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Old 21-06-2005, 10:35 AM
 
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Default Thunder Mountain fire sale?

Back in February, at our Open That Bottle Night mega-tasting, one of
the guys brought a bottle of 1995 Thunder Mountain Cab he'd obtained
through a wine club membership many years ago. He figured he'd held
the bottle long enough, time to open it. Unfortunately, I didn't keep
serious notes of the evening's selections, but my mini-notes show I
rated it outstanding, 90+.

It's the only time I'd ever seen or heard of Thunder Mountain wines
before last Friday night. I wandered into a liquor store in Soioux
City, Iowa and was surprised to find the 2001 Star Ruby Cienega Valley
meritage on the shelf. For $13.99! This is wine that routinely retails
for $45-$50, and that's if you can find it.

So why is a $45 wine selling in Corn Country for $14? The story I got
from the shop owner was that the Thunder Mounatin winemaker had died,
and that his widow now wants nothing to do with the winery. So, the
stock is effectively being liquidated (pardon the pun). Is that just
an urban legend, I hope?

I tried to find out more about the wine through the winery's website,
but the site hasn't been updated since at least last fall. There's no
reference to the 2001 Star Ruby listed there. Nothing is scheduled on
their "Events" page after April 1, 2005, which means it was probably
put on the books a lot earlier. (Also surprisingly, that event was in
Omaha, 90 miles from Sioux City. I flew out of Omaha on my way home.)
The 2001 Star Ruby is nowhere to be found or mentioned anywhere on the
web site. This lends at least potential credence to the wine shop
owner's story.

Lots of awards for their wines:
http://www.winemaker.com/news_reviews.php The 2000 Star Ruby, Cienega
Valley scored 89 and won Silver at the 2004 Santa Cruz
http://www.californiawineandfood.com...-cruz-wine.htm
Wineweb.com lists two of their wines for sale, but not the 2001.
http://snipurl.com/fpym Eleven of their wines are listed at McArthur
Wines in D.C., including the '95 cab at $45 and the 2001 Star Ruby at
$50. http://www.bassins.com/wine/domestic...a/cal_cab.html

So, that's all I know. The wine itself was decent, but drier than a
popcorn fart. If I thought the dryness would soften with bottle age
I'd probably order up a case, but I'm not sure how age-worthy the wine
is. (Thunder Mountain's web site says they build for longevity, but
absent any in-depth, independent reviews of the 2001 I'm reluctant to
drop $160 plus shipping from Iowa for a case.)

Can anybody confirm, deny, add to this or fill in the obvious blanks?

JJ

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Old 21-06-2005, 01:18 PM
DaleW
 
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Default

Unfortunately it's true. I posted last year that Milan Maximovich , the
owner and winemaker at Thunder Mountain had died. I posted here because
Milan (under the moniker Milan in Santa Cruz) used to post here in the
late 90s. Very informed and informative posts.

Apparently Milan had been sick for a while, but his daughter and
son-in-law (Jon Cook) had kept up TM's standards last few years. But
after his death I think his widow sold winery, and the winery blew out
all remaining inventory at fire sale prices a few months ago.

I haven't had the 2001, but TM's wines are quite good and ARE built for
age. The '96 Star Ruby needs another few years. I paid $30 (big
discount from list $45) for '96 and frankly would have been satisfied
if I paid $45.

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Old 22-06-2005, 05:15 AM
Mark Lipton
 
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Default

DaleW wrote:
Unfortunately it's true. I posted last year that Milan Maximovich , the
owner and winemaker at Thunder Mountain had died. I posted here because
Milan (under the moniker Milan in Santa Cruz) used to post here in the
late 90s. Very informed and informative posts.

Apparently Milan had been sick for a while, but his daughter and
son-in-law (Jon Cook) had kept up TM's standards last few years. But
after his death I think his widow sold winery, and the winery blew out
all remaining inventory at fire sale prices a few months ago.


I happened to meet Jon and Kira Maximovich (nice folks) at an offline in
SF. She was talking about her recent work at the winery, and I just
naturally assumed that she was talking about TM. I suppose she must be
working elsewhere now...

Mark Lipton
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Old 22-06-2005, 08:58 PM
DaleW
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In a post elsewhere Jon Cook said that Kira was the winemaker for the
2003s, but they were no longer at TM. According to Jon there were no
wines made in the 2004 vintage. Unsure where they are now.


Mark Lipton wrote:
DaleW wrote:
Unfortunately it's true. I posted last year that Milan Maximovich , the
owner and winemaker at Thunder Mountain had died. I posted here because
Milan (under the moniker Milan in Santa Cruz) used to post here in the
late 90s. Very informed and informative posts.

Apparently Milan had been sick for a while, but his daughter and
son-in-law (Jon Cook) had kept up TM's standards last few years. But
after his death I think his widow sold winery, and the winery blew out
all remaining inventory at fire sale prices a few months ago.


I happened to meet Jon and Kira Maximovich (nice folks) at an offline in
SF. She was talking about her recent work at the winery, and I just
naturally assumed that she was talking about TM. I suppose she must be
working elsewhere now...

Mark Lipton




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