More Grape Madness 1st Round Scores

The war of words is flying on the ‘ol

Check out the back and forth between me and Danny. Eis… Eiswein baby!

Feel free to comment here, too.

Keep in mind there is no ulterior motive… I am tasting blind… and like I said, in keeping with full disclosure and operating with transparency… my buddy Stu, who was at the table with me for the first 8 wines and who also tasted blindly, told me his thoughts only after I was done with all my notes and scores… and we were closely aligned on almost everything.

Plus, one of the wines that did make it out of the bracket… that will be revealed next week… was tasted again with Eric… and after a day, the notes were the same… and for both of us!

The trick in tasting young wines and scoring them, is that you are also asked to predict the future… and we all know the only ones who can do that are Nostradamus, Jon Stewart and Robert Parker. I score them as they taste now, and do give some consideration to what they might be… if it’s worth laying down for a while, etc. But it’s really about how I’m enjoying this wine here and now… Different if you barrel taste for sure… That takes a lot more skill… And a lot of history… to be able to see if you were right, and then recognize similar qualities for later tastings.


So without further adieu…
#1 2007 Tapiz Malbec vs. # 4 Rockbrook Merlot

The Rockbrook came out with a citrusy nose… odd… and the palate was very light… too light. The tart fruit vanished way too quickly.

The Malbec, which I did call right away… yes, blind… Oooh… had the most beautiful inky color… The nose was filled with dust and eucalyptus… like a great Rutherford Cab… The tannins were not overly rough… but there they were… road blocking (Yes, I was going to say something else) any fruit… Let it sit… let it sit… tannins… Let it sit… let it sit… tannins. Try it the next day… tannins.  Again, young wine, but the fruit was simply blocked. The wine scored well even with this, and blew the Rockbrook away, but I am a little surprised and disappointed.

Winner: 2007 Tapiz Malbec

#2 – 2006 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet vs. # 3 – 2007 Penfold’s Raswon’s Retreat Shiraz-Cab

Finally… a battle. A cab and a cab blend at about the same price point. While Eric dissed my choice from the Penfold’s catalog… not Penfold’s itself… this one came out with a fantastic nose… More dust, a bit of eucalyptus and figs. Mmmm. While the wine was a bit light on both the palate and the finish, it did not disappoint. Lots of good fruit and really pleasant to drink.

The Columbia Crest was a huge oak barrel and vanilla bomb on the nose. Love that smell, but the fruit got a little lost… This opened up a little as it sat… The color was dark and brilliant and the wine just looked so pleasingly viscous… Look at that glass hang. And the same could be said for my tongue… the wine just coated it and felt like a weight… but in a good way… Oh man, this is a close one… Like the nose, the fruit was masked by the oak on the palate, too… Open up, damn you!

In the tightest battle thus far and only by a last second BLIND shot, hitting the rim, rolling and finally dropping…

Winner: 2007 Penfold’s Raswon’s Retreat Shiraz-Cabernet

I am as surprised as you… but yes, Stu felt the same… We both thought these were the two best wines of the night. And keep in mind, originally I did not have these tasting against each other… not sure when the bracket changed, but I kept it as it came out…

I can hear the crowd moan… especially my new pal, Danny.

Here is one of my responses to Danny questioning my blind pick of the Talus Pinot Noir:

I don’t think Danny has ever seen the Cars in concert.  Great band… I mean go back and listen to their debut. Not a bad song in there. And Candy-O… a fantastic follow up… But live… ouch. Watching paint dry was more fun. And when the crowd is going crazy for the warm up band to come back… Wang Chung… you know something is amiss.
The point… aside from calling myself out age wise… oops… is to say that sometimes a wine does not show its best side… bad bottle… off night… who knows… but a blind tasting allows one  to taste without the preconceived notions of price, name, reputation, etc. It is supposed to take the pressure off… but this is a real boiler maker now! I am sweating a thick, unctuous, inky purple sweat…

See you next week…

Love, peace and in vino we trust.




Filed under Bottled Poetry - Wine Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything

4 responses to “More Grape Madness 1st Round Scores

  1. rjh

    whoa, haven’t thought about the cars in a long time. no doubt a great band, but i could not agree with you more – they are the single worst band live. they were my first concert ever, with nick lowe opening up (remember “cruel to be kind”?). even at that young, impressionable age, i still knew there was something incredibly unremarkable about them.

    as for the wine, the penfolds doesn’t surprise me, particularly up against the columia crest – never been a big fan. and, i really hope the tapiz makes it through to the final four, so i can taste it as part of this – i’m very intrigued.

    very giving of you to offer up your time to go barrel tasting…

  2. Thanks a lot for wrecking my bracket!

    Long live Columbia Crest Grand Estates!!

  3. marcsmuse

    It was blind love, baby… Blind love. Sorry.

  4. Rob

    Anyway – for my taste, the indisputable champion of the “best bang for the buck” award:

    Winner: 2007 Penfold’s Raswon’s Retreat Shiraz-Cabernet

    Loved it! Drinks like a $35 bottle. Suffice it to say, the kid’s gonna do a little shoppin’ later today!

    What else you got?

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