sold these on release like the rest I had bought.

I'm finding that most of the wines that I bought back 8-10 years ago didn't age that well and I probably should have made more of an effort to drink them much earlier.

For example, I expected more from things like 2006 Neal Cabs, etc with some age on them. Oh well.

Keyser_Soze fucked around with this message at Dec 8, 2016 around 19:31

Furious Lobster
Jun 17, 2006



Grimey Drawer



This is really nice and a fantastic deal at cost price; that being said, it's a lot harder to find and secondary costs the same as Allemand entry.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



After last week's wine disaster I decided to lay down a bunt and go with a nice bottle of Champagne, Jose Dhondt Blanc de Blancs. loving amazing and exactly what I wanted, worth the price and then some. I can't abide lovely wine, I'm going to stop looking for values entirely because the down side is so large when I'm not drinking regularly.

idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


How do you somm guys deal with referments? Found out tonight a low-SO2 guy 's stuff all went off. Concrete back wall, cellar is nearly always below 70 even in the summer. It's probably been back there 8-9 mos, so I guess provenance could be a question? I really like the guy and his stuff so it'll be a disappointing result either way.

Edit: also curious on the producer side of things. Unless the store was a horrible zone of heat death I feel like I'd definitely want to give them the benefit of the doubt and just replace the bottles, at least the first time. You're already getting dumped on for unreliable wine; lovely customer service/rep doesn't need to join the party.

idiotsavant fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2016 around 05:29

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


As a somm, I'd expect a refund without a second thought if I asked, but I probably wouldn't. I'm not going to be selling natural wine to anyone who doesn't know what they're in for, and most natural wine lovers will be super stoked to be getting a bottle that's refermenting. It's a badge of authenticity. As a consumer, I don't buy natural wine often because of their unreliability, but I'd probably accept a single bottle or two going off, but not the entire case.

As for storage, I don't think a seller can expect anyone's storage to be better than room temperature unless it's clearly a wine not meant for immediate consumption. A wine should not be noticeably faulted as result of one year's storage at a constant 70.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



After my horrid experience two weeks ago, I decided to give Cab-Syrah blends another go. Turns out, I just hate the poo poo ones. Cracked a bottle of Banfi Summus, and it delivers exactly what I would expect, with each grape in the blend present and contributing to a whole that's greater than the sum of the parts, instead of an ill-considered jam-fest from down under.

I don't think there's any reason why Old World producers should produce wines that are so much more to my taste so consistently, but the results speak for themselves. It frustrates me especially because I hate appeals to tradition. New World wines should be better, I want them to be better, and I expect them to be better, but they just aren't*.

Also, I'm banishing all Australian and US wine from my presence for the next year. Fool me 20 times, shame on you, fool me 21...

* The exception being Chilean wine, which is generally crap but it's crap in a way that I don't mind, and Kiwi wine, which I usually can't afford at the good levels but has been quite reliable for me.

EDIT: To be more constructive, what I prefer about the Summus is that is starts with largely the same flavours I detected and enjoyed in the Aussie wine I was drinking, which come in both cases from the Cab-Sauv, but the mid-palate moves into great secondary and tertiary flavours and the finish is rich in the smoky, meaty character I associate with good Syrah. which is exactly what I'd want from that blend. I think Sangiovese makes a better blending parter than Merlot too, because I love the way Italian Sangiovese tends to express light earthy/spicy overtones that mesh perfectly with the Syrah, and the acidity that matches nicely with the CS.

PT6A fucked around with this message at Dec 17, 2016 around 03:31

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


I hate to break it to you, but Castello Banfi is an American Winery in all but location.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Overwined posted:

I hate to break it to you, but Castello Banfi is an American Winery in all but location.

Yeah, I can't say I disagree with that, which makes it all the more of a personal pissoff that I like their wine more than most American (and New World in general) wines I've tried. This bottle was actually a gift, I figured I'd give it a go.

I don't know, maybe I just have the shittiest luck at picking American and Australian wine, but, like I said, my record is so poo poo that I simply have to stop doing it.

I would honestly like origin to be less of a factor for me, but whether it's psychosomatic or whatever, it seems like I just can't escape it. At least not for anything I can find regularly. One wine store I go to has a somm that will pour me good things (including American wines) to taste, but then magically he never has any to sell me and tries to turn me on to crap I end up hating. I don't go to that store much any more.

EDIT: And, after further consideration, I'd have been just slightly pissed off if I'd paid for this bottle. It's not great, it's just... very competent. It should be better for the price.

PT6A fucked around with this message at Dec 17, 2016 around 06:11

poop dood
May 31, 2011

$#$%^&@@*!!!


Hey y'all! I've been working in a French restaurant for the past three years and all my wine education has been through this restaurant. Having tasted a great deal of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Chateauneuf-du-Pape thanks to our excellent sommelier, I've found that my taste in French red wine lies in the funky, bretty wines of the Loire and sometimes Beaujolais regions. I am a beer nerd originally, and my love of wild-fermented ales lends me to this particular style of wine. Specifically, we now stock the 2008 vintage of Chinon from Olga Raffault and I am completely in love with it. Musty, funky cab franc with nuance and complexity for days. Our sommelier has three bottles of the 1990 vintage and plans to open one with us soon; I can't wait to see what that's like.

Given my predilection for this sort of offbeat wine, what stuff from places other than France should I check out? My taste in white wine is much the same, by the way -- I love Savennieres, and I had an Italian wine from Fontanasanta a few months ago that I adored. Similarly funky/offbeat white wine recommendations are equally welcome.

