Grape Madness – The First Shot Is Fired


Injuries seem to be plaguing March Madness and Grape Madness is not immune.  Super taster MG was supposed to be going through the following line up, but a sore throat and clogged nose temporarily sidelined this wine coaching superstar.

A few Zucols and some meds and this wine master should be up and sniffing this weekend!

See the line up, hear some predictions from the self proclaimed expert and see the results next week…

And keep checking to see all results in this first ever wine taste-off. This is the start of something big!


1) 2007 Renwood Zinfandel (Lodi, CA) ($18.99)


8) 2007 Rockbrook California Merlot (Sonoma) ($2.99)

Renwood is a known Zin entity, and the Rockbrook was at the back of the store by the bathroom… Seriously. When I was being directed to a wine under $5… their equivalent of Two Buck Chuck, but double the price, that is how I was sent… “Head to the back corner of the store, by the bathroom.” Scary… you better believe it.  I’m going with the Renwood… and by a Parker mile.

2) 2007 Tapiz Malbec (Mendoza-Aregentina) ($16.99)


7) 2006 Rockbrook California Cabernet (Sonoma) ($2.99)

 Again, the wine closest to the bathroom or an Argentinian Malbec… You tell me… I’m going with the Malbec, and not just because it is becoming more and more popular… That’s not how I pick my players. I dig the Malbec and am guessing it will provide me at least $15 more of drinking enjoyment!


3) 2006 Blackstone California Merlot (Woodbridge) ($10.99)


6) 2007 Penfold’s Rawson’s Retreat Shiraz-Cabernet (Australia) ($8.99)

This is the real toss up, in my mind… I liked the idea of tasting Blackstone, since it seems to be ubiquitous with every wine list in any restaurant in the country. And Penfold’s always means good quality… Hmmm… I’m gonna go with the Blackstone, because it’s immediate drink-ability (Sorry, Budweiser) may win out!


4) 2006 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon


(Columbia Valley, WA) ($9.49)

5) 2007 Talus Pinot Noir (Vins De Pay De L’Herault) ($8.99)

Okay… another toss up… I was wrong. The guy at Bev Mo raved about the Talus… and Columbia Crest… good winery, but lower end Cab… Hmmm… I should be able to tell which is which, which may affect by objectivity… but I will do my Boy Scout best!



Filed under Bottled Poetry - Wine Reviews

10 responses to “Grape Madness – The First Shot Is Fired

  1. Hey Everyone,

    I’m really enjoying this site.

    Keep Up the good work.

    Love Always


  2. Hey Peeps,

    I’m really like this site.

    Good work.

    Love Always



  3. Pingback: Grape Madness: Bracketology – Marc’s Muse & BevMo | Jason's Wine Blog | Trader Joe's Wine Reviews and more

  4. Just posted some bracketology on your BevMo selections. Liking the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cab to make it to the Final Four. Interesting note, did you know the Rockbrook is a product of Bronco Wine Co.? Maker of one Two Buck Chuck. RJ had some of the Bronco offerings pop up at Whole Foods as well. Looking forward to the results…

  5. rjh

    i hate to pick a #1 seed to go to the finals, as i’m sure to get some flack like i always do in my brackets, but i like the notion, that you included a malbec and it made it into the top spot. one of my favorite varietals and i think it’s got some legs. i have it losing in the final four to the show from california, but that’s only because i’ve had the show and really like it.

    the other one that’s intriguing is the columbia crest. i’m not usually a fan of their wines, but i’ve heard a lot about the grand estates cab and i’m interested to see how it does.

    the two rockbrooks don’t have a chance.

  6. Daddy Winebucks

    Okay, you’re from back east so I can’t slam you on the obvious picks fronts and you also had arguably the toughest store to buy from, for all the reasons you mentioned. I blogged previously (I think) about my one experience at the Mo, one that left me without the feeling of need to go back, but…

    I’m eliminating the Rockbrook right off the bat and chiding you for cheaping out and going all the way down to $2.99. If either of those win, I’ll buy you a case of each. Heck, I’ll buy everyone a case each. Heck, I may just make like W. Buffy and buy the whole company (bloggers note: if they’re owned by some big ginormous conglomerate it may take me a little while to get my hedge fund money back…

    I also think you went with the wrong Penfolds, unless you wanted a dull match up there. Any real wine drinker knows that if you are going to drink Australian wine produced in the 4 million case range, Penfold’s Koonunga Hill is the star there. I’ve poured that one blind against some big wines and the KH always impresses. Or at least it used to.

    It was tempting to think the Malbec will make it through, especially one close to $20.00 but I’m going to pick the Columbia Crest to come out of your bracket. My logic is this:

    The 2006 vintage makes it just old enough to have matured into a wine that was probably meant to be drunk an hour after it was bottled and CC has always made very solid wines at the price point.

    So while your picks are about as inspired as a Miley Cirus encore, you could have done worse. But not by much…

    • marcsmuse

      Ouch… Let the trash talk begin. Comparing a true music guy to Miley Cyrus is blashphemy! Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought part of this was about going with wines that were typical of what each store represented. If I wanted to pick some of my favorites, the list would be very different. Maybe even a Waugh Zinfandel and a Layer Cake Shiraz! But I went with the feel and spirit of Wilfred Wong and the guy in the green shirt. So put those grapes in your pipe and smoke them.

  7. Danny


    Wish you had piked the 2006 Harding Estates Napa Valley Merlot ($8 to $14, at Bevmo depending on whether or not it’s on sale). It’s kirsch fruit bomb that, I think, could have gone very far in Grape Madness…. Nevertheless, I’ve picked from your bracket the Blackstone Merlot, as a sleeper, to make it to the finals. It’s quality is consistent and I think it has a tendency to taste better the more one “tastes.”Good luck to you and to me.

    • marcsmuse

      Did not see that one and it was not recommended. Dang it. I did buy some on the 5 cent sale, but not all were on it. Will definitely try that in the future regardless! Thanks for the note.
      I’m all about what is good… another bottle of garbage at 5 cents is just another bottle of garbage.

  8. Danny

    I agree, Marc. I want to drink wine that is great and affordable. . Another Bevmo value winner I’ve gone back to the well on more than once is the 2005 Trivento Syrah (Argentina) @ two for $17.04—(i.e $16.99 for one plus 5 cents for one more). It tastes much better to me than its 88 Wilfred Wong rating. And at a recent dinner, guests gravitated to this cocoa dusted gem. I’d rate the Trivento Syrah a 90 and the previous mentioned Harding Estates Napa Merlot a 92.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s