Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Myriad, Quivet, Becklyn, etc. ABV's

Posted by JonDerry, Mar 15, 2017.

Just got another box of Mike Smith's wines, and have noticed the ABV's are in a reasonable space for today's super ripe Napa market. Maybe it's just the wines I tend to buy from Mike's labels, as he has said he likes the challenge of making higher ABV wines drink in a balanced way.

This could have been a PM to OT, but I figured others would be interested as well.

2014 Myriad Dr. Crane - 15.1% (This is about the highest I want to see, and can be ok)

2014 Quivet Syrah Hulda Block - 14.6% (I've noticed most Mike Smith Syrah's around 14.5% and I think that's a smart range to be in, to at least bring out some of the savory element of the grape)

2013 Becklyn Cabernet & Cabernet Reserve (Noticed both were at 14.5%, though not sure if this was just a range. If accurate, this is a good thing and I look forward to trying these after several years or more of cellaring).

2015 Myriad Semillon MgGagh - 14.6% (A bit high for a white, but it's from a hot, drought year, and kind of expected. I also just had a 15.1 Napa Sauv Blanc over the weekend, yikes! What an alcohol bomb that was, made a ripe Pinot Grigio ftaste very restrained, as it was served directly afterward.


Reply by Stephen Harvey, Mar 15, 2017.


I expect the ugly drought and heat we read about in California will up the alcohol levels

Hopefully some cooler vintages are on their way

Reply by RandyFisher, Mar 15, 2017.

I like that 14.5% ABV range. It gives you plenty of fruit with out being jammy but generally with some spice and savory notes. I have a broad palate but that seems to be my sweet spot right now.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Mar 15, 2017.

I think SHiraz/Syrah holds 14-15% quite well and if all is in balance then you get a great expression of the grape, although cooler climate versions in 13-14% range do give those savoury peppery characteristics I do like

Cabernet seems to much more at home in the 13-14% range probably due to what I think is a slightly more tannic structure

One of the problems I have eluded to in [ast posts is that very high alcohol in Shiraz may work [ emphasis on may] [>15%] is that it give a very big flavour when young - unfortunately this often develops into an alcoholic hot wine with age and never to develop past 5-8 years

Reply by rckr1951, Mar 16, 2017.

I don't mind the heat as long as everything is balanced.

Reply by GregT, Mar 16, 2017.

Me either but Stephen has a point. A lot of the 1997 Napa wines didn't fare as well as they might have, although they were good out of the gate.

That said, I'm drinking a 1999 Cahors at the moment and it's pretty great. Says 12.5. Mostly Cot with a good splash of Merlot. Retained a lot of acidity but added some complexity from the maturing process.

I liked it less when it was young.

Thanks for posting those JD.


Reply by outthere, Mar 18, 2017.

Mike makes his wines for near term drinking. He always tells me "People like flavor. People drink flavor. People buy flavor."  While he's a guy that enjoys aged Barolo and Burgundy he is first off a winemaker who has to sell his wine. Library bottles and excessive back bintage inventory do not make you money. When people know your wine will age for 20-30 years there is no  urgency to buy. When you sell DTC you need to ensure the inventory sells through. He makes his wines in a style that people gobble up.

Told me yesterday that they sold through the Dr Crane release in 3 days. He literally has 8 bottles of Crane left and 3 cases of Elysian before they open it up to the public.

Reply by EMark, Mar 18, 2017.

OT, do you know how much of the Myriad Dr. Crane/Elysian were produced.  (I'll bet if I go to CT and check how much of each is "pending delivery," I'll get something of an idea.)

On the ABV thing, I read once that Adam Lee said that if Titratable Acidity was required to be printed on the labels, then wine buffs would  obssess about that.

Reply by outthere, Mar 18, 2017.

He had 4 barrels of each so 200 cases total production. 

A good measure of how much an allocated wine sells, via CT, is to take the CT holdings # and multiply by 4 to 5  and that's pretty close to total botlles sold. Check that against production numbers given by the producer and you can see how much they are still sitting on after their release.

Reply by EMark, Mar 19, 2017.

Hit my in-box about at 11:06, this morning:


Dear Myriad Friends,
Due to Mother Natures 'shy 2015 vintage'  - the Myriad Cellars 2015 Beckstoffer Dr. Crane and Dr. Crane Elysian Cabernet Release has Sold Out.  We apologize for the small and limited number of allocations. We did our best to spread the small amount of wine with as many as possible.  We look forward to offering larger and more plentiful selections with the 2016 vintage.  

It didn't take long to go through those remaining bottles, OT.  No surprise, there.

Reply by outthere, Mar 19, 2017.

Question is, did you get any?

Reply by EMark, Mar 19, 2017.

I did.  2 X Dr. Crane and 1 X Elysian.

Oh, I hear that it's your b'day.


Back to Categories

Popular Topics

  • posts

Top Contributors This Month

259386 Snooth User: zufrieden
12 posts
1413489 Snooth User: dvogler
7 posts
357808 Snooth User: vin0vin0
6 posts


View All

Snooth Media Network