My Week in Wine Labels (7)

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.



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