And so it finally came to pass. After centuries of winemaking the producers seem to have run out of items or names to decorate the labels on their bottles. We have seen wines with labels that were beautiful, some were exciting, some were just plain stupid, some bordered on the obscene, and some invited us to buy while others were just plain gruesome. There were always wines with weird names that were famed for the story behind them such as German wine labeled Krover Nakedarsch which, translated, cleaned up in accordance to political correctness, as Naked Posterior from the Dorf (village) of Krov. The wine is a fine Riesling but the label, refers to the paddling given to two little boys who sneaked into the winemakers shop and helped themselves to the wine while he was away.
There is Est! Est!! Est!!!, Latin for it is, it is, it is. it is. An Austrian bishop, Johannes De Fug (that was really his name) was on his way to the coronation of a new Pope in 1111 AD. The Good Bishop sent a servant, Martin (that too was really his name) ahead of his caravan to check out the wine of the taverns on his way to Rome and to chalk the word “est” on the walls where the wines were good. Martin was so taken with the wines of Montefiascone that he wrote it three times on the wall and the wines have been labeled thusly ever since. As we have always preached, it is not what’s on the label but what’s in the bottle.
Now there is a trend toward arithmetic, some producers are resorting to numbers to single out their wines. Being naturally curious, we investigated and found some that were very good and worthy of your attention
90+ Lot 33 2015 Languedoc Rosé ($15.99). This French import is a pure delight and a guaranteed summertime hit. If we did not know better we would think this wine was made from Zinfandel grapes because of its prominent strawberry aroma but it s a blend of the Languedoc favorites Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault. The flavor is equally as fruity as also is the finish.
Noble Vines 337 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($12.99). We may take these numbers and buy a lottery ticket; you can never tell. This wine originated in Lodi California, a place noted for wines with a very bg fruit aroma and flavor and this wine supports that statement well. The winemaker attributes the wines properties to the 337 Cabernet clones that was use to make this wine, and is known for its warm, fruity character. The wine opens with the aromas of black cherries, currant, spice, and roasted coffee. The flavor is true Cabernet times five and is a shower of blackberry, dark cherries, cranberry, and chocolate that also show up in the finish. Numbers or no numbers, at this wines price, it’s a steal.
Noble Vines 446 2014 Chardonnay ($12.99). It’s almost a law, where there is Cabernet Sauvignon there will be Chardonnay. As you have probably surmised this wine was made from the 446 clone of the Chardonnay vine: WRONG. The name comes from the number 4 block in the vineyard where the 46 clone of the Chardonnay was grown. This too is a big wine with all of the character that a Chardonnay can muster and then some. There is not one flavor to pick from, but a host of endless, constantly changing flavors. Pineapple melds with golden apple and nectarine all lying with a perfect fruit acid balance to back it up. The finish proves as fruity as the flavor and aroma. Again, a good wine at a great price.
Just as a final note, these wine and any wines we write about are available on the internet and in stores If your wine vendor does not have them, ask him to get them for you. He can get single bottles from his distributor and it should be at manufactures suggested retail price. If he tries to get you to buy a case or ups the price … get another vendor.