Wines - what are you holding/buying

27,428 Views | 287 Replies | Last: 14 days ago by J.R.
bularry
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Let's talk wine cellaring, or in my case, temporary holding before drinking.

What are you holding and what are you buying to hold? I'm not talking about long term investments. Just wines you like to hold for maturity, wine allocations/lists and clubs you participate in.

atxtraveler
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None.
GoBearsGo
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We don't have space for more than about a dozen bottles of wine. We drink what we get pretty quick. I would love to have a nice storage/drinking room. Buddy of mine bought a house with a sweet climate controlled tasting/storage room. Seller had a house in northwest so lots of very nice wines from Oregon.
643 Bears
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GoBearsGo said:

We don't have space for more than about a dozen bottles of wine. We drink what we get pretty quick. I would love to have a nice storage/drinking room. Buddy of mine bought a house with a sweet climate controlled tasting/storage room. Seller had a house in northwest so lots of very nice wines from Oregon.
Depending on where you live, there might be a wine storage facility near you that would be less expensive than building out a cellar. There's a good one here where I live--I just rent floor space in there cellar. Only have about 125 bottles there but it just costs about $175 year to store. It's probably a minimum of $8-$10k to build out space that will control temp/humidity adequately. They'll pull whatever I want before I come in and will ship/courier it to me if I ask.

I try to put away 4-5 cases each year with no plans to touch anything in storage for 10 years. So each year, 1 case of Burgundy, 2 cases of Bordeaux (mostly left bank, mix of 2nd-4th growths mostly), 1 case from California (Napa and Paso Robles but not much from Cali ages well so have to be picky there) and 1 case of random finds throughout the year.
BearMace
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I know next to nothing about wine and let my friends handle the ordering, but I'll be subscribing to this thread. I love seeing just how much more people know than me (beer is another story you sophisticated *******s). I could be mistaken, but it's there a Baylor poster on shaggy who has just an absolutely absurd cellar? I hope he's here, and that I didn't just embarrass him too much stitch that he won't post. Please please humble brag here theoretical poster who may or may not exist, it's quite inspiring.
Bruingirl
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I want sweet and fruity girly stuff...basically kool-aid with a couple of bumps of alcohol. So, I tend to lean toward moscato. Not brand or price snobby at all. That's pretty much my whole outlook on wine.
bularry
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643 Bears said:

GoBearsGo said:

We don't have space for more than about a dozen bottles of wine. We drink what we get pretty quick. I would love to have a nice storage/drinking room. Buddy of mine bought a house with a sweet climate controlled tasting/storage room. Seller had a house in northwest so lots of very nice wines from Oregon.
Depending on where you live, there might be a wine storage facility near you that would be less expensive than building out a cellar. There's a good one here where I live--I just rent floor space in there cellar. Only have about 125 bottles there but it just costs about $175 year to store. It's probably a minimum of $8-$10k to build out space that will control temp/humidity adequately. They'll pull whatever I want before I come in and will ship/courier it to me if I ask.

I try to put away 4-5 cases each year with no plans to touch anything in storage for 10 years. So each year, 1 case of Burgundy, 2 cases of Bordeaux (mostly left bank, mix of 2nd-4th growths mostly), 1 case from California (Napa and Paso Robles but not much from Cali ages well so have to be picky there) and 1 case of random finds throughout the year.
4-5 cases a year is pretty good accumulation. I'm not nearly as serious. I'm around 2 per year. Pretty much all domestic although I pick up a random Italian occasionally. Most of mine I'll only hold 6-10 years. I'm not patient enough.

I'm curious about your storage, where do you live? I can't find anything that reasonable near me (SW Houston).

I have less than 300 bottles. It is all in a closet at my house. No special cellar. I think it will be fine as long as I don't keep any 10+ years like that. Ideally I'll find a good off-site place in a few years so I can store with a little more peace of mind. Just don't have budget room to do it right now.
bularry
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My current obligations:

I belong to 2 "clubs"
Delille - 2 cases red per year (a lot)
Liquid Farm - (Cali. Sta Rita Hills chardonnay - yummy)

I am on a few lists:
Reynvaan - Wash. st. syrah
Sarocka - Spring Mtn Cabs
Domaine de la Cote - Sta Rita Hills pinot producer
Soos Creek - Wash. reds, lower cost
Horse and Plow - Cali organic producer
Benovia - Russian River pinot and chard and zin
Entre Nous - Oakville producer that apparently quit/went out of business

I used to be on Copain and Donkey and Goat clubs, but dropped them.