Kasumeat
Nov 18, 2004


Knowing the producer is going to be more helpful than the region. It sounds like you like natural wine. Some names in natural wine outside of France include Foradori, La Stoppa, Frank Cornelissen, Gravner, Radikon, Scribe, and Occhipinti, and most of the country of Georgia. Yannick Peletier is French but if you're not familiar with him, it doesn't really get any more brett-driven than that. The Americans here can probably help you out more with US producers. Here is a good but far from exhaustive list of the world: http://www.forkandbottle.com/wine/b...c_producers.htm

Edit: Not all on that list are all going to be faulty. Many are simply biodynamic. The list I gave you will be noticeably faulted.

Kasumeat fucked around with this message at Dec 17, 2016 around 10:08

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



PT6A posted:

Turns out, I just hate the poo poo ones.

Mods, thread title?

poop dood
May 31, 2011

$#$%^&@@*!!!


Kasumeat posted:

Knowing the producer is going to be more helpful than the region. It sounds like you like natural wine. Some names in natural wine outside of France include Foradori, La Stoppa, Frank Cornelissen, Gravner, Radikon, Scribe, and Occhipinti, and most of the country of Georgia. Yannick Peletier is French but if you're not familiar with him, it doesn't really get any more brett-driven than that. The Americans here can probably help you out more with US producers. Here is a good but far from exhaustive list of the world: http://www.forkandbottle.com/wine/b...c_producers.htm

Edit: Not all on that list are all going to be faulty. Many are simply biodynamic. The list I gave you will be noticeably faulted.

Awesome, thanks! I have definitely enjoyed the pet-nat and natural wines like that that I've had, I'll keep an eye out for the names you mentioned. I appreciate your help.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


As fair warning, there's a vast philosophical chasm between pet-nat and the bleeding edge of "natural" wine (no, I don't want to have this discussion again). One is almost a whimsical and lighthearted one night stand, the other can be a Nietzschean slog of diatribes and polarizing opinions. Who'da thunk that not doing anything to your wine would require so much philosophical soul-searching? And this from a guy who finds almost every producer listed on that page interesting if not downright brilliant.

To be fair a lot of the hype come from secondary sources--which is to say not the people who make the stuff. I think one of the biggest hoaxes around is the illusion that this is somehow a new way of thinking. Years ago, I worked for Total Wine and we had this big tasting among managers. There was Burgundian winemaker there from a very small domaine that Total recently started importing. It happened to be his first ever visit to the US and it was right around the time the word "organic" was catching buzz. After a short presentation and tasting one of the non-Wine Managers asked him if his stuff was organic and he pulled his bifocals down to the tip of his nose and squinted, asking "What does it mean organic?" His travelling companion translated it for him and once he understood he looked like he wanted to punch this manager in the face. Then he said in a raised voice, and I'm trying to get as close to verbatim as my memory will allow, "What the gently caress do you think? Do you think I put some poo poo in my wine? Do you think I use bad poo poo?"

So this dumb drone, this useless retail gently caress (god let me never land back in big box retail) didn't take the hint and asked the worst possible thing he could ask. He asked, "Then why don't you put it on your label?"

The French guy called him a donkey fucker and stormed out of the room.

poop dood
May 31, 2011

$#$%^&@@*!!!


That is hilarious. And yeah, I've read a bit about the pontification and navel-gazing around natural wine -- in this thread, I believe. I'm just into drinking stuff that tastes good, forget the bullshit.

Overwined
Sep 22, 2008

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.


poop dood posted:

That is hilarious. And yeah, I've read a bit about the pontification and navel-gazing around natural wine -- in this thread, I believe. I'm just into drinking stuff that tastes good, forget the bullshit.

An extremely healthy viewpoint. Drink in good health.

Comb Your Beard
Sep 28, 2007

Chillin' like a villian.

PT6A posted:

* The exception being Chilean wine, which is generally crap but it's crap in a way that I don't mind

Could you elaborate what you mean? I have an old world bias myself but I'm interested in exploring Chilean wine more. I've had a good Viognier and Carménère from Chile.

Ola
Jul 19, 2004



Kind of related, although it might be an insult, what is a good base wine to make mulled wine with? I'm thinking some sweet, new world, oak chip juice would do well. Malbec, Aussie cab?

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Comb Your Beard posted:

Could you elaborate what you mean? I have an old world bias myself but I'm interested in exploring Chilean wine more. I've had a good Viognier and Carménère from Chile.

I mean that Chilean wines, in my experience, tend to be slightly lacking in balance or complexity, or they they're a bit too "green" for most people (particularly Carmenere) but, in general, they often appeal to me in spite of that, just based on the sorts of wines I like. I've come up with some wines that I decidedly did not enjoy, too, even from producers whose other products I've enjoyed.

Basically, they're good values and reasonably reliable for me personally, but I don't often recommend them or gift them to people whose taste I don't know very well.

Comb Your Beard
Sep 28, 2007

Chillin' like a villian.

Ola posted:

Kind of related, although it might be an insult, what is a good base wine to make mulled wine with? I'm thinking some sweet, new world, oak chip juice would do well. Malbec, Aussie cab?

I feel like tannins are harsher when drunk warm. I'd go with Pinot Noir. If your base is a dry wine, you can always add some sugar to some stage of your recipe.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Comb Your Beard posted:

I feel like tannins are harsher when drunk warm. I'd go with Pinot Noir. If your base is a dry wine, you can always add some sugar to some stage of your recipe.

I'd probably go with a cheapish Grenache, if I were looking to avoid tannin. Pinot noir would work but there are comparatively few modestly-priced examples.

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idiotsavant
Jun 4, 2000


Ola posted:

Kind of related, although it might be an insult, what is a good base wine to make mulled wine with? I'm thinking some sweet, new world, oak chip juice would do well. Malbec, Aussie cab?

Literally just anything cheap as hell. You're going to use a bunch of spices and sugar, it doesn't matter. Suggest you use honey to sweeten it tho; it has better body than sugar.

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