The theme for this month’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. It’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 it’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 Portugal’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, “Tres Bagos”, 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, “Tres Bagos” 2002.
Thanks again to Derrick for the theme and I’ll see you all next month.
Copyright 2005 Tim Elliott. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/