I'm trying to beef up my white wine purchasing and Italian wines.
bularry
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January list invitations are arriving. I know Rivers Marie and Horsepower are out. Betz is tomorrow

I'm tapped out on cash, so passing Any others?
J.R.
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Hey Larry,

Just found this sub forum and finally something I know a little about. To answer your question specifically, I generally buy and cellar.

1) Classified Bordeaux in great/good /years depending on vintage and price. Don't buy a lot of first growths, but do buy a lot of 2nd and 3rds and a couple of second labels. 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 specifically. Some favs are Ch. Montrose, Vieu Chateau Certan, ch. Malescot, ch. Pavie, Cos de Est., Langoa Barton, ect. , . Like, both right and left bank equally. I'm generally a bottom fisher on Bordeaux. Just buy good producers and you will be ok. I really find that Bordeaux is one of the few wines that matures/cellars well. I've got a lot of 99s that are getting pretty long in the tooth.

2) Red Burgundy from great producers in great years when I can afford it. There is a ton of hit and miss with this , but the good, stuff is other worldly.

3) Started buying a lot of Barbaresco and Barolo in good years from Itally. They age well, and can be bought cheaper than the 2 listed above.

4)Sauterns - I do buy a lot of the Sweet stuff from Bordeaux as it will last forever and gets better and better.

5) Rhone - I do buy some Chateneuf de Pape in good years and also some Gigindas from good producers. It ages well.

6) Riesling - I really like Riesling for food. Most versatile white of all IMO. I ages really well also. I particularly like dry Rieslings (Trocken) from either Germany or Alsace.

7) Spanish Rioja. - Really good bang for the buck from good producers in good years. Ages well also.

I'm a big fan of Oregon Pinot Noir from good producers. Best under the radar wine produced in the US, IMO. Lots of really good producers.

I'm not a big fan of really"big" wines. Many California Cabs have gotten to this point, where its too ripe fruit, too high alchohol and no balance. Certainly there are some good one, I'm just not a fan anymore. I've also found that they don't age well at. Found out the hard way.

Bring on Vino talk.
J.R.
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bularry said:

643 Bears said:

GoBearsGo said:

We don't have space for more than about a dozen bottles of wine. We drink what we get pretty quick. I would love to have a nice storage/drinking room. Buddy of mine bought a house with a sweet climate controlled tasting/storage room. Seller had a house in northwest so lots of very nice wines from Oregon.
Depending on where you live, there might be a wine storage facility near you that would be less expensive than building out a cellar. There's a good one here where I live--I just rent floor space in there cellar. Only have about 125 bottles there but it just costs about $175 year to store. It's probably a minimum of $8-$10k to build out space that will control temp/humidity adequately. They'll pull whatever I want before I come in and will ship/courier it to me if I ask.

I try to put away 4-5 cases each year with no plans to touch anything in storage for 10 years. So each year, 1 case of Burgundy, 2 cases of Bordeaux (mostly left bank, mix of 2nd-4th growths mostly), 1 case from California (Napa and Paso Robles but not much from Cali ages well so have to be picky there) and 1 case of random finds throughout the year.
4-5 cases a year is pretty good accumulation. I'm not nearly as serious. I'm around 2 per year. Pretty much all domestic although I pick up a random Italian occasionally. Most of mine I'll only hold 6-10 years. I'm not patient enough.

I'm curious about your storage, where do you live? I can't find anything that reasonable near me (SW Houston).

I have less than 300 bottles. It is all in a closet at my house. No special cellar. I think it will be fine as long as I don't keep any 10+ years like that. Ideally I'll find a good off-site place in a few years so I can store with a little more peace of mind. Just don't have budget room to do it right now.
It should be fine in the closet as long as you don't leave on vacation and turn off your AC and it gets to 110 inside. It will be cooked.
bularry
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J.R., you are in Dallas, correct? Where do you buy your Bordeaux?

I'm with you on 3). I have become a fan of classic Italian wines, just so much elegance and complexity and strength without being too rich or flabby. I love Nebbiolo renditions, but enjoy the more delicate Chianti's also. They can be a bit ripe, though. You can buy a lot of great producers from Italy at $80/btl or less compared to the outrageous Napa and 1st growth French stuff (and 2nd growth).

I still like domestic stuff. Cali stuff is all over the board, though. Really, cabs in general can be hit or miss, even French.

