Wine Situation Final Five (Now With Drunk Dialing!)

The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. It’s the solo season with host Ellen Clifford, but listen in with a glass, and nobody is drinking alone! In lieu of guests, at the end of every action-packed episode Ellen is phoning a friend with her Final Five questions. This week Ellen talks to Mike Stone, tasting room manager at Nicholson Ranch and host of the TallMike Wine Podcast. Check out the full episode here QUESTION ONE Ellen: I hear tell you just had COVID, and there are often taste problems associated with it. When you were on the mend, what was your first wine back? Mike: I had this great Chilean wine. It was delicious. It was a Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend called Don Maximiano from a winery called Errazuriz . This one knocked it out of the park. The first smell was like “oh wow, did I just get into my grandfather’s shoe closet? Because it smells like leather”. Good leather, tobacco, super-extracted dark fruit. It was a 2007, and it was ready. The good news is I have another bottle. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Next question is, what is either a favorite pairing or unusual pairing that you’ve enjoyed? Mike: I’m gonna keep it simple. This is something that surprises people at the winery I work at, Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma, where we make primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay —and they always ask about pairing for Pinot. People are afraid to pair it with big meats. I always say I like to pair it with salmon. Pinot is a little different than a lot of reds, and salmon is a little different that a lot of fish. Pinot is lighter than most reds, and salmon is a little darker and fattier than most fish, so they both come across a line in each direction and pow! You get this amazing matchup. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Question number three is what kind of beverages do you fancy when not drinking wine? Mike: You know what I had to drink last night, after I’d had a lot of wine and it was bedtime? I had some Bailey’s on the rocks and some Oreo cookies. Now that’s a nice pairing! I really am an equal opportunity imbiber though. You probably would find me most often, when I’m not drinking wine, having a cocktail made with either bourbon or tequila . QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Question number four, if you were to make a wine, what would you make and what would you name your winery? Mike: I would have to call it Tall Mike Wine. It would have to be one of the heavier darker reds. Maybe a Bordeaux blend or maybe a Rhone blend . Something dark and bold and heavily extracted with lots of new French oak. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: The last question is just what is bringing you joy these days? Mike: A couple of things. It’s the time of spring where all the planting I did in my flowerpot plant garden outside—I live in a condo so I have this outdoor space that every summer I try to create my little sanctuary so—all the stuff I started planting a month ago is really starting to bloom. I go outside, and the garden looks amazing. So that’s bringing me joy; and of course, my little kitty kat Olive, who is five years old and is my companion and always nearby. There’s three people that live here, and I’m really the only one she gives the time of day. She gives me great joy forever and always. *** You can find the TallMikeWine Podcast wherever podcasts are found, and follow him on Instagram @TallMikeWine and on twitter @TallMikeWine69 Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Kathleen Willcox here .

Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 2009

We had the 2009 and 2010 Vintages in a vertical tasting on 6/26/22. The 2009 had a more floral bouquet. The 2010 was more minerality and earthy. The 2010 got better with aeration. Tastes of black cherry and cassis. The 2009 was more red berry. For both the tannins smoothed out. Both had long finishes. Both, of course were classic Old World; have to consider them medium bodied. — a year ago

Iwan, Tom and 7 others liked this

Nicholson Ranch

Estate Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir 2012

Another great bottle that we brought from Napa to Belgium. Excellent Pinot. — 3 years ago

Nicholson Ranch

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Such an amazing wine. Was in Sonoma valley this summer and brought this one home. — 4 years ago

Angela Nowicki
with Angela

Château Langoa Barton

Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 2017

A blend of 54% Cab Sauv, 38% Merlot & 8% Cab Franc, aged in 60% new oak, deep Ruby with aromas of dark berry fruits, floral and sweet notes. On the palate flavors of blackberry, currents and cacao with notes of violets, oak and spice. Fine gritty tannins, long finish ending with fruit, floral and mineral spice. Tasting well! — a year ago

Andrew, Josh and 9 others liked this

Nicholson Ranch

Estate Chardonnay 2014

Ron R

Hallelujah, no signs of oxidation ere! Butterscotch and a hint of caramel on the nose.
Pineapple and five spice on the mid-palate confirm this as a fine example eight years in. I purchased a case of this vintage, and the majority were oxidized. Good robust acidity and moderate sweetness suggest that this bottle has longevity.
— 2 years ago

Tom, Severn and 43 others liked this

Eric Premium Badge

Solid photo. Complex setting. There’s a lot to unpack with the Batman stocking cap, top shelf Chard, and Krispy Kreme box. Bravo
Severn Goodwin

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Pairing thoughts to Krispy Kreme??
Ron R

Ron R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Severn Goodwin, a recent life event was joined by KK’s!

Château de Saint-Cosme

Gigondas Red Rhone Blend 2001

Presented to me double-blind at Tasting Group. The wine pours a deep garnet with a translucent core and burnished orange rim. Some signs of sediment. Medium+ viscosity. On the nose, cherry lozenges, Corinthian leather, rich mahogany, old books, espresso, baking spices, desiccated flowers…like something that reminds me of my great aunt’s potpourri, and bit of umami. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium (+?) tannin which is well integrated. Medium acid. The fruit and non-fruit characteristics are confirmed. The finish is laden with dried fruits leather and earth. I felt that the wine was old with 15+ years of age and leaned a little more towards its fruit character than its structure…so I called Barossa Valley Shiraz, 2005, from a quality producer. But then, someone said 2012 CdP and I was like…”ooooohhhh, I like that CdP call”. But if that was the case, it would have to be older…from a great vintage like 2001. Well…I was on the right track. Who cares, this was an awesome showing and the oldest Chateau de Saint Cosme I’ve ever had. Drink now and enjoy. — a year ago

Ely, Tom and 10 others liked this

Nicholson Ranch

Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Dark cherry, smoke and very earthy. — 3 years ago

Tom, David and 4 others liked this