The theme for this monthÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s event is provided by Derrick at An Obsession with Food who asks us to Judge a Bottle By Its Cover. Basically, he just asked us to pick up a bottle only selected by its label art and not any other factor such as producer, reputation, vintage or critic review. I thought it would also be interesting to pick up only wines from producers I am unfamiliar with.
So I went to the wine store and found my first selection right away from Nova Wines the producer of the famous Marilyn Merlot, the 2005 Norma Jeane Merlot. The label is a stunning shot of the young Norma Jeane Baker in a bikini sitting on a large flower. It certainly commands attention alongside more modest labels. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Syrah from the Tallerico Vineyard in French Camp, California. Here are my tasting notes:
Nova Wines, “Norma Jeane”, Merlot 2005 ($10.50) – Clear ruby in color with explosive wild cherry and papaya aromas; simple wild cherry flavors with a hint of the tropical fruit on the finish. Quite quaffable, but not up to the latest crop of Beaujolais Nouveau tasted on my last podcast. Tasted at cellar temperature, but a bit better slightly chilled. Scores – Label: 10/10; Wine: 7.5/10
My second wine stood out from the rest on the shelf for itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s minimalist typography and 3-dot esthetic. This wine is an Eric Soloman Selection, who seems to always have great typographical label art. It is from a co-op of 15 wineries and growers in PortugalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Duoro valley and is a blend of old vines fruit from all 15 producers. Being a typographer from the pre-computer days, I really appreciate the clean use of sans-serif font and white space; a very elegant label that attracted my attention.
Lavradores de Feitoria, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTres BagosÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, Duoro, Portugal 2002 ($16) – Deep ruby color with aromas of blackberry, earth and spices; nicely concentrated blackberry fruit and black pepper flavors with dusty tannins and high acidity. Another very good food wine and one of the best table wines from Portugal I have tried. Scores – Label: 9.5/10; Wine: 8.5/10
So both wines take an honor this time; for best label art, Norma Jeane Merlot 2005 and the best tasting wine is the Lavradores de Feitoria, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTres BagosÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? 2002.
Thanks again to Derrick for the theme and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see you all next month.
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Copyright 2005 Tim Elliott. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/