Wine Talk

Snooth User: dvogler

Marilyn Merlot

Posted by dvogler, Mar 19, 2014.

Marilyn Merlot is hardly something I'm interested in (although I love merlot).  I saw someone in Victoria has a collection of 12 bottles they were selling on Craigslist for $200 (including the metal rack).  Only a few of the bottles were empty.  Obviously, it is questionable that they were stored properly and I'd bet not.  But I was wondering if some of that might still be pretty good?  I checked into current pricing and a few of them were more than a few hundred dollars.

Just wondering if I should forget about it?

Replies

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Reply by gregt, Mar 20, 2014.

My rec is to forget it. The people making the wine licensed the name. The wine was never better than OK. Twelve bottles for $200 is less than $20 a bottle, but I think you can get much better wine at the $15 - $20 range. Buy something like Marques de Riscal Reserva or even a good Cotes du Rhone or Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 20, 2014.

Thanks Greg.  I received similar advice from my wine buddy here.  I was just curious because Cellar Tracker had a couple of good reviews on some of them.

But, I'm sure they weren't stored well.

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Reply by gregt, Mar 20, 2014.

I'm not knocking CT but the reviews there don't really mean anything, any more than reviews on a site like Yelp do. It's a random bunch of people who may or may not know what they're talking about and who may or may not have palates that agree with yours. I completely discount crowd-sourced reviews.

I was looking for a restaurant the other day and came across a Yelp review for some other place. The writers went on and on about how awesome it was and how they'd be back etc., etc. So against my better judgment, I checked it out.

Curses, foiled again!

The average Yelp reviewer will eat Dunkin Donuts, Oreos, MacDonald's and Pringles and will have opinions on things like Diet Coke. In other words, zero taste or discernment. So what use is a review from someone like that unless they're simply stating facts, like the parking lot is small and the walls are pink.

Just my 2 cts.

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Reply by EMark, Mar 20, 2014.

As a, pretty much, inviolable rule of thumb, I will not buy any wine that has a cute name.  I am willing to miss out on something that might be good in exchange for not having to drink junk that is trying to attract my attention with marketing that has nothing to do with the contents.  So, there are a whole list of Zinfandels that I'll never have--Cardinal Zin, Seven Deadly Zins, et. al.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 20, 2014.

I completely agree with you both.  I too, although far less experienced than either of you, steer clear of novelty stuff.  I don't know anything about MM, and not that I thought Cellar Tracker was Gospel...several of the MM had mediocre ratings, but a few had numerous raves.  I'll stick to the stuff I know to be good.

But thanks...this is precisely why I asked for some input!

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Reply by Bret Vanatta, Mar 29.

You'' never have a wine with a cute name? 7 deadly zins is really good. Maybe not as good as say Layer Cake or Sledge Hammer but its close to those. Mark David Winery makes some good wines. At the same time though not an expert taster.

 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Mar 29.

I think we need an 'Evil Santa' thing at the end of the year to go along with the 'Secret Santa' activity.  EM of course would receive one of those silly Zinfandels, OT would end up with just about anything outside of Somona County,  I would probably get a bottle with the most boring label on it, and DV would receive a wine from an even colder location, like an ice wine from Norway.  Oh GT would get something that had great reviews at Trader Joes.  

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Reply by outthere, Mar 29.

Evil wine?

 

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 29.

I think I should delete this thread!

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Reply by gregt, Mar 29.

Why did this thread get revived?

Anyway, Marilyn Merlot is hardly the worst of stupid names and at least the bottle isn't offensive. One of the stupidest has to be Plungerhead, which supposedly was actually named after a long-time employee of the Sebastiani family with a similar name. But why would you want your wine to be associated with a plugged up toilet? Yum!

The Michael David wines have dumb labels but they're not particularly offensive to me and the names make them easy to remember, which is the goal. The wines aren't like Layer Cake however. They're made largely from their own fruit or fruit sourced from nearby in Lodi. They are wines from a hot sunny warm place and the winemaking amps all of that up, throws in some additional coloring and there you are. The Sixth Sense Syrah is actually a decent iteration of that grape, with a little bacon and pepper to it.

Layer Cake is made all over the world from grapes purchased from all over. The goal there isn't to make wine that reflects the local conditions, it's to make a consistent version of what they think a variety should taste like from one year to the next. They do buy grapes rather than juice as far as I know, so it's not like Two Buck Chuck, but they might mix grapes from different regions - e.g. Central Valley and Lodi. I don't know the specific sources of their fruit in each country, but it's a more homogenized wine than the MD wines.

And the next generation of the Peachy Canyon family is making wines with truly stupid and ugly labels. I guess they're supposed to look like a cheap and tacky surf shop or something, but whatever the plan, it's a misfire.

I really like clean, simple labels - Roda, Ridge, Raymond, etc.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 29.

Greg,

A new guy, Bret Vanatta commented (above).  When I first saw it this morning I thought I was hacked because I didn't even remember posting it! 

Welcome to the forum Bret. 

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Reply by EMark, Mar 30.

Let me add my welcome to the Snooth Forum, Bret.  We hope you enjoy the visit and stick around.

For the record I am still avoiding wines with cute names.  As you indicated, I am sure that some of them are just fine--if not downright good.  I said in my post of 3/20/2014 that I am willing to miss out on something that might be good.  The fact of the matter is that there is an awful lot of good wine that I am missing.  It appears that I am frustrating the heck out of DMCKER over in Tokyo because of my narrow drinking preferences.  I can only drink so much.  Not only am I missing out on any good cute name wine, I am missing out on a lot of Barolo, Burgundy, and Bordeaux--not to mention a lot of good Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Zinfandel and Oregon Pinot Noir.  One guy can only do so much.

;-)


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