I enjoy more Sta Rita Hill Pinot (CA) over Oregon. but some good Oregon stuff I've liked. Had some really good Oregon chardonnay, too, but man it isn't very economical.
J.R.
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Yes, In Dallas. I buy most all my Bordeaux from Sigel's (mostly futures) as they do the best with Bordeaux. Their recent bankruptcy may change that, though. Goody Goody also does ok with Bordeaux. I buy some at auction in NY.

It's amazing how much different So. Cal. Pinot and Oregon pinot is. Almost a different product. Interesting tidbit. The Willamette Valley and Burgundy are on the same latitude, hence the similarity.

I like it all including domestic. I do find a lot of domestic is too "big" for me. Too high in alc. and out of balance. However, there are many folks that do a great job. I like. Delinger, Kistler, Corison for Cab, Shafer Relentless Syrah, Peter Michael, Celine,
Hubbs
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J.R. said:

Yes, In Dallas. I buy most all my Bordeaux from Sigel's (mostly futures) as they do the best with Bordeaux. Their recent bankruptcy may change that, though. Goody Goody also does ok with Bordeaux. I buy some at auction in NY.

It's amazing how much different So. Cal. Pinot and Oregon pinot is. Almost a different product. Interesting tidbit. The Willamette Valley and Burgundy are on the same latitude, hence the similarity.

I like it all including domestic. I do find a lot of domestic is too "big" for me. Too high in alc. and out of balance. However, there are many folks that do a great job. I like. Delinger, Kistler, Corison for Cab, Shafer Relentless Syrah, Peter Michael, Celine,
here you go J.R.: http://www.dallasnews.com/life/wine-spirits/2017/01/17/taste-way-pinot-noirsas-65-plus-oregon-wineries-descend-dallas
J.R.
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Thanks, Hubbs. Already signed up for the Trade Tasting. Going to be a long afternoon.
ATXBear
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Any everyday Red's from any region or country that you recommend for those of us who are on a budget?
bularry
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J.R. said:

Thanks, Hubbs. Already signed up for the Trade Tasting. Going to be a long afternoon.
that looks like a great event, really wish there was a stop in Houston or I could get up midweek to Dallas or Austin. Lots of great wineries.

J.R., check out Colene Clemons. I barrel tasted the '14's a while back and seemed really promising. I know their winemaker was excited about the potential. I haven't had any since then, so am curious what you think.

bularry
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ATXBear said:

Any everyday Red's from any region or country that you recommend for those of us who are on a budget?
widely available wines I've had recently include Snoqualmie Merlot (WA) (2013 vintage I think) which the wife and I liked. I think it is $11 or so. another that is tougher to find is the '14 Hahn SLH pinot noir for $20.

There is a Spanish grenache I like, blue label on the bottle and widely available (HEB near me). I had the '14 and it was pretty good, less than $10. Bogel petite syrah (CA) is usually in the $12-14 range and it is also consistently good for that price point.

Oh, another I have had in the past but not recently, was Trentadue (CA) which makes a red blend and a merlot, both for under $15 I think, and they used to be good for the price.

J.R.
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bularry said:

J.R. said:

Thanks, Hubbs. Already signed up for the Trade Tasting. Going to be a long afternoon.
that looks like a great event, really wish there was a stop in Houston or I could get up midweek to Dallas or Austin. Lots of great wineries.

J.R., check out Colene Clemons. I barrel tasted the '14's a while back and seemed really promising. I know their winemaker was excited about the potential. I haven't had any since then, so am curious what you think.


Well versed in Climens wines. I actually have some vineyard in the Willamette and keep up with it fairly closely. 14's in the Willamette are really good. I like better than the 12s. I prefer some acid to balance the fruit that we get in a cooler year.
J.R.
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ATXBear said:

Any everyday Red's from any region or country that you recommend for those of us who are on a budget?
I'm a bottom fisher many times when it comes to wine. I'm always trying to find QPR (Quality Price Ratio) for everyday. Anyone would go broke drinking the good stuff daily and that ain't really the point. Oddly enough, I was doing my monthly Costco run today at the one at Park and the Tollway in Plano. I had just read the Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2016 which I think came out in Nov. I bought a Cab. from Montes from Chile (Classic Selection), 2014 for $8 which was in the top 100. Really, really good for that $. I like Sav. Blanc from New Zealand that can be had for $10-12. Columbia Crest from Washington is a big producer, but the have a Vineyard called Horse Haven Hills that produce really good Cab and Merlot. for under $10. Most any Cotes du Rhone from Chaputier, St. Cosme or Bertrand can be had for under $15 and are great. The biggest bang for the buck IMO is Spanish Rioja from Muga, Caseres etc are great for the money. Happy to clear anything up or add more.
J.R.
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bularry said:

ATXBear said:

Any everyday Red's from any region or country that you recommend for those of us who are on a budget?
widely available wines I've had recently include Snoqualmie Merlot (WA) (2013 vintage I think) which the wife and I liked. I think it is $11 or so. another that is tougher to find is the '14 Hahn SLH pinot noir for $20.

