My Week in Wine Labels (6)

A continuing series on wine labels, and the wines that wear them, under the macro lens . . .

I love to experiment, taking photos of pieces of wine labels with my macro lens.  It’s a lot of fun to see the colors, and especially the textures, on a wine label that you wouldn’t ordinarily see (or maybe even notice).  It’s almost as fun as drinking the wine.  Almost.  So, I thought . . . why not stitch the photos together into a collage?

Voila!  My week in wine labels.

Do you recognize any of these guys??


Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2010  
I’ve been buying Loring wines for a lot of years now, and their wine labels have gone through quite an evolution.  But the one thing that has remained constant is that iconic LWC stencil. Loring’s single vineyard wines wear black and white photos of the different vineyards (along with a smaller LWC stencil).  Their AVA blends wear just a larger LWC stencil.  I found a great explanation for Loring’s label concept on their website:  People often ask me, “how did you come up with the label concept?”.  Of course, I know what they really want to ask is, “Are you on crack?”.  I don’t think Loring is on crack, but I do wonder if someone was a tagger in a previous life.  😉

A word about the Pinot.  I tend to prefer Loring’s single vineyard Pinots, but their AVA blends are pretty darned good.  And they’re a good notch cheaper than the single vineyards — $28ish vs. $46ish.  This one seemed a little more aggressive than usual for Loring, but I still managed to get it down.  😉

Septima Malbec 2014 ⭐⭐/83
I tasted this as part of September’s #winestudio.  This is Septima’s entry-level Malbec, and (if I’m being honest — after all, my credibility goes out the window if I gush over every wine I taste for #winestudio) it tastes like an entry-level Malbec.  Now, that doesn’t mean it was a bad wine, but for my palate, it was a little pedestrian.  It’s extremely fruit-forward (like being hit by a wall of blueberries), and I prefer a more rustic and complicated style of Malbec — it’s part of the variety’s charm and allure for me.   Retail = $15ish.

The Bodega Septima winery was inspired by ancient Incan monuments, and built with natural stones from the Andes mountains, piled in the Pirca tradition of the Huarpe People, an ancient (nearly extinct) population indigenous to the Uco Valley.   The label is a representation of the winery — I love the metallic copper and the contrast with the background texture.

Redbyrd Orchard Traditional Cider Starblossom
I picked this up on our trip to the Finger Lakes this past summer.  I’ve been drinking more and more ciders as we head into the throes of fall.  This is an English-style cider, made with English bittersweet apples (including one named Brown Snout — my new favorite apple variety).  I’m terrible at analyzing ciders.  I mostly use a very complicated mental rating system called, “Does it taste good?” And this one tastes good!

I couldn’t find any information on the history or impetus behind the label, but it doesn’t appear to be rocket-science — it’s a red byrd holding a star blossom.  Love the yellow sunburst in the background.  Underneath the redbyrd, the label says, From the Trees to Your Glass.  I already liked that, and then I found this on their website:  You can make bad cider out of good fruit, but you cannot, no matter how hard you try, make good cider out of bad fruit.  💙

H.Blin Champagne Brut ⭐⭐/89
Another WTSO find.  I’ve been buying a lot of Champagnes from WTSO lately, to expose my palate to different styles (and also because Champagne is just plain fun).  H.Blin is located in Vincelles, in the Vallee de la Marne, where Pinot Meunier is King (incidentally, auto-correct is desperately trying to correct Meunier to Meaner).  This NV Brut is 80% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay.  Smells like a freshly baked loaf of bread.  Retail = $28ish.  I’d definitely buy it again.

H.Blin is a small co-op winery, founded in 1947 with 28 growers.  Today H.Blin has over 100 family-growers.  The label itself is a simple monogram.  And honestly, if you had just shown me the monogram (sans Champagne bottle), I might have thought it was a cattle brand, vis-à-vis the American Old West.  I’m pretty sure H.Blin doesn’t have a secret crush on the American Cowboy, but hey, you never know.  😉



  1. Cider…hard on the heels of a resurgence in beer and micro-breweries has come a blossoming culture in Ciders. When our country was new everyone had a ceramic pot of cider kept cold. I live near orchard country. We have two outstanding ones, Gunga Din is made by a winery further north and is quite good. Scrumpy’s is exceptional. It is made near here and I will find the source on one of our weekend rambles because it tastes of honey crisp apples and fall. Oh, dear, I must also mention VanderMills south of here in Spring Lake. They have a roasted apple cider that was my favorite until I discovered the other two, however, Vandermills has a … what is the word, not brewery, cider mill? you can go, sit at the counter and taste ALL the marvelous real varietal ciders, their own and ones from the UK all while eating food inspired by the surrounding orchards.


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