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Nice to see signs of life out there, and great of Karen to offer to host. Whatever's decided, I'd surely like to attend. I've got nothing from Beckstoffer or from To Kalon in general, but would purchase something appropriate.

End of summer's along way off (since it hasn't even started, despite the 99-degree heat & humidity). In the meantime, maybe Jace's deck is getting lonely, or Chez Lentini wants to fire up the grill. I'm just sayin'... Wink
I'm starting to think that this might work. If there are several people that don't have any To Kalon yet, I could bring extra bottles for those who need some, and they could apply the cost towards my (or our) plane tickets.

We currently have (mostly in the 2004-8 range with a few 2001-3), plus a few magnums and several 375s.
Carter - multiple vintages
Paul Hobbs - two vintages
Juris-Prudence - multiple vintages
Justice Series - only one vintage
Provenance - multiple vintages
Realm - multiple vintages
Schrader - multiple vintages, clones & blends
TOR - multiple vintages, clones & blends

We also have some Dr Crane's.
Originally posted by newsguy:
Dave: ... You seem like you're rich in To Kalons!

We are. We tried our first To Kalon about 3 years ago, and kept finding more that we liked. Once we realized that we had started a mini trend with Realm, Carter and Schrader, we decided we wanted to do a To Kalon comparison tasting, and started buying others.

A comparison tasting was going to be a bit difficult, because we don't have enough Cab lover friends to justify opening eight or even four of these, and that's probably too much for 3 or 4 people. Flying out East may be a great solution for us, especially if we can lower the cost by trading wine.
Fun! Checking calendars - how does September 10 work for all of your schedules? We can have 8 in addition to my husband and I.

I have Some of the same wines as davec: 03 Shrader, 04 & 05 Realm (08 & 09 on order and probably not shipped until later), 04 Carter. I googled Beckstoffer and saw that there are a number of wines produced that might not be labeled - maybe only part of the juice is from there. We could include those if we can figure out which ones they are: Karl Lawrence, Cain, Cardinale, Alpha Omega, Macauley, Herzog, Harlan, Breton, Calistoga Ranch, Plumpjack. A fun experiment would be to open the 2 98 Plumpjack Reserves I've been holding: one under cork and one under screw cap.
Just counting heads from top to bottom...
2) IMKLP's +1
3) Jace
4) Jace's +1
5) newsguy
6) newsguy's +1
7) dinwiddie
8) lentini
9) lentini's +1
10) davec

11) davec's +1
12) Festiva
13) Gkapoor
14) sibster

Yuh-oh! Maybe the Sept 10 date will narrow the list of interested parties. (Sept 10 does work for me.) Any +1's not listed?

I suspect my +1 is as interested in seeing your new house as she is in the wine, so I'd wager if she is promised a tour sometime she'd defer to a wino.
I think Sept 10 may work, but I still have to get my wife to agree. We were originally thinking vertical or horizontal and this could hurt our original plan, but we have enough people/bottles to do either or both. If we can make it, it looks like we'll be bringing a 6 pack, and could help fill out either or both if that's the way this goes.

I'll look through our cellar and get the vintages we have in stock. We can bring Realm, Carter, Paul Hobbs, TOR, and Provenance and still have left overs. Our Juris (except '08), Justice and Schraders are all one offs.
Last edited by simonb

In terms of being able to have pours that actually are large enough to really get a sense of a wine, 8 to 10 people is a perfect number. I absolutely would not go over 12 people, because then we're down to 2 ounce pours. I'm not saying this to exclude anyone, it's just that to really be able to "taste" a wine, you need to have 2 ounces, which means no more than 12 people drinking off a bottle. When writing for publication, I'd never put a tasting note out there where I didn't have at least 2 ounces of a wine from which to be able to form an opinion.
Our last two off-lines in Denver were 16+ wines each, not counting the Champagne, Port and Sauternes, for 12 or less people. I can't drink 20 x 2 ounces. At 1.5 ounces/pour we can have 12 people and 4 can re-visit, or some can go 2 ounces, but get last re-visit choices. (Not that I'm offering room for 12.) We don't mind sitting at a separate table, in fact we pretty much did at the last off-line we hosted, and everyone enjoyed it much more.

Here's what I've found so far: (my cellar isn't well organized)
Carter '04, '05, '07, '08
Hobbs, Paul '04
Jurisprudence '07, '08
Justice '07-Blind, '07-Poetic
Provenance '05, '06, '07, '07-TK2
Realm '04, '05+, '06, '07*, '08
Schrader '03-T6, '05, '06
TOR '05+, '06+, '07, '08-4+, '08-6, '08-337

I think only the Poetic Justice is not 100% cab, but is still mostly To Kalon. We will probably go to Napa before Sept, and may be able to get some '09 Carter, Realm, and TOR if it's bottled already, but I don't think the '09 Schrader will be shipped by then, and I can ask about some private back vintages some may have. The only 375ml I found were '07 Realm.

Key (no special characters - 750ml only)
+ mag
* both
-?? clone or wine (for the lack of a better word)
Last edited by simonb
I think the bottom line is Dave and I are both proposing the same thing: 12 people is really the max you can do for tastings that are from single bottles (not magnums or 750s x 2).

I really can't wait to see what the final lineup is. Knowing that we'll probably be tasting a 5-year vertical (03-07) of cabs from various producers using To Kalon juice is *really* appealing. Would be really nice it someone has a mature bottle to see how these age, but it seems people can't keep their hands off these for 12-15 years. And I understand why. The barrel sample I had of the '04 Karl Lawrence To Kalon cab absolutely blew me away. Totally sold me on the vineyard as producing cab in class all its own.
Nice of you to offer, but I think you're both in the first twelve interested people anyway, should IMKLP be able to accomodate 12 per the davec/newsguy ounces-per-pour math. (Ms. Lentini takes small pours, btw, newsguy.)

If this To Kalon lineup is so popular, perhaps Davec should plan to stay an extra night to make it a two-night double-header event!
WOW - good to see some old friends are still sipping, outside interest, and such a warm welcome for a new cru member. Sept 10 is a good day for us, and we're up for (helping out in any way we can) as well as bringing the stated object(s) of affection. I have some Provenance, Paul Hobbs, MX, Karl Lawrence and Janzen (mag) in the '00-'05 range (much later might be infantcide).


I hear a cry for the deck and will try to get a thread going for late September/early October - mebbe too early for a repro of the CdP mag dinner - I could (also) handle the second night, which could accomodate spill-overs/extras, etc. I'd hate to do it the night before, though (i.e., you suggesting a Sunday night?).
I'm not really sure how to do this. In order to fly in from Denver, I need to figure out our cost. How about we price each bottle at 1/6 the hard cost of the 6 bottles we bring? We can decide as a group which wines. It doesn't seem fair for 1 person to pick a $75 bottle, and someone else pick a $165 bottle, and each pay for "their" bottle, and then we all get a share of each.

Sorry to bring up money, but I need to see if we can get flights that will work, and I don't like to wait until the last minute to see that prices have gone up. Since we are "rich" in To-Kalon, we are willing to sell some at our cost even if we can't make it.

For reference, the '06 Provenance was the lowest price at something like $75 plus shipping and maybe tax. I need to look at receipts to see who charged what for shipping and tax. The most expensive was the Paul Hobbs at $165+. The latest release of Carter, Realm, Justice, & Juris were something like $125+, with TOR at $150+. I think my in-stock Schrader (winebid) was around $150-200+.

Just a thought, does anyone want to go a little off course and bring in a potential spoiler, that will make us rethink our love affair with To-Kalon? We have an '07 Paul Hobbs Dr Crane (97 points) that may give the To-Kalons a run for their money. We also purchased a mixed case of O'Brien Estate barrel samples, and just opened a Cab that was like syrup, which I would be surprised if a finished wine could stand up to it. Only one of our top four wines have been a To-Kalon, #1: Schrader '06 Old Sparky at the '09 NYWE, and a toss up for #2-4:'84 Caymus SS, and the Latour and Margaux at the '07 NYWE.

Our regular favorites are various To-Kalons, and then Ovid, Heitz Martha's, Diamond Creek, Shafer, Barnett, and a few others. We are planning to go to the '11 NYWE in October. (Where else can one drink $500-$1000 worth of wine for $250?)
Davec - seems like you are offering to bring six bottles, if four folk here can source from you to help defray the costs of travel. The apparent four would be newsguy and Lentini (mebbe a slight break in exchange for housing?), plus their +1's (since everyone else is declaring, and they as much said so). Given that works out, would you be willing to ship to Lentini (overnight) well enough in advance to let the bottles settle? Are you guys (n & L) thinkng along these lines or do you prefer to source? My sister's coming in from DEN late July, mebbe we could arrange an hand off at your end and I could meet her at Reagan.

And our host has only commited to 10 (nice pours), and seems to have a leaning for older vintages?
We hadn't even thought about where we would stay, and yes that would save us some $$, which we could use to adjust the price of the wine. That is very generous of anyone that would be willing to put up with us for one or two nights.

I was thinking we would fly in Friday afternoon or evening, and probably depart Sunday afternoon. There doesn't seem to be many late flights heading west, so a Sunday eve event is probably not an option for us. Since one can no longer hand carry wine on-board, it would be better to ship it out early. Jace, I like the idea of the sister courier idea, if that will work for her.

As for the wine, we are offering what we have in case it's difficult to find or get a good price on something before Sept. By all means everyone should see if they can get something on sale to save money. Either way we do this, it's going to cost us six bottles of wine if the plane tickets are cheap enough, or two plane tickets and two bottles of wine, and we get to keep four bottles that we were planning to drink anyway.

I'm looking at this as chance to compare a large number of To-Kalons, meet a group of people with similar interests, and maybe even sneak in a mini-vacation. We were thinking of doing one of these off-lines in Denver, but the Denver crowd seems to have an affinity for Syrah, Barolo, Brunello, and something called Pinot. We only have a few friends that like Cab as much as we do, and opening 3 or 4 doesn't really compare to this opportunity.

Anne (my +1) and I will probably share glasses, which lets us double up on the number of glasses in front of us, and we can share 2 ounce pours. We checked last night, and a 2 ounce pour seems much larger in a tasting glass vs a normal 20-32 ounce cab glass.
Last edited by simonb
Dave: I'm definitely behind your method of averaging the price for the bottles you'd be supplying. It seems very fair. And I'm definitely in for two bottles for me and my +1. You and the rest of the To Kalon holders can work out what spectrum of bottlings you think best represents the vineyard, in terms of people making their declarations. I also love the idea of a ringer or two, and think this would be a great tasting to do blind. Am really looking forward to this.

Dinwiddie: Not sure whether we'd be heading to this from Silver Spring or Alexandria, but will gladly try to help you with a lift from a Metro. Perhaps Jace might also be able to give you a lift. I'm sure between all of us that we'll work something out to make sure you're included.
Since me supply is limited, I'll jump in declare an '04 Paul Hobbs and '02 Karl Lawrence. If anyone is asking, I'd love to see (taste) an '04, '05 or '06 Schrader in the mix (these are big bucks, no?) and Karen's offer of a '98 Plumpjack is tres generous. Wanna conf call a sort - drop a # @ j r g 3 7 2 at m s n dot c o m?
Jace, how soon do I need to put together a shipment if your sister can help?

Current wines?

dinwiddie '05 Karl Lawrence Barrel Select
Gkapoor '0? Schrader
IMKLP '98 Plumpjack Reserves?
Jace +1 '04 Paul Hobbs, '02 Karl Lawrence

I'd like to do a vertical and/or a horizontal if possible. I can help fill out either. (I found some prices. My shipping costs were about $3.50/bottle, $20/mag)

My tallest verticals:
Realm '04 $95, '05 Mag $262, '06 $115, '07 $125, '08 $135
Carter '04 ?, '05 ?, '07 $125, '08 $125
TOR '05 mag $350, '06 mag $350, '07 $150, '08 337 $150 : 6 $150 : 4/mag $350
Provenance '05 $85, '06 $75, '07 $75, '07 tk2 $95

My widest horizontal:

Carter '07 $125
Realm '07 $125
Jurisprudence '07 $125
Justice '07-Blind $125, '07-Poetic $125
Provenance '07 $75, '07-TK2 $95
TOR '07 $150

Or we can do random, if people have something specific they want to try, like a Schrader.

My ringers would be Heitz Martha's, Diamond Creek, Shafer HSS, Ovid, Melka, a Dr Crane, or even an '08 O'Brien barrel sample. We could also try another Thomas Brown, Mike Smith or Mike Hirby wine. A Petite Sirah or beefy Syrah could maybe stand up to the To-Kalons.
Last edited by simonb
davec - me +1 will leave from DEN either the 13th or 14th (first shot), then Sis comes in the 25th (I think - have yet to clear wid her) of July. I'm not sure if initial enthusiasm for sourcing from you has faded? I have some older Pride petite syrah - but that sounds quite different to me? With champs & sauturnes I think we don't have to pile on too much - but will go wid the crowd.

Dinwiddie/Newsguy - any interest in going in on a limo (?) or cab (~$40/5) from my place? Probably around 15 miles. Nothing compared to davec's negotiations.

Newsguy/Lentini - Liz can shuttle the goods next week if you can come to terms (or we can overnight to Rob?). I will talk to Karen Sunday about #'s and fine tuning the theme, but you guys should determine the choices w/davec since you're sourcing?
Until people work out if we need to do a "theme within a theme," I can't really make any requests/selections from Dave. My only input regarding a horizontal/vertical idea is that we should probably stay away from a wide horizontal from any vintage after '05. The '07s in particular are likely way too tannic to be enjoyed in volume, especially considering the cost. Opening a coupla 06, 07 or 08s would be fine, but any more I'd expect would simply be expensive, less-than-satisfying infanticide.

FYI: Lentini might not be able to weigh in until Monday.

Jace: It's very likely that I'd be coming from Alexandria, so that while I like the reasonably-priced limo idea, I don't know if we'd be wanting in on it. Will keep you posted, though.
Jace, if we can decide on six bottles by the 13th, that would be best. Does everyone have favorites they want to try, or should we try to keep the price down? If Anne and I decide to bring pricey bottles, we don't expect anyone to cover us on the "shared price" idea. If you're in town, I could get you 2 or 4 to take, if not all 6.

newsguy makes a good point. While I like young wines, they do tend to pack a punch. I'm up for this either way. Any magnums could be counted as two bottles for anyone and their +. We would have a little less variety, but have more to revisit.

If we want to try for an older smaller horizontal, I have two different '04 750s to add to the Paul Hobbs, and three different '05 750s plus two different '05 mags to add to the Karl Lawrence. Even if everyone just picks one they want to try, we'll have between 10 and 12 to compare, and most vintages will be represented by at least two wineries.

I found more prices. All are winebid, so add 15% buyer premium & insurance, plus shipping.
'04 Carter $110+
'05 Carter $105+
'03 Schrader T6 $120+
'05 Schrader $135+
'06 Schrader $230+
Last edited by simonb
Newsguy - yur still in SS? You'd come right by us, and or/we could jump off at the beltway and you carry on. I agree with your assessment of vintage/infanticide - think we should hold the line at '05 (love that year) - some help with definition of theme, no?

davec - yes I agree, but the 13th. My +1 (Liz) will be downtown, at the Sheraton. Might be best to drop the night before, as her departure time on the 13th is not clear? Sis is in Lafayette, if you are north? If you live next to the airport (my sympathies, and) you'll know what to do. We can get them to Rob, or Karen's (great cellar, you'll enjoy seeing it).

Rob (Lentini) - time to act! Hope I dint hyjack too much, but Liz's conveyance seems a benefit - almost easier for us to get them to Karen's.

Karen - don't die between the 13th and 9/10, please.
Dave: I have an idea for a mini vertical, and 2 mini horizontals, plus some "orphans" that people would be bringing or want to try from your stash. What are the additional '04 and '05s that you have available?

Jace: If we'll be coming from SS, we'd likely be in for the limo. If from Alexandria, definitely not. I don't know which yet, and complicating matters is I will likely be moving right around that time. Do know how much a limo would be per person? And you might hear back from Rob this weekend, but likely not til Monday.

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