There is a Spanish grenache I like, blue label on the bottle and widely available (HEB near me). I had the '14 and it was pretty good, less than $10. Bogel petite syrah (CA) is usually in the $12-14 range and it is also consistently good for that price point.

Oh, another I have had in the past but not recently, was Trentadue (CA) which makes a red blend and a merlot, both for under $15 I think, and they used to be good for the price.


Bogle Petit is good. Bogle makes great wines for reasonable. That Petit will turn your teeth purple, though.
ATXBear
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Thanks for the recommendations! Look forward to trying some of these soon!
J.R.
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you bet
ATXBear
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Appreciate the recs! Always looking for the best value wines as I can't afford what I'd like to drink. Plus-- I've been disappointed by some of the $50-$80 Napa wines I've tried.
643 Bears
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bularry said:

643 Bears said:

GoBearsGo said:

We don't have space for more than about a dozen bottles of wine. We drink what we get pretty quick. I would love to have a nice storage/drinking room. Buddy of mine bought a house with a sweet climate controlled tasting/storage room. Seller had a house in northwest so lots of very nice wines from Oregon.
Depending on where you live, there might be a wine storage facility near you that would be less expensive than building out a cellar. There's a good one here where I live--I just rent floor space in there cellar. Only have about 125 bottles there but it just costs about $175 year to store. It's probably a minimum of $8-$10k to build out space that will control temp/humidity adequately. They'll pull whatever I want before I come in and will ship/courier it to me if I ask.

I try to put away 4-5 cases each year with no plans to touch anything in storage for 10 years. So each year, 1 case of Burgundy, 2 cases of Bordeaux (mostly left bank, mix of 2nd-4th growths mostly), 1 case from California (Napa and Paso Robles but not much from Cali ages well so have to be picky there) and 1 case of random finds throughout the year.
4-5 cases a year is pretty good accumulation. I'm not nearly as serious. I'm around 2 per year. Pretty much all domestic although I pick up a random Italian occasionally. Most of mine I'll only hold 6-10 years. I'm not patient enough.

I'm curious about your storage, where do you live? I can't find anything that reasonable near me (SW Houston).

I have less than 300 bottles. It is all in a closet at my house. No special cellar. I think it will be fine as long as I don't keep any 10+ years like that. Ideally I'll find a good off-site place in a few years so I can store with a little more peace of mind. Just don't have budget room to do it right now.
Sorry--in such a habit of just checking the insider forum that I completely forgot to check back here. I'm in the Dallas area--use the storage at La Cave. They're very good withe Bordeaux and Burgundy and I really need the help on Burgundy--so many to choose from with such varying quality and I find the naming convention sort of mind numbing. Bordeaux is a little easier for me and I stick with many of the same producers mentioned elsewhere in this thread. 2nd-4th growths and even some 5ths and 2nd labels can be great. I don't do straight verticals though--try to focus on the best years.

One more note--if you ever get a chance to travel to that area, you'll be blown away by how good the house wine is at tons of little cafes. There are a lot of small producers that make fantastic wine that never makes its way over here.

643 Bears
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J.R. said:

Yes, In Dallas. I buy most all my Bordeaux from Sigel's (mostly futures) as they do the best with Bordeaux. Their recent bankruptcy may change that, though. Goody Goody also does ok with Bordeaux. I buy some at auction in NY.

It's amazing how much different So. Cal. Pinot and Oregon pinot is. Almost a different product. Interesting tidbit. The Willamette Valley and Burgundy are on the same latitude, hence the similarity.

I like it all including domestic. I do find a lot of domestic is too "big" for me. Too high in alc. and out of balance. However, there are many folks that do a great job. I like. Delinger, Kistler, Corison for Cab, Shafer Relentless Syrah, Peter Michael, Celine,
J.R,

If you run into challenges with Sigel's post bankruptcy, you might consider talking to the folks at La Cave over in the Design District. The original owner sold it, but the couple that bought it share his passion for Bordeaux and Burgundy and are very knowledgable. They have an excellent futures list every year that includes some smaller producers that are excellent values and they probably have the best Bordeaux selection on hand in town. They've also been helpful in helping me hone in my buying plan.

