I got an email from Joe Donelan at Pax announcing a new winemaker. There was no mention of Pax Mahle or his current status with the winery.

Does anyone know have more info on this??
Original Post
Tyler Thomas is the new winemaker. The other guys are suing each other. If you can get to the local Sonoma court records, there are several tort cases that have been filed, no disposition yet as far as I know:

Pax Wine Cellars v. Mahle
SCV-242960

Donelan v. Mahle
SCV-242959
I enjoy their wine very much.

Not sure why I would want to continue to pay top (over-the-top, for that matter) dollar for a wine that no longer involves the guy who made it what it is.
Frown Truly sad to see Pax and Joe suing each other. I had spoken to a well-informed salesman in Telluride about this just a couple weeks ago. He had recently done a barrel tasting (showing lots of promise for the upcoming vintages) with Tyler Thomas, whom he said seemed to have a good handle on things. As syd says, however, what is Pax without Pax? Hopefully this story will turn out like Justin Smith and Matt Trevisan, who have both done just fine after parting ways. I, for one, think that Pax's prices were quite reasonable. I'm not planning to jump ship quite so fast, but I'll definitely be in 'wait-and-see' mode. Still very sad.
Since wine is made in the vineyard, the wine quality should stay the same, since the expression of a sense of place has and will always be the goal of this esteemed winery.
I know Tyler quite well and feel that he will be 'able to handle' the wines quite nicely. Yes, Pax the personality is gone, but he has set in motion a wonderful winery with wonderful vineyard contacts and a great philosophy. I can't imagine Tyler will change things too much in the short term; we'll have to see what happens in the long term as he gets used to working with these specific vineyards and hones his skills with them and the use - or not - of whole cluster fermentations . . .

I think what will be just as important in the whole scheme of things, and probably moreso, will be their pricing strategy. Their prices have continued to climb in the face of a 'struggling economy', and if they continue to go up, or even stay put, they may find themselves having trouble selling wine, no matter how good it is!

Cheers!
quote:
Originally posted by stickman:
Frown Truly sad to see Pax and Joe suing each other. I had spoken to a well-informed salesman in Telluride about this just a couple weeks ago. He had recently done a barrel tasting (showing lots of promise for the upcoming vintages) with Tyler Thomas, whom he said seemed to have a good handle on things. As syd says, however, what is Pax without Pax? Hopefully this story will turn out like Justin Smith and Matt Trevisan, who have both done just fine after parting ways. I, for one, think that Pax's prices were quite reasonable. I'm not planning to jump ship quite so fast, but I'll definitely be in 'wait-and-see' mode. Still very sad.


I hope it works out, too. I'm sure he is a talented winemaker and it will all be good.

I will selectively try bottles and see how it goes, but quite frankly, they do have to prove themselves somewhat, which is really too bad.

At least I have almost 2 cases of the stuff lying around to enjoy if they falter. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by cdr:
Since wine is made in the vineyard, the wine quality should stay the same, since the expression of a sense of place has and will always be the goal of this esteemed winery.



Well now that you put it like that, the terroir thing does seem kind of silly.
quote:
Originally posted by cdr:
Since wine is made in the vineyard, the wine quality should stay the same, since the expression of a sense of place has and will always be the goal of this esteemed winery.


I knew I could count on you, cdr!!!! Wink
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
quote:
Originally posted by cdr:
Since wine is made in the vineyard, the wine quality should stay the same, since the expression of a sense of place has and will always be the goal of this esteemed winery.



Well now that you put it like that, the terroir thing does seem kind of silly.


spo, do you not think BOTH have a major influence on the wine?

Give the winemaker poor fruit, and it will affect the wine. Give the winemaker great fruit, and it will affect the wine.
quote:
Originally posted by larry schaffer:


I think what will be just as important in the whole scheme of things, and probably moreso, will be their pricing strategy. Their prices have continued to climb in the face of a 'struggling economy', and if they continue to go up, or even stay put, they may find themselves having trouble selling wine, no matter how good it is!

Cheers!


Pax wines are being discounted in our market, and still not selling well.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
[Pax wines are being discounted in our market, and still not selling well.


Somewhat of a bummer to see this, as the perceived value may be reduced when this happens.

That said, if it moves product and opens slots for new releases to make it in, it might be a good thing . . .

Are these being discounted from 'suggested retail' or even further? I have found with Pax wines that they end up in retail at much higher prices than mailing list prices (which are supposed to be 'retail' prices).

Thanks in advance for the info! Cheers!
Larry, I'm not sure about the pricing. There are only two shops I know of in the Metroplex that have Pax, so perhaps the price is indeed inflated over the standard/mailing list prices.
I'll have to check on Pax wines. In the Denver area, most of the wines generally sell for 10-30% below winery list prices at the major liqour stores. Even those that are sold close to standard winery prices typically go on sale on occasion, which provide buying opportunities.
And these prices include the cost of transportation.

Unless storage conditions and transport conditions are a big consideration for you. Buying wine direct, for those wines sold retail, is typically far more expensive that buying retail here.
The one thing that Pax did before he left was change those horrible Turley-like bottles to something more reasonable. At least now they'll fit in the cellar with everything else. I was looking for a lawsuit about that, but no luck. Now if we could get Turley to do the same . . .

As far as whether the wine will stay the same or not - winemakers swap jobs all the time. I think the wine will continue to be good - as someone said, they have great fruit.

Doesn't mean the wine will stay the same though. The whole point of hiring someone like Roland or Barrett or Turley or Ringland or whoever is that your current winemaker doesn't make wine like they do. I'm willing to give TT a chance. And who knows what Pax will be up to? I don't know what kind of non-compete clauses he may have had, if any, but he and his wife are young and I can't imagine he won't be back in the business somewhere.

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