A continuing series on wine labels, and the wines that wear them, under the macro lens.
I love to take photos of pieces of things with my macro lens — pieces of wine labels seemed like a natural extension of that inclination. 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 Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/90
OK, so I really own a lot of Loring Pinot. I’m probably overdue for an appreciation t-shirt. Or keychain. Luckily, Loring’s wine labels are super interesting and different, so I can keep on featuring them. Also, the wine’s not bad, either. 😉 This is the black and white photo on the label of their single-vineyard Aubaine Pinot Noir, from San Luis Obispo County. Aubaine (not Albania – seriously, auto-correct?!?) is one of my favorite Loring Pinots. The ivy growing on the side of that little building makes me think, Hobbit House.
Napa Angel by Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006 ⭐⭐⭐/88
This is the Napa, California project of Chilean winemaker, Aurelio Montes. Based on the label alone, I wouldn’t have bought this wine. I’ve never been a fan of cherubs. There’s just something a little unsettling about a giant naked baby with wings. But the angel is a theme that runs throughout Montes wines. Apparently, one of the original Montes partners was involved in a number of serious car crashes and attributed his survival to angels. Montes makes a Cherub Rosé (the cherub on that label reminds me of a winged Mearth from Mork & Mindy), and their Montes Alpha and Purple Angel wines also features angels, but more Gabriel, the spear-wielding arch-angel type, which I like. The wine? Quite lovely. Glad this one had 9 years of age on it, the tannins have had time to soften and integrate.
Cougar Crest Syrah 2007 ⭐⭐⭐/86
From the Walla Walla Valley in Washington. Cougar Crest Winery was founded Dave and Debbie Hansen, both Washington State University alums, and a large animal veterinarian and pharmacist, respectively. I can’t figure out why they named their winery after a cougar — unless its a nod to the WSU mascot. I like the simplicity of the label — it’s a cougar on a crest. Here kitty, kitty, kitty. The wine? I like some age on my Syrahs, and this one is evolving nicely. A little jammy maybe, but solid.
Alexana Pinot Gris 2012 ⭐⭐⭐/89
Alexana winery was founded in 2005 by a cardiologist from Houston, Dr. Madaiah Revana. Alexana’s label (this photo is actually the top of the foil cap — it just photographed better) is an interpretation of a caduceus, the symbol of medicine. I tasted Alexana for the first time on a trip to Oregon a few years ago. I’m not sure anyone can de-throne the otherworldly Zind-Humbrecht single-vineyard Pinot Gris, but this might be (probably is) my favorite Pinot Gris from the USA. It has a complexity and heft I don’t usually find in US Pinot Gris. I just ordered three more bottles. Plus some of their Pinot Noir, which is out-damn-standing, btw.