Btw, Corison is my favorite Napa Cab and the only one I put away. She's one of the only folks out there making age-worthy wine. There are maybe a few others in the mountain AVAs but as you said, most of what everyone loves out there is built to age. I wonder sometimes if some of my partners and friends who like to collect trophy wines from Napa are disappointed when they open them after 15 years. I enjoy them young for what they are but they seem sort of dead to me when cellared.

Curious where you've bought at auction. Been tempted to look into that for kicks if nothing else.
J.R.
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Hey 643,

I'm actually fairly familiar with Rhonda and crew at La Cave. Love that big ass dog, what ever that thing is. They bought it from Francois who was a good wine guy. I'm a member of the Dallas Commanderie de Bordeaux (yes, i'm a wine dork) and we keep our cellar at La Cave. I was just there doing inventory of or cellar in December. They are great people, know wines, but on the high end, Bordeaux , specifically, they are high. As far as auctions go. We/I do Christies, Morrell's mostly. Its hit or miss, depending on what your are looking for. My/our big driver is provenance of the wines, particularly older Bordeaux. I want to know exactly where it's been and how it was stored, if we are spending that kind of money. We have looked at their future offers on Bordeaux and they are high. Best deal in town on futures are at Total and I never thought i'd say that , but it's true.

And you obviously know your juice since you are familiar with Cathy Corison. It's the only Cali cab. I buy and man is it good. I still have a couple cases of 07 which are singing now. You are spot on about your buddies buying culstish cabs from Napa. Most don't age. I have made that mistake numerous times early. I bought a lot of 1997 Cali Cabs, (not high end, but good ones I could afford at the time) which was this **** back in the day and they didn't age worth a flip.
bularry
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I think the solution to Napa aging is just drink them sooner. If they aren't going to get better after 7 years or so (which is pretty typical, it seems), then just drink them then.

Frankly, nothing wrong with that. I don't see much intrinsic value in waiting to drink something unless the pay off is stupendous, and that is pretty rare (but I bet you Franco philes won't admit that ) I've got one Continuum from '09 that I'll probably drink next year. 9 years old, which would be young for Burgundy but that doesn't mean it won't be good!

The big problem with the Napa juice is the lack of history. Lots of the top wines from the 70's and 80's supposedly aged great. Not so much with the 90's. I've heard the '03's and 04's are drinking well right now, so less than 15 years and not sure how much longer they'll be good (I don't personally own any so I can't test this). Just not a lot of data sets to really know; and the science behind a well aging wine is somewhat murky. I did open an Elyse '95 Red Table Wine that cost $5 last year and it was still actually good. fruit flavor profile was still bright and it had that lovely dusty/earthiness only age can seemingly give a wine. fun experiment.


My problems with most Napa juice is the $$ and the flavor profile not being what I(or my wife) typically enjoy. I don't hate the high alcohol, but can't stand the syrupy/simple taste this is so upfront in a lot of the wines. Rather drink Washington reds, in general.
ATXBear
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Random question for Larry and JR. I have a 2007 Magnum of Bennett Lane Cab (Calistoga boutique vineyard) that I didn't cellar as it was a wedding gift and our friends signed it at a party. The Wife has it sitting on a shelf for aesthetic purposes. Should we drink this soon? Could it be rancid at this point bc it hasn't been kept at the proper temp?
J.R.
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ATX,

I'd say the answer is yes and yes. Since it's a mag, it should be ok as mags mature slower. However, it all depends on if it go really hot (cooked) in storage. I wouldn't make it a show piece for a party, but I'd certainly open it with good friends at the house with a couple of back up. That's the thing about wine. You just never ever, know. I'll give you 2 good examples. I had a couple of bottles of Chablis , 2004 from a really good producer and i thought, there is now way it could be good, although with burgundies age. I opened it a couple of months ago and it was amazing. Also, had a bottle of 1992 sparkling wine from Iron Horse that I would have sworn to be vinegar. Only one way to find out.
ATXBear
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Fingers crossed that it's still edible. You're a wealth of knowledge with wine!
ATXBear
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Just for fun-- what's the best bottle or glass of wine you've ever had? I'll start and list a few: Glass of Hundred Acre cab (don't know the year), Spotteswood 2007 Cab, 1985 Keenan Merlot, 2005 Opus One. As you can tell, I haven't had the opportunity to taste much of the quality wines outside the US. PS-- Caymus and Ghost Block are highly overrated IMHO.
bularry
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JR, UP and 643 are going to blow our minds with their answer

ATXBear
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ATXBear
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Looking forward to it!